Veteran Stories:
Jim Wilkinson

Army

  • Jim Wilkinson in front of Bell tents while involved in the defence of Newfoundland, Botwood, Newfoundland, 1940

  • Jim Wilkinson while on leave at home in Montreal before going overseas, 1940

  • Jim Wilkinson with his mother while on leave at home in Montreal before going overseas, 1940

  • Jim Wilkinson with his Father (left) and younger brother (right) while on leave at home in Montreal before going overseas, 1940

  • Jim Wilkinson with his Father while on leave at home in Montreal before going overseas, 1940

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"And as he said that, I catch it, we were suckered, there was two Germans behind us. Shot me in the right leg, got hand grenades and a few marks up on my face."

Transcript

Into the Netherlands

We were out in the open and the Germans commanded all the high ground, to our left, to our right and they knew the situation because they’d be living there for a number of years. We were there, oh, two or three days, before we finally had to give it up on Friday the 13th, because they had overrun us and the “Calgarys” [the nickname for the 14th Armored Regiment (Calgary Regiment)] came in the following day and they said that the Germans and the Canadians were lying face to face almost dead on the boulder. And they say we lost 40 or 60 dead or something like that, about 100 men altogether, dead, wounded and prisoners of war.

As the winter [of 1944] progressed, it got so that we were able to get as far as Groesbeek [the Netherlands], for me anyway, because the vehicles could not move any further. They needed some information so I said, “Okay, Dale, you come along with me, we’ll see what we can find.” We went down on our side of the hill and we get into this farmyard, I see two Germans and I said to Dale, “Let’s shoot one right now.” He says, “No, no, no, we’ll chase them.” And as he said that, I catch it, we were suckered, there was two Germans behind us. Shot me in the right leg, got hand grenades and a few marks up on my face.

Dale was able to save me, was able to pull me out. He drove off the guys that got us, drove them off, I don’t know whether he killed them or not but I cared less. And he dragged me out back to our location. As I say, if it wasn’t for his strength, I would never have made it.

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