Christmas Card sent by Robert Post to his Aunt, from England, after his discharge from hospital, 1944.Robert Post
Newspaper Clipping reporting that Robert Post was wounded, 1944.Robert Post
Robert Post with his friend Rudy Lupkoski at a fair in Belgium, 1944.Robert Post
Robert Post in Holland, 1945.Robert Post
Letters to Robert Post's parents, from England, 1945.Robert Post
"It must have been a sniper that got me too. So the bullet went through my thigh, came out in the backside."
We were sort of straddling this road, the Canadians. And I think it was the Polish division that was on our right and the British they were on our left. And we were going down this road but we were pushing the enemy ahead of us, pushing them ahead. And the American [army], George Patton and his army was coming up from the south and that’s when we were going to trap them in that Falaise Gap, what they called the Falaise Pocket.
Our colonel was called in by the general and he was just told to take Hill 195, take what you want. But our colonel [Lieutenant-Colonel J. David Stewart] was a little unorthodox. His main idea was, as colonel, his main job was to do what he was asked to do with the least number of casualties. And he devised his own little scheme. He went out and did a little reconnaissance and we walked up the hill after midnight, in complete silence, no one said a word. And we [the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada] walked up that hill, right up to the top. Captured the hill without a shot being fired.
Up on that hill, we had a bit of relax, I was writing a letter home to my mother, had a bit of time. And I know I said in that letter that you could see long lines of prisoners being taken out, escorted out, big long lines. And I said, last night I was sitting here and I could count 33 fires burning. And I remember I told my mother, I says, they weren’t campfires. So that’s what we were seeing at that time and we were sitting up on that hill.
The engineers were trying to construct Bailey Bridges over the Seine River so our tanks and vehicles could get across it. But the enemy had this 88-millimetre mortar, they had apparently planned it for their aircraft but they put it on tanks. And it was very deadly, very very accurate. It was always knocking out tanks, this 88-millimetre mortar. In fact it was one of the worst things the enemy had. So they keep on firing these 88-millimetres at the engineers trying to build a bridge and we had to take this other hill. It was called Hill 95. Now, we went up there and I was about halfway down the hill, we were in an arrowhead formation. And that’s when I got hit by - it had to be a sniper because I know another three fellows had been hit with it. It must have been a sniper that got me too. So the bullet went through my thigh, came out in the backside.
And what I did when I got hit, I hit the ground and I laid down there for a few seconds. And I thought, if I get up and try to move around, he’s going to hit me again. So I laid on the ground and I didn’t move, I just stayed there for about maybe a minute or so, trying to get together what had happened, I knew I had been wounded, what do I do now.
There was no big pain so I realized, no bones had been broken I figured. I thought I was pretty lucky and that’s what they described it as - a flesh wound. I think I was trying to get help, there was a Jeep traveling back and forth at the top of the hill with four stretchers, it was picking up the wounded. But I couldn’t get their attention, I was too far away and too much noise going on. So I knew I had to get back up to that hill, to where I could be seen.
So I tried to dress the wound myself and I made a heck of a mess of that. But I had to get back up to that hill and the only thing I could do is I stood up and I fell down and I had an awful funny feeling in my leg. I don’t know, I ended up on my back and I raised my left leg knee and put my arms flat and forearms flat on the ground and raised myself up. I drove the heel of my left boot into the soil in the ground and with putting pressure on my forearms, I raised myself up and pushed myself backwards with heel in the ground. And that’s the way I got back up that hill.