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I Don’t Consider I was Very Patriotic

Heroes Remember

I Don’t Consider I was Very Patriotic

I used to go on parade every Remembrance Day when I was in the militia. I used to march to the, and I’d do a lot of thinking, and I have some tears sometimes on Remembrance Day, thinking about guys that were killed. But, recent years, getting old, I have a hernia and I have chronic bronchitis and I have quite a bit of depression by times. I don’t bother much for Remembrance Day these days. I can remember without Remembrance Day. I don’t consider I was very patriotic, and, but I did try to do my duty, and once you get in the service I might advise them to do the best they could and do their duty, but I wouldn’t attempt to advise them about patriotism, or being patriotic. Well, as I say, I was a little concerned and a little shocked that Canada even went into World War II. They didn’t go into it until about a week after Britain went in - I think it was around the tenth of September, Britain went in the third or something - and they just simply, as I understand it, went in to help Britain and support the mother country. To me that’s bull. We were only about, what 11 or 12 million in those days? And now we’re 30 odd million. Quite different. We’re not a colony anymore and if Britain became involved in a war today, they did send troops down to Iraq. Our government didn’t rally to support them like they did in 1939. So that’s the way I look at it. The brass, Mackenzie King and, he was supposed to be a bit off anyway, but he was Prime Minister at the time, and I don’t think they should have got into World War II. They could have stayed out of it, I think, if the brass had of decided. The States didn't get into it until Dec. 41after the japs bombed and then the Jerries sunk one of their ships and they got into it against Germany but they stayed out of it a couple of years. So, if I had a bunch of young fellas, that’s what I would try to advise them, to do their duty the best they could, but I’d steer clear of patriotic bull, I call it.

Mr. Barron reflects on Remembrance Day and the fact that it wasn’t necessarily patriotism which induced him to enlist.

Reginald Roy Barron

Reginald Ray Barron was born in Greenfield, Hants Co., Nova Scotia, in 1922. His father was a farmer and a sawyer in the local lumber mill. As the only boy, Mr. Barron was expected to do much of the farm work; being tied down from dawn to dusk all year long didn’t appeal to him. He therefore lied about his age to enlist in June 1940, thus escaping his “primitive life on the farm.” After a short stint in the Princess Louise Fusiliers, he joined the Royal Canadian Artillery, with whom he spent two years in Newfoundland involved in coastal defense against the German Navy. Wanting to get overseas, in June 1944, he responded to a call for volunteers to join the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, with whom he served until war’s end. Mr. Barron saw limited action, only having been in Europe for the final two months of the war. He was wounded in the leg while in action. After returning home and before hostilities ended, he volunteered to go to Japan with his Battalion. Mr. Barron returned to school and studied law.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Reginald Roy Barron
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

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