Veteran Stories:
Florence Reid (née Tanner)

Army

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"As a telephone clerk, I sat in a little room. There was, I guess, two teletypes, typewriters and then, I wore a headset and I typed in. People would phone in and give formal telegrams, and I would write them out. "

Transcript

As a telephone clerk, I sat in a little room.  There was, I guess, two teletypes, typewriters and then, I wore a headset and I typed in. People would phone in and give formal telegrams, and I would write them out. Then we wrote them out all in large letters, capitalized letters. So I did that for, that was my main job, you know, when during the days if I was there.

[I] worked the daytime shift and then… well, the night-time shift there wouldn’t be quite so many of them… But they progressed up, of course, in work and starting out as a private and then going up the ladder to corporal. And, well, at the very end, I was doing Ruth Bergstrom’s* job, you know, partly because she had left. So I worked right there until, well, August of 1946, and the war was over. Repatriation. We had millions of telegrams come through. Come in off teletypes and off, you know, over the machines. And again the ones that would come in ’cause everybody that came back on ships and everything, they were coming, I guess, to Ottawa, Ottawa area, would come through our office.

We had also in our section, we had to send out these telegrams to the different branches ’cause there was military intelligence in the building that we worked with, in, and [in] many different places situated all over the city. So we had to sort out these telegrams and get them to go to where they belonged.  So that, that is primarily the work that I can remember.

 

*Ruth Bergstrom has also been interviewed for The Memory Project Archive.

 

Follow us