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I had no idea of the danger.

Heroes Remember

I had no idea of the danger.

We took a troop train down to Halifax and there was a boat waiting, a troop boat, you know. And when we got down there some man said, “Thank God you've come, we're waiting for you girls to get aboard so we can go on.” They were waiting, a convoy was waiting for us which we didn't know anything about at all but we got on our troop ship. We were on a lovely ship. I think it was the Sterling Castle, one of the Castle boats but it wasn't a passenger boat anymore. It was made into a troop ship where there would be about seven or eight or ten beds in one cabin, you know. I didn't mind it, we couldn't go on deck and wander around. We had to get off the deck after daylight and we had boat drill and the first explosion we heard, we thought oh dear they're bombing us but it wasn't that, we were sending off depth charges because of submarines. But we were across before we knew what was going on, I don't think we had any idea of the dangers that we were going over. But I enjoyed the trip across, I always enjoyed the sea anyway, I had no idea of the dangers until later.

Ms. Whittaker describes a relatively peaceful crossing to England, even though depth charges were occasionally fired off to thwart submarines.

Geraldine Whittaker

Geraldine Whittaker was born on March 12, 1915 in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. Her father was the local doctor, and she would accompany him on his rounds. Ms. Whittaker decided to become a nurse after graduating from school, entering the nursing program at Montreal General Hospital. In 1937, after three years of training, she decided to enlist in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. After war was declared, Ms. Whittaker went to England where she served in hospitals at Farnborough and Horley. She was deployed to North Africa, but her ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea. Rescued personnel were landed in Naples, Italy. Ms. Whittaker served in a hospital in nearby Caserta for eight months. She volunteered for service in France, was transferred there, and later served in Belgium and Holland. After her return to Newfoundland, Ms. Whittaker continued her nursing career.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Geraldine Whittaker
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

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