Veteran Stories:
Albert Bridgewater

Army

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
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" I saw some of the young German soldiers who had lost their lives due to the troops, the British and Canadian and American troops advancing. Young, blonde fellows – it was a pain to see them there. "

Transcript

I did a lot of reconnaissance work around in France, Belgium and Holland to gain information for the, the fighting forces. I did not engage in any particular action.  I saw many people who had been killed and, of course, and so on, but I did not involve active combat, my work did not involve active combat, other than the risk of being ambushed, or whatever. To make sure I, I found or – got information on important aspects, which would affect the advance of the armed forces. The challenge was getting around to various areas and writing a report, and making sure that the information got to the, to the arm of the services that would require it. As we advanced, of course, we saw the destruction of bridges, which the enemy had blown up. We had to, we would write a report on it and the, the [Royal Canadian] Engineers would have to fix it, fix the bridges. I can remember going across some bridges, which were pretty shaky… Let’s see… That's about, about all.

And I was never at any, that I was aware of, any particular risk. No doubt I was observed by enemy forces in my reconnaissance, but I was not, I did not confront the enemy face-to-face. I saw some of the young German soldiers who had lost their lives due to the troops, the British and Canadian and American troops advancing. Young, blonde fellows – it was a pain [hurt] to see them there. I remember them, the people that I knew that were killed or wounded.  During the… If I'm at home… When they play the “Last Post,”* or have the moments of silence, I find myself standing at attention and remembering, maybe… but I find I do remember them. I was extremely fortunate, I didn’t get a scratch really.  Well, I was sick with the flu, with a bit of flu in England for a while, but I was not wounded, and I have enjoyed pretty good health ever since. And my objective now is to reach a 100.

* A military bugler plays the “Last Post” to signal lights out at the end of the day. When played during a commemorative ceremony, the song symbolizes the death of the fallen in battle.

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