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Witnessing Death and Despair

Heroes Remember

Witnessing Death and Despair

I was wounded in my knee and shrapnel and stuff and two of the soldiers were badly wounded. They were kind of out laying on the ground and the Germans were only about a hundred yards away behind that railroad. They had dug in positions and two of them crawled over with Schneider guns. And they made me, I was the only one that could get up on my feet, made me pick up these guys when they’re wounded and look at them and then put them down, put their foot on their chest. And that was the first time I seen a man killed right close up. I’ll never forget it. The other Canadian with me, Jack Chimaraque, that’s the one that was prisoner of war with me, his eyebrow was hanging down over his face and blood and the German was ready to shoot him and I took a shell dressing they called it and I wrapped it around his head. I don’t know how I did it or what stopped the bleeding but they said, “Okay you two, come with us.” Crawled back into their positions and I spent two to three weeks, I guess maybe ten days, I don’t know, under shell fire. I had more action after I was a prisoner of war. I was in the front line with the Germans carrying out their dead and wounded.

Mr. Couture has to help the Germans carry out their dead and wounded.

George Couture

Mr. George Couture was born in Pennsylvania, United States on November 5, 1924. At three years of age his widowed mother moved the family of five children to Selkirk, Manitoba at a time when Canada was experiencing the Great Depression. Signing up to serve his country, Mr. Couture tried two times and on his third attempt joined the infantry with the Winnipeg Rifles. He traveled overseas on Isle de France and through coincidence this was the same ship he returned home on after the war. Mr. Couture volunteered for service which resulted in him being part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, then on June 8th was captured as POW. Spending time in the prisoner of war camps and suffering the life of starvation and disease, Mr. Couture survived and was liberated on April 23, 1945. Returning home to Winnipeg, Mr. Couture continued to serve in the military and volunteered for the Korean War. After thirty years military service he retired from the Canadian military. He now resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 4, 2019
Person Interviewed:
George Couture
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Winnipeg Rifles
Prisoner of war

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