Veteran Stories:
Fred Charles “Limey” Bryant

Army

  • Army Song Book belonging to Mr. Bryant.

  • Service medals of Mr. Bryant.

  • Discharge Papers of Mr. Bryant.

    Fred Bryant
  • Back home in Toronto, March 1946
    Left to Right: Millie, Eddie Starr (friends of Mrs. Bryant); Jean Bryant (Fred's mother); Fred Bryant; Grandmother Nellie

    Fred Bryant
  • Dog Tags, Shoulder Flashes, Sergeant Stripes of Mr. Bryant.

    Fred Bryant
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"I took a coin out of my pocket, flipped it and it came up heads for Italy, tails for going back to Normandy."

Transcript

I was in Toronto, probably down around Dundas and Yonge, in around that area, and I saw a guy dressed in a kilt and beret. And we got talking and he was a member of the Lorne Scotts Regiment and he more or less talked me into signing. And I had previous experience for a short while by being with the militia in the Toronto Scottish. And so I joined up. Mostly, I did medical. I patched guys up and things like that. And did my basic training, I spent about a year doing that, and then I would shifted over to England, and I think I was with The Essex Scottish Regiment at that time. And I stayed with them until we went into France on July the 6th, 1944. We landed by ship, a landing craft, and we started to walk in sort of a, oh, what’ll I say, northeasterly direction. And well, people were shooting at us and our guys were shooting back, and you gained a few yards and then sat down, you gained a few yards and sat down, but the bombs going off didn’t have your name on it. I had a stretcher over my shoulder and I had a bunch of bandages. And I got shot before I could get to the gun. There was a bunch of guys shooting a Bren gun and they were getting hit and I ran over to see if I could get it, and that’s where I got mine. I walked back to where the doctor was and he took a look at it, and the doctor sent me back to England for repairs. And then coming out of that, we were on parade with a bunch of other guys that had been injured and we had a choice at that time. Strange but we were offered the chance of either going back to our regiment in Normandy or going down to Italy. And two of us stood there in the parade square, we didn’t know what we were going to do. So finally, I took a coin out of my pocket, flipped it and it came up heads for Italy, tails for going back to Normandy. And heads it was, so off to Italy we went. So that was an experience. Then we came back up. Italy then decided that we were the better troops to be with. So we took a boat from North Italy and went in through Marseilles and up to Holland and Belgium, Germany, then back to Holland where the war stopped.
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