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We Had Good Times Too

Heroes Remember

We Had Good Times Too

We had good times, too. One thing we looked forward to was coming out of the line to have a good clean up, and probably change of underclothes. Quite an experience, getting changed sometimes. We’d line up ... an old house, the windows taken out of, the sergeant there with different underclothes. You’d go up there and he’d hand you probably a suit of clothes that would, well, too big for me to put on and so I had to take it, that’s all there is to it, but it was clean that’s the main thing. Another thing, the regiment or the battalion, they all tried to arrange for some entertainment of some kind, to take care of the men coming out. So, some of these huts, like the YMCA hut and the Salvation Army and the different huts, they always had some entertainment of some kind. And they were very good, very good to us, especially the Salvation Army. They’d have sports, ‘cause we’d be off for probably a length of time, a little longer than usual, because other battalions come in to relieve us, you know. So we’d have all kinds of sports to take care of and we’d visit all these little ‘estamanies’, we called them. If we were anywheres near, we’d have to go and have a drink of some kind or something to eat, a little different than what we got in the army. So it was very, very good at times. But then, a time would come, though, that you were going to go back up again, and you’d start thinking about it. Well, when we come out we figured we knew we were going to go back in again. We might as well enjoy ourselves, so we’d have a lot of fun. We’d always look for a letter from home, and I know the folks back home were always looking for the same, looking to hear from us, see how we are getting on. Sometimes, we neglected a little, because we were busy doing something else. But we …from home, we generally got the odd … we looked forward to them, see how the family was doing.

Mr. Ford describes the more pleasurable aspects of life behind the lines.

George R. Ford

George Ford was born on March 19, 1897 in Barrie, Ontario. In 1899, his family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and, when his mother’s health started to fail, on to Victoria, British Columbia. Here, Mr. Ford studied mathematics and surveying, which resulted in employment with the provincial government in the mapping department. Against his parents wishes, he enlisted in 1916, joining the 103rd Infantry Battalion. Mr. Ford went overseas aboard the SS Mauritania, landing in Southampton, England, where he was deployed with the 54th Battalion. He later transferred to the Light Trench Mortar Battery. Mr. Ford saw action on many fronts, but only discussed Vimy in any detail. However, his clear perspective on the futility of war, death, mutual respect, honour, and patriotic duty, honed over a 102 year lifespan, are well worth the viewer’s attention. After the war, Mr. Ford returned to his job as a surveyor. He joined his local Veterans Association, and some time later, the Royal Canadian Legion, Victoria, B.C.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George R. Ford
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
103rd Infantry Battalion
Trench Mortar

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