Veteran Stories:
Norman Goodale

Army

  • Norman Goodale in his enlistment photo.

    Norman Goodale in his enlistment photo.
  • Norman Goodale (bottom left) and fellow soldiers overseas.

    Norman Goodale (bottom left) and fellow soldiers overseas.
  • Norman Goodale (right) with his brother William, who also served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. William's story can also be found in the Digital Archive.

    Norman Goodale (right) with his brother William, who also served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. William's story can also be found in the Digital Archive.
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Transcript

I'll first start with a little bit about one of my father's experiences during the First World War. When his battalion was on the march, they started being strafed. I guess the standard procedure was to dive into the ditches, and his gas mask went askew a bit, so he got some mustard gas. Not for very long, but it left him with no sense of smell and some problems with his esophagus, and stomach as well. If he was babysitting, he wouldn't smoke in the house because he wouldn't be able to smell it if the cigarette started a fire.

As far as the picture of Norman Goodale and the two of them together, which would have had to have been taken soon after my father arrived in England after he'd enlisted. What's interesting about Norman is that he was taken prisoner, but my father was informed while he was in the trench that his brother had been killed. Norman's name actually appears in the Memory Book in the Peace Tower. My father showed it to my sister and my mother some time in the '30s and said it couldn't be removed.

A couple of things from World War II, when he was just on Canadian soil, guarding prisoners for the most part. He gave my sister at that time a birthday present of a ship in a bottle that had been made by a German prisoner, obtained just for cigarettes.

He also always seemed to believe that none of the POWs really wanted to get out. He got the impression they probably felt that they were better off here on Canadian soil.

His family were pretty well all involved in the military. His older brother, whose picture I think was also included, Charles (?), he was a mechanic with the Air Force. The other Charles (?) from the Second World War is his son. Norman Goodale's two sons were also involved in the Second World War. Whenever there were family gatherings, all of the men from both World Wars would get together and talk about it, but they never talked about it any other time.

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