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On Duty for a Reason!

Heroes Remember

On Duty for a Reason!

We were stationed not too far from a place called South Hampton, we used to all go down to the dance hall. We'd be all fooling around, dancing carrying on raising the devil so there was this corporal, so when we went on duty, we'd go on for the weekend, you'd go on from Friday night until Monday morning. And see the army said if someone did something wrong, if they ordered you to do something that wasn't right, you'd do it and then complain after. So three weekends right behind each other I was on weekend duty so my buddy was saying, "Hey, Cromwell, how come you are on duty, this is your third weekend?" So I said, "Well, I was told so I'll do the duty." First thing Monday morning I went and the same corporal that was giving out the, he was the one that gives you the duties eh. I stopped and said, "I'd like to see the sergeant please." "What for?" I said, "I just want to talk to the sergeant." "You can't see the sergeant until you tell me what for." And the sergeant was in back and he said, "What's the trouble, Cromwell?" I said, "Can I speak to you,sergeant?" "Yes, come on in!" I said, "I just came off duty." I said, "This was my third weekend." "What?" I said, "Yes." "Can you prove that?" I said, "Well," I said, "it's on the orders there." He looked at it and he called the corporal in, "Can you explain to me why this man, why this soldier took three weekends in a row?" Well, he stammered and went on and everything and he said, "Cromwell, you can go now." And he told the corporal, "You stay here," and I stopped to listen and he gave him the devil, up hill and down! He says, "Next time that soldier goes on duty I will say so." I didn't go on duty I think it was about a month afterwards. The guys were saying, "Hey, what did you do?" "I don't know." So next time one of my good buddy's told me, he said, the guy was mad, he said, "Remember that girl kept coming and asking you to dance and stuff like this, that was the corporal's girlfriend." I said, "Oh that's why he kept me on duty." Things like that would happen, you know, it's just a little trouble to get into.

Mr. Cromwell tells a humourous story of how the Corporal kept him on duty and away from the dance hall!

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
Person Interviewed:
Everett Sylvester Cromwell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

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