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Heroes Remember

Well, being young, we really didn't know the real danger. We thought it was a big joke, more, more than anything. We wasn`t afraid. We came sort of... oh, living in a hole in the ground, oh, it was great, living like a little puppy. Interviewer: Do you remember where you went first? Oh, we went different...oh, yeah, we used to, we used to stay around Lens and a around the various districts. But this is before Vimy, Avion. (Inaudible). That used to be our, we used to go out there and sleep in the barns in them little wire racks. You know, little chicken wire (inaudible). Oh, that was great. Interviewer: When you first, when you first got there, Mr Evans, what was the morale like of the soldiers of the Canadian Corps? Oh, we thought we was something. We, we could beat the world. We had no, no... we didn't realize what we was in, to tell you the truth. That's honestly speaking. We thought it was more fun than it was a disaster until you got a bump. Interviewer: Do you remember the first engagement you had with the enemy. Do you remember the first time you went into battle? Oh, yes, ya over the top. Oh yes, it was quite a thing. You feel like a million dollars, you feel as though you could beat the world. We used to get an extra shot of rum. Interviewer: What do you remember about going over the top and crossing No Man's Land? It's hard to describe, you get that sort of killer instinct in you, you know, and you, you think you can beat the other guy, and that's the main thing, you see. Oh, you gotta, it comes to you, you have a job to do and you do it. You don't realize what's around you until you, until one of them closes too close to you and tells you it's pretty dangerous. But, being young, you don't realize the danger. That's about as far as I could put it. Interviewer: You saw friends of yours killed? (Pardon?) You saw friends of yours killed, Mr Evans? Oh yeah, oh gosh yeah. Yes, I've seen them. Well I don't think there's any left of the five of us that transferred to the Rangers in Val Cartier. I think I'm the only one that come out. Oh, they drift away one at a time, you know, killed off. One was wounded, one at a time. But, oh it was a case of every man for himself. You jumped over the top and you jumped into the trench and if there was any anybody there you'd put him away. And sometimes you, there was a, you say to yourself in comfort. You know, you'd get a little upset and wicked but all in all, they would just surrender and we used to take them prisoner and you'd get a, get detail to pick them up and take them back to the line. But the whole thing, I don't know, seems to be as though, as a useless, useless. You get so used of the shell fire and the noise it's, it's outrageous. You sort of get, I don't know what you, what you call that. You see, it's just a big game. That's truthfully, truthfully speaking. You see, it's a big game. You don't realize that it's another man's life your taking, you know. But I didn't do too much of the shooting. I got that job and I, I stuck to it and I thought it was a great thing for me.

Mr. Evans remembers his first day in the trenches at the front. He served with his unit as a runner.

Fred Evans

Fred Evans was born on August 15, 1897 in London, England. He moved to Montreal with his family in 1910, where his father was a baker. He had two brothers and five sisters. Mr. Evans was 101 years old when this interview was recorded with him in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1998.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Fred Evans
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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