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Responsibilities of a Signalman

Heroes Remember

Responsibilities of a Signalman

The signalman was to be in charge of the communications between the front lines and the headquarters and every branch of the services was recorded and returned back or communicated back to, you know, whatever areas where it was necessary. And by that I mean headquarters, that would be the news media, and I would imagine that just for the sake of the conducting and having all the different groups of the army be on the same playing field, you know, so they would be aware of what’s going on in the front lines and what is going on throughout the whole theatre of the war. But in my particular area here, I was the instrument mechanic and my concern was to travel from headquarters up through the front lines, mostly up to the Red Cross units that were housed there to make certain that all the injured were brought back to their holding areas where they could have proper care, and also to report on what was going on up in the front lines. So often when one of our lines of communication broke down, my job was to find out what the cause was and repair it or or replace the equipment that was necessary and that would be by travelling by night or some devious ways of getting there because I was always behind the main front lines, quite a ways back so it meant I’d be travelling over areas that were not completely cleared out. So it was rather frightening, because I’ve had occasions that I can recall where certain noises would come from the bushes or the creeks or the ditches and that were, I’m not sure, but I would be positive to say that there were definitely soldiers that were suffering from and needed help, but in my position of driving a motorcycle and only carrying a Sten gun in the back, certainly I was not in a rescuing mood. I was on a job to do up on the main lines, the front lines I should say, and that attracted my concern as getting to those front lines as quickly as possible and safely as possible.

Mr. Daniels explains his duties and responsibilities as a signalman between the front lines and headquarters.

Welsford Daniels

Mr. Daniels was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on September 14, 1920. In 1923, the family moved to Montreal where his father was employed with the CNR. Mr. Daniels joined the Reserve Army in 1939 and served with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals during the Second World War. His work in the army involved repairing all types of electronic equipment for all the communications, and staying close behind the front lines to report casualties of war. After his service, Mr. Daniels attended Sir George Williams University in Montreal and graduated with a degree in commerce. His love for sports led to extensive travel throughout the world. In 1986, Mr. Daniels retired from a career as manager of the Immigration and Manpower Department and later moved to Ottawa.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Welsford Daniels
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Instrument Mechanic

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