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Enjoying every minute of his service

Heroes Remember

Enjoying every minute of his service

We saw, to tell you the truth, we saw a lot of fellas who were bandaged here or bandaged there, you know, on leave or something. But it didn’t seem to fizz on us, because we didn’t give it a thought about the war, doing’ that. Not a thought. Sure, you have accidents, that’s what we put it down to - accidents. But we were young and enjoyed every minute of it. You know, the different part of life. But we soon forgot about that. I know there was a sergeant there, in uniform. He was in charge of the whole deal, I think he was - tell the fellas where you’re going to go and how many had to go this way and so on and so on. Wasn’t very pleasant, those memories. You soon forget about the early days. Of course, so many after that to take the place of. A little, or maybe a little louder or maybe more excitement to it or something. Excitement, we got that later on, don’t worry. Yeah, we sure did.

Mr. Peterson describes the light-hearted attitude of Canadian soldiers new to France, and how they got a sense of reality after being moved to the front.

Robert Peterson

Robert Peterson was born in Edmonton, Alberta on January 7, 1899. He was the eldest son. His father was a paper mill worker, but enlisted at the outbreak of international hostilities in 1914. Despite being repatriated in 1915 due to being wounded, Mr. Peterson’s father did not try to discourage his son from enlisting. Robert Peterson eventually joined the 202 Sportsmans Battalion in Edmonton and describes basic training as little more than “route marching and sore feet”. Aged ninety-nine at the time of his interview, Mr. Peterson still remembers several aspects of his service overseas. He discusses Canada’s maturation as a military force at Vimy, describes being partially blinded in a gas attack, and finishes with a compelling reflection on patriotism.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Peterson
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
Canadian Corps

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