Veteran Stories:
Oliver James Cole

Army

  • Oliver Cole leaning on a double-decker bus, London, England, 1942.

    Oliver Cole
  • Oliver Cole during basic training, Beach Grove, Prince Edward Island, 1940.

    Oliver Cole
  • Oliver Cole, in Royal Canadian Legion blazer, 1996.

    Oliver Cole
  • Page two from Oliver Cole's Soldier's Service Book, showing his personal information at enlistment.

    Oliver Cole
  • Page from Oliver Cole's Service Pay Book, showing his rate of pay for July 1942 ($1.30/day).

    Oliver Cole
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"We got off the boat and waded to shore, water to our waist. When I got in the field the field kitchen was there, so I got the tea pot on and we had hard tack and corned beef. That was our lunch, first day."

Transcript

My friends were all going in so I just thought I’d go with them, I guess. I signed up in Charlottetown, Beach Cove, and I took training there. I went to Halifax after that and did some more training and then overseas in 1942. I was a cook, 13th Field Artillery [Regiment], 78th Battery. I cooked for the regiment. I was a D-Day veteran and I cooked for them all the time. I was lucky I never got wounded. I’m a D-Day veteran; we got off the boat and waded to shore, water to our waist. When I got in the field the field kitchen was there, so I got the tea pot on and we had hard tack and corned beef. That was our lunch, first day. I went to France for D-Day, Holland, Germany, Belgium. Our first break was 54 days; we had that in Ghent, Belgium. I was getting dinner ready in Germany when they said the war was over. I didn’t have to eat the dinner! I was married overseas during the war. I was married in Edinburgh, Scotland and we had our honeymoon in Glasgow, Scotland. Then after that the wife moved down to London with me and then I got posted. She went back to Scotland again and I didn’t see her until after the war. I was one of the first D-Day veterans to get annual leave after the war.
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