Veteran Stories:
Robert Harry Devey

Army

  • The 4.2 inch mortar crew of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in which Private Robert Devey served during the war. Mr. Devey is on the first row, first from left. Holland, circa 1944-1945.

    Robert Devey
  • Men of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa rapatriated to Canada aboard HMS Mauretania on December 16th, 1945. Among them, Private Robert Devey pictured on the second row, third from right.

    Robert Devey
  • Dog tags issued to Private Robert Devey in 1943.

    Robert Devey
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"And so when we went on the push we had to go on these water Buffaloes because all the ground was flooded. "

Transcript

[With The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in Europe] We came back for a good rest at Ghent [Belgium] and then we were only there I think a couple of days and then we head for Germany. And we ended up outside of Nijmegen [Holland] where we stayed for; well we stayed there until the February thing [February 1945, the beginning of the Rhineland Campaign]. But we moved all around there, but we stayed there ‘til, when we – I think it was the start of February when we started to push to Germany. We got in these Buffaloes [the Landing Vehicle Tracked, an amphibious warfare vehicle]. Like I was with the Camerons [The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa] with our port, with the mortar; I was a 4.2 Mortar man [the M2 4.2 inch Mortar]. And we had these T-16 Carriers [a variant of the Universal Carrier, a light armoured tracked vehicle]. And so when we went on the push we had to go on these water Buffaloes because all the ground was flooded. So we’re sailing out and in between the houses and, you know, for the first day. And that was in February, well exact date; I think the beginning of February. I’d say – I was only a little Private, I did what the hell I was told and that’s it. We were called the Infantry Support. Well we went right through. And then I was with the first gang of Canadians when we crossed the Rhine. Yeah well they told us we were going with the 51st Highland Brigade [Division], because we had a good rest at Cleves [in Northern Germany]. After we went through up to the Rhine River we had a good rest at Cleves. And then we went out from there across to Emmerich. Then we crossed the Rhine in these Buffaloes too. And these Buffaloes are, you know it’s the carrier right – you know it drove the carrier in there. And we’re sitting up on top like a bunch of ducks on there, you know. Now then we landed across the river and we were okay. [The end of the war] I think it was May the 5th, we were told then no firing until you’re told. And we were up in Germany then, Aachen. We were told then… and then the war ended on the 8th I think it was [8 May 1945]. But we were told there hold back and, you know. And I had lots of prisoners around. We’re all happy it was all over and that they had the bit there you know, whether we wanted to go to the Pacific or not [to volunteer for the Pacific front where the war was still going on until August 1945].
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