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Along the Normandy Beach

Heroes Remember

Along the Normandy Beach

I went in as a reinforcement officer and a day or two after I got there the mounted police provost marshal from 21 Army Group came to this reinforcement building and he said, “Have you got any provost officers here?” And they said, “Ya, one.” He said, “I want to borrow him and keep him until he gets posted to a division or whatever.” So I was loaned to him and I helped, oh I have a map, traffic control map which is a bunch of arrows, you wouldn’t understand what it is, it’s what we call a trace. You put it under a talk(sp) and then you trace it onto the, then you pull it out and there it is on, all the arrows are on the map on the roads, one way roads. Because Normandy was filled with cars, trucks, tanks, you name it. And it was nose to tail, there were just inching along and, of course, the Germans when they could get there aircraft (sp) which they didn’t have many left I guess, they shot them up pretty good if they could and, of course, they were sitting targets, they couldn’t move. Anyway, that’s what we were doing, all the traffic control. And, of course, it was only about eight miles deep you know so it was under fire all the time. And pointsman, we left them on points, they would be there for days and we used to take food to them, the units did and they were Canadians and Brits and all sorts of people on the traffic control. And these guys had slit trenches beside their point which they had to dive in every once in a while when the mortars came over, the shells. So it was pretty hairy for them. And that’s what we were doing for a month or so and eventually I was posted to 4th Armoured Division, No. 8 Provost Company.

Mr. Wilkinson provides detail of his duties with No. 8 Company while serving in Normandy.

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

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