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The Mind Is A Funny Thing

Heroes Remember

The Mind Is A Funny Thing

First of all you are looking at a section of eight or nine or ten men and they are used to training together, working together. They are the backbone of all armies. And it's teamwork there, so it's sort of like a hockey game, you gotta sort of warm up and then you get the team, and then you get things going. Well that's sort of about the same as that. It's a little warm up period to try and, to get the team together, to get the team together. And then when the team starts learning the things, finding the things that they've been told to do they found themselves, they've started to find that those things really work All the training in the world doesn't prepare you for the real thing, it doesn't prepare you for the real thing, it really doesn't. A mind is a funny thing, a mind is a very funny thing. It has a way of forgetting, it has a way of tucking things away. There is someplace back in there where things are tucked away and they can stay tucked away for days and weeks and months and then just by bringing it up here, with you, means that when I go to bed tonight one of those little things that are tucked away might come up, come around and I'll start fighting, then you start fighting something all over again, fighting something all over again. But that's the way the mind works and I'll probably never forget until you, until somebody else reminds you of something you always remember the good times and so I think you concentrate on the good times. And there are lots of good times, really good times, on leave and good companions and good fellowship and all that sort of business. Then you have your five or six days there that are the tough times.

All the training in the world doesn't prepare you for the real thing, and how the mind will tuck away some of the bad experiences one encounters.

Tom Gilday

In Ottawa he ended up volunteering for parachuting and hazardous duties. He then was part of a group that became the first Special Force; half Canadian and half American. He was then appointed as Battalion Commander. His crew fought and took over many mountain ranges that the Germans were protecting. They attacked at night and painted their faces black, they were known to the Germans as the ‘Devil's Brigade'. After being on the line for eight months during the Italian Campaign it was decided he would run a Recruit Training School. He then opened and ran the first Canadian Army Leave Transit Camp in Oyster Work. The camp was later moved to a larger camp in Nijmegen. In 1945 Mr Gilday was appointed General Staff Officer and placed in charge of the city of Amsterdam. He stayed there for six months and then returned home.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Tom Gilday
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
1st Special Service Force
Battallion Commander

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