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Conditions in Barracks

Heroes Remember

Conditions in Barracks

When we got to England, I think it was Southampton, the convoy came in but they moved us into a place called Aldershot. It was an old military... they had all stables and horses and stuff, but they got rid of all that and they cleaned that all out. We used that for barracks and some of the buildings. They moved the civilians inland because close to the ocean there the Germans were bombing them steady, steady. The planes, well the British didn't have that much fighting power till the Americans came in. The mass production is what, and the Canadian mass production that helped bring that stuff in. The Germans had stuff a long time ago fighting in Spain and that, and they had the upper hand on a lot of things. But the civilians they moved out and we moved in. We used the streets for parades and stuff, but we kept our tanks and that off because when we went into the streets, unless it was an emergency, some time they thought they were going to land. They had all kinds of tiles and you moved your tracks you'd lift the streets right out, and they didn't like that, you know. And the streets were too narrow. You'd fiddle around trying to get a street through with a tank. You're trapped, you couldn't get out, they were too big. But we tried to prevent as much damage as possible.

Mr. Senycz describes landing in Southampton, England and taking over a horse barn for barracks.

John Senycz

Mr. Senycz was born August 22, 1920 in Colhurst, Alberta. His parents were both of Polish descent, born in Czechoslovakia, and moved to Canada to work in the coal mines. At age two, his father died and his mother remarried. Mr. Senycz joined the Canadian Army 4th Division Tank Corps in 1942 and was shipped overseas to England. It was during the Battle of Falaise that his tank got hit and the crew of five soldiers was badly burned. Because of the severity of Mr. Senycz’ burns, he was transported to Basingstoke hospital in England for rehabilitation. With the many burns and scars, Mr. Senycz underwent three to four years of plastic surgery to his face. On September 18, 1945, Mr. Senycz was discharged from the Canadian Army from the orderly room in Vancouver, BC. He later married, moved to Calgary, Alberta, and raised a family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Senycz
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
4th Armoured Division

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