Our entertainment was pretty good sleigh riding and tobogganing on anywhere there was a hill big enough. After the outing we would go to a near neighbor and have pancakes and home made syrup. As we grew we moved into our small town so we could go to high school . There, I played sports from softball to hockey, and field events, running, high and long jumping. I was a dedicated athlete and competed for the desire to do good and get the school all the points that I could. I also acted in plays put on by various organizations, often to the cost of neglecting my school work .
The war broke out in September 39, and as I was just turning 18, it was impossible to join active service at that time as I was now in grade 12 and hoped to complete same. In the spring of 40, our school teacher belonged to the 60th field Battery RCA [Militia], so a group of us would go to a town of Aneroid to do gun drill once a week. Again my school marks suffered I could hardly wait until I could join up.
At this time, in 1940, the allies were kicked off the continent at Dunkirk. I remember my Dad, a WW1 veteran, with tears in his eyes saying : "If I were young enough I would go and see what I could do". Dad was 55 at this point . Summer came and the 60 th Battery were not to go to summer camp so four of us went to summer camp at Dundurn [ military camp in Sask ]. We were there for about ten days when the 14th Canadian Light Horse mobilized for active service. I was offered a stripe to stay with them, but the rest of my buddies said they were to wait for the 60th to mobilize so we took the train home. And in a couple of days 60th Bty went active. I was 18 and Orme my school buddy the same, so a couple of phone calls to each other we talked to our parents and away we went.
We travelled to Aneroid a 40 mile drive, and proceeded to join up. When the officer asked how old I was I said, "You know!", as he was my teacher that year. I said 18. He said have you your parents consent and I said yes. So, quietly, he said we will make you 19 and the discrepancy stayed with me until I took my discharge in 1946.
So the great adventure, if one wishes to call it that, was ready to begin -the date 23 July 1940. We were active service and proud members of the 60th Field Battery RCA CASF.
Next writing will be the training years, the years in England, Italy, Northwest Europe, War over --- and finally home.
I do not know how long that will take but if you're game to read it, I will write it.
Cheerio Gordie ..