"I trained, oh, it must have been hundreds of men. [...] And it was wonderful, a wonderful experience."
One day, I was ready to go over[seas], because I knew everybody in the platoon that I was with. And one day, the head man come out and he says, I’ve taken your name off the list. I says, why? He says, you’ve got one of the best voices for the parade square, for the army, to be trained under. So I said, well, that’s fine with me, I says, as long as it’s okay with you guys. And I stayed there; I stayed there the whole time.
The first thing I knew, by gosh, I was right marker for the platoon and then they put me as lance corporal. And then it wasn’t very long by gosh, and I was a corporal and then I went up the ladder that way, right until 1946.
I trained, oh, it must have been hundreds of men. On the grenade range and on some combat and all the equipment, like the Bren gun, we started at the Bren gun, it was the biggest one we had and then there was the Sten gun and there was the .303 rifle we had to train them. And all those weapons right up to the pistol. And it was wonderful, a wonderful experience.
I was blessed with a good voice; a very, very strong voice, a lot stronger than I am now. And I had to stand in the middle of that square, parade square in Shilo [Manitoba], it was about 110 by 110 feet, and that was the parade square. And you marched around there, I’ll tell you, it’s just one arm up, everybody, just marvelous.
And I was in the centre, giving commands. And they obeyed them and we come out a hundred percent.