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Last 100 days of First World War

Heroes Remember

Last 100 days of First World War

Well we was up around Vimy and they were planning an attack down around the Amiens front and they moved the Canadian Corps from where we were down to the Amiens. We travelled at night and stayed in the woods in the daytime. It was supposed to be a surprise. Interviewer: And was it a surprise? Oh, yes they weren't expecting it at all. Interviewer: You made some great advances in that last few days. Oh, they did though. The surprise, we took them by surprise and they weren't ready for it, you know. They didn't have the troops in place to withstand the attack, the amount of men that they had against them. That was the beginning of the end. From then on it was just, you might be held up for awhile but after a few days, you'd advance a little further. Interviewer: So then you knew for sure that it was going to end soon. Well at the rate we were going, it had to. Interviewer: When did you think the war was going to end? Well I, I couldn't say that. Interviewer: When you found out the war had, or was going to end, what was your reaction? Huh, well everybody was tickled to death, all ready to go home. Interviewer: Did you know well in advance that the war was going to end on November 11th? NO Interviewer: It just happened. It just happened. In fact, I was, I was, I didn't know when the war did end. I was away from my unit at the time. We were putting in a, we had a bunch of Chinese workers and there was three of us Canadians, in charge of the Canadians, of the Chinese putting in a, a plank roadway, for a dump. The trucks would come in you know, and dump the stuff off, and then the wagons would come in over the road, load the stuff on and carry it up to the front. Well we were putting in the plank roadway when the war ended. We didn't know it. Interviewer: But you found out soon enough? Oh, yes. Everything was quiet, we couldn't understand what the trouble was. And there was a canteen just a short way, a YMCA canteen a little over from where we were working and I went over there and they told me the war was over. Interviewer: And what was your reaction? We just quit working and went back to our units. Interviewer: How soon after that were you able to come back to Prince Edward Island? Oh, we went through to Germany in the army of occupation. I didn't get back til June of 1919. Interviewer: In the army of occupation, what was that like? Well, we went through to, we went to Cologne is where my unit went, on the Rhine river, the city of Cologne, you've perhaps heard it? Interviewer: Yes. What was the reaction of the German population to your arrival? Oh, they used us good, they used us good. Well, I'll tell you. The last day in March, I was taking the taking the mumps, and the next day I reported sick and there was no, no place to put me. (Inaudible). It was contagious of course, and they put me in a German home. Interviewer: So these, these German, this German family took care of you... That, German woman looked after me. Interviewer: Well, so she obviously didn't seem to hold any grudge against you as a Canadian? No. She held, she used me as good as she could. I couldn't have been used any better.

The last one hundred days of the First World War are remembered by Mr. Lidstone.

Harold Lidstone

Harold Lidstone was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on March 4, 1896. He moved, with his family, to Prince Edward Island around 1905 where his father began a farm operation at Mount Royal, PEI. At the age of 19, Mr. Lidstone went to Summerside to enlist in the Canadian Army, joining the 82nd Battalion which became the 105th Battalion comprised entirely of men from Prince Edward Island.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harold Lidstone
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
82nd Battalion

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