Veteran Stories:
Doris Wallace

Army

  • Doris (MacDonald) Wallace playing the pipes as part of the Canadian Women's Army Corps Pipe Band.

    Doris Wallace
  • CWAC Pipe Band in Leeuwarden, Holland, in September, 1945. This photo later appeared on the cover of Canada Weekly Magazine.

    Doris Wallace
  • Doris received this certificate from the United States Treasury Department in appreciation for the CWAC Pipe Band's War Bonds Tour. On the 10-day tour, the band performed in 22 cities from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

    Doris Wallace
  • Dog Tags belonging to Corporal Doris MacDonald Wallace.

    Doris Wallace
  • Bag Pipe Service Badge that was worn on the sleeve. Collection of Doris Wallace.

    Doris Wallace
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"Through all this, the women became long-time friends. I certainly count the wartime experiences over three years to be the most exciting time of my life, and I was grateful for the opportunity to serve my country in this way."

Transcript

"Like a holiday tour with pay," was how I described our three-year sojourn with the CWAC Pipe Band during World War II. Not so much pay, but a lot of travel. I was W110631, MacDonald DA, Pipe Corporal. When we were recruited, we were to replace a soldier to go overseas. While fulfilling our band duties in Canada, we were sent out as ambassadors to raise the image of servicewomen, to recruit more servicewomen, to attend rallies in need of war-bond drives in both Canada and the United States, as well as being a duty band on the parade squares across the country. There were ups and downs to this, of course. The upside was being hailed publicly - the civic receptions, the newspaper clippings and large crowds attending our performances. The downside was the long hours while on tour, the travel - most often in army trucks, but sometimes trains or buses. The difficulty doing laundry - keeping instruments in good shape. Having to have hair neat and uniforms polished while on the go. For most servicewomen I believe their dream was to go overseas, and we did achieve that dream after hostilities were over on V-E Day, May the 7th, 1945. We arrived in Appledorn, Holland, in July, and settled into a large building that had been vacated by German officials barely six weeks earlier. On the continent, we played for various Canadian units while they were awaiting transportation back home. We also played at Canadian hospitals, and of course church parades. Through all this, the women became long-time friends. I certainly count the wartime experiences over three years to be the most exciting time of my life, and I was grateful for the opportunity to serve my country in this way.
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