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Dispatch Rider Risky Job

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Dispatch Rider Risky Job

We used to do point duty, and so you’d ride up front with the Colonel, behind the Colonel and came to an intersection and you'd drop off and you’d kept civilian traffic out of the convoy, you see. And then when the convoy went through, you’d go like hell to get up to the front again and in the mean time there was three bike riders in the regiment at that time, one was the Colonel’s aid, and we used to do this point duty. Well sometimes, we never had it happen in our regiment, but it did happen in other units, a civilian would break in and... then they would skip along try get ahead and a DR would be coming along there hell bent for leather and he’d bang right into him and that was the end of his game and there was a lot killed like that. In fact, Lord Haw Haw was working a radio in France at the time and he said, “If you give the Canadians enough motorcycles, they’ll all kill themselves,” you know. We used to listen to Lord Haw Haw because you found a lot of interesting things that went on that you never saw in the British press or anything like that. You took it with a grain of salt too and that. But one time, I was on point and a little English bread truck/van come up and the fellow motioned that he wanted to get in and I just said, “No.” And we were issued with, at that time DR’s were issued with these 455 Magnums there, a ruddy big cannon, you know. And so he backed up his little van and he’d sneak up a bit and I’d “Back” and he did this two or three times and finally I got fed up with it and I took this 455 out and I pointed it straight at the windshield. well that man moved back about 100 yards and he stayed there. But there was a lot of casualties because guys... the civilians would cut in.

Mr. Gorman served as a dispatch rider for a period of time while stationed at Aldershot in England. He was asked to explain the high casualty numbers among dispatch riders while still some distance from the actual war front.

Donald Gorman

Mr. Gorman was born June 23, 1921. His father was a stationary engineer at one of Windsor’s high schools and was a veteran of both the Boer War and the First World War. Mr. Gorman left school after achieving junior matriculation. He held jobs in a bakery, a fish market and as an apprentice mechanic at Remington-Rand typewriter factory in Windsor. After enlisting on September 16, 1939, he took his basic training in Windsor before being moved to Camp Borden for advanced training in June, 1940. Mr. Gorman went overseas with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Regiment and was involved in the Dieppe Raid.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Donald Gorman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Essex Scottish Regiment
Dispatch Rider

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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