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Being Aware of War

Heroes Remember

In '39 and in the 40's like that, you know, we know there wasn't too many radios around and stuff like that. And I remember in town this guy's store, he would have a radio and he would have his, like model radio, like big, would be sitting out and then everybody would stand around and listen at the news and a lot of the men that was old enough started joining the service. And then at first, when it first started, they turned black people down. They didn't want any. That was in '39. Now I joined in '41 but we had no problem, that's when they put me into Transport. They just give us a paper with the initials on it, like mine was RCASC, Royal Canadian Army Service Corp so some guys say, oh yes you'll be driving vehicles and all this stuff. I said, "I had never been inside a vehicle for a drive let alone drive one."

Mr. Cromwell speaks about the process of joining up after listening to the radio and hearing the call for duty.

Everett Sylvester Cromwell

Everett Cromwell was born on December 12, 1921 in Weymouth Falls, Digby Co., Nova Scotia. He was the fifth of ten children. At age twelve, he left school to work in the woods because his father, also a forestry worker, had fallen ill. Both of his parents were soon deceased, and the ten children stayed in the family home supporting one another. Mr.Cromwell supported the family by working for a local farmer and then in the local lumberyard. He enlisted in June, 1941 in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. After basic training in Halifax, Sherbrooke, and Camp Borden, he sailed aboard the Louis Pasteur to England, arriving on December 23, 1941. Two weeks after the D-day raid, Mr. Cromwell arrived in France with the 2nd Division, Motor Transport. For the duration of the war, his unit was responsible for transporting fuel, food and ammunition to the Front in support of the Allied advance on Germany. After being discharged from the army and returning home, Mr. Cromwell, recently married, reenlisted because it was ‘steady work’. He and his family were to experience institutionalized racism in Halifax, being denied accommodations because of their black heritage. This in contrast to the fact that he felt equal in all respects as a member of the Army. Mr. Cromwell and his wife, Elizabeth, currently reside in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 30, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Everett Sylvester Cromwell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

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