Veteran Stories:
Elizabeth Wagner Goneau

Army

  • Elizabeth Wagner and fellow CWACs (Canadian Women's Army Corps) after graduating from basic training at Vermillion, Alberta. November 14, 1943

  • The CWACs checking out the sights of Paris while on leave, December 1945.

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"By V-J Day, I was in Aldershot in England on my way to Holland"

Transcript

My name is Elizabeth Goneau. I was Wagner when I was in the Army. I enlisted in Calgary and went to Vermillion, Alberta for basic training. Then I went to Kingston for signals training, and I was attached to signals during the war. That was four months of signals training in Kingston, and then I went back to Vancouver and I was there for two months, and then over to Victoria. I was there for two months and then up to Prince Rupert. The reason I was moved around so much was because signalmen were being sent to Europe and the girls were used to replace the signalmen. On V-E Day, I was on my way back to Prince Rupert on a ship. So immediately when I got back to Prince Rupert, the idea was to send soldiers in Europe over to fight in the Far East. By V-J Day, I was in Aldershot in England on my way to Holland. The atomic bomb was dropped while I was in Aldershot. We were CB-ed – Confined to Barracks – because the soldiers had rioted and there was a lot of destruction in the town of Aldershot on V-E Day. In order to prevent any problems we were confined to our barracks. I was only there for a couple of weeks and then sent over to Appeldorn. By that time, of course, the Canadian troops were not going to the Far East, they were going back to Canada, so we worked in Appeldorn until all the troops were sent back and then we were on our way back to Canada too. For me, the army was a very interesting experience. I saw a lot of different parts of the country. We saw a lot of Europe while we were in Appeldorn, and for me it was a great experience.
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