Veteran Stories:
Arthur Pidgeon

Army

  • Arthur Pidgeon in his Canadian Army uniform in Italy. January 17,1945

  • The shoulder flash and regimental crest of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment

  • Red shoulder flash of the Canadian Army and Mr. Pidgeon's 3-year service stripes

  • Art Pidgeon on his first day home after returning from overseas on September 15, 1945. He is sitting on the porch in front of a sign reading "Welcome Home son."

  • Art Pidgeon (far right) and friends Neil and Bud at a reunion of the 'Hasty Pees' (The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment) in 1988. The three are still good friends

Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"I did not get wounded, but I did have malaria five times in Italy, and suffered all these years from that."

Transcript

My name is Arthur Pidgeon. I'm a World War II veteran. My service was in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, and all up through that district. I was one of the very lucky ones' to come back. I did not get wounded, but I did have malaria five times in Italy, and suffered all these years from that.

My only brother Fred Pidgeon was in the Toronto Scottish. He went over in 1939, and he went in on D-Day. He went up through after D-Day and he got killed in Holland. He is buried in the Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian cemetery in Holland.

I have been over on the fiftieth anniversary of the remembrance of Apeldoom. I have friends over there and I've talked to them many times, writing back and forth. They were nice enough to take me to a cemetery there which I had seen before.

When I went up to Belgium I found my brother's records and I went to the graves' registration to find where he was killed. He was killed just on the Belgian border in Holland, and he's buried in a little Catholic church cemetery. When I got my forty-hour leave I went up to find his grave, and while on the bus up there I met a young girl about ten years old who spoke English. She said, "Mr. Canada, where are you going?" I said, "Well, I'm trying to find this little church." She said, "Where is the church?" I said, "I don't know where it is." "Oh, I know that church! I go to that church, and I will take you to him." She took me there, and a couple of nuns came out and said, "Yes, we know where he's buried. In the back yard here with nine other Canadians." So I went out to the back yard with them, and I have a picture taken of myself standing behind my brother's grave with these two nuns and the young girl. That was one lovely thing of my trip back to Holland.

My father is a World War I veteran and a World War II veteran. He won the Military Medal at Vimy Ridge. He came back through that as Regimental Sergeant Major, and when I went to the Brantford training centre, he was my Sergeant Major there. My father didn't treat me any different. I was on barracks duties, cleaning duties, served him in the mess halls. I did all the dirty work.

This is a family history. My sister was in the CWAC [Canadian Women's Air Corps]. She was stationed in Brampton and also Kitchener. She was on driving trucks at that time, but she never went overseas. She was in there for about two years.

That left my mother at home by herself. My brother, myself, my father was away, and my sister was also away, so my mother stayed at home pretty well the whole war-time by herself.

My family is very proud of our military service, all those years back.

Follow us