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Path Taken in Preparation for D-Day

Heroes Remember

Path Taken in Preparation for D-Day

And then we went up into Scotland and we trained, assault training over all kinds of assault courses and that was in the fall of 1943. And then, of course, in the spring we were sent down to a place called Botley Crossroads. It was a staging camp. Once you were in there the whole area was sealed off, you couldn’t get out, nobody could come in, you couldn’t phone, you couldn’t write, anything, we were just staging there. This Botley Crossroads is north of South Hampton and then I think on the 3rd of June, 1944 we embarked on our landing craft. Now, at that time they selected people to stay behind and if you were recently married they didn’t want you to be killed, you know, and other older men and whatnot they didn’t want them undergoing the rigors of rushing ashore and so on. Most of them were going to be for residue party coming in after the invasion when they brought in the residue. And then they also split us up into various groups, into various landing craft because we only had a unit of 250. And a portion was comprised of the service corps who were drivers, drive the stretcher ambulance jeeps and the big ambulances and, of course, the staff cars and so on for the officers. And so we boarded and then, of course, we were on the boat about three days. Sometime we pulled out and then we had to pull back, you know, the invasion would sort of… they’d let you get out so far and then they called it off and back you came. And then finally we took off on the night of the 5th and sailed to France.

Mr. Hannam summarizes action taken in preparation for the invasion.

Bud Hannam

Mr. Bertram “Bud” Hannam was born in Toronto, Ontario May 27, 1925. Having parents that immigrated to Canada in early 1912, and growing up in time of depression Mr. Hannam holds great admiration for his father, considering him his hero working as a prospector and providing so well to his family during very difficult times. Later in life Mr. Hannam moved from Toronto, to Montreal then settled in Ottawa. He decided to join the service after receiving his education. Initially joining with the Cameron Highlanders Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Mr. Hannam’s service as an infantryman would be short lived knowing that the life in the infantry was not for him. A new opportunity came for Mr. Hannam when he joined with the 23rd Field Ambulance as a stretcher bearer also providing him with a better chance to get overseas. Overseas, June 1944, a part of the D-Day invasion, on 2nd wave, Mr. Hannam served as stretcher bearer caring for the wounded. In honor of his service to our soldiers and the French people, almost 70 years later, Mr. Hannam is recognized for his service and presently has a school house/library named in his honor in the small town of Basly, France, the former casualty clearing station where he cared for the casualties during this invasion. In the town of Basly, to this day, Mr. Hannam is considered a true hero for the care he provided during Canada’s wartime. Mr. Hannam resides in Ottawa with his wife Rosey who has been an inspiration in keeping the honor of his service alive.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Bud Hannam
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Stretcher Bearer

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