Veteran Stories:
Thomas Albert Bud Leggett

Army

  • Thomas Albert "Bud" Leggett in Belgium in the Fall of 1944. This photo was taken just after returning from the front lines for a rest.

  • Mr. Leggett's mother, Jane Leggett, received this telegram on February 19, 1945, informing her that her son was had received bullet wounds and was in serious condition in hospital.

  • While travelling through Holland with the Royal Regiment in 1944, Mr. Leggett made this lanyard out of parachute cording.

  • A selection of badges from Mr. Leggett's uniform: (top to bottom) Canada shoulder flash, Royal Regiment of Canada shoulder flash, the blue patch showing he was part of Second Division, corporal stripes and his dog tags.

  • Mr. Leggett drew sketches of some of the places he saw in Europe. These sketches show different scenes in Holland including interaction with the locals (top), the Nijmegen Bridge (middle) and a battle scene in October 1944 (bottom).

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"The soldier who was doing guard duty asked if he was seeing things, or were those fence posts moving. I told him they were moving, and they were not fence posts."

Transcript

My name is Bud Leggett. I was born and raised in East York, just up above Toronto. When war broke out in 1939, I was operating a poultry farm in Agincourt. After a time, I ended up in the Army and volunteered for overseas. After extensive training in Canada, I was shipped over to England. After more training, I was shipped over to France about four weeks after D-Day, and was assigned to the Royal Regiment of Canada. I ended up as a Section Leader for about ten men as a Corporal. A few years after the war I decided to sketch some of the events that took place and that I was involved in. They are as follows: Passing through the city of Rouen, France, an angry group of citizens were parading two women who had probably given information to the Germans about the hiding places of some Underground workers, or some Allied flyers trying to make their way back to England. They had shaved the women's heads, spat on them, tore their clothing, and other forms of punishment. They may not have lived through the day. The next happened on the dikes of the Scheldt Peninsula in Holland. It happened late at night, when Private Stan Lister was doing guard duty. He heard a rustling, and suddenly the face of a German soldier loomed up in front of him. Shocked by this, he automatically ducked down into the trench. Realizing he shouldn't do this, he jumped up to face the German. When he got up, he was gone. I met Stan Lister about thirty years after the war, and he said it was the most frightening event of the war to him. We had just been given our first hot meal of that week when one fellow looked up out of the trench and saw an enemy tank coming towards us. We decided to take a shot at it with our anti-tank gun – the PIAT. We missed it completely. They started to swing their gun towards us, and I told the guys to get over to the other side of the dike. They opened up on us with their machine gun as we scrambled up. As soon as we got over, they let go with their big gun and blew are trench sky high. Then, in the same area as the dikes on the Scheldt, after a night of fighting, an early morning attack was attempted on our section. The soldier who was doing guard duty asked if he was seeing things, or were those fence posts moving. I told him they were moving, and they were not fence posts. It was an attack coming in on us. We opened up on them and soon had them pinned down. After daylight came, those who were able to jumped up with their hands in the air to surrender. I watched as the German officer, who was apparently wounded badly, pulled his luger from his holster and shot himself in the head. I vividly remember the time when Lance Corporal Wizerowski, nicknamed 'Whizzy,' received his second wound. After a shootout with three Germans on a dike in south Beveland, Whizzy and another Royal named Northy went to investigate, but stopped suddenly and started to run back, as they were being fired upon by the Germans. Aiming carefully between the two, some members of our platoon provided covering fire. I saw Whizzy grab at his chest and sag a little bit, but he didn't go down. He jumped into my trench and he said, "I've been hit!" The wounds looked pretty bad to me. Whizzy decided to head back to headquarters to seek medical help. Much to everybody's surprise, Whizzy returned to the platoon about a month later.
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