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It was happiness

Heroes Remember

With regard to, to Leopold Canal, it's happiness, it's happiness, I was, I was glad to, to sacrifice a leg, knowing I was gonna get out of this war. Now that may be very, how do I say it,that may be very selfish of me, on my part, I don't know but I mean that's why the Leopold Canal always brings flooding back of, of nice thoughts. And when I sometimes go to bed at night and I can't sleep, I think of the Leopold Canal and I think of everything that happened. And I think of Magichi, what a bloody hero he was and Jimmy Kerr and what not. But I also think that, that was the battle that, that I went through, that allowed me to continue living, whereas now, Soulanges, I was not wounded in Soulanges. But in Soulanges, it was a terrible battle because my plan had gone awry, that's really what bothers me, to be honest with you. It was that whether it was a good plan or a bad plan, I don't know, but I know that, and I've talked to the colonel about this, Colonel Fulton about this, he is now dead, but he thinks it was a good plan, but he may have been saying that to make me feel good. But it was my plan and I lost three, I lost more than three, but I lost three really great guys at that battle. For some reason or other this battle is the same in my mind as if it happened yesterday. As a result I go right to Doug Kirkpatrick's grave and I put a poppy on it. I go right to Morris Soronow's grave and I put a poppy on it. And then I, I often go back, because it's on the main road between Caen and Falaise, I often go back to this farmhouse that's still there and stand there and just say, "Let the images hit me." Sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I don't, but I, I just feel a physical presence of what happened there, of, of Soronow's 2IC saying to me, "Mr. Soronow got hit." Of Doug Kirkpatrick's sergeant saying to me, "We've carried Doug into the barn, he's dead." Of Jimmy Bullock coming out of the bushes holding onto his arm, with blood streaming down. And you know, I, I've tried, then I couldn't get rid of it in my mind. I just thought something happened here and I know what had happened but was it real? Was it real, real, real? And I even went and walked the walk where the Germans were, walked back to where the Germans were looking at us. And some guys that were on this, one of these pilgrimages with me, I said, "I know that you're gonna laugh at me, but I want you to stand here and, and I'll tell you when you can move and you stand here, and you stand here." And I saw the ground from the point of view of the German. Now mind you, the bush has changed in sixty years and this was about forty years ago, that I did this but I, it helped me, because I began to realize, that nobody could have known the German position. It was superb, it was a superb defensive position, but how was I to know that? I was, but I could see it from their position and I said to myself, as an attacking Canadian infantry company commander, what could I have done differently? Nothing.

Mr. Chadderton compares the emotional impact of the actions at the Leopold Canal and Soulanges.

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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