Veteran Stories:
George Anstiss

Army

  • George Anstiss' paratrooper class receiving their paratrooper wings, Rivers, Manitoba, May 1952.

    George Anstiss
  • Soldiers enjoying some quiet time while in Korea. Visible are two Bren light machine guns and two Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles.

    George Anstiss
  • Soldiers enjoying some quiet time in the hills, Korea.

    George Anstiss
  • A paratrooper training on a landing swing, Rivers, Manitoba, 1952.

    George Anstiss
  • Paratroopers training on landing slides, Rivers, Manitoba, 1952.

    George Anstiss
  • Paratroopers learning to kickout, Rivers, Manitoba, 1952.

    George Anstiss
  • Paratroopers learning how to use their parachute ropes, Rivers, Manitoba, 1952.

    George Anstiss
  • George Anstiss' uniform badges. From top to bottom: Princess Patricia's Light Infantry regimental badge, 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade badge, and partrooper badge.

    George Anstiss
  • George Anstiss and South Korean children in South Korea.

    George Anstiss
  • United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, Busan, South Korea.

    George Anstiss
  • The grave of Glen Small, who was killed on 14 July 1953 on Hill 355, at the United NationMemorial Cemetery in Korea, Busan, South Korea.

    George Anstiss
  • George Anstiss and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

    George Anstiss
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"In our section, we lost a guy by the name of Henry Lavallee, Glenn Small. And Henry Lavallee was my bunker buddy unfortunately and he got killed by a mortar, and Glenn Small got shot."

Transcript

I was on the Bowling Alley [a section of the main supply route near Hill 355, the road was under constant enemy fire] and a real good friend of mine lost both his legs from an artillery shell. And then there was two wounded too.

It was a bad place to be on because it was too much open you know. And the Chinese were crazy because for instance they would play music.  They would talk to us with the loudspeaker right across no-man’s-land and they’d tell us to, “Lay down our arms PPCLI [3 Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry], do you know what your wives and girlfriends are doing tonight? This is not your war. Lay down your arms. We won’t hurt you.” And then they’d open up with the artillery of course. And the songs they’d play were “Home Home on the Range” and “You Are My Sunshine.”

The last hill that I was on was 355. It was the highest hill in the whole front and as you know – somebody probably told you that. And we lost on that hill, in our section, we lost a guy by the name of Henry Lavallee [19 July 1953], Glenn Small [14 July 1953]. And Henry Lavallee was my bunker buddy unfortunately and he got killed by a mortar, and Glenn Small got shot. And a little Indian kid was badly wounded when Lavallee was killed because the mortar that come into the communication trench and killed Lavallee and wounded – Risedale was the guy’s name. Now that was 355.

Sometimes they’d have little bonuses and if you went out on a fighting patrol that was one thing. And then if you went out on a snatch patrol, and if you could take a prisoner and bring him in, you got a week’s leave in Japan, so everybody tried for that.

When I came home I would tell people – when I came home – now the soldiers when they come home today, it’s good for them. They have parades. I got on the streetcar at the old Union Station in Ottawa [Ontario] and took a streetcar home. There was nobody there to meet you.

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