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A Great Thing To Be A Soldier

Heroes Remember

A Great Thing To Be A Soldier

There was a lot of patriotism in those days. Many people thought about king and country, quite unusual for today but in those days. Many of the boys, just about all the boys on my street joined the military because they thought it was the thing to do just like I did. I didn’t join the regiment per say until I got to England. I took basic training in Brantford, Canada then advanced training in Camp Borden in Ontario and then I went to England after that for what they call battle training. And then they were asking for volunteers for the Royal Regiment and I volunteered myself. It was mainly weapons training, how to fire your rifle and how to fire Bren guns and it was pretty primitive, nothing very, efficiency with weapons and learning how to obey, “up two three, down two three”, that sort of stuff, you know, it was very, a new way of relating to officers and so on, making you a team, learning how to relate to your regiment when and if that happened. I found it very exciting actually; I found my days in those days as being in a movie because everything was moving fast and we were really received well by the population. Everywhere we went, if you were a soldier the girls came around and the boys thought we were heroes. And when we went to the union station in Toronto, coming to and from our camp, you were looked upon as somebody heroic. I think it’s usual for you today to think about that but in those days it really was a great thing to be a solider.

Mr. Preece shares his reasons for joining the service and the path of excitement and pride he experienced in being a soldier

John Preece

Mr. John Preece was born October, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario. Mr. Preece grew up without a father and at the very young age of fifteen left home and joined the Norwegian Merchant Marine. After some time, he decided to join the army, enlisted in Canada and travelled overseas where he then joined The Royal Regiment of Canada. As part of the infantry, Mr. Preece experienced combat and while in action became wounded which resulted in him being unable to continue active service. Mr. Preece returned to Canada after the war, achieved his grade 12 education and continued on to university. In 1959 he received his B.A.Sc. at University of Toronto, C.O.T.C. 2nd Lieutenant, a B.A. Arts (Psych) degree in 1971 and retired with a P. English. His career included many management positions in varied businesses. Mr. Preece is now retired and resides in Ottawa with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 30, 2015
Person Interviewed:
John Preece
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Regiment of Canada

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