Veteran Stories:
Edward Rollinson

Army

  • Portrait of Mr. Edward Rollinson at the time he was serving with the 2nd Battalion of The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Korea. November, 1951.

    Edward Rollinson
  • Edward Rollinson's Certificate of Service for the Korean War dated February 21st, 1952.

    Edward Rollinson
  • Safe conduct pass dropped by a U.N. plane over entrenched enemy lines in April 1951 and found by Edward Rollinson while working at the frontline.

    Edward Rollinson
  • Another example of a safe conduct pass found by Edward Rollinson while working at the frontline.

    Edward Rollinson
  • Contemporary picture of Mr. Edward Rollinson.

    Edward Rollinson
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"They shipped eight of us to Petawawa [Ontario], to the Intelligence School. I kind of liked it, but the third day there I found that the permanent staff had no idea about intelligence in the field…"

Transcript

I went back to no job for a couple of weeks and then I was taken on the Canada Post as a letter carrier, and that being April 1946. And come August, I ended up in Christie Street Hospital, which is in Toronto. My back was bothering me. But with a family, I had to go to work and I worked […] in Christie Hospital and then into Sunnybrook [Hospital], when they opened that up in 1948. I was on the entitlement and treatment department and I worked there five years, five days a week. I worked every Saturday, Sunday, holiday as coming off that shift on the desk… people coming in for treatment and on appointments. I kind of liked it, but I had no pension, so I had no seniority and in May in 1950 they laid me off --- surplus to the establishment. So I got a transfer job at the Unemployment Insurance Commission in Toronto as a regular interviewer, and we had five offices in Toronto at that time and I was eventually put in charge of staff training. I turned 39 and I was a little… well, wanted to do something… we never had this jury here. At 39 I left the job and went elsewhere to America. I want to go back to the… off the period when I enlisted in this Korean war thing… it was the 25th of June 1950 that North Korea invaded South Korea, and as South Korea was part of the United Nations, they called on the UN to assist. And Canada was part of the United Nations, so Canada agreed to send troops and the Canadian Army decided to make a Canadian Army Special Forces and that was on the 7th August 1950. That week I heard on the radio about the invasion that was going on and I thought, I’m still young; I’m trained to do a certain job in the army, so I went down and enlisted in Toronto on 15th August 1950. I believed in the United Nations and this was something that was going to get big, and I thought I could be of some help, as I had training in the field – intelligence – in a battalion, and glory be, I signed up as a recruit, not even as a sergeant as I was in World War II. Went up to Calgary and there I found out the thirteen other fellows were recruited across Canada for the same section – the I-Section [Intelligence section], which only contained nine people. Well, it was schmozzle in Calgary with everybody showing up and how to handle all the new recruits. They shipped eight of us to Petawawa [Ontario], to the Intelligence School. I kind of liked it, but the third day there I found that the permanent staff had no idea about intelligence in the field… getting out of barracks and in the field. And our Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant McKenzie… that’s the first time I met him. Apparently he could speak Japanese. So on the third day he gets two of us aside and says, Mac – he was a big fellow- he says, you’re the sergeant because you’re big and you have three kids. And here Ed… you be the corporal; you have two children and you will run the section – the Intelligence Section – plus you will prepare the monthly war diary, period. That’s how it was decided. I never saw the sergeant from there on. We finished this intelligence short course and back to Calgary and they were trying to do some field training of… I don’t know the percentage of retreads – or veterans – against the new recruits. But things were moving too… very fast. We would spend ten days at Wainwright [Alberta]. I was trying to learn map-reading. Before we knew it, we were on a train to Fort Lewis in Washington [State]. That was the start; we were going west to Korea.
Follow us