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God, the machine gun bullets!

Heroes Remember

God, the machine gun bullets!

Ahead of us was the 72nd Highlanders. That’s the Canadian Highlanders, and they, they had to attack the railroad and they lost so many men, they refused to go any farther. And the sergeant was cursing them, calling them everything you could imagine. Because they would not get up and go. They were laying there. There were as many dead men as there was live. God, the machine gun bullets, whew! They come through there two thousand rounds a minute, machine guns. And they caught us. And we were going into a town and the machine guns were right there waiting for us. And they turn the machine guns on there and I got, funny thing, but I got hit in the hand. I was in hospital in France for about a month. And, oh I don’t know, they amputated my finger and they didn’t leave enough flesh to cover the bone and by the time I got to England, oh, it was a terrible mess, and they amputated again. And I was there six and a half months, just for a lousy little finger.

Mr. Joslin describes the action at Cambrai that saw the Canadian Highlanders decimated by German machine gunners. He describes being wounded in the hand and complications arising from having a finger amputated.

Maurice Joslin

Maurice Joslin was born in England in 1893. As a youth, he was very musical and learned to play the bugle while in the Boy Scouts. He later bought an Army bugle from an Army Surplus store in London. His family emigrated to Canada, settling in Southern Manitoba. Lured by the local minister, the family moved to the area of North Battleford as homesteaders. Mr. Joslin enlisted at Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, joining the 38th Battalion as a Bugler. In this role he received no basic training whatsoever, even after his arrival in England. His voyage overseas was an eventful one. His vessel sank a German submarine off the coast of Ireland. Mr. Joslin reveals the details of the carnage and his wounding at the battle of Cambrai, with the resulting amputation of his finger. Following his return to Canada, he worked as a car salesman in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. Remarrying after the death of first wife, Mr. Joslin moved to Penticton, British Columbia where his wife had been hired as a teacher. Mr. Joslin has been actively involved in Canadian Veteran’s organisations and is a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Maurice Joslin
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
38th Battalion
Bugler / Runner

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