Veteran Stories:
William Drinkwater

Army

  • A convoy of Canadian Army trucks. Red Deer, Alberta, 20 October 1941.

    Stanley Creelman
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"As we got off the ferry, we marched up the road, we met a group of German prisoners coming the other way and I thought to myself, well here we are invading these soldiers’ homeland and they are being sent to my homeland."

Transcript

I was put in the office where they prepared the Orders, Part I and Part II.  Because I could type I was put in the office that was typing Part II Orders.  In those days it was done on Gestetner stencil and I was doing that job for 28 months I guess it was.  Then I thought, well, after the war if I had children and they asked, “What did you do in the war daddy?” I would have to have said, “I typed,” which wasn’t a very good answer.  So I wrote a letter to my commanding officer requesting that I be given officer training.  At that point in the war, just after the North African campaign, the casualties among Army Service Corps officers was quite high.  So there was a general push on to produce Army Service Corps officers.

We were given training on conducting convoys and we conducted a convoy from Aldershot right up to Northumberland [England], right close to the border of Scotland. They had a muster parade and I have a vision that what they did they had this muster parade and they started the head of the convoy down so far and they said this group is to the continent. It must have been planned beforehand because our documents were right there so they could go to the continent with us. So they trained us down to Southampton [England] and we got on, I guess it was a cross-[English] Channel ferry, and we disembarked in France at Avranches, I guess. As we got off the ferry, we marched up the road, we met a group of German prisoners coming the other way and I thought to myself, well here we are invading these soldiers’ homeland and they are being sent to my homeland.

 

Interview with William Drinkwater - FCWM Oral History Project

Accession Number CWM 20020121-062

George Metcalf Archival Collection

© Canadian War Museum

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