Language selection


Shelling Crossroads

Heroes Remember

I went back to this one place to pick up the guns on the Gothic Line. And all day, from the advance area that we were at, the Germans had been shelling every crossroad. Two shells into every crossroad, except the one we were going to pick up the guns at. Now, I’m out and on my bike, and just going to give the starter a kick and ‘swhoosh’ - in come a shell right into the crossroads. And there was a Provo Corps doing point duty. He went down in a heap. All the wires came down around us and the bricks and stuff whipped around us. So I just dumped the bike, run back, said to the officer, probably (inaudible) was on fox troop then, "Get the men out of the vehicles. Get them into the basements. There'll be another one in.” Everybody bailed out when they seen my face and got into the houses on the side of the road. And within seconds, in came another one. Now I went to the bike and it was, gas was draining out of the tank. There’s not much gas in those little old Nortons and it was still, had gas in it. Got it up, kicked it twice and said, “Let’s get out of here,” and away went. But the German’s very methodical, but for some reason he hadn’t fired on that crossroad all day.

Mr. Bannerman tells about going to the crossroads to pick up the guns and the impact of German mortars all around him.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: