Veteran Stories:
Marguerite Moncrief Nelson

Army

  • Marguerite Moncrief on her enlistment in the Canadian Women's Army Corps in April 1944.

  • Marguerite Moncrief on her enlistment in the Canadian Women's Army Corps in April 1944.

  • CWACs having fun while completing their basic training in Kitchener, Ontario.

  • Marguerite Moncrief and a friend outside the Harry G. Silver Shoe Store in Peterborough.

  • Marguerite Moncrief's discharge certificate marking the end of her military service on December 7, 1945.

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"At that point, I became Private Marguerite Moncrief, W30682, of the CWAC."

Transcript

I'm Marguerite Nelson of Peterborough, and on April 9th, 1944, I became eighteen years of age, so I decided to join the service. I guess I thought I could help, because my brother had long gone with the SD&G Highlanders overseas. I went to Kingston for basic training – for kits and uniforms, needles and health check, and all those things. I learned how to go through a gas chamber with a gas mask on. At that point, I became Private Marguerite Moncrief, W30682, of the CWAC. We were then sent for basic training in Kitchener. There, I had to choose a career after basic training. Because I could drive already, I chose Driver Training Program in Woodstock. I trained people in Woodstock to drive large vehicles – jeeps and whatever – for a few months. After that, I was re-posted back to Kingston to 103 Depot, LaSalle Barracks, as a Clerk/Typist. There, I had to walk about a block to work, which was great. It was a cluster building – Canadian Military Headquarters cluster building – right on Lake Ontario. I worked for two wonderful lady officers, Lieutenant O'Hearns and Major Gray, who were both from western Canada, and we worked on secret info for overseas, updating ledgers and files, and I just loved my job there and I was there until I was discharged in December of '45. In April of '46, I married the love of my life who I'd met in Kingston, Milton E. Nelson, who was in the RCNVR. We have two sons, two daughters, five grandsons and five granddaughters. Milton passed away in 1999. I was proud to serve, and I would like to add that I had all of my uniform and my kits and everything up until three years ago, and I then donated them to the Peterborough Museum and Archives here. So they have everything I was given when I joined up, and I was kind of happy to do that, that they would accept it, and that they were very happy to get it.
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