Veteran Stories:
Linda Wigley

Civilian

  • Certificate of Honour being presented to representative of Small Arms Limited during Third Victory Loan, 1942.

    Clarence Decatur Howe / Library and Archives Canada / C-000478 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Expired
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"Well, I feel it was our era because we had nothing before. We had four and a half great years there, really living, and now in one day we're back where we started."

Transcript

I had three close friends, buddies, that were killed right off. One, was shot. It was a bad time for families. They were all in the army. And they joined because as I say it was Depression, and there was no jobs. They were happy to get somewhere where they had something. And unhappily, the results were not good.

As, as the men left, the women took over. I went to work at 15 as a mother's helper, as many of us did at that time, in houses until 18. Until the Small Arms [Limited] broke up, we really had nothing and so that was a blessing for us. Sad for the men but a blessing for us because we could work there.

The freedom was great. And being able to do things. Because up until then we didn't even have money, say to go for coffee in a restaurant. But we didn't know any better so, you know, it wasn't too bad.

We had to wear badges, it was wired up. And there were guards, we had to wear a badge going in. I worked in the body department, which is where the bullet goes in. I worked on a machine called the slotter which slotted the hole where the bullet went in. But you also had to be ready to go on any other machine. It was hard work. But you were glad to have a job. And it was good paying, meeting all people from all over Canada. Yeah, it was great.

Well, I feel it was our era because we had nothing before. We had four and a half great years there, really living, and now in one day we're back where we started. It wasn't fair at all. And as I say, if you didn't have education, where would you go? So you took whatever you could again.

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