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Digging a Tunnel in Camp

Heroes Remember

Digging a Tunnel in Camp

Somebody told me when I was taken prisoner before we were registered, register as a corporal and you don’t have to go out on a working party. Now some of the corporals did go, you know, a lot of them wanted to get out of camp but I was too lazy, I guess, I stayed in camp so I never had to go out on a working party. In our camp they dug a tunnel and we used to tie our pant legs shut and put sand in our pants and we would walk around with Red Cross parcels full of sand and we would be dumping it out. They had good engineers. They dug this tunnel and come up behind the bush on the other side of the fence. Two guys escaped. It wasn’t that the camp was going to escape or anything. I guess it was something to do that we dug the tunnel and they got out and the one guy, he was a Swede, he got back to England and we heard a month or two after. The other guy we never did hear from.

Mr. Cole tells of his involvement in digging a tunnel and the perspective he had for taking part in this activity.

Elmer Cole

Mr. Elmer Cole was born in Roche Percee, Saskatchewan on December 22, 1919. At age 15 he started working and left school with a grade eight education. In 1940 he joined with the South Saskatchewan Regiment taking basic training in Winnipeg and in Feb. 41 he came back to Brandon, Manitoba for mechanical training, switching over to The Calgary Tanks as a trooper on the Churchill tanks. Mr. Cole travelled overseas to England where he was given more training until the summer of ’42 when the Dieppe Raid occurred. Mr. Cole fought through the battle only to surrender with other Canadian soldiers where he became a POW until ’45 when they were set free. After returning to Canada, Mr. Cole worked with the Department of National Defence, then carried on as a mechanic but with the strong desire to always be a wheat farmer, he and his wife bought a farm in Oak bank, Manitoba until he retired at the young age of 54. Mr. Cole and wife Isabel adopted two boys. Now widowed, Mr. Cole spends much of his time playing cards and socializing with residents of his retirement home as well as spending time with his grandchildren. In 2005 Mr. Cole was presented with an Honorary Life Member certificate of the Kiwanis Club in his local community. Presently, at age 97, Mr. Coles continues to enjoy a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Elmer Cole
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Tanks

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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