Noel Knockwood

A residential school survivor, Noel Knockwood enlisted with the Canadian Army, served during the Korean War and went on to become the Sergent-at-arms in Nova Scotia.

Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia

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Korean War

Mr. Knockwood was born in the Sipekne'katik (Indian Brook) First Nation in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, July 17, 1932. He received his early education at Shubenacadie Residential School. At the suggestion of his older brother, a Second World War Veteran, he joined the Canadian Army in 1951. He signed up for the artillery and received his basic training in Shilo, Manitoba. During this training he received courses on atomic, biological and chemical warfare. He was just 18 years old when he went overseas to fight in Korea and was there for 413 days. Upon returning from Korea, Mr. Knockwood taught small arms artillery and became a drill sergeant.

After six years of serving in the military, Mr. Knockwood furthered his education graduating with a major in Sociology from St. Mary's University. He went on to teach at Dalhousie University and St. Mary's University and was a guest lecturer at several other universities in the Maritimes. A well respected Mi'kmaq Spiritual Elder, he received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Heritage and Spirituality in 2002. From 2000 to 2005, he served as the Sergeant-at-Arms for the province of Nova Scotia.


Heroes Remember interview

View all of Noel Knockwood's videos
Hill 355 - HTML5 Transcript/Captions

Interviewer: You mentioned before,

the children in the different villages and

what were your memories.

But what are also your memories of

the various battles, do you have other

memories that maybe some of them

might not be as good of memories?

Yeah, I think it was October 1951

when Canada, Canadian Army was

bombarded by the opposition and

the military bombarded the Canadian

troops to a degree where we had to

retaliate and I remember being called

to the back to my gun which we had at

that time were 105 howitzers.

And we began to fire, counterfire onto

the enemy, and the situation was on

what they called Hill 355.

And over there, because the Koreans had

Korean names for the hills and when the

Americans came they used numbers for the

hills and the number came from the

elevation of the height of that hill.

So 355 was a hill that was 355 metres high

and that was the location where the

Canadian troops were and had to hold

that position when the north Koreans

began to bombard that.

They really shelled it for a long,

long time and we sent the troops in

the next morning and we counter

attacked at that time.

And we held that position.

So, what happened after that was when,

when we used to meet up with the

infantry boys and go back on leave or

something like that, you know,

they would really, really accept us as

real brothers because you know they often

told us that ‘If it weren't for the artillery,

we wouldn't be here today. Thank you!'.

And they would give that kind of messages

to us that made us feel very proud.


Where they served


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