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Joining the Army

Heroes Remember

Well at the time I was working in Toronto, my day off happened to be a Friday. I walked downtown and I was approached by a sergeant in a little building on a corner in Main Street, Toronto and he said, “You look like the kind of guy I’m looking for to recruit. We’re forming a new regiment of the 2nd Battalion Queens Own Rifles and you look like the type of man we want.” So I explained to him where I was from and that I was up there working. I said, “I can’t afford to hang around, waste any time, days like, so if you can take me to your barracks right now, have me go through a medical, get me sworn in and a uniform, I’m your man. If not, I’ll wait until I’m 18.” “You can do that,” he says. So we went down to Albert Street barracks, “Get in that line,” and I went through a medical and when I came out he had a uniform, sworn in and that’s it.

Mr. Downe recalls the day he joined the army.

Russell Downe

Russell Downe was born on February 26, 1924 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He joined the army when he was just seventeen, following in the footsteps of his two brothers, Edward and Robert, who were already overseas. His training took place at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Mr. Downe worked as a motorcycle dispatch rider for most of the war where he was responsible for delivering urgent messages.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
January 1, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Russell Downe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Dispatch Rider

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