Veteran Stories:
Jeanette Thompson Green

  • Jeanette Thompson grew up in the country but came to Toronto to work during the Second World War. Among other places, she worked at the John Inglis Munitions Factory.

  • Poem that Jeanette Thompson received from her fiancé, Earl Green, who was serving in Italy during the war. The poem expresses hopes that the two will marry when the war is over and that peace will come.

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"I was working this huge big machine, steady, all day, and they had three shifts. They kept us busy."

Transcript

Jeannette Thompson, and then Jeannette Green. I worked in the war plant John Inglis in Toronto. I was working this huge big machine, steady, all day, and they had three shifts. They kept us busy. There were quite a few men, but there were mostly women. We didn't know what we were making then – they wouldn't tell us – but we found out later they were magazines for the Bren gun. My husband, Earl Green, carried that kind of gun all through Italy with him – and France, Germany and Holland. He landed in Sicily in 1943, and went all up through Italy with the 2nd Light Aircraft Unit, Anti-Aircraft, 2nd Battery. He was in Ortona, and that was the worst place of all for the fighting. He said he was sitting under an olive tree in Italy. He wrote that poem there, and he said it didn't take him very long to write it, but he wanted to send it to me in the letter. He did, and I saved it all these years. "Our lake was calm, cool and clear, While overseas, peace had fled from flaming skies. It was at that time I met you, dear, But now we hear the battle cries. My heart returns to that day when We pledged our future to be won. Although all thoughts I cannot pen, My love you have 'til we have won. Then back home, the ocean ride, When the stars of peace return. And if at last you'll be my bride Our deepest love we then shall learn."
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