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Giving Up Their Guns

Heroes Remember

Giving Up Their Guns

When we were at Heathfield in England, we were given orders to turn in all our guns. Now a gunner that’s looked after that gun since the day it was brand new until now, it’s in 1943, he has a great love... It’s pretty hard to describe. A gunner he loved his gun. That was the epitome of his being. It was the gun. So and all of a sudden, you turn them all in. And the excuse we got when we were turning them all in, is that we're going to Ireland to train with Americans. We’re going to get all American equipment. So pretty soon we did get some American. We got Tommy guns. The Thompson submachine guns. By Jove, this looks bright. We’re going and somebody said, “Well you might even, you never know, we might even go out to, back to the States to do this training with the Americans.” Well, we’re back at Liverpool Trained in Liverpool and ‘course, the Liverpool civilians they know what’s up. They were saying, “Give them hell, mate. Give them hell, mate.” Why would we give them hell? We’re just going over to Ireland to train with the Americans, see. Went aboard the John Erickson and we went out of there November, almost two years to when we arrived at Liverpool. Well, about the next day, pretty soon we were getting lectures on the alcohol content of Italian wine and getting issued Mepacrine tablets or Quinine tablets for malaria, and talking about summer kit. And then pretty soon, the convoy swung east. And all of a sudden, the weather warms up and boy, we must be going to Italy. Yes, we’re pretty well sure now, we’re going to Italy.

Mr. Bannerman tells about the time his crew were commanded to give up their guns unaware of where they were going to serve next.

Gordon Bannerman

Mr. Gordon Bannerman was born September 13, 1921. He was raised in Neville, Saskatchewan with his three brothers and a sister. His father served in the First World War with the 1st Canadian Field Ambulance. Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Bannerman enlisted and became a member of the 17th Field Regiment Artillery. He began his military career as a general service gunner and was soon promoted to sergeant. He trained in Petawawa, Ontario, was sent to Aldershott, England, eventually fought in Italy from 1943 to 1945 and through northwest Europe to the Netherlands in 1945. During his service time, Mr. Bannerman had plenty of close calls and was wounded by mortar fire. As a sergeant major, he considered himself a good listener who maintained strong morale amongst his fellow soldiers. After the war, Mr. Bannerman and his wife, Edith, whom he met in 1945, settled in British Columbia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gordon Bannerman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
17th Field Regiment
Gun Sergeant

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