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Dead Livestock and Dysentery

Heroes Remember

Dead Livestock and Dysentery

When I was in Caen there, I got dysentery and I had to stay in a trench for, like he said, the officer said, “Well, all I can do is give you this,” like, there was a chalk sort of thing and you eat, we had hard biscuits that we used to eat, used to suck on them and chew them and eat them, but that was the worst part of, one of the worst parts of my life was four or five days. I was useless. You know, I couldn’t, if you would’ve come along, if a kid would come along I had no, hardly any strength left, you know, just everything went straight through us like water. But that’s the problem, you see, was the water there cause there was no, you know there was so much, there was a lot of dead animals too, you know, like cows and horses and stuff that had been killed and nobody picked them up. They were just left and the flies, you’d hear the flies buzzing, you know. Of course and then when it was in the heat, in the summer, like that was in June and July, you know, it was quite warm. And at night the humidity would get so high that you know, the air would almost get, you know, thick. You almost thought it was thick you know.

Mr. Bruce describes the impact of dead livestock on local water supplies, and speculates that this carnage was responsible to some extent for the dysentery experienced by many of the troops.

Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce was born on February 11, 1922 at Sturgeon Valley, Saskatchewan. He was the second youngest of eight children. After they were forced to sell their farm when his mother was widowed, the community built Mr. Bruce’s family a new house across from the local school. He left school at fourteen, didn’t qualify academically for the air force, and eventually joined the army, where he served as a truck driver. Mr. Bruce served in post D-Day Europe from France to Germany. After the war, he returned to Canada and worked on the railroad.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Bruce
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Normandy
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
Truck Driver

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