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Unexpectedly Meeting My Brother

Heroes Remember

Unexpectedly Meeting My Brother

It’s an unusual situation when you know someone wants to kill you. And I think, why me, you know, what did I do? And yet we know the cause was right but wanted to kill Hitler and his group not a bunch of boys my own size, my own age and stuff, you know, who wanted to kill me and who were better at it then I was , we were because they were experienced. Man the Jerry’s in those days, they had come from many who had lots of experience. And we still had heard the stories, as you know, the stories of them killing Canadian prisoners not too long before. So we began to get toughened up. After that you are numb until you got hit. I mean, I didn’t have to get hit when I did because I did something stupid. I picked up a Bren gun and started firing at somebody a couple of hundred yards away. They weren’t bothering me why didn’t I leave well enough alone? And, of course, when you are firing a machine gun then all snipers are out, wanting to get you and that’s when I got hit. But then I went to England and one of the interesting side of things, when I went to England, I was in England for a while in a big cast and everything and lying in bed one day and a guy walked past me and you know who it was, it was my brother. He was wounded in Italy in the legs and he didn’t even know I was in the military. The first thing he says, “What the hell are you doing here?” Isn’t that a scream? Ralph, Ralph Preece. He was in the Renfrew Scottish Regiment and he’s dead now, of course, he was six years older than me.

Unbelievable as it may seem, Mr. Preece shares the experience he had in meeting his brother in hospital; neither one aware the other joined up!

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
Liberation of Holland
Royal Regiment of Canada

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