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Determined to Leave the Regiment

Heroes Remember

Determined to Leave the Regiment

After D-Day I was going to the different regiments and other headquarters during the day and I sort of knew what was going on more so than the individual which later on I became and I was able to sort of understand what was going on a little better. I did that for five months after which this brigadier was sent up to army headquarters. General Montgomery often criticized Canadian officers and he was one of them I’m sure he had in mind. I didn’t really appreciate him as a senior officer and he got kicked upstairs into a desk job at army headquarters which he was probably more suited for. I was glad that I took the opportunity to be asked to be presented to him and parade before him and I requested to go to one of the army regiments and he started to negate the effort and I said, “Sir I’m determined to go even if I have to get myself in trouble and end up in jail. I will not be a good soldier if I stay here, I am that determined to go.” And oh he said, “Alright then!” And he wrote out a chit. I said, “I know a captain with the Cherbourg Fusiliers who said anytime I want a place he’d have one for me.” So he’d been on the same wireless course I had been and so I was happy there. And I was even more happy because I found out my crew commander was from the British Columbia Regiment, my home regiment and the driver of the tank was from Kelowna and also from the regiment. They had reorganized, restructured the organization back in ’41. Luckily I felt I was back home again. And I did really, I felt this is what I trained for, this is what I want to be doing and I did feel that that was the best part of being in France.

Mr. Bernhardt speaks about his determination and process of convincing the authorities to let him go to another regiment.

Charles Bernhardt

Mr. Charles Bernhardt was born March 13, 1921 in Yugoslavia. His father, a bricklayer, was from Hungary and came to Canada in 1927. The family followed the next year. Unable to recall too much of his childhood, Mr. Bernhardt does remember his happiness as a Canadian and that he always had the desire and pride to serve in the Canadian military. He chose to join the Canadian Armoured Division and served during in the Second World War in Normandy during the Battle of D-Day. He held the occupation of Brigadier General’s driver, a role he felt great pride in doing. Mr. Bernhardt is known for his participation in one of the most famous photos of all time which went for poster print, the “Wait for Me Daddy” poster which can be found displayed across Canada. In recognition of his service, Mr. Bernhardt received the Legion of Honour medal and was given the opportunity to be a part of the Canadian delegation for 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge - a memory of honour he will hold for a lifetime. Mr. Bernhardt resides in Summerland, B.C.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 4, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Charles Bernhardt
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Armoured Regiment

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