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I Done the Best I Could!

Heroes Remember

I Done the Best I Could!

I done the best I could and tried to... as I say, you know, we thought we could go over there and finish it off in one day but it didn’t work that way but propaganda I guess, you know, especially I guess when you’re young you believe all of it and it gives you encouragement. I wouldn’t want to go through it again but I’m glad I went through it. Let’s put it down to experience. You grow up pretty fast. I always say everybody should spend a year in the army but, you know, with our rights and whatnot I don’t know if it helps that much either now. They got so many rights. When we were in the army they said jump and we asked how high. But now they have got so many rights, it’s a different world and we got to accept it and make the best of it. I think more than anything is when we went to Dieppe and to the cemetery like I knew a lot of the SSR’s, South Saskatchewan Regiment, that were buried there and a father with two or three children, he left those at home and Bill Knight was his name and ya there were quite a few I knew. Ya, that’s the sad part. It’s hard to explain but I think it’s wonderful the way they are trying to keep it up, you know, not let them know they done it for nothing.

Reflecting back on his service, Mr. Cole shares his perspective on time served and acceptance of what he and fellow comrades went through.

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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