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Training After “The Raid” and Before D- Day

Heroes Remember

Training After “The Raid” and Before D- Day

Well the mixture of the training really, all the way through was being able to climb a rope up a side of a mountain, or hill, or whatever you want, a cliff. It was always something like that but it wasn’t put together unless you had a big scheme together. And getting towards the D-Day business, we went to Scotland, also Wales and we were doing there in that we were using live ammunition on exercise there. In Wales, in the Black Mountains they call them, Wales is known for coal mines and all the slag that came up, grass they grew, they sewed grass on these. They, they turned out to be bloody mountains and we didn’t know that at first. Until we found out...The reason I just said the, that we went to Wales and also Inveraray we were firing live ammunition, and knew that we didn't know for sure, but we knew there was something in the area, but when they, once, once you start doing that kind of training, and it was constant and very, very hard training. For instance, up at Inveraray there was a, on that estate, as a matter of fact, Campbell, the Campbell clan, the boss of the Campbell clan was on that estate that we were on... this castle. Interviewer: That was the Laird? The Laird of the Clan? Yes... and there was this huge mountain and they had a, they had a sort of a look out up on top there, it had nothing to do with the war. But that was there. We had to climb that thing before breakfast in the morning. See, we had Nissen huts in the back and that’s where we were sleeping, staying and our training took part going up and down that bloody hill. And the ranges, firing over in the sea with the machine guns and I, I found it very pleasant except the fact that it was pretty hard to go up and down those mountains, before breakfast.

Mr. Champoux talks about their special training in Wales and Scotland after the raid to the Russian front. He also talks about how the type of training they were undergoing led them all to believe that something big was about to happen (D Day).

Robert Arthur Champoux

Mr. Champoux was born in Hull, Québec on March 21st, 1921. He lived there until the age of 8 when his father, a First World War Veteran, moved the family to Ottawa. Mr. Champoux had three brothers and four sisters; he was the third oldest child. When the war broke out he was attending Ottawa Technical High School. He left school, after his first year, to join the Army after failing to join the Navy and the Air Force (who were not yet recruiting). He left for Europe July 17th, 1940 and ended up stopping in Iceland where he remained for the next 10 months. Mr. Champoux’s wartime service saw him fighting on D-Day and in the Falaise Gap. He also fought in Calais and later on in Holland where he was wounded. Mr. Champoux got a job with the Mint upon returning to Canada. He joined the army again in 1948 retiring in 1965.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Arthur Champoux
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
13 Platoon - Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Machine Gunner

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