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Dispatcher’s Gear

Heroes Remember

And while we were talking motorcycles, I don’t know if many people realized what a dispatch rider carried on his motorcycle. We had two saddlebags, one saddlebag on the side. On the back of the bike, I had a one man pup tent, just a small thing that you could barely get into. And your saddlebag and any equipment you wanted to carry in it, two or three gallons of gas in your jerry can on the other side because there’s no place to stop and gas up in situations I’d be in. And I had some utensils that I gathered up myself - two little strips of iron, about this big around and I had a short shovel that everybody was issued for digging a trench and a small frying pan, where I got it, I don’t know. But, at that time, all my life, I’ve never smoke cigarettes, so when I got my cigarette rations, I would have them with me and I could stop into farms somewhere and get maybe two eggs for a package of cigarettes. I would dig a scoop out of the ground, put a little gas in it, these two bars and my pan on it and fry an egg. So that went on all through my service. That was one of my big thrills. I had fresh eggs and I didn’t know too many else that had them.

Mr. Downe talks about the different items that he carried on his motorcycle.

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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