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Prisoner of War

The Dieppe Raid

They come along and they took all the wounded out, and Ted went with me and they loaded us into box cars, it said 8 horses, 20 men on the side, that was in French. God I don't know how many of us were in there but it was packed and we went from Dieppe to Rouen and they had a big surgical hospital in Rouen. Interviewer: Did you know at that time Mr. Gorman the full extent of the disaster? Pretty well. You could, coming off the beach, I don't think I saw anything, it was like blocked out you know, and that. But when I was sitting on the lawn there at the hospital you could tell, you could see it was bad you know. And then when we got down to the railroad station, the tracks, and they loaded us into box cars and they were all wounded, there was a fellow laying next to me, poor guy was, he'd been shot in the stomach and he was screaming for water. Well nobody had any water and that, the poor guy. He died on the way in, on the way to Rouen. We were overnight going to Rouen and we went into the hospital at Rouen and they had on one wall they had two lines, two rows of double deck bunks and on the other side was one row, double decker bunks. And anyway Ted, he found me a bed and got on the lower bunk and I couldn't lay down, I had to sit up. And he was helping other guys, this guy was an angel in disguise you know and he was helping other fellows and whatnot and then the next day, they gave out a bit of food, some soup I think it was and that and Ted got me a bowl of soup and it ended up that night he had no place to sleep, so he slept at the other end of my bed, we slept feet to face. And then the next day they started taking us into the operating room and Ted was helping and he got me in there and I sat up on this operating table and the doctor he took what shrapnel he could see, out of my knee and that and there was just little pellets more than anything and then he looked at my arm and it came in there and there was part of it, that shrapnel, was sticking out here and anyway, he put a pair of forceps on it and he pulled the sucker out. Well god, I swore at that man, I called him every rotten son of a gun in the world, I really cursed him and they had no antiseptics or no anaesthetics and paper bandages, anyway, he cleaned it up as well as he could and then they put me on a great big airplane, aluminum splint, my arm was up like this. When he was finished, he patted me on the shoulder and he said, “On your way sonny.” He knew every bloody word that I had called him.

Little could be done at the Dieppe hospital. As German Prisoners of War, the men were loaded into train boxcars for an overnight journey to a large hospital in Rouen, France for treatment by German doctors. Mr. Gorman’s friend, Ted Broadbent, accompanied him. He speaks of his friend’s kindness to the injured, refusing to tell anyone of his own injury which eventually resulted in Broadbent’s hospitalization in Germany.

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

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