"I remember, I started to run to try and get away from the bombs. But how do you get away from bombs?"
My name is Stanley Hugh Kenyon. I was born out in Western Canada. I was raised on a farm. War broke out and my dear mother … I remember the morning I wrote a letter to the government that I wanted to join the army; and my dear mother, she was going to town that day, and she didn’t want to post the letter because she didn’t want me to go to war. But I felt that I should and finally, she took the letter and she posted it. And I got word back and I was told to report to Saskatoon; and that’s where I went and that’s where I joined up.
We used to go out on maneuvers [military exercises] at night and I remember one night, I was out there on the maneuver and I was driving a truck that night and, of course, there was a long convoy of trucks. And only the leading truck was allowed to have the lights on because if everybody had their lights on on the truck, all the enemy had to do (as they were doing, coming over at night), they’d just have to go down the line and wipe us out. So only the leading truck could have the lights on. You might wonder how we behind were able to follow, but the housing underneath the truck box was painted white and there was a little light underneath the truck box that was called a safety light. And it shone on that white housing. The enemy, of course, couldn’t see that but, as a driver, I kept my eye on that white housing and that’s how we knew where to keep on the road; because if I’d have got off track when I was driving and lost sight of that white housing, people in the truck would be lost with me if I took the wrong turn and all those trucks behind. So that’s how we were able to follow one another. That was some of our training.
One day, and that was a frightening experience, was when our own air force came over and they dropped bombs in our area. They didn’t go far enough over onto the enemy lines and they made a mistake, and dropped them in our area. And I know that day, I remember, I started to run to try and get away from the bombs. But how do you get away from bombs? But, anyway, they didn’t hit me, any of the shrapnel or anything. But one of my responsibilities in the army sometimes was to go out and pick up the wounded and pick up the dead; and I believe that day there were two of our men that were killed and I took them down for burial.
And another night, during the war, when it was dark at night, the enemy, they lit up the area with flames so they could see a target and they fired in; and I remember that night, I took a jeep, I usually had two stretchers on the top when I went out to pick up, and there were two of our men wounded. And I brought them in that night to the medical room for treatment. The medical room was always handy. They either had it in a barn or in a shed somewhere, and the wounded would be brought there.
And I remember one occasion when three enemy soldiers were brought in and I’ll always remember that one of them just saying one word and it’s the only word I learned in German and this German prisoner said, wasser, he wanted water. Those were some of my experiences.