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Dutch Appreciation for Canadian Soldiers

Heroes Remembers - Liberation of the Netherlands

Dutch Appreciation for Canadian Soldiers

I was fortunate enough to be over for the 50th anniversary, twenty years ago, and when we started out on the march, the one certain parade we had on, when you started out you were a bent little old seventy year old man and you were tired. By the time we got through that parade, the Dutch people had buoyed our spirits so much, you were ten foot tall and you were nineteen years old again. Just fabulous! They will probably do the same thing this year only instead of seventy, we’ll be ninety years old. The Dutch have never forgotten that. When they were down to eating tulip bulbs for food, they just never forgot. And as I say, at the 50th anniversary, those little kids were coming out, “Thank you mister, thank you mister!” “Thank you for what?” Because it really never, I don’t think really hit the average dough boy soldier that they were so near starvation. And our guys brought all those rations in for them, fabulous. It was automatic if you had anything when a little kid come up and asked you, you give it to him because you could get more.

Mr. Summersides speaks about the overwhelming appreciation he witnesses from the Dutch population and their utmost respect for our Canadian soldiers.

Jim Summersides

Mr. Jim Summersides was born in Welland, Ontario, a town where he has lived all his life. As a young man, he recalls that peer pressure played a role in his joining the army. After enrolling, Mr. Summersides volunteered for the First Special Service Force, a unique joint Canadian- American effort that snuck behind German artillery lines creating havoc for the enemy. Mr. Summersides, along with fellow Canadian comrades, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor from the American Congress for his rare and profound contribution to the war effort. After the force broke up, he joined the 48th Highlanders and finished the war with that regiment. Mr. Summersides is very proud of his service during the Second World War and has had the pleasure of returning to Holland as part of the Canadian delegation for anniversary events.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 30, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Jim Summersides
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Liberation of Holland
1st Special Service Force

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