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Role as a Battlefield Leader

Heroes Remember

Role as a Battlefield Leader

As a battlefield leader, you are very concerned about, “Are we going to the right place? Are we in the right location? Am I reading the map properly? Do I have enough ammunition? Do I have enough water? What'll I do about food? How will I evacuate the wounded?” You know, you have so much to think about and to worry about. You don't really have very much time for any reflection about how you feel about anything. In the morning you're given your orders, you are to go to a certain place and to accomplish certain objectives and then from then on, leaders on the battlefield have got to make sure of these things: food, water, ammunition, removal of the wounded, escape routes and so on. And the awful fear that you might be in the wrong place. You know, that you're not sure where you are. So you have a lot to think about. You don't have time to... in that kind of a battle that's night and day, there's no time for reflection. You know, you get your orders and your whole focus is on how do we carry out these orders.

Mr. MacDonell speaks about the fact that there was not a lot of time for reflection.

George MacDonell

Mr. MacDonell was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 15, 1922. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his uncle and family. In 1939, he ran away from home and made the decision to join the army. Mr. MacDonell served as Company Sergeant Major during the Battle of Hong Kong and in 1941 was captured and was a POW for four years. Post-military, Mr. MacDonell earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto and went on to have a successful business career. Mr. MacDonell is very active in his city and very proud of having served. Mr. MacDonell is retired and resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George MacDonell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Vehicle Technician

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