Veteran Stories:
Albert T. Smith

Army

  • Albert T. Smith's Army identification card

  • Mr. Smith received this citation letter on April 4, 1946 to recognize that he was mentioned in dispatches

  • Mr. Smith and a fellow soldier pose with local children while in training in England. 1940

  • Snapshots from Mr. Smith's training and operations in England

  • Clockwise from top left: Mr. Smith and his brother Arthur in Belgium; The two brothers reunited at their aunt's in Birmingham, England; Albert Smith with a friend in England

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"At that time I could see some survivors so I took off down from my gun-pit to see what I could do for the boys"

Transcript

My name is Albert Thomas Smith and I'm eighty-three years old. I joined the militia at the age of sixteen in the 25th Field Battery [Royal Canadian Artillery] in Toronto, and then it was frozen at the beginning of the war and I didn't get into service until May the 6th 1941. My service number was B8211. I was released May the 7th 1946. The unit I was in was the 69th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, 4th L[ight] A[nti-Aircraft] Regiment, 3rd [Canadian Infantry] Division. I guess that two of the more noticeable features that I can recall during the war years was on September the 19th, I think it was. The 14th Field [Artillery] Regiment was the regiment we were providing protection for. They came under heavy enemy fire and they lost three of their gun crews from shells landing in their gun-pits. At that time I could see some survivors so I took off down from my gun-pit to see what I could do for the boys. I managed to get nine men out who had injuries. We used up just about all the bandages, and I found later on that they decided I should have the MiD [Mentioned in Despatches]. I guess the most pleasant part of the whole thing was Christmas of '44. I won the draw at troop headquarters for a turkey. We had six guns in our troop, and each crew sent a representative to headquarters to have a draw for this turkey. The rest of them had to have ham. I was fortunate enough to win the turkey for our gun crew, and we had ended up in Nijmegen that Christmas of '44. We had adopted a Dutch family that was right beside us. We ended up taking the turkey over to their home, and there was a grandfather, grandmother, mother, gosh knows how many kids there were, and aunts and uncles. The turkey was about twenty pounds. They cooked it and we provided all the grub for them and some of the refreshments for the adults. We all took turns sitting down at the table with the family. We had a great big platter and the turkey had been cut off in to great big chunks, and boy was it ever delicious. We really enjoyed it and all the kiddies got prizes and gifts of some kind. Captain Waterhouse, our Commanding Officer and troop commander, he dropped by for a light snack and a treat
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