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Opportunity for Tea with the Queen

Heroes Remember

Opportunity for Tea with the Queen

They kept us there. The Russians were coming, and they just missed us on the other side, and the British 6th army stopped them, and they had lined up a bunch of aircraft and flew us over to England. At Crowden airport and these big towers around there, you can see them days now. The plane ahead of us with twenty-two prisoners, ex-prisoners crashed into one of them towers,and the whole crew died, and we were sad about that. I ended up at Lady Astor’s Estate. They had a hospital there in England. Still, the war was on, there was buzz bombs and that going. So they took us in, and we’re getting six meals a day, bacon and eggs and all we could eat from Rochelle the matron. And one day they said, “Boys, line up, you’re going to have tea with the queen, they are bringing a lorry here to pick you up.” Ok. They didn’t realize that the vehicle passed the road and went by a pub right on the top of a hill and when we went by that pub everybody got out except the driver and the lance corporal, that’s all that got to have tea with the queen. The rest of us had a few drinks, but we sure got heck out of that old matron when we got back. I’ll never forget that.

Already liberated, Mr. Couture speaks about an opportunity to have tea with the queen but when ex-POW’s spot a pub, a choice of drink is changed!

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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