Veteran Stories:
Geoff Rumble

Army

  • Geoff Rumble served with the 25th Medium Artillery Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery, in Sicily and Italy. The Bull Dog beside him in this photo is "Angri," the battery's mascot. Geoff Rumble was Angri's main caregiver.

  • When the 25th went in to participate in the attack on Cassino, the Sergeant decided that Angri could not handle the noise of battle and so he was left in the care of a Royal Air Force Squadron

  • Angri was well suited to military life. He enjoyed riding in tanks, he loved military rations and slept soundly in Geoff Rumble's tent

  • Before joining the 25th, Angri belonged to the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards. When they were transferred to a secret location they left him in the care of the 25th. The town of Angri, Italy, was were the change in ownership took place

  • Geoff Rumble (left) with a fellow soldier and Angri

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"We were able to get the artillery guns in there night after night after night, and bring the ammunition up night after night, and eventually, there were sixteen hundred guns there."

Transcript

I was in the militia – the Royal Canadian Artillery militia – for thirty-two years, and I was on active service during World War II for six years. I was three years in England, then to Sicily, then nearly two years in Italy, then into the south of France. Through France, through Belgium, through Holland, and finished the war right in Germany.

In England, I had a couple of narrow escapes. I was with an artillery outfit, and we were practicing firing out into the English Channel. We had a lunch break, and the kitchen truck was up there. While we were there, a group of German fighter bombers tore by, but we didn't know there was an Ack-Ack regiment just a little bit away from us, and they were firing at the airplanes as they went over. So, ok, everything was all nice and quiet, and they had gone, and we were just about ready to pack up and get the kitchen truck out of there when a gunner came running up to me. He said, "Mr. Rumble! Mr. Rumble! Come quick!" And it was a miracle: There was this truck, and the anti-aircraft gun had wedged between the body and the cab. It was so narrow that it prevented the shell from going right through, and this is a very dangerous situation because the shell fired, then the shutter is opened, and anything that touches it on the nose, it would explode it. We were very, very lucky that we weren't killed or wounded.

We were involved in all the major battles. Monte Cassino, it was the biggest battle of the war for the Allies; the British, particularly, withdrew all the artillery from all over Italy, and surreptitiously, they put them in there. We were able to get the artillery guns in there night after night after night, and bring the ammunition up night after night, and eventually, there were sixteen hundred guns there. On the night that Cassino was fired on, it was eleven o'clock at night on the 11th of May. It was all timed and checked, and finally, when the hour came, it was just like a gigantic photoflash and the roar of all these guns exactly at the same time. Then, of course, they were firing and firing and firing. Fortunately for us, we caught the Germans just leaving their infantry, so the infantry that had been there was still there and the new German infantry doubled the number of Germans that were there. They had tremendous casualties.

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