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Being a Sniper

Heroes Remember

Another thing that helped an awful lot in my survival, I never mentioned any . . . you probably never interviewed anybody either I was a sniper too. Interviewer: Can you tell us about that? There's not too much to tell about it I guess, but the . . we went with the company . . . so most of the times we had to go in with the companies too, you know, they would put two of us in each company. Although we'd still be attached to one company or another. Then there . . . they went in and there was snipers, machines guns firing on you and you'd have to hold your position then we'd have to try to take one of them out. If it was a sniper or a machine gun, they'd call for us to do that. And there was times that we'd have to go out and maybe way out ahead somewhere. Lay low and you had to be awful careful because, you know, we never had no camouflage like they do today. Today the uniforms are all camouflage. We didn't. All we had was a little net about two feet square. We'd put it over our head so you couldn't see our face. And you'd have to pick your pretty good spot because, you know, they had snipers too and they were good, really good. And, make sure that they couldn't see you or find you. You can make a good hiding place, you get in sometimes houses that were pretty well blown down when you get in there and maybe hole in the wall or something like that. Then you had.. there was a lot of things you had to look out for yourself. Even you could make sure there was no background there so that light would shine through because they could see you then. Each little move you make, they could see you. Make sure they couldn't see you. Interviewer: Holding the position of a sniper is quite an undertaking. It was, but like I say, there was a lot of times that I probably with . . . we didn't have to go in on with the fellows in the companies you know. They'd keep us in reserve like or back and then maybe after they got in, they got settle in they'd send for us to come up. So it was times like that, I think . . . we didn't have to go in every battle or we'd never have survived.

Mr. Gouchie talks about his role as a sniper.

Earl Gouchie

Mr. Gouchie was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, on February 21, 1917. He comes from a family of four sisters and three brothers. His father was a part-time farmer and mill worker. Growing up during the depression and having a Grade eight level of education, Mr. Gouchie had very little opportunity for employment and worked in the local lumber woods until he decided to join the army. After the declaration of war, Mr. Gouchie was one of the first men to join the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. His regiment sailed to Southern England and received three years of training in preparation for the landings on D-Day in Normandy. The North Nova Scotia Highlanders have been recorded as being known to have fought many bloody battles during wartime. Mr. Gouchie was part of the 2nd wave during the D-Day invasion and admits he would never want to go through it again. After the war, Mr. Gouchie returned home to Amherst to be with his wife and family. He became very involved with the construction of a mural recognizing the contributions of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment. Mr. Gouchie coordinates the parades each year for Remembrance Day celebrations in Amherst. He has never allowed his service in the army to be forgotten and the contributions given by himself and his fellow soldiers. Mr. Gouchie feels the young people of today should experience army life and realize the true meaning of discipline.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Earl Gouchie
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North Nova Scotia Highlanders

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