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You never know your luck

First World War Audio Archive

You never know your luck

You’ll get scared alright. You never know. We’ve had boys in our

Two Soldiers reading the newspaper.

battery that, well, they got talking about death and one thing or

Soldiers smoking and reading letters from home.

another. Several of them says they ain’t gonna come through. They figured though they ain’t going to come through,

Soldiers drinking coffee and eating.

well they didn’t. I know two in particular. One was a kind of a

Dead Soldiers lying on the ground with weapons and helmets as their crosses.

carpenter, used to make crosses for those fellas that did die or killed. He made a mistake on one of them there and he had to make

Soldier on stretcher carried by his comrades taken to be buried.

another one. Well, that other one he was making was for himself, and he didn’t know it though. And the other fella, he was killed,

Soldiers marching in single file.

he was a Newfoundlander. He always figured he wasn’t going to

Soldiers walking in an extended line, finding dead soldier.

come through, and I happened to be handy to him when he was killed. Three of us was going up to the top of Vimy Ridge to see

Soldiers continuing to march.

what was on the other side. Well, the Germans were firing shells

Artillery gun being fired.

at the time but they were all going way back overhead. We figured it was safe to go. Well, we hadn’t gone far when one of those shells was coming right for us. I dropped to the ground

Soldier taking cover in a trench.

and I guess perhaps the other did, I don’t know, but the middle

Burial ceremony for fallen Soldier.

fella was killed. So, you never know your luck.

Mr. Turner discusses the fatalism that crept into the soldiers’ conversations, and gives a couple examples of predictions of death coming true

Brenton Harold Turner

Brenton Harold (Jack) Turner was born in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island on September 24, 1889. His father was a general merchant, and he worked in the family business. Mr. Turner enlisted in Charlottetown on September 25, 1915. He sailed to England aboard the Lapland, arriving in December, 1915. He trained in Horsham, and then went into action as a Corporal in the 2nd Canadian Siege Battalion, arriving in France in May, 1916. Mr. Turner saw action at the Somme, Vimy and Passchendaele. Despite orders to turn in all cameras, Mr. Turner smuggled a German-built 2" x 3" format camera in his clothes behind the front lines and took approximately 100 photographs from the war zone. After the war, he returned to Canada aboard the Mauritania, married, and became a farmer. Mr. Turner died on October 6, 1989.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Brenton Harold Turner
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
2nd Canadian Siege Battery

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


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