Language selection


Father Would Have Been Proud

Heroes Remember

Father Would Have Been Proud

The first thing I did was ask my dad if it was okay if I joined up and he said, “If I was young enough I would go with you!” and he would have. So I wanted to be a tank driver and they tried to get me to go in the infantry and I said no. Anyway they shipped me off to the armored corps school in Camp Borden for basic training and did that for eight weeks and then they moved me down to the regiment and I was there for about a year and that's when they shipped me off over to Germany because we couldn't go to Korea because the Strathcona's were there so they formed a special squadron to go with NATO over to Germany to stare down the Russians. But then we had a shock. The first year when I was just getting ready to come home on embarkation leave to go to Germany, I was going to be off for a month. The day before, I was on parade and after dinner and the sergeant says, "Blake report to the orderly room, you got a phone call!" I thought, “Who could be calling me, you know?” So I got over there and they said you have to phone Operator 9 in Belleville. So I did, I phoned Operator 9 in Belleville and then I got the shock of my life. My oldest sister came on the line and she said, "Jim, dad’s dead!" Just like that, bang, right out. Well, you could have knocked me down. And it really hurt, you know, so... So I finally got home and everything else, you know, before the funeral and that whole bit but I think he would have liked to see me go because he was happy to see me go in the army in the first place, eh? So at least I had some time with him like that before I got out or before he went.

Eager to join the service, Mr. Blake speaks about his decision to join and with his dad's passing, realizes that he made the right choice.

James Blake

Mr. James Blake was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1931, a time during Canada’s depression. Following in his father’s footsteps Mr. Blake decided to join the military. He became part of the Armoured Corps holding rank of corporal. Throughout his military time, Mr. Blake had an opportunity to deploy overseas to Crypus. Now retired, Mr. Blake enjoys life and remains active in his community. Being part of the Canadian delegation in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is an honour for Mr. Blake and he holds a great deal of pride for his service and for all who served to earn the freedom we share today.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 8, 2017
Person Interviewed:
James Blake
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: