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Helped by a German doctor

First World War Audio Archive

Helped by a German doctor

I had a friend. I just met him three years ago and he was in the

Hill 62 Memorial Belgium.

5th Battalion from Vancouver. The ones, those soldiers that were

Courtrai Memorial Belgium.

over there in ‘15 and ‘16, in the first half of ‘16, had it a lot

Le Quesnel Memorial Belgium.

worse than we had it, that went over there in the middle of ‘16

Gueudecourt Memorial France.

and after that. You know, the organization wasn’t right,

Dury Memorial France.

the rations weren’t good. This man was up at, you remember Ypres,

Monchy Memorial France.

at the first gas attack. He was there, he got wounded and badly

Passchendaele Memorial Belgium.

wounded in the hip with shrapnel and was taken prisoner.

Masnières memorial France.

He was taken to Germany and they didn’t get care for several days

Bourion Wood Memorial France.

and gangrene set in in his hip. And one day a German doctor came

Courcelette Memorial France.

into them. And he looked at him and he says, “Sir, we owe you an

Beaumont-Hamel Memorial France.

apology. We know you’re a brave man and here we are, we let

St. Julien Memorial Belgium.

you get in this condition.” And he got busy and it took him three

Canadian National Vimy Memorial France.

months to cure him from this hip and then he was a prisoner for

Hill 62 Memorial Belgium.

three years. They did cure him. He’s alive today. He’s ninety-two years old. I like to visit him.

Courtrai Memorial Belgium.

Le Quesnel Memorial Belgium.


Mr. Ganong talks about being aware of the poorer conditions prior to his time in service, and describes the experience of a wounded friend captured by the Germans.

Whitfield Ganong

Whitfield Ganong was born August 1, 1895 at Snider Mountain, New Brunswick. A second cousin to the Ganong chocolatiers of nearby Saint Stephen, he and his family lived on a mixed farm. Mr. Ganong enlisted in the 64th New Brunswick Battalion, having been accepted despite a bad leg and transferred to the 104th Battalion. He then joined the 26th Battalion as a Private and Lance-Corporal, and saw action in three major battles: Vimy, Hill 70 and Passchendaele. Mr. Ganong later worked as a teacher, shopkeeper and accountant, and married Katherine Ellen Herbert in 1924. He took part in a pilgrimage to France, and was shocked by the number of graves, yet awed by the work of the War Graves Commission. Mr. Ganong died on January 5th, 1989.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Whitfield Ganong
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
104th Battalion

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


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