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I gave her my socks and my shoes

Heroes Remember

I gave her my socks and my shoes

There was a mother, and Jo was one of her daughters and Toni and Betty, three girls. She took in two more girls, because they had more than the other people right next to them. And Mrs. Naas in 9 9 Puffin street, Nijmegen. So, I used to go with a girl there. An all the time we were there, I'd go over. They didn't have any big lights, but they had a nice home. And the father had got killed and he was driving the train. And he drove the train, taking whatever and now the war was pretty near over, taking it back into Germany. So, I don't know who the people that I took to really be friends, whether they were Germans or not . . . Nass, N- a-s-s. So I, I remember they were awful nice, and said her husband had got killed, and he was buried up into the graveyard. And she used to call me Ivantje. "Will you take me to the cemetery to see my husband?" So I said, "I can't really do that, but I'll try to do it early in the morning." So, I gave her my socks and gave her my shoes and put 'em on her, and drove her in the jeep up to the cemetery. I can see her up on there, hands and knees. And we never got much snow in, in Holland, during my four years there, no snow hardly at all. And she's up there, kneeling down there, and she come back crying, "Poor papa, poor papa." And she come back and told the girls. So, the . . my last night there, they put, took one of the girls beds and put, put a bed downstairs in the room, and the girls all slept together ... give me a bed. When I was coming to Canada, they all walked down to the train to see me off . . . say goodbye. All those other girls were, "Parson mens, Parson mens, you come back!" I said, "I'll come back and see you." And I wasn't home very long, when I got a letter from my girlfriend. I met a girl there, but the officer said to me, "Parsons, don't get married over here. It's too much of a . . . to care for her. She'll be wanting to come home. You won't have the money to send her home." Which I didn't. So I, I said, "So long, I'll come back and see you." I can remember the tears that night, saying, "Parsons, Parsons, you'll come back?" "I'll come back." And when I got home, I got a letter from her, which I was glad to get. And only a little bit about that much saying, "I have found new boyfriend and I wish you all the best."

Mr. Parsons describes living briefly with a Dutch family and a short-lived romance.

Ivan “Benny” Parsons

Ivan Benjamin Parsons was born in Lucasville, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, on February 26, 1922. He was the eldest of 10 children and worked on a local farm. His father was a sawyer at the local saw mill. After finishing basic training in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Camp Borden, Ontario, Mr. Parsons shipped to England aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. After training as a truck driver, he took part in the D-Day invasion at Normandy. During his service in Europe, his truck crew delivered ordinance to the artillery. Mr. Parsons returned home early in 1946. After working in the retail business for a short time, he returned to the Army. Mr. Parsons later served with the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires for 20 years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ivan “Benny” Parsons
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Artillery Corps
Warrant Officer
Truck Driver

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