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The Depression Years

Heroes Remember

The Depression Years

I have an older brother, he’s 78 now. Yes, he was in, he took charge of the farm, actually, when he was quite young. Interviewer: Tell me, what effect did the Depression have on your family? Well, the Depression had a lot to do, it had quite an effect on our family, too. But I must say that I can remember the Depression. I can remember it well. I knew it started about 1929, and as young as I was then, I knew that something had happened. Dad had to make a living, he had to keep this farm. We had a poor crop. He had about $200 to keep the family going that year. To keep the whole family going, that was quite a thing. Money was scarce, and you couldn’t buy anything for the farm, such as implements, nobody could afford them. The implements you had, you had to keep fixing them up. I can remember that, fixing these implements up.

Mr. Schreyer describes what effect the depression years had on his family.

Henry Schreyer

Mr. Henry Schreyer was born August 30th, 1923 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was raised on the family farm in Beausejour, Manitoba where he lived through the Depression of the 1930s. Mr. Schreyer left the family farm and moved to Ontario where on Aug 6, 1941 he decided to join the Canadian Forces. His first choice was the Canadian Navy but, because he would have had to return home before they would take him, he joined the Canadian Army and was taken into service right away. Mr. Schreyer did his basic training in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and soon after was assigned to the Royal Canadian Engineers. He trained in Victoria, BC before travelling across Canada for deployment to Europe and active duty. He was part of the D-Day landings, served throughout the Normandy campaign, and spent time with the army of occupation in Germany at the end of the Second World War. Mr. Schreyer was released from the Canadian Army and travelled quite extensively, working in a variety of different occupations; farmer, mover and “beating the rods”. In 1952, Mr. Schreyer re-enlisted with the Canadian Army and joined the Royal Canadian Regiment. He served as an Honour Guard on Parliament Hill for the induction of the First Canadian Governor General. Mr Schreyer served as a volunteer in the Korean War. His journey took him via Japan to Pusan, then north to serve on the Jamestown Line. During his service, Mr. Schreyer was wounded and transferred from the front lines. Eventually, because of his injuries, he decided to leave the Canadian Army. After his service, he went back to his earlier occupation as a mover. He took up a career in packing and receiving and then as a transport driver.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Henry Schreyer
Royal Canadian Regiment

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