Photograph of Mr. Lester Brown in his Queen's Own Rifles uniform in 1944.Lester Brown
Mr. Lester Brown's Canadian Army paybookLester Brown
Mr. Lester Brown's medal.Lester Brown
Mr. Lester Brown's pay book. The paybook indicated when Mr. Brown was wounded.Lester Brown
Sewing kitLester Brown
"I took a bullet on the chin while I was running to get onto this tank. It didn’t knock me down, it just looked bad when I got back, everybody thought my head was actually half blown off"
We boarded boats and we sailed over from Southampton. We set out in the channel for the fifth I guess until the morning of the sixth was when the invasion took place [6 June 1944]. We all got out in our landing craft and we was in D Company and we followed A Company through the [English] Channel. I guess it was about a half an hour after A Company had went in. D Company went through, A Company had more casualties than we did because they were forced to go through.
And after we was in action for about five days then. And we were just about to have a little rest and we started digging a foxhole, you know, you dig a foxhole before you take a rest in case, the sergeant came running and told us to stop digging, we had to move off and we were supposed to take a little town called Brettville.
So we moved off and we had to go across a wheat field to get to this town. So we started across this wheat field, cautiously. So after we got halfway through the field, Germans opened up on us, we were actually ambushed because by that time, they were behind us, beside us, in front of us, that’s where I got wounded. What happened, I seen a tank on the road and I knew it was one of ours tanks, so I scampered over to this tank and another chap and I were running to get on this tank, to hitch a ride back. And I got to the tank first and I jumped up and he had to go around the other side. So by the time we got back behind the line, I went to get off of the tank, I looked over on the other side and this chap had taken a bullet in the head. Helmet was full of blood. I was lucky.
And I took a bullet on the chin while I was running to get onto this tank. It didn’t knock me down, it just looked bad when I got back, everybody thought my head was actually half blown off. But it was only a facial scar. I mean, it was just a bullet on the chin.
I remember going up on deck that night and couldn’t’ see too much but as far as you could see was just ships and I don’t know what kind of a feeling I had, it was sort of an eerie feeling, you know. Everybody was tense and nobody kibbitzing around, you know. Sort of an eerie feeling.