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We’d give them what we could

Heroes Remember

We’d give them what we could

I would say some countries were poorer than the . . . I believe the Dutch people suffered the worst. They absolutely had nothing, and the kids, the young ones, were just skin and bones, and . . . They had taken, the Germans had taken everything, all the food, all the metal. Even the bicycles they kept. They took all the bicycles to make some-, you know, melt them down and make something out of them. The Dutch were really bad, really badly treated. And we gave them all we could. We scrounged everything, chocolate bars, whatever, whatever we find, then gave . . . Kids there never heard of a chocolate bar. We always did our best to give the kiddies in particular some food. Oh, they'd come up there, skinny little characters, just begging for food 'cause they hadn't, didn't have anything, and we'd give what we could. We had to eat to be able to have strength to fight, but we always saved a bit for them, and what we could for adults. It made you feel that in your lifetime you did something for people. But lots of emotion. You know, you couldn't help but look at those people and have a tear. It was terrible. I can’t imagine people being treated that way. They always cried, and they had flowers and, you know, talked to us. It was a big thing after being kind of imprisoned all those years to be free again you know and we freeded them so we were their freedom people they appreciated that.

Mr. Hall describes feeding the starving and feelings of gratification.

John Hall

Mr. Hall was born in Whitewood, Saskatchewan, in 1921. He worked on the family's farm until he enlisted in the Royal Regina Rifles. He was shipped overseas on a converted sugar freighter. Once in England, Mr. Hall experienced the Battle of Britain from the perspective of the local citizenry. He spent more land duty in a mail sorting depot until his Regiment joined the D-Day invasion at Juno Beach. He was a radio operator. Mr. Hall took part in numerous actions, most notably Caen, Calais and the Leopold Canal and the Liberation of Holland. After leaving the Army, Mr. Hall worked in the Canadian North with the Department of Natural Resources.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Hall
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
436 Squadron

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