All too soon leave was over, and the thought of going back was just a day away. I had gone into Swift Current to be there to catch the early morning train going east, which would transport me to Petawawa Camp. I had on my dress blues as I had a photographer take my picture while wearing them. On going into a cafe I came under some ridicule from some other soldiers who thought the blues must be the Salvation army. Well I went back to the hotel and changed into battle dress to show these fellows I was regular active service, and doubted if they were. Incidently they were not around when I returned so no conflict.
But on wearing my great coat we of the artillery early in the war wore our chevrons of rank on the lower part of the sleeve as mounted troops wore in WW1. As these mounted troops when it rained would have worn a cape, and the rank was displayed below the cape. This was changed in the New Year and we wore our rank on the upper sleeve, both on Jacket and great coat. Thank goodness as it saved a lot of questions. Oh yes the photo in the blues. Mind you no color work then so it is in black and white. One exception, my Dad was in Swift Current and saw in the photogrpher's window a framed picture of me in full color, hand painted by the photographer. Dad bought the picture for my Mum, and Mum gave it to Edith and it hangs to this day 62 years later in our bedroom.
The time came to catch the train at 5AM and I along with many more were back to join our unit at Petawawa, taking with us just the memories of being home. Mind you we always had the thought in mind what was going to happen next. More training, live ammnition shoots, and winter in Ontario.
The month of January was rife with rumours that we were going to become a regiment instead of two batteries the 37th and the 60/76th batteries, also it took awhile for the Christmas leave rotation to complete. Meaning there were fewer troops around to do all the guard duties and other assorted duties, and at the same time try to do gun drill in a gun shed. Some times a troop would have only seven or eight to do this drill the rest were scattered on other duties.
January passed with some learning to ski patrol, others snowshoeing. The days passed quite quickly. The highlight of this was a firing demonstration by a crew of gunners from England, firing hundreds of 40mm shells out across the sky over the Ottawa River from a Bofors antiaircraft gun. The name of the automatic system, that they could put the gun on were amazing. That name escapes me. Today it would be computer controlled. The British crew had a couple of years firing at German planes in Britian, and if memory seves me they had shot down some so we thought them terrific.
The next writing will tell the story of becoming a regiment and the stories within the story. We become a regiment and 61 years later we are still proud of being a member of that wonderful group of people ..UBIQUE QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT Our motto worn on our hat badge.