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A German Soldier was my Friend

Heroes Remember

A German Soldier was my Friend

At the end of the war when we went in to Emden, the Glengarry Highlanders went in to Emden to the marine barracks, The Kriegsmarine, it was called. And there were ships there with sauerkraut and brandy and stuff, you know, you don’t mix those two when you’re hungry. There was a German, a young German chap there that was used and I had connections with him at the guard house and he was the interpreter because he spoke perfect English. Here he is right there. His girlfriend came to meet him at the gate every night, now we weren’t there very long but it was long enough that he was there and I got to see his girlfriend, you know, not to speak to her but she was a pharmacist and she spoke English as well. So after the war I managed to make contact with them just out of curiosity because he was a nice clean-cut kid and he wasn’t a Hitlerjugend, he was a German soldier and that’s a picture of him. His wife showed me where his grave was so she gave me that picture of him as well. So that’s just an example of the culmination of post war, what went on and what happened to somebody that you saw and I knew this kid, eh. He looked as though he was about the same age as me at the time so…

Sharing a photograph of a young German soldier, Mr. Fowlers tells the story of how he connected with this young man during the war and the importance of visiting his gravesite after wartime.

Donald Fowler

Mr. Donald Fowler was born November 7, 1925 in Peterborough, Ontario. At the age of 12, he became a bandsman bugler with the Princess of Wales Own Regiment (MG) and at this time became war-trained at Connaught Rifle Ranges in Ottawa firing Vickers machine-guns and 303 rifles. Still in his teens, Mr. Fowler enlisted in the army as a private soldier with the 1st Battalion Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. Mr. Fowler served during wartime as a drummer yet managed to see a great deal of action and combat up close and personal. Fowler holds great pride for his service and is deeply proud of his Metis heritage. He has had many opportunities to travel back to France and Holland to commemorate significant anniversaries. After the war, Mr. Fowler continued to play in the Queen's University pipe-band and later in other community pipe-bands. Discharged in August 1945, Mr. Fowler went back to school and ended up obtaining an education at Queens University holding under graduate standing in Honours Social Behaviour toward a multi-disciplinary study in Sociopsychobiology. Mr. Fowler held a career with GTE (General Telephones and Electronics Corporation). He is now retired and resides in Brockville, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 28, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Donald Fowler
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Liberation of Holland
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders

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