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Casualty Clearing Station

Heroes Remember - D-Day

Casualty Clearing Station

You know, we just kept on. We had to get going and we had vague reference of where we assembled and so on. But anyway, I eventually got to the assembly point and then the major said, “We’re taking you up to our casualty clearing station in Basly.” And up we drove and because I had a little clerical experience at the moment, I had to keep record of the casualties. But in between that time there was different things happening, you know. You were patching up guys and whatnot. I have a picture of a chap in here and he thanked me for looking after him. I said, “I don’t remember you.” He said, “I remember you!” So the reason being that he probably remembered me is that they published a picture of me as a 19 year old. He only had that face to remember. And so if he remembered me fine, anyway I said you’re alive, still you’re surviving wonderful and we hugged and we shed a little tear. Apparently he lost his leg, that chap, had it blown off either by a mortar or maybe a mine or a shell. It’s terrible. It’s a horrible thing to see what high explosives can do to a human body. One minute they are going along like a full individual and the next minute they could be blown to bits or down with an arm or a leg blown off or a very bad chest wound and what not.

Reaching the assembly point, Mr. Hannam is busy recording casualties while at the same time assisting wounded infantrymen.

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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