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Dutch Living Conditions

Heroes Remember

Dutch Living Conditions

Interviewer: During that winter of 1944 - 45, how would you describe the conditions that the Dutch people were living under? Well they were living under pretty bad conditions. They were all living in the basements of their homes because of all the bombing and stuff like that and we took over their houses that they lived in, their houses, and they still lived in the basement. We were all treated good, we treated them good, we give them a lot of food, what we could scrounge and stuff like that. And they were in pretty bad shape in Holland for all because the Germans, where they was going they took everything that they had. Took all the, they had pigs and cows and stuff and hens and they just scooped them and took everything because they didn't have any grub themselves, the Germans took, they was taking everything away and left them with nothing. We talked to a displaced person there and there was a woman there with this little girl and her feet was all, pretty raw on the bottom and they said they had walked 10 miles to take them just to get a loaf of bread and the bottoms of her feet were just wore on the bottom. A little girl about 10, 11 years old. You know you see all that over there, the civilians really suffered in that war.

Mr. Cromwell speaks about the poor conditions of the Dutch after everything had been taken by the Germans.

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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