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Best Not Left Alone

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: You're in the darkness and you're fighting a battle. Tell me a little bit about the people beside you, how you worked together, as the team, the team concept when you were out there. Well, it depends on if you were part of a mortar crew or part of the machine gun crew. Like if you're the machine gunnist, or machine gunner you're running the machine gun, or if you're the helper, you're carrying the ammunition and that you feed the ammunition in the machine gun and you help them load it and set it up and all of this sort of thing. And likewise, if you're on the mortar crew, so you're always with somebody and that was a good feeling. It was terrible if you got in a situation where you were by yourself. That was pretty hard to take, cause you always felt more comfort with somebody else. Interviewer: And this was a stranger, but then it became your teammate... This is why soldiers become such good friends. You know, you depend on one another for your life and for his life. So that's how you become so closely attached. Interviewer: And those people you don't forget. And when you lose somebody, you know, this is very devastating to you because you've lost your protector sort of thing and likewise for the other people. So it's, you really, really depend on one another. Getting into Agira, myself and Lieutenant Swan and four, yeah I believe it was four other guys, left our position about midnight and we walked ‘til daylight to get around on the enemy side of the town of Agira. Agira is up, right up on a high mountain again. Everything is on, right at the top of mountains. And we arrived there just at day break and the Patricia's were starting to enter the town of Agira, and the Germans were trying to retreat out and we were sitting, looking down on them, and firing on them as they run out, trying to escape. I, I don't remember how many we shot there or who shot any, you know but, you could see them falling and that and you knew that our, some of us were hitting them. But it doesn't seem to effect you if there's a bunch of people firing, you don't know who hits the guy that has fallen so that doesn't seem to bother you as much, as if you know that you shot the man yourself, you know.

Mr White explains his reasoning for why it was best to be in action with other men, defensively and offensively.

Maurice White

Maurice White was born in Coldwater, Ontario, on January 2, 1925. At a young age, his family relocated to Grassland, Alberta, where he was raised. After being rejected as too young by the air force, he successfully enlisted with the army, joining the Prince of Wales Armoury in Edmonton, Alberta. By the age of 17 he was an instructor, carrying the rank of corporal, but anxious to serve overseas he left his rank, to serve as a Private with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. For 23 months Mr White served in the Italian Campaign, seeing action in such cities and towns as Ortona, Sicily, and Ragoona. Although not a religious man, his numerous near death experiences left him believing someone may have been watching over him He served with the military police for a year after the end of the War before returning to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Maurice White
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
1st Special Service Force

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