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Issuing Weapons

Heroes Remember

We were sent over to the QM stores to draw weapons. We went over there and the sergeant he says, “What do you want?” We say, “Well we’re over here to draw our weapons.” The film is full of unit sergeants, you know. So he turned around and he picks up this rifle. I said, “What’s that for?” He said, “That’s your weapon.” I said, “I can’t carry that.” Well he said, “That’s what’s on the establishment list — is rifles.” I said, “Well, I’m not taking it.” Well, he says “I don’t care if you take it or not.” you know. So he said ... we got talking and he said, “You know you’re right.” He says, “How in the hell could you ... you can’t carry a rifle and use it and your camera and photograph." I never wore a steel helmet either — ‘cause a steel helmet got in the way. So anyway I went back and the Major McDougall says, “Did you get your weapon?” I said, “No.” I said, “They want to issue us rifles.” He said, “Well, that’s on the establishment.” I said, “Look sir,” I said, “Use your brains.” This is my CO. I said, “How do you expect us to carry a rifle and use it and our tripods and our cameras, you know? What are we supposed to do ... drop the camera and everything and grab the rifle?” He says, “I got your point.” He said, “We’ll look into it.” So, they got a hold of the ordinance and it had to be . they changed the establishment then to pistols. Later on, up in Europe they took our revolvers away from us and gave us Brownings — Belgian Browning 9mms. Didn’t like ‘em. I liked my old Smith & Wesson. Never jammed.

Mr. Quick goes to get his weapon and they try to give him a rifle. He refuses to take it and explains why.

Norman Quick

Mr. Quick was born in Toronto, Ontario on April 22, 1921. His father, a cinematographer, moved the family to Ottawa when he was very young and he remembers in particular, playing a lot of hockey wearing homemade equipment. Mr. Quick enlisted in the Medical Corps, but quickly transferred to the Film and Photo Corps once it was formed in England. His active service took him to Italy, where he filmed such notable actions as Ortona and Monte Cassino. Interestingly, he and his crew adopted a teenage boy named Ilio, who accompanied the Canadian film crew until its tour in Italy ended. Mr. Quick was then deployed to NW Europe, where he served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He remained in the Canadian Army as a cinematographer, but left after Paul Hellyer amalgamated Canada’s Armed Forces. Mr. Quick currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Norman Quick
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Film and Photo Unit
Staff Sergeant
Film Camera Operator

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