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Conditions in Italy

Heroes Remember

Shortly after Rome was liberated, they allowed us . . . they chose two people from each regiment to visit the Vatican City. They didn't seem to think that I should go for all, and they wanted to know why I was anxious to go, not being a Catholic, so I said I come from a district that was nearly all Catholic. And I said at that time, I was the only one in that area that would possibly have a chance to get there. So, I said if I get home, I want to be able to tell them, and the officer said permission was granted to go. So, this other gentlemen and I. . . . he was chosen to go. And we spent two days getting ready for it, a couple of days getting ready for the Vatican. At first, was our pictures taken on the steps of the big monument in the centre of Saint Peter's Square. Then, we were taken inside the Saint Peter's Basilica and words can't, can't describe how, how it is, but when you look up, the dome is, is all hammered gold. It's beautiful. And then we were taken around to different little chapels on the outsk-, on the edges of the Basilica, where masses are said for smaller groups and such like. Eventually, we were taken into the Sistine Chapel. There we were told that we would be . . . have an audience with the Pope. And it is beautiful, this, the chapel. And I can just picture, actually I can, Michelangelo painting the ceiling, laying on his back on a makeshift staging. And it's beautiful. And the carvings, it's just terrific around and the colours and the windows, the coloured windows, and the centre of the aisle is red carpet. And eventually, the Pope was carried in on his chair or throne by Swiss, his Swiss guards that he has this...they're, there... they have been there at that time, all the time. They did the, what would you call it, looking after the Pope and as he walked slowly up, he, he was talking in Latin, I presume. And when he, he finally went up the . . . he had his hand . . . he blessed us all, I think. I guess it was (inaudible). But when he got to the front at the pulpit, he turned and then got off his pulpit. I call it the pulpit or the chair he was carried in, or it looked like . . . and he spoke to us in English and in French and blessed us. And that was, that was our . . . my trip to, to Rome.

Mr. Carr describes Italy's terrain, living conditions and socialization

Robert Carr

Mr. Carr was born October 17, 1918, in Oyster Bed Bridge, Prince Edward Island, and grew up on his family's farm. He was the oldest of six children, and one of two brothers old enough to serve in the Second World War. Mr. Carr enlisted in the army as a member of the 1st C Battery, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, a Manitoba regiment. Once reaching England, he joined the 1st Canadian Medium Regiment as a surveyor. Mr. Carr took part in the Italian campaign and later joined the Allied Forces in Northern Europe for the liberation effort in Holland. After returning to Canada, Mr. Carr surveyed, farmed and finally served many years with the Canadian Postal service. He and his wife, Mildred, currently reside in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Carr
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
1st Canadian Medium Regiment
Staff Sergeant

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