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That was Paddy Joe . . . He’d Been Blown to Bits

Heroes Remember

That was Paddy Joe . . . He’d Been Blown to Bits

My men, we worked hard. The only thing, one day somebody passed on to me that Sergeant Long had been killed. He was my best pal, we had been together for many . . . I learned quite a bit from this Irishmen. He was known as Paddy Joe, and well I, I just went out of my cotton picking mind. I went looking over, he was around Mount Cameron. And I thought, if I can go there and probably change that information. But when I arrived there I thought I’d look for someplace where other people wouldn't look. That was my way of doing things, finding things that people can’t. My guardian saint is the Sacred Heart and I wear it all the time and I found a boot and our boot on this side of it was our regimental number. And this boot was five, H6005, that was Paddy Joe. He had been blown to bits. I don’t know what happened for maybe three days. But I came back to my lines and my corporals and my men did well even though I wasn’t . . . suddenly, when I came to, they had done exactly what I would have asked them to do. Lucky. Canadians.

Mr. Bérard describes his desperate individual search for his closest friend but finding only his boot. He commends his men for holding their position in his absence.

Léo Paul Bérard

Léo Paul Bérard was born in Ste Anne des Chenes, Manitoba, in 1915. He was one of only four of the family’s thirteen children to survive. His father was a farm and forest worker. Mr. Bérard studied carpentry in school, and helped his crippled brother to learn the trade. In 1933, he enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers to join their ball team - he was given the rank of corporal. He pursued extensive NCO training, attaining the rank of sergeant. Mr. Bérard offers us a view of the Honk Kong/Japan internment through the eyes of a soldier who deeply respected his officers and men, and who was in turn respected by them. Many of his clips include very personal references of this sort. After returning from the war, Mr. Bérard remained in the Army, where he trained soldiers for the Korean deployment.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Léo Paul Bérard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Platoon Leader

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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