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The camaraderie got a hold of me.

Heroes Remember

The camaraderie got a hold of me.

The camaraderie got a hold of me. I began to, to realize that if you were with a bunch of guys who were all being prepared to put their life on the line, they were good guys. If they weren't, they got out. We had what was called NETD; not, well not likely to be an official soldier type of thing and you got rid of them. And that was good, because it meant that the people that were left were tough, rough, good and would do the job for you. So everybody was put to the same level, you were eating the same, you were drinking the same, you were chasing girls if you liked the same, but everybody was sort of on the same level type of of thing. And I found that, that was a great, a great thing to learn. I thought where do you ever learn this? You know, I mean if I'd gone through and become a lawyer and what not, I would have been in a law office trying to talk somebody out of some money or you know, whatever. But I never would have had that experience of knowing what real men really, what they really thought and what they, what they were capable of. So it was an experience to join the army and to really if you like, I hate to use the word but to study it, to understand that you had a God given opportunity to understand what men were, what life was all about, what men were all about, what men were capable of. The one experience that stands out above all others, it's almost an epiphany, but the one experience that stands out above all others, is to put your life on the line. Is to walk beside a guy knowing damn well that if he stepped on a mine he would tell you. He would push you out of the way and he would let the mine blow him up. Blow himself up. He, you know that's, that's the, I think the ultimate sort of thought that you have to have on this kind of, of experience I guess. And where else do you get that? I mean people, we all have companions with whom, colleagues with whom we work and what not, but where else do you get the thing that ... well I'll give it to you this way. I'm 86 years of age. The only close friends I have in this world, are guys that I served with in the army. Don't ask me why that is, but I mean, Jack Mitchell is in the hospital in Winnipeg. He could call me tomorrow and I'd jump on a plane, I don't give a damn what I'd do I'd jump on a plane and I'd say, "Jack what is it?" No, I'd go to hell and back for him. I've worked with hundreds of really great people, I've got a lot of them surrounding me right here in this building. Really great people, but I don't know that I would ask any of them to put their life on the line and I don't know that I'd put mine on the line for them. It's just not a ... this bonding is such a strong, strong, strong feeling and it has a lot to do with the fact that you live very close to the edge for a long time. Now you're not exposed to danger all of that time, but you're exposed to the possibility of danger all that time. And it changes your, your outlook, that's why. So what is the, what is the final, final judgement if you like, on comradeship? It can't be defined, I can't define it. I don't think it can be defined. I mean it's just a feeling and yet, you, you get in a plane load of a bunch of guys going over to Korea for example, on a pilgrimage. And what happens? All the corny jokes they told, you know fifty years ago or what have you and what not, but if any one of those guys, let's say somebody on the bus insulted them..., I'd fear for the guys life.

Mr. Chadderton discusses camaraderie and bonding.

Clifford Chadderton

Clifford Chadderton, CC, O. Ont., OStJ, CLJ, CAE, DCL, LLD Mr. Chadderton was born May 9, 1919, in Fort William, Ontario, and was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His mother worked as an accountant. His father, an entrepreneur, was a veteran of the First World War who suffered complications from being gassed at Vimy Ridge. Under the tutelage of his parents Mr. Chadderton was brought up to believe in Canada and the importance of education. He became interested in social events, politics, military history and the process of debate. These interests led Mr. Chadderton to become a news editor for the Canadian Press and a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press while attending the University of Manitoba. Mr. Chadderton even found time for another interest - playing hockey for the Winnipeg Rangers, the farm team for the New York Rangers. On October 15, 1939, Mr. Chadderton enlisted in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, climbing the ranks quickly to become a company commander and an acting major by the end of the war. While serving in Europe he was wounded twice, once by a bullet at the Abbaye d'Ardenne in Normandy, and then by a grenade near the Leopold Canal in Belgium on October 10, 1944. There, he lost his right leg below the knee, and his military career came to an end. Mr. Chadderton never let the loss of his leg hinder him. In fact, it has made him a beacon of hope to many, and has given him the opportunity to work for the needs and benefits of Canadian amputees and veterans. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The War Amps, and Chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada. A persistent, dedicated and devoted man, Mr. Chadderton is also known nationally and internationally as a documentary producer, creating The War Amps Never Again! series, which illustrates the realities of war. He has also written an inspirational memoir entitled, Excuse Us! Herr Schicklgruber, which is an insight into the personalities, feelings and hopes of the men who fought alongside Mr. Chadderton in the Second World War. Mr. Chadderton continues to challenge the world and enjoy life with no regrets, having made a home for himself in Ottawa, Ontario, and creating a legacy with his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Clifford Chadderton
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Infantry Company Commander

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