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Service as a Drummer

Heroes Remember

Service as a Drummer

We still had the training to undertake for people that would be classed as bandsmen. And there were a lot of people that fit into the category that might be called non-combatant as distinct from combatant. Even in a regiment you can have a combatant regiment you could have non- combatant people that are essential, you know, they do their job, the medical people, the drivers. It’s not the hot war, it’s the getting ready for the hot war. The hot war took place in June. But don’t forget when you are in England for three years, or two years, or six months, you could have gotten whacked with a flying bomb or anything else. That’s not something to be sneezed at because military,army, air force, and navy people that were in London or around in London suffered the same way that the London people could have getting blasted and bombed, you know, until that part of the stuff was over with. So you can say that a piper and drummer is a non-combatant person in a combatant unit but there’s another factor to it as well and I happen to fit into this category not because I am a piper or drummer but because it just happens that if you have a thousand men say in a battalion. Now for example, I was with the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders, we were brigaded as the 9th Canadian so-called Highland Brigade, the only one in the Canadian Army and it was made up of the Highland native country of Canada, the North Nova Scotia from Nova Scotia, North Nova Scotia Highlanders and the SDG and we were the 9th Highland Brigade. And that establishment, there are pipers and drummers and there are people that are part of that thousand but maybe eight hundred of them are the ones that went in on D-Day. The other two hundred had to wait their chance to replace the ones that were killed in action, died of wounds and you go and do your job.

Mr. Fowler defines his role as a drummer within the regiment and the significance combatant and non-combatant soldiers play during wartime service.

Donald Fowler

Mr. Donald Fowler was born November 7, 1925 in Peterborough, Ontario. At the age of 12, he became a bandsman bugler with the Princess of Wales Own Regiment (MG) and at this time became war-trained at Connaught Rifle Ranges in Ottawa firing Vickers machine-guns and 303 rifles. Still in his teens, Mr. Fowler enlisted in the army as a private soldier with the 1st Battalion Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. Mr. Fowler served during wartime as a drummer yet managed to see a great deal of action and combat up close and personal. Fowler holds great pride for his service and is deeply proud of his Metis heritage. He has had many opportunities to travel back to France and Holland to commemorate significant anniversaries. After the war, Mr. Fowler continued to play in the Queen's University pipe-band and later in other community pipe-bands. Discharged in August 1945, Mr. Fowler went back to school and ended up obtaining an education at Queens University holding under graduate standing in Honours Social Behaviour toward a multi-disciplinary study in Sociopsychobiology. Mr. Fowler held a career with GTE (General Telephones and Electronics Corporation). He is now retired and resides in Brockville, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 28, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Donald Fowler
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders

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