Léonce Boulanger in Levis, Quebec, June 5, 2010.Historica Canada
"I preferred to join the Régiment de la Chaudière because they were a tough regiment, known for being a little rough around the edges."
My father was an engineer; before joining the Army he had worked for the Dominion Bridge Company. He was a specialist in building Bailey bridges. My two brothers were in the Army, in the Royal 22nd Regiment. Even though I was young, I preferred to join the Régiment de la Chaudière because they were a tough regiment, known for being a little rough around the edges, and that’s what I wanted. It was over quicker than I thought.
My number was D 54068. Previously I had enrolled in the reserve army with the Régiment de Châteauguay to be eligible for the Army since I was too young. In the reserves, I got a certificate and with that, you could get in. I was transferred to Valcartier where I did my basic and advanced training. During the preparations, before going overseas, I was injured in the head. That ended my time in the Army. They took care of me.
During training, we had to camp in the water and mud to prepare for Belgium and Holland. My head wasn’t low enough, I wasn’t going fast enough, and I was kicked between the legs which made me raise my head. Then I got a boot in the head. That’s how I got an M-Cat [medical category], and went a bit mental. I woke up in the hospital. I was there for two months, most of the time in a straitjacket. Then we were sent home, for demobilisation.
I worked until 1990. Then they began to recognize my head injury and disabilities. They started giving us pensions. The government provides us with all of the services. Since then, things have been going very well.