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Rum surplus

The Battle of Passchendaele

Just while Passchendaele was on and we were supposed to do

Hill 62 Memorial Belgium.

anti-aircraft work. If an airplane came over, a German airplane came over, we were supposed to shoot him down or shoot at him or

Courtrai Memorial Belgium.

chase him away, or do something or other. However, it seemed that these men with these batteries, they got surplus issues of rum.

Le Quesnel Memorial Belgium.

Well, to get our rum ration and our food and whatnot, I had to

Gueudecourt Memorial France.

Dury Memorial France.

send a detail, a man, over to the battalion, to the battery headquarters and I’ll be doggoned if the battery man didn’t send

Monchy Memorial France.

the whole jug of SRD rum over with him and I had quite a time

Passchendaele Memorial Belgium.

keeping my boys from getting so doggoned badly plastered,

Masnières memorial France.

they were going to shoot all the airplanes in the sky whether there was any out there or not. Oh, there was the odd comical

Bourion Wood Memorial France.

thing that happened, I suppose. The next thing was for me and my crew to find the battalion. They didn’t tell me exactly where to

Courcelette Memorial France.

go and the military police were after us.

Beaumont-Hamel Memorial France.

They thought that maybe we had deserted or something,

St. Julien Memorial Belgium.

and I had quite a time saying, “Look here, I was left up there with a battery to do anti-aircraft work and all I’m trying to do now is find my battalion.”

Canadian National Vimy Memorial France.

Eventually we found them and everything was all straightened out

Mr. Smith describes the influence of too much rum on his gun crew, and a brush with the military police.

Allan A ‘Spike’ Smith

Allan A ‘Spike’ Smith was born in Minto, Manitoba on May 7, 1894. Mr. Smith enlisted while attending the University of Saskatchewan, joining the 196th Battalion. He did his basic training at Camp Hughes, Manitoba. Once overseas, he was at Camp Seaford in England when he was selected to reinforce the 46th Battalion. He saw his first action just prior to Vimy, and was wounded by shrapnel at the Chalk Pits. He returned to action at Drocourt-Queant, and was again wounded by shrapnel. He later returned to Passchendaele. He received a Military Medal for bravery. After the war, Mr. Smith became a farmer, coached a women’s volleyball team, and became an agriculture inspector. He died on August 12, 1981.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Allan A ‘Spike’ Smith
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
196th Battalion

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


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