Veteran Stories:
Dorothy McWilliams

Army

  • Dorothy McWilliams, who witnessed the bombing of London firsthand, in RCAF uniform in 1945

  • Servicewoman Dorothy McWilliams in 2002.

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"I used to steal flowers or go buy violets in London to visit the hospital where the sick persons were, and give them there. It’s memories ago"

Transcript

This is Dorothy McWilliams. I was with the Canadian Army during the War, and we got to Europe... we got to England. We had many happy memories, but many sad ones. Lots of time was sitting in a park in the centre of London when the bombs were coming down. And then, of course, we forever wanted food, so we'd run to the same place there - either the Beaver Club for chocolate bars or something like that. I used to steal flowers or go buy violets in London to visit the hospital where the sick persons were, and give them there. It's memories ago. And up in Scotland, up in Edinburgh, I had family there. So that was something to go to on the weekend and to take friends to, and I'd visit their places in Devonshire. We'd go there on our leave. We have many memories and many photographs. We were combined with the Air Force, and there was a big flag on the wall. I'd move this flag where the planes were going to bomb next time over Germany, so that was my little area there. We did typing up things, and paperwork, and stuff like that. I ended up working part-time as a nurse, although I was not a nurse, just to change bandages and stuff like that. We did all those that we had to do. Nobody else to do it, so we did it. And then, of course, I came here in August of '45. I came over on the Nieuw Amsterdam - a big boat. It landed in Nova Scotia, and I went to Toronto. That's where I had my 'de-briefing,' they call it. I was still in uniform when I came there.
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