Veteran Stories:
Abel Allain

Army

  • "A" Company 14th Field Ambulance Photo, 1941. Abel Allain is on top row, 3rd from the left.

    Abel Allain
  • Abel Allain 's Medals (L-R): 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; Victory Medal; Defence Medal.

    Abel Allain
  • Legion of Honour awarded to Abel Allain by France in 2006.

    Abel Allain
  • Abel Allain in England, 1943.

    Abel Allain
  • Abell Alain 's Discharge Certificate, 1945.

    Abel Allain
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"Upon arriving there, I requested to see their casualties. They had quite a lot of them in this house. It’s an old house, farmhouse."

Transcript

My regiment was the [No.] 14 Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. It started here in Moncton; and from here, we were transferred to Camp Sussex [New Brunswick] where we stayed until such time as we were ready to serve overseas, where we went to Halifax first. From Halifax then over to England, where we landed in Liverpool. And from there, we went to the Aldershot Command [Home Command of the British army]. And from there, we were stationed mostly on the southern parts of England, along the English Channel.

We were being brought to various ports on the southern parts of England where they had these landing crafts to bring us across the Channel, oh, approximately three days before embarkation, which was at night aboard these landing crafts. There was a landing craft right next to us which was fully equipped to shoot what they called mortar-fire type of a shell that were rocket-propelled. And when they took off, they made one very big noise. I was in the back of a truck by the way, a medically-equipped truck. I poked my nose along the back of it to see what was going on. There was one of these barges right next to me, which was fully loaded with these rockets and they started going off just a little before that.

Created a sort of a, something different because we had not been trained in anything requiring rocket-propelled grenades or anything like that or mortar. But I got over it. It didn’t bother me that much. So we landed on a floating wharf, pontoon they would call it, and our truck went off approximately a mile at that time, inside French territory. So we parked into a field, right next to some woods, so we set up our truck. Once it was opened up, it formed like a two-bed operating theatre [makeshift operating room] in the field of battle and that’s the first thing that we put our mind to was to open up the tarpaulins on both sides and there was pipe racks to be used. Then we set up a two bed treating centre.

I was then onboard of a makeshift ambulance which was a jeep. I was out to one place, I don’t know the name of it, a place where they had this farmhouse and it was transformed into like a service centre for taking care of casualties.

Upon arriving there, I requested to see their casualties. They had quite a lot of them in this house. It’s an old house, farmhouse. Then I told them that I was there to be able to transport these casualties and take care of them from here onto the place that we were supposed to bring them. The jeep was equipped for three stretcher cases and one walking casualty. He would be on his seat, like in back off the driver. So on my first load, I surprised the welcoming party at the other end by bringing back the three stretcher cases which were on pipe racks above the driver. And then I had one walking casualty in back of the driver. And I had three walking casualties sitting on the hood of the jeep that was, that was it.

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