Language selection


Finally Going Home

Heroes Remember

About six weeks it took us, well myself to get back to a human being again, cleaned up and strong. I was young and recovered pretty quick, maybe a little too much drinking and went AWOL at the end, Aldershot, you ever hear of the Aldershot riots? Interviewer: Tell us about that. Well, it was on the second night of that red caps came in. I said well here’s my pass. I’m AWOL. “Never mind Canadian, get on the ship. You’re going back.” And the Isle de France is the same ship I came over to England I went back home on, all lighted up - nice and beautiful ship. Interviewer: So that was your return home? Yeah, I was late getting back.They took all the boys that were regular soldiers, they were getting them ready to go over and fight the Japanese at the time but they weren’t needed. I had just about given up hope and you know the Germans I must say this, they were very good to me. They killed lots of us as we went along in that route march because every time they’d have these piles of food like say corn or next one would be turnips covered up in the field that they couldn’t put into the regular place there was not enough room. They’d pile straw and mud on top of that and when we went by there there’d be nothing left in that field. A lot of the boys got shot and killed and clubbed. I never did, they got swung at. Some guards were meaner than others. Interviewer: And what do you think contributed to you surviving all of that? I’d been a country boy and living on the farm, I was in great shape and I could do lots of things. That’s one thing in the army there used to be a lot of unarmed combat. I worked one time with a blacksmith shop and there was this guy,a great big grown man and I was about eighteen or seventeen and I could pick him up and throw him around. Nowadays I couldn’t do nothing.

Mr. Couture speaks about returning home and reflects back on reasons for his survival.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: