Veteran Stories:
Elsie Johnston

Army

  • Elsie Johnston's Photocase - Shadow Box assembled in 2003.
    L-R: photo of late husband Alexander (Alec) Johnston in Uniform, circa 1943; Memorial notice as dated; Plaque; Photo of Mr. et Mrs. Johnston, circa 1950.

    Elsie Johnston
  • Elsie and Alexander Johnston in 1950s.

    Elsie Johnston
  • Elsie Johnston's husband, Alexander Johnston, in Uniform, circa 1943.

    Elsie Johnston
  • Hat from Elsie Johnston's Uniform issued in 1942.

    Elsie Johnston
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"My dad said one night, did I see you drive in a car today? And I said, yeah. [My dad said,] what’s the idea? [I said,] I’ve joined the army. And he threw me out. He was furious. He remembered the women in the last war and they all had a bad reputation."

Transcript

When I was 20 years of age, the war broke out. So I started taking driving lessons. My dad said one night, did I see you drive in a car today? And I said, yeah. [My dad said,] what’s the idea? [I said,] I’ve joined the army. And he threw me out. He was furious. He remembered the women in the last war and they all had a bad reputation. But a month later, my mother came and said, your papers have arrived and your dad said you could come home. So I did, but he never talked to me. But six months later, he was bragging that his daughter was driving the Major in the army. So we were good friends from then on. I was determined I was going to be an army driver, so that’s what I did. I personally drove the Major all the time. The odd time I was driving other people but most of the time, I was his driver. Except one day, I was driving the Major out of the place and this good-looking bombardier was lifting up the thing. I looked at him and he looked at me; and the next time, I was looking for him and he was looking for me. That was the guy I married and it was love at first sight. We never had much money; we’d just go and sit in the park or something, you know. We couldn’t eat very well. Most of my food, the good food anyway, came from the Canadians and Americans. They’d come and give you a meal because England, you know, it was terribly short of food. So the dating was just, you know, holding hands and being together. But we were, yeah, we were falling in love. We waited for each other until the war was over. But he was from Scotland. We lived in Edinburgh in Scotland. His sister was really annoyed that he’d married an English girl. She’d never talked to me the whole time she was alive and I was alive. She never talked to me. She was furious. But after a while, I was fed up and I said, I want to go back to England. So we did, we went back to my hometown and that was where I had children and a little later, immigrated to Canada. Just out of the blue.
Follow us