"I don’t care if a guy served in Canada for the whole war, I know a couple of guys like that, they’re still buddies as far as I’m concerned."
My name is G.R.D. Campbell. Navy V74909. I was a seaman. First of all, I do not like war. They are not glorious and are not glory filled. I have difficulty with some of the overdoing at times where some think they’re wonderful. It’s difficult to explain the difference to a lot of people, especially kids, between peacekeeping and protection of our country and way of life, compared to such things as battles and invasions.
At 16 years of age I went into the reserve army while the war was on. That was when I learned something about being a signalman. I was still in school. Then after at 17, I went into the Navy, various trainings and various places and I became a senior torpedo man. Actually, in the Canadian Navy, ……. we had depth charges, we didn’t have many …..torpedos.
I had three trips across the Atlantic and back on Conway Water. The places that I was fortunate enough to get to were Halifax, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Bermuda, Panama Canal, and Victoria. I think the big thing about the first services, certainly in the Navy, from what I found out from other fellows in the other services, was to learn how to get along, look after themselves, and get to know many other people who are buddies. I don’t care if a guy served in Canada for the whole war, I know a couple of guys like that, they’re still buddies as far as I’m concerned. This serves you well later in life. You can have the opportunity to meet different people and you can sort them out more quickly as to who you like and who you don’t.
Anyway, in 1945, the war is over and I got leave to go home. While on leave, or just as I went on leave, the war ended in the Pacific. So what was I to do? Some good friends said, “You’ve been to school, go back and get into it!” So I did in ’45. So I was in the Navy for almost two years. It wasn’t very long, but it was a thing that just happens.
I think Remembrance Day is very important. But I say its not good to have one day only, but everyday.