Veteran Stories:
Russell Patrick Feltmate

Army

  • Russell Feltmate receiving certificate of appreciation for his service. Post war, date unknown.

    Russell Feltmate
  • Russell Feltmate with his wife, Canso, Nova Scotia, 1940.

    Russell Feltmate
  • Russell Feltmate before going overseas with the North Nova Scotia Regiment, in 1940 .

    Russell Feltmate
  • Russell Feltmate, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"And then I went to England. It was a long while before I got my eyesight back. But the war was over and I was home."

Transcript

Now, I drove those [Bren Gun] Carriers [lightly armoured tracked vehicles] there before I went overseas, and after I went overseas [with The North Nova Scotia Highlanders]. And that would carry ammunition, food and stuff like that. But you didn’t have too much faith in them. Boy, I’m telling you, sometimes they’d take them carriers and then look for a place to get underneath them so they wouldn’t get wounded. It was a bad place to be is all. And I was corporal of that section and I’d tell them: never go underneath it. I got wounded the last day I think of February [1945, during the Rhineland Campaign], yeah. There was a German trooper up there, shooting at us and everything. So I said, well, have to get someplace. And what happened was we jumped into a trench and we didn’t realize it was booby trapped. And that was the end of the war for us. I was left blind for a while and face all covered with, oh, everything, old ground and everything. So we were quite fortunate enough that everybody jumped in that trench. It was a long trench and they jumped in. And they were there, I know when I got hit I had a tunic over my face. And the officer come up and said, “Russell” he said, “we’ve got to get out of here.” So I said, “a little too late for that now.” So we did get out and he took me in his carrier, I went out and I held his tunic right around my face because the wind was blowing so hard and the face was all raw. So got out, got down to Nijmegen [The Netherlands], got me to a hospital down there overnight, then they sent us down to a French hospital. And then I went to England. It was a long while before I got my eyesight back. But the war was over and I was home.
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