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The Americans

First World War Audio Archive

Oh, the only ones we used to fight was the Americans. The reason

Picture of Soldier with his arms crossed.

for that was, where that come into being, we were getting a dollar and ten cents a day, that was our pay. But the Americans were getting about three dollars and ten cents a day. They were

Picture of Soldier looking directly at camera.

getting that much more money than we were getting. And they would go into a place and the place would begin charging more money for the Americans. And then we went in and we were being charged the same, but we weren’t getting the money they were getting. Now, the little hotels and all these sort of things, you know.

Serviceman wearing a tuxedo.

Oh God, we used to be madder than hell at them. Oh, we used to fight them. No, I’m not kidding you, we used to fight them. Well, they’d come into a place, maybe we were stationed in a little place like New Westminister or a small little place, you know, and we couldn’t buy anything there, we didn’t have

Veteran standing in front of other pictures.

the money. They had the money but we didn’t, you see. They’d been there before and, of course, it was the same price for us as it was for them.

Mr. Wood describes the animosity between Canadian and American soldiers, based on the higher wages earned by U.S. soldiers inflating prices beyond what most Canadian troops could afford.

Thomas Wood

Thomas Wood, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland was born on March 23, 1898 into a family of printers. His family emigrated to Canada shortly before the war and he grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. At age 16, in 1914, Mr. Wood left school and joined the recently mobilized 1st Battery in Ottawa, followed by training in Valcartier, and went to England in October, 1914. He then went to France in February, 1915, a member of the 57th Battery, 15th Field Artillery Brigade. Mr. Wood was involved in the Vimy bombardment, viewed German gassing technology at Ypres, and sustained a hip and leg wounds from shrapnel. After the war, he was a fixture maker and also a sign painter and lettering artist for Coca-Cola Co. for about 40 years. He was transferred to Toronto, then to Vancouver where he worked as the sign shop manager until retirement. He was married twice and had one son. Mr. Wood died on January 2nd, 1988 in Vancouver, BC.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Thomas Wood
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
15th Field Artillery Brigade

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