Here is where we saw the story book Dutch folk. It was like an ad for Dutch Cleanser. The ladies wore a very different attire than we had seen before. White headdress with silver bands down the side extending down past their ears. The skirts were long and memory said they were black topped with white embroidered blouses. All men and women and children wore the wooden shoes.The wooden shoes had straw in them like we would use a felt insole. In all this was the way we had read about the Dutch in school books, you remember the boy with the finger in the dike story.
About this time we hoped the war was not to last much longer, but on the 25th April, the regiment moved into the Wagenborgen area. Fox troop was set up right in the town. Wagenborgen is not far from the Ems estuary separating Holland from Germany This section of the northeast side of Holland held a large number of German troops plus a lot of very heavy artillery ,especially the massive gun implacement at Termunterzijl.
The Harbour of Delfzil was an important port to capture, hopefully intact. While in Wagenborgen we lived in the houses vacated by the Dutch. We learned that some time before the Canadian Scottish had a platoon blown up while in a house on our street, also they retaliated and did the same to a German platoon. The Irish regiment advancing along a dyke came upon a fine looking jeep. Now any jeep just standing around was fair game. Well this jeep sort of did not seem right so a rope was gingerly placed around the back bumper then a couple of fellows from a safe distance pulled the rope. With the first movement the jeep exploded, well and truly booby trapped. Capt Pyper was awarded the MC and Gunner Fehr the MM for their bravery and carrying on above and beyond normal duty.
We did a lot of shelling in support of the Westminsters and our 11th Brigade. During some heavy shelling our observation officers reported that a couple of horses in a field would, as soon as the heavy shells fell, run and jump or walk into large bomb craters in the field saving themselves. Who said animals were dumb?
There was quite a bit of German rifles and other discarded equipment around so we took the bomb off a Panzerfaust and tied it to a post then pulled the trigger. A real blast of flame and noise came from this infantry type bazooka.
There is one thing I never condoned was horse play, as usually someone was hurt, or a lot of bad feelings arose from it. One morning Sgt Humble and Gunner Charleston started to box around the gun as it was a cool morning. They started throwing a few punches and soon the punches were being delivered with a, I will knock your block off type of hit. I had come to the backdoor of the house near where this was going on and thought this is too damn serious. So I hollered cut that damn foolishness out! Well to put emphasis my holler a shell came crashing in and exploded very close to the combatants. Result no one hurt, boxing finished and all back to normal. That was the final and only enemy shell to land any where near Fox troop in this position and final for the war. I will further relate to the capture of Delfzil and the war being over for us.