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The New Uniform

Heroes Remember

The uniform I had, the jacket, I was a tall, skinny kid and the jacket I got was fine in diameter but it was a way too short. It was the old ’14 - ‘18 issue with the big brass hooks that held a wide web belt and by the time I put the web belt on these hooks, I couldn’t get my arms down. So this annoyed me a little and didn’t know anything about the army so I packed the whole thing up in a bag and back out to Meadow barracks in the morning, marched into the quartermaster’s, slammed this package down on the counter, “What the hell is the idea of giving me a uniform for a 14 year old kid?” And the quartermaster, Major... I’ve forgotten his name now, took exception to me, a barely joined up private speaking to a major that way. So he took about 15 minutes and he explained what the idea was. Anyway, got a new uniform out of it.

Mr. Gyselman describes being issued a new uniform which is much too small for him. When he, a raw recruit, questions the judgment of the quartermaster who issued it to him, who happens to be a major, the officer gives him a fifteen minute 'explanation'.

Harry Gyselman

Harry Gyselman was born on February 11, 1920 in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. His father left the insurance business to farm, but went broke during the depression. After his father’s death, Mr. Gyselman worked odd jobs to support his family. Initially interested in joining the Air Force, he opted to join a friend who was enlisting with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Mr. Gyselman was a truck driver during the battle of Hong Kong, and was in the POW camp in Niigata, Japan when the war ended. He has the distinction of being the first Canadian POW to reach mainland North America after the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 10, 2001
Person Interviewed:
Harry Gyselman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Truck Driver

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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