"All these Germans, standing alongside the road with all these weapons. And they were passing out some of the rum they used to have to the Canadians."
I took a drivers course up in Woodstock [Ontario] for a month and then from there, they shipped me back to Nova Scotia right on the boat to England. That was Christmas night, got into England before we, seven days on the ship. And I was sick all the way, seven days. I didn’t think the boat was ever going to get to the other side. Well, I had to take messages from the back of the convoy to the front because usually, a lot of times, the radio weren’t working properly and then you got a lot of static and stuff on it. So you had to take the message by motorcycle. We had to go down between trucks and the tanks and stuff like that and this one place we come in, in Holland, the carrier come around the corner and he was throwing brick, or something like that, up and piling up along the road. And I had to go down through there. And when I got down, I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I made it down through, got to the front of the convoy, took the message and he says, “You can go back now.” I says, “Thanks a lot.”
Well, I waited for a while until things sort of settled down and then I got, took them off and went back and to the back end. Well, we crossed, we were the major crossing, and when I went to my regiment, we crossed the Rhine River in old pontoon boats with Chrysler outboard motors on the back. We got out in the middle and the motor quit and a guy coming back, he was empty and the sergeant was waving to get him to come over and give us a tow over. And the guy was going like this here and the sergeant got kind of cheesed off and he pulled up his Tommy Gun and he pointed and he said, if he didn’t come, he was going to shoot him. And the guy, he went like this and he come over. And he kept hollering, “Grab a hold of that boat! Grab a hold of the boat!” So, and we got a hold of the boat and then they towed us on. And we hit the shore, and when we got fairly close to the shore, he yelled, “Get out! Get out! Get out!” There was about 16 of us in the boat. And anyway, jumped out of the boat and went into this high of water. And when you’ve got your nine pound rifle and a bunch of your ammunition stuff there, I didn’t know whether I was going to get to shore or not. And anyway, the guy behind me gave me a boost a couple of times and I got up.
We got up onto the top, we looked over the top and here, the artillery had a direct hit on the machine gun emplacement on the other side. There was four dead Germans laying on the ground. So it was lucky for us because if we had have peeped over the top when they were, had the machine gun working, we would have all been cut right down. But anyway, we got up there and went through that.
And then we had to dig in and wait until the next regiment come through, when we did it and when we got finished there, we had to dig our trench and that’s where we stayed for overnight. I had a buddy in support company and I used to go to school with. So I says, “I think I’ll sneak over there and see how he’s making out.” And I just got over there and a shell had hit right on the side of the trench, he was sitting in there, it buried him. I was talking to a couple of the buddies and he said, “Well, we got him out and his nerves cracked.” He had had… they took him out. So I didn’t see him, I didn’t get to see him. So I had to sneak back over.
And then the war ended and then we went, marched into this German town and the German had piled all their weapons alongside the road. And a lot of the guys were off the boats there. And here they were, Canadians marching and then there are all these Germans, standing alongside the road with all these weapons. And they were passing out some of the rum they used to have to the Canadians. The Canadians were drinking their rum. So we went in there and then we come back and the regiment sort of come back after the war and we come back to Holland and I was shipped home.