Language selection


Drawing Rations

Heroes Remember

They formed a section and the section was composed of a still photographer, who was normally an officer, one camera man and one driver, at that time. So I went and that section was assigned to a brigade. There are three brigades in the division ... the First Div. I was with. So I went out to the 3rd Brigade 1 which included the Carlton Yorks, West Novas and the Van Doos. They were up fighting, trying to take a place called San Pietro up in the mountains. We got up there and I was with Fred Witcomb, the still photographer, and I said, “Well where do we bunk?” He said, “Dig a hole. That’s where we stayed.” I said, “Okay.” So I dug a slit trench and got in it and that night the Jerries started shelling. We couldn’t do any work. You can’t turn, you can’t light anything. You can’t put a light on – flashlight or anything – you know. So the next day I said, “Enough of this. I’m not going to do this anymore.” He said, “What do you mean.” I said, “From now on I’m going to find a place, 5 or 6 miles back of the line, an old farm house or a barn or something like that and we’ll take that over and we’ll cover it up, get our own food from the unit.” And Witcomb said, “Well you can’t do all that stuff.” I said, “I’ll do it, don’t worry about it.” So that’s what I did. So he left and after that we went back. He didn’t... I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me anyway. So we went back in .... first off to get permission. I had to go the brigade major who happened to be a Van Doo. I hadn’t met him but I introduced myself. And, I forget his name now ... Gaudreau ... Gaudreau ... an old friend of mine anyway now. Anyways he says, “Yeah no- no problem. You guys can’t work you know ‘cause you have to do the dope sheets and everything you know.” So he says, “Go to the Q stores and draw whatever you want. If you need some lanterns and stuff, draw them.” And he said, “Food.” he says, “Go over to the... tell the quartermaster that your gonna draw rations for three people every day.” And I said, “That’s fine.” So I did. Then I went over to Div. and saw the quartermaster there and then I went to the other brigades and I got some money over there too. So I was drawing rations from three places for our unit.

Mr. Quick describes the makeup of the Film and Photo Unit and negotiating to improve his crew’s working environment.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: