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The Effect Of War

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: How has the war affected you? Well, it probably ... Edith said I talk a lot about it. I probably do. I think that it has been my release. I always maintained there was nothing happen to me at night and I’ll tell you why. When you’re born in the Prairie, there were homes, but they were shacks. They were uninsulated, single pane, heated by coal and wood stoves. They could burn like that in a blizzard. When I came home from school, one or both parents were always home. When I went to bed at night, one or both parents were in the house. If there’s a blizzard on, one or both parents stayed up so that house didn’t burn down around us and all be out at 40 below. So, I had a belief there wouldn’t be anything happen to me when I went to sleep. So, I pulled that little security blanket over me in my slit trench. I recharged my nerves every night. Fellows that were much braver than I was, Neil, all of a sudden would crack up with nerves or come and say, “You’ve got to get us out of here,” because they could not sleep. And how you found out, you watched the fellows. Everybody’d be gathering around with their mess tins and shooting the breeze. All of a sudden, Jimmy’s sitting over here. He’s ten feet further away but he’s still facing the group. The next day his back is turned. The next day he’s missing meals, and about the third day you might as well just quietly go to the officer and say, “We’re sending Jimmy out.” “And why’s that sergeant major?” “Well, I think for his health and for the rest that are around us, the best place for him is out.”

Mr. Bannerman shares his perspective about being at war and how he chooses to talk about it.

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

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