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Video montage - Christmas remembered


George MacDonell - The Royal Rifles: I always told my men this is all temporary. We're going to be out of here by Christmas.

Bert Diamond - Royal Canadian Army Service Corps: We had a lot of married people. It was hard on them, being away over Christmas.

Benoît Roy - Fusiliers Mont-Royal: Well, we used to sing "I'll be home before christmas" 1945 ... we sang that.

Albin Zarowny - Three Rivers Regiment: All we got was one can of Irish stew, in a can thrown to us : Here you are that’s your Christmas dinner’ because we were up on the front line, you see.

Herbert Pitts - Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry: It seemed like Christmas and it didn’t seem like Christmas. It was too far from home, too much danger, a lot of discomfort.

René Lanouette - Régiment de la Chaudière: We had our famous Christmas in the trenches. Christmas in a trench is not funny because that night, a light snow was falling, just enough to cover the ground, and we said : ‘Back home it’s Midnight Mass." All of a sudden, in the loud speakers, the Germans played ‘Holy Night’ and ‘Lili Marlene’ and all those things. It was tough.

Kathleen Jean MacAulay - Canadian Army Medical Corps: We were promised that we would have turkey and a real Canadian Christmas dinner. We were the last to get there. One of the girls said : ‘Those pots sound empty!’ And we said no, they couldn’t be! She said ‘It seems there is nothing left! We said this is Christmas, there will be enough left for us. Got down to the bottom and there was nothing for the four of us or six of us, they were just empty!

Charles Trudeau - Royal 22e Régiment: The Allied soldiers started shooting phosphorus bombs of different colours, blue, red, yellow, it was quite a… but after that you start thinking.

Maurice White - Loyal Edmonton Regiment: My position was up in the roof of a house like in the attic of the house and I had knocked the brick out, I was doing observation up there. And a German soldier come out and I had to shoot him on Christmas day, that bothers me so much.

Mike Desmeules - Canadian Armed Forces: Christmas night, one of the soldiers that we had with us committed suicide... and that really affected us.

George Peterson - Winnipeg Grenadiers: Christmas morning dawn, we got up, the Japanese brought a tree in which we decorated, they brought a couple of big long tables in which we put some of these linen sheets on, then they brought in a few loaves of bread, extra rice, oranges, even 24 quarts of beer. They lined us all up around the table, took pictures then took the whole damn thing out again.

Noel Knockwood - 1st Field Regiment: We used to play Christmas carols over the wireless sets and over the system set we had. You could hear Christmas carols in the front lines! And that kind a made you feel nice that it was Christmas day. At least we’re not fighting, at least it’s peaceful today.

Benoît Roy - Fusiliers Mont-Royal: On Christmas Day 1945, when I came back to Canada, this was a lively Christmas full of joy, full of love.. you can’t imagine what it is compared to the one you had spent before. It was day and night.

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