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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembering WWII on November 11

I posted a couple of entries re: Remembrance Day over at Nevardblog so thought I might add a little something here from WWII in memory of my Dad, Les Goff. Thats him in the photo relaxing with some of his buddies in the 18th battery 2nd anti-tank division of the Canadian Army. The photo was taken just after the end of the war near Oldenburg , Germany. No doubt they were feeling pretty good knowing that they had survived the past few years of fighting and would now soon be headed home.
Dad had volunteered in the fall of 1940 and started his basic training in April of 1941. I guess after living through the depression years of the 1930s with plenty of hard work and nothing to show for it, the army looked pretty good. 3 meals a day and a dollar a day sure beat farming.
Took his first boat ride crossing the Atlantic in 7 days and then spent a good long while with more training and exercises preparing to go in as reinforcements. He got to know the south coast of England very well in that time. He missed out on D-Day, June 6, 1944, arriving in Bayeux, France in July of the same year. From there on things got serious. Plenty of live ammunition and explosives came his way and the dead bodies of animals and humans became a common sight as they moved on through France, Belgium and Holland. Luckily Dad wrote down a lot of details of these experiences in later years.
He made it back home to Sask. in November of 1945 to try farming again. Government grants through the veteran land act were available but it seemed that you had to know the right people and politicians to get anywhere . Dad never got any help from them and had to get by on his own . He did ok.

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