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Building Bridges Across the Orne River

Heroes Remember

Building Bridges Across the Orne River

When we went into France, yes, we were, we went in to the town of Caen and the Germans were on one, and we had bombed about three weeks before but they bombed only the one half of the town but that was to stop the Germans from coming through, it was like a hub, everything come to there and then they spread out along the coast and that was to stop their armour and supplies to come through that hub. So we went in there, it was nothing but rubble approximately ten or fifteen feet high so we had to go in there with dump trucks and shovels and stuff and dig a mile down to the river Orne. And the Germans were all on the other side in the church tower so every time we moved a vehicle or anything like that, they would mortar us all the time. We had infantry and that also in that area to protect us. Our main thing was to get that roadway down to the river where we could build a bridge, to put another bridge across the Orne river.

Moving into France, Mr. Sommerville describes building bridges so that the fighting could continue.

Donald Sommerville

Mr. Donald Sommerville was born September 19, 1922 in Chatham, Ontario. Mr. Sommerville grew up on a farm and attended public school. He and his buddies decided to join the army and left for overseas as part of the Royal Canadian Engineers. Mr. Sommerville became part of the 23rd Royal Canadian Engineers, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. He takes pride in the service provided as part of “Operation Duck” - an operation that lasted nine days before the war ended. Mr. Sommerville has returned to Holland for commemorative anniversaries. He now resides in Ontario with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 6, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Donald Sommerville
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Liberation of Holland
Candian Royal Corps of Engineers, Electricians and Mechanics, 2nd Tank Troop Workshop

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