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Joining Up!

Heroes Remember

Well my father often regaled us with stories of World War One and pre-war. He joined the regular army at the age of twenty one. The 4th Hussars which was Churchill’s regiment, of course. Then he was reposted to the 11th Hussars and he was in Ireland on the Kura, that was the Calvary’s school in Ireland, on the Kura. So I guess I was intrigued by all his stories and that was one thing. But what really happened I played soccer, football we called it on the west coast, same as in England. And I was playing at Royal Athletic Park one Saturday afternoon and a man came up to me after the game and he said, “How would you like to join the army?” Of course, that was 1935, the hungry thirties and there was no work, of course, and people just lazed around or looked for, if they could paint boats for a day and that would be about it. So I was sixteen at the time and he said, “Well, you have to be eighteen. Never mind, we’ll get around that.” So as it turned out by the time they got the wheels in motion I was seventeen years and three days when I joined the Patricia’s.

Mr. Wilkinson recalls the invitation he received one day after a casual game of soccer.

George Wilkinson

Mr. Wilkinson was born in England in 1918. Both his parents were from England. At the age of 16, Mr. Wilkinson was asked to join the infantry and at the age of 17 joined the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Division B Company. In 1939 he went overseas as a Lance Corporal in Transport Platoon of HQ Company. Having been wounded during training, Mr. Wilkinson found himself in a holding unit and with great anxiety for action, accepted an opportunity to become part of Provost Corps. Mr. Wilkinson joined No 2 Provost Company and served as a lieutenant landing in Normandy with No. 8 Company of Canadian Provost Company of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. Mr. Wilkinson was repatriated to Canada in May 1945 surrendering his wartime commission and enlisting with the Canadian Army as Regimental Sergeant-Major. After holding subsequent positions in the Army he retired in 1967 as lieutenant-colonel.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2012
Person Interviewed:
George Wilkinson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

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