A side note to the assault school was I had a couple of weekend passes to a place called Ewell. it was here my Aunt Elsie and Uncle George lived, also their baby son Andrew. On the first pass I had a very bad achilles heel tendon that was nearly crippling me. The upshot of this was Aunt Elsie was a nurse and had been in France at its fall escaping through Cherbourg. So she had experience with the type of injury and a foot massage and foot baths helped me . I went back to the school no more achilles heel problem . You see I was determined to make a good showing at the school and did not want to drop out.
Probably on the next weekend pass other ailments were put to rest and I continued the assault school to completion.
I must mention a name of one of our section, a corporal Grothier. [ not the right spelling ]This chap was a Cape Breton Highlander, quite a short person but long in endurance. On the 43 mile march our section made we noticed that Grothier was limping badly. We stopped and had him take off his boot which was awash with blood. His heel looked like hamburger! What happened was the heel oh his boot had come off and the long nails had come up into his heel. What a mess! The instructors suggested we leave him and send a truck for him. This was vehementally opposed by Grothier. So with a bayonet the nails were pulled, heeless boot put back on and away we went as Grothier said we all started together and we finish together.
I saw Grothier later as a sergeant in the Hitler line, and once again as a company quarter master Sgt I think on the Gothic line. He was killed on the Gothic line. There went a great young man whose memory goes through my mind often! We will Remember him.
Blackie Rowe of the Perths who distinguished himself throughout the Italian campaign was also an assualt school friend. Blackie was decorated with the DCM in Italy. A prestigious award for leading a bayonet charge. Blackie passed away a couple of years ago a tremendous fellow.