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The Dutch People Love Us!

Heroes Remember

The Dutch People Love Us!

I have never experienced such whole heartedly, so whole hearted appreciation from a group of people. They all were the same and they just love us. , Last one or two times we’ve been there we’re still getting phone calls from them, from all the way from Holland. They can hardly speak English but they just want to talk to me and there’s a certain primitive, I don’t know, soul searching feeling they have about us. Although our boys are buried there, it’s a loving situation. This is loving grounds. These people care. They still give them flowers, they look after their graves, many of them, and this is no joke with them. We don’t know what it feels like to have the Germans or any group occupying you and treating you badly. Like we were in a little town called Deventure which is not that far from wherever we were going and they had seven young boys were killed by the Germans in the street and they have a ceremony I think once a year or something and they commemorate the death of these young boys. So you know how they feel, they feel terrible. And we came, there’s a woman told me, she said when the Canadians came over that bridge, you Canadians came over that bridge there, she said I thought I was in heaven, I thought God had come, finally come down, just we Canadians. I don’t know it’s a wonderful feeling to have, I feel very grateful.

Mr. Preece expresses the deep sense of gratitude the Dutch people have for the Canadian soldiers like himself and the care and upkeep of graves given to the Veterans who are laid to rest in their cemeteries

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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