The convoy of Regimental Headquarters and followed by the 60th Battery and the 76th Battery pulled into the town of Winschoten. Here was to be a rest area. The convoy stopped the gun tractor door of one of 60 Battery guns opened to let the little dog out. I suppose the fellows thought the dog had to go and pee.
The little dog had been in action for a long while and in the company of all males and had other ideas. No sooner then he was out the gun tractor door and hit the street running but this little fellow charged up to the civilian crowd on the street and immediately found what he knew was there. A female dog. No introductions were necessary. He mounted this Dutch dog and in front of all carried on a great display of fornication.
The Dutch fathers and husbands that were on the street could be seen nudging each other and I do not know what they were saying but it likely went like this. If the Canadian Dog is that horny what can the Canadians be like? Maybe we had better lock up our wives and daughters. That was our grand entrance into Winschoten.
That evening after all personnel were billeted in schools and some in private homes, Sgt Major Savin, myself, and quarter Sgt Terry thought we would go out and scrounge a drink. Terry had a lot of trading material namely cigarettes. We had not gone far when out of a shadowy door way a Dutch civilian wanted to know if we would buy 3/4 liter of gin. We said yes and Terry gave him a couple of packs of cigarettes. Deal done! Savin then drank the first 1/3 of the bottle, Terry the next 1/3, and I drained the last third all while standing in this doorway. This seemed the correct thing to do so we then went to the Quarter master Terry's store truck and here we were into the issue rum so a mug in our hands we had a few good pulls of the rum. Now it gets a bit foggy here and where we were going next I do not really know but out on the street we went. The first people we saw was Capt David Armour and the Adjutant Lucky Fair. I do remember going up to Capt Armour and giving him a bear hug and saying " What do you know it is wee Davey Armour." Lights go out and I awake next morning having missed the first parade in my army career. Having a skinned elbow and a skinned nose. How did I get back to the house the sergeants and WO's were billeted in? Here is what happened. After greeting Davey Armour in the un soldier like manner as I never called him anything except Capt Armour, the three of under the weather chaps were then going to see if we could visit with Colonel Rankin. The two officers thought we had better not and they confiscated the second in command's car to get us back to our house. They had quite a time running us to ground they would put me in the car and I would promptly go out the other side. Then Lucky Fair kept me in the car and Dave Armour corralled the other two colts and back to our house . Dumped us on the street told some of our buddies get us off the street and into bed . That may have been fine a couple of the chaps. They thought they would just drag me up stairs to my bed and that is how the nose and elbow were skinned.
A lost night and to miss parade was something I was not proud off and was a bit ticked with a couple of sergeants who I had covered for a few times that did not make a move to wake me. Oh yes I had a terrible head and was suffering from alcohol poisoning. We never saw the seller of gin again.
After this quite a few Canadians died from deliberate poisoning of gin by either Germans or German sympathizers. I was lucky and probably what saved my life was the quantity and whether I was able to up chuck I do not recall.
The 5th of May rolled around and we were told the war was over in Holland this was indeed their day of Liberation. For us it was sort of a let down, stunned, no job, those that we had lost were not here to share. Our folks would not know if we survived. If we had been killed they would have known in two or three days, but they would not be told we had survived. It was a sober quiet group that went early to bed this day of Liberation for the Dutch.
Next I will tell you how this group were awakened from our sleep.