Veteran Stories:
Bill Watterson

Army

  • Photograph taken in the backyard of his parents house, on Pape Ave. in Toronto. Photograph is likely taken by his parents.

    Bill Watterson
  • Written on back on photograph: "My friend and I in Amsterdam in front of the palace."

    Bill Watterson
  • Bill Watterson, 1942.

    Bill Watterson
  • Bill Watterson's Medals (Left to Right): 1939-45 Star; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; War Medal (1939-45).

    Bill Watterson
  • Letters Bill Watterson wrote his Parents during war

    Bill Watterson
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"I fed the machine gun. Tipped up and plant it and I lay alongside it because Moaning Minnie was our big threat and noise."

Transcript

My name is Bill, William really, Watterson, W- A-T-T-E-R-S-O-N. The two T’s are important. I was born in Ireland. I remembered this. I thought it was really something, the 48th Highlanders, from there it was Camp Borden. And then Camp Borden, it was from there over to England. From England to France, Holland, Germany and over to Italy and home, without a scratch. The second on the Bren gun. That is, there was another; I fed the machine gun. Tipped up and plant it and I lay alongside it because Moaning Minnie was our big threat and noise. My friend was with me, he got his, (noise), his head off. This was in Enschede, Walbaum was his name. We were hand to hand, fighting. I didn’t see him dying but he was taking part, he was one and two on the Bren. I never even knew he lost his head until they told us. We do sweet nothing, you just keep going, leave him wherever he dropped. You just keep going. Because actually he was a German himself. He wasn’t even allowed to go into battle with us. His name was Walbaum, German. But he had brothers that were in the German army, his own brothers. He’s just a regular 48er. When I came back into Canada, I got off at the exhibition grounds and there was naturally a lot of crowd. So went home and then, naturally, there was a bit of a party. And my dad on the sign he had, “Welcome home, son.” And he had the 48th Highlanders band playing in the hallway. My mother was the one that was worried, right from day one. Stupid joining the army. Of course a mother, naturally sad that I was going.
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