It is the spring of 1941, and up to now these memoirs likely are pretty dull. Being a sergeant, I had the privilege of belonging to the Wos' and Sgts' mess, complete with a bar that served beer usually all in big quart bottles. I forget what it cost per bottle, but it could not have been too much otherwise we would not been able to afford it. Well we had the odd dance in this place and if you had a girlfriend in Petawawa or Pembroke they could be invited to attend. Army trucks picked the girls up in the towns at designated places and returned them after the dance. I did not have a girl friend anywhere near there, but I met a very nice looking waitress in Petawawa village who I asked to come to the next dance. All the asking was while she was serving out meals and taking orders. When I went to leave she said she would come, and I told her where to catch the truck, time and date. The night of the dance arrived and I was hoping this girl would come. Yes she arrived, and was the smartest looking, best dressed girl that stepped down from the truck. Now I was pretty naive and not a good dancer, but my date was danced off her feet by all the woman chasing married men and the so-called street smart other sergeants. I was finding it hard to get a dance with her. Well one of these older chaps took it upon himself to tell me that the girl I had asked and who was the smartest best dancer was in fact according to him a prostitute, and it really surprised them all I had asked her. Well after all these years I do not remember if I went into the cafe where she worked again, But after all these years [Ido not remember her name ] I look back and think she had more class then any of the rest of the ladies that attended that dance. Also she gave me an insight into some of my fellow sergeants who would never have the class this lady showed that evening. As time went by those that maligned this girl never had the the manners of my date and were pretty smartassed chaps.
I could go on how some of my fellow sergeants appeared to this farm boy, but I will remember those older chaps that took me under their wing. In our quarters my single cot was between Ken Lovering and Art Cheney, two older fellows from Port Arthur. Great fellows and had a kind word and a few words of advice for me. Ken survived the war and was the only Sgt Major that was wounded. Art left us in Canada I believe on medical grounds. Both of them have passed away.
Getting ahead of the story of the number of chaps in our Wos and Sgts hut was around forty. I dare say there is less then ten still living . All those then holding the rank of Wos are gone, and I will try to remember who is left by name another time, as I am sure I can.