Veteran Stories:
Ruth Elizabeth “Jackie” Hurley

Army

  • Ruth Hurley in CWAC Uniform in Kitchener, Ontario, 1944.

    Ruth Hurley
  • Ruth Hurley (on the far left) on parade in Kitchener, Ontario, 1944.

    Ruth Hurley
  • A softball game for CWAC women at Little Mountain Field in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ruth Hurley is on the far right.

    Ruth Hurley
  • Discharge Certificate of Ruth Hurley, March 1946.

    Ruth Hurley
  • Ruth Hurley's form certifying that she was employed as a Switchboard Operator in the Canadian Women's Army.

    Ruth Hurley
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"It was very interesting and very exciting for a person from Saskatchewan who had never been anywhere or done anything."

Transcript

I lived in [Fort] Qu’Appelle all my life until about 1942-43; and my mother taught me how to be a telephone operator. I went to Estevan first as a telephone operator, and then I was transferred to Oxbow. And one day, this recruiting officer came through and said, we need some ladies to join the army, are you interested? Well, about three or four of us decided that was a good idea, get out of Oxbow, which was a tiny little place, never been anywhere, someplace to go that was different, so they shipped me into Regina. And from there, I went to Kitchener and you’ll see by my papers, the date that I was inducted into the CWAC [Canadian Women’s Army Corps]. Stayed there for about a half a year, six months, they shipped me off to Vancouver. And, first of all, I was at UBC [University of British Columbia] as an operator and then they sent me down to the hospital, where they had all the huts and everything, the military hospital; and there I was when I met my husband in 1944. And we were married in 1946. It was very interesting and very exciting for a person from Saskatchewan who had never been anywhere or done anything. It was fascinating, I thought. When they brought the stretchers through the hospital, coming from overseas and I saw my husband, I always tell my boys, they always think it’s funny, that I’ll have that one, when they brought him in, and I married him in 1946. [laughs] It was very exciting. And we went downtown. In Kitchener, they didn’t like us, the women. They didn’t like the women because it was a German settlement. And I guess there were pros and cons of what they stood up for, you see. So when we went down, there was a whole bunch of us, we were told, when you went downtown in Kitchener, then you stay together. So we did. I went on leave from there to Toronto once while in the area and then was shipped out here into Vancouver. Enjoyed it very much. I would do it again if I was a little bit younger. We were too young I believe. They expected that the women that they took to go overseas were like 24, 25. And I was only 18, 19, 20. So they wanted the older women, I guess more experience in life or something, they wanted them over there. Mind you, when the boys came back, they were hoping that they would send a little bit of younger women, Canadian women, but that was the general’s prerogative.
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