France, February 1945. We are off on a new adventure.
We disembarked at Marseilles and started the long drive up the Rhone valley. Along the route we were not supposed to throw out anything along the way that would show we were Canadians. That was pretty hard to do as we were really proud to be Canadians. Also not to talk to civilians along the way , and if we did we were telling them we were English. Mind you civilian populations are not easily fooled and many would call out Bon jour, Canada.
We were in France and there was a lot of pretty girls along the way, well dressed, and what stood out in my mind was the way they had dyed their hair, some purple, others green. Truly a change from the drab garbed Italians. Now 58 years later I do not remember too much of this long drive from Marseilles up through Lyon by passing Paris and on into Belgium.
This route, some said was 1000 miles, but checking today’s map it was likely about 1500 Kilometers so that would have been 900 miles. So maybe it was a 1000 miles. Who am I to argue over a hundred miles seeing I saw it all from the rear of a 1500 cwt truck? Not too inspiring a view but I was gungho to see what I could see along the way.
Some wreckage from previous battles of WW 2 and then there were the cemeteries of WW1. The ones that we saw were generally German cemeteries and in a run down state. Their type of markers were either leaning or in some cases had fallen over. We saw old pill boxes from ww1. All along the road side before we reached Belgium were piles of WW1 old ammunition that farmers had plowed up in their fields. Thousands of tons are still picked up every year and it is now 86 years since the end of ww1. Farmers are still getting killed by this old ammunition as their farm machinery strike the buried shells or bombs. ...