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Lost, one crutch

Heroes Remember

I was thrown right back into it, because I had been brought to Ottawa to handle questioning of some of the troops who had been, who had escaped from the shooting in the, in the First Army Field Unit. I was partly through my legal training and they said we can get you some credits for this, we want you to, to talk to these guys. So I arrived in Ottawa on VE Day, believe it or not, and first thing was that, I had, I carried it with me for years but I had an advertisement from the Ottawa Journal and it said, "Lost; one crutch. Vicinity of Belle Clare Hotel Ottawa, Ontario. Please phone Cliff Chadderton." I'll tell you, and it wasn't a joke, I, I was on crutches and I'd lost one crutch. I'd gone over to Belle Clare with some guys that got plodded, you see and ... but I reported to work two days later. But no, VE Day was, my feeling was, it angered me. It angered me to see people celebrating and I said, "They don't know what the hell they're talking about. They don't know what they're celebrating." I mean here they are out there, you know whoopty-do and dancing with girls and all that sort of stuff. And just a minute now, it really bothered me because I thought, they don't know what it's all about. What I felt was they should, they shouldn't be celebrating as if it's somebody's birthday, I mean that's just totally wrong. I mean they should be grateful and thankful, that guys gave their lives to, to bring this day about. That was my thought on it. And as I say, it's not a religious feeling or anything like that and it's it's not a feeling, it's a feeling of they should feel some gratitude for the people who made this day possible. You don't show gratitude when your out... well in the Belle Clare, losing your crutch.

Mr. Chadderton describes his feelings on VE Day.

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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