Veteran Stories:
Robert Wilson

Army

  • Before being posted overseas, Robert Wilson posed for this photograph at the Beach Grove Inn, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

    Robert Wilson
  • Robert Wilson (left) with fellow comrades in Aurich, Germany, September 1945.

    Robert Wilson
  • Robert Wilson, sitting on motorbike, in Belgium during the war.

    Robert Wilson
  • Robert Wilson in 2005.

    Robert Wilson
  • Robert Wilson onboard ship heading to Calais, France, October 1945.

    Robert Wilson
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"And I ended up in army of occupation up in Aurich, up in Germany. I was up there for over nine months, doing occupation with the Canadian Army."

Transcript

I was with the Queen’s Own Rifles [of Canada] and I was driving a flame thrower [Vickers-Armstrong flamethrower-equipped Universal Carrier] through France and Belgium in that way [during the Northwest Europe campaign]. And I ended up in army of occupation up in Aurich, up in Germany. I was up there for over nine months, doing occupation with the Canadian Army. It was a universal carrier and it had a flame thrower on the left hand side of it and I was a driver and there was a guy running the gun to shoot the flame out. I had one unit, with all there were three rifles, Winnipeg Rifles [The Royal Winnipeg Rifles] and the Regina Rifles [The Royal Regina Rifles], they were three units. We were up there and it was a beautiful spot on this lake and a really nice building for us to live in. And what we used to do is we’d circle a town and look for SS troops [the Schutzstaffel, a German paramilitary organization under the Nazi Party], like hiding in cupboards and in the basement and whatnot and the attic and all things like that. That’s what we were doing. Well, he would be an SS troop, so we took him and we give them to the British, the British took them. I don’t know what they did with them. He wasn’t hurt or injured or nothing like that. I think we only found one because I was only on it about a month. You had to have your head on your shoulders to know where you were going and don’t go too far up into the community around there where there was too many Germans. We’d just go so far and turn around and come back. When we’d be going through a town, and they had vehicles too, running all over the place and the odd time, we’d shoot at a vehicle that was coming towards us, just to tell them to get out of the way. Then there was, I would say what, I think about nine, ten, 11 months, almost a year and then it was my turn to come home. I just about fell over when they said you’re going home.
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