Veteran Stories:
Mark “Lewis” MacDonald

Army

  • 4 MacDonald's Brothers: Mark (top left), Alwin (top right), Leonard (bottom left), Windsor (bottom right, he was only 16 when photo was taken), in Boscom, England, 1943. All in North Shore Regiment except for Leonard who was in Engineers Corps.

    Mark MacDonald
  • Photo of Plaque taken in France by Windsor MacDonald, Mark's brother, 2009.

    Windsor MacDonald
  • Image of where brother Windsor scaled wall, in France. He had to do so twice as he dropped his rifle.

    Windsor MacDonald
  • "Canadian Active Service Force": document sent home by brother Alwin MacDonald from England. Alwin died abroad during the war.

    Mark MacDonald
  • Mark MacDonald's Medals (L-R): 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; War Medal (1939-45).

    Mark MacDonald
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"let’s get a picture taken and send home to our mother, because we might never be together again. And we never were together again."

Transcript

The first thing, the first morning we were on the boat, and they gave us this big smoked fish for breakfast, which I never ate before. (laughs) So I didn’t like it very much. And then we had got it kind of rough and a couple of times, they let us know that trouble ranges around and we were warned. But it was a nice trip. An awful lot of people got sick. Terrible, terrible. We were all in hammocks, down in little hammocks and I never got sick but I tried to get up out of there, got - terrible. And some of them, you had to take up to the hospital in the boats, you know, they got so sick. It was quite rough. And then we had a dog with us which we sneaked on and we had to hide him. His name was Jiggs. And he went overseas with us and the little dog, he never fought with nobody when we here and every dog over there he got, he fought with. And he got no teeth, he had to make a way with them. That was one of the little mascots we had. But we had a hard job hiding him while we were going over. But our officers knew that he was on, most of them. But, when they found out he was on they check it - but we had him hid. Yeah. When we, when we went waiting, we were waiting to get in, and then when we come in, we had our boats, I had a truck, driving a truck, and we had them waterproofed. We waterproofed them for about two months before we went. And we also were down to Scotland, Edinburgh and we were in Scotland, training. And we had to have them all waterproofed and we had to have the muffler up above the water. Well, when I landed, the water was up to here on my chest. And then that night, the Germans come over, they had fighting day. We had no night fighters then and the Germans come over and lit it all up, sky’s all lit up and just like daylight, it wasn’t a very nice trip, I tell you that. (laughs) But I had three brothers with me, two brothers in the North Shore [(New Brunswick) Regiment] with me in the same regiment. I don’t know how long we were in when my brother, Al, got killed. He was a driver/batman for the Paymaster. I guess I had, I wouldn’t be very far and there was a shell come over and killed my brother. We were in Boscham, England, and my brother, Leonard, which was in the engine with the engineers, but us other three boys, Al and me and Windsor, were in the North Shore. He came up on leave and he visited us. And when he was there, my brother, Al, who got killed, he said, let’s get a picture taken and send home to our mother, because we might never be together again. And we never were together again. He was killed, you see, so we never were, four of us were never together again. They didn’t surrender but they ceased firing. And then the war was declared ended. I suppose the most happy time in my life was, I think when I’m going to go back to home, to Canada. I’m going to see my mother and my father again, and all the people back home, which I never thought maybe that I would see again. But that was a happy day for us and no more carrying helmets, no more respirators. That was a very happy day for me, one of the happiest.
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