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Delousing The Children

Heroes Remember

Delousing The Children

In the daytime, we noticed there was a, usually if you went by the street, there’d be a pig in the house and it’d be tethered. They tethered a pig. A pig apparently is fairly docile when they have a string on their foot. So they’d have a string on this pig’s foot. So once we got to know the Italians a little more and find out somebody had been in New York. There’s always one or two that had been lived in New York or Philadelphia, and he's gonna tell you all about it, see. So we said to him, “What about this pig?” “Well,” he said, “the vermin in the beds and that will go on the pig quicker than it will on a human. So you bring the pig in all day and any vermin that’s there, the bed bugs and that, will go on the pig. Then you take the pig out at night and you get rid of them.” What the pig didn’t take out, on a sunny December day of '43 … the ladies would be sitting with a baby in their arms, or small children on her hand, fine tooth combs and a small saucer of olive oil. And they were delousing the kids and putting the lice in the olive oil to kill them.

Mr. Bannerman describes how the Italian people used pigs to assist in delousing their homes.

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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