Veteran Stories:
Glenn Price

Army

  • Glenn Price's Certificate of Service, 1953.

    Glenn Price
  • Glenn Price's Discharge Certificate, 1946.

    Glenn Price
  • Soldier's Service Book of Glenn Price, 1944.

    Glenn Price
  • Glenn Price'S Medals: Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; France and Germany Star; War Medal (1939-45).

    Glenn Price
  • Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment's Pin.

    Glenn Price
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"Our responsibility then was to clean the Germans out of the Reichwald Forest. And they were there up in trees with high-powered rifles, killing officers."

Transcript

My mother Brittner Etta Hemridge, she thought her boys were going to be way overseas of course. And there was two of us and my younger brother’s a year and a half younger. So he was too young to join up. And then I joined up in 1944. And I celebrated my 18th birthday on the boat going overseas. In the meantime, I had gotten a job at the Peterborough Examiner in Peterborough, Ontario, as a letter-top operator and I quite enjoyed that and they kept my job open, when I came back, I went back to work.

We couldn’t wear our boots because there was U-boats, German boats, submarines in the area and the steel boots on the steel deck reverberated through the radar. So we had to go in our sock feet. When we got overseas, they threw the socks away, they were so dirty, and gave us new ones.

So we landed in Liverpool and then we had to get on a convoy and go down to Sussex in South England. And that’s where we were put up and took some training there and then went immediately over to Europe, to Holland. We landed in Nijmegen and we were sent up to the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment as replacements. They were having heavy casualties just then in fighting the Germans in Holland and they needed replacements.

Our responsibility then was to clean the Germans out of the Reichwald Forest. And they were there up in trees with high-powered rifles, killing officers. So it was sharpshooting. And we went through there with Jeeps with flame throwers on them and shot a flame thrower up in the trees and they came down with their shirts on fire, I’ll tell you. It was pretty gruesome, but we cleaned them out and took a lot of prisoners and had to disarm them, take their pistols and rifles away from them. But they had no ammunition anyway, their ammunition was all gone. They had no gasoline for their cars or tanks or Jeeps. They were all parked. All the officers had big Mercedes cars that they had stolen from the Dutch wealthy people and they had no gas to run them in. So Canadian officers took over those cars and they ran them until the higher-ups said, no more gas for them cars. I had one for three days and went to get gas in it and they took it away from me. They were only for officers.

A lot of our fellows that I went overseas with were killed in that battle in that forest by these sharpshooters up the trees. We showed no mercy when we got them down, I’ll tell you. So we took them prisoner and held them until after the war ended. That’s a different story. Then we had to take them back to Germany by boat. We sailed them from Nijmegen up to Bremen Harbour, which is up around the point of Norway, into the upper coast of Germany. And there was six Canadians on each ship, 500 prisoners, and these prisoners all had squeeze-boxes, accordions and guitars, very musical lads. And there were six of us on there to raise the Canadian flag every morning and take it down at night and to guard these prisoners. But I don’t know what we would have done with them, there was only six of us. But anyway, they were happy as we were to see the war ended because they were all our age too, they were just young kids really. But they gave us no trouble whatsoever. I didn’t understand German and they only knew a smattering of English, but we had conversations with them. And they were all nice kids. As I say, they were as glad to see the end of the war as we were. And we sang songs with them too. They taught us some German songs and we taught them some Canadian songs and it was an interesting time. It took us five days to sail up around that point, to Germany.

But when the war ended, we had to wash all the vehicles for a parade into Holland and paint all the wheels and my job was to paint the nuts on the wheels red. And there’s about 10 nuts on each wheel and I had to go around and paint all those nuts red. And they really looked good when I got done too. And then they had the parade in Holland a few days after the official end of the war. And of course, throngs of Dutch people on the street and they had supplied us with boxes and boxes of chocolate bars and we were throwing chocolate bars out to the kids. And just a hell of a big celebration, I’ll tell you. Brings tears to my eyes to even think about it. We were some happy.

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