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The Beginning Of The End

Heroes Remember

The Beginning Of The End

The Canadians got a great name. Not because I was there amongst them, but they really got a great name amongst the, you know amongst the other people that were there, the nations. I don’t know, they seemed to, if they were asked to do something, they seemed to do that job better than a lot of the others. We were up around Vimy and they were planning an attack down around the Amiens front. And they moved the Canadian Corps from where we were, down to the Amiens. We travelled at night and stayed in the woods in the daytime. It was supposed to be a surprise. It took them surprise. They weren’t ready for it, you know. They didn’t have the troops in place to withstand the attack, the amount of men that they had against them. That was the beginning of the end. From then on it was might be held up for a while, but after a few days you’d advance a little further. In fact, I didn’t know when the war did end. I was away from my unit at the time. We were putting in a...we had a bunch of Chinese workers and there was three of us Canadians in charge of the Chinese putting in a plank roadway for a dump. The trucks would come in, you know, and dump the stuff off. And then the wagons would come in over the road and load the stuff on, carry it up to the front. Well, we were putting in a plank roadway when the war ended. We didn’t know it. Everything was quiet. We couldn’t understand what the trouble was There was a canteen, just a short … a YMCA canteen just a little over from where we were working. And I went over there and they told me the war was over. We just quit working, went back to our unit. We went through, we went to Cologne is where my unit went. On the Rhine River, the City of Cologne, you’ve perhaps heard of it? They used us good. The last day in March I was taking the mumps and the next day I reported sick and there was no place to put me. They wanted to get me out of the, you know, the rest of the them. It was contagious, of course, and they put me in a German home. Well, I didn’t feel bitter towards them or anything. I was really sorry for some of them. Some of them were really down, in poor condition.

Mr. Lidstone gives a short synopsis of his service in France and the Allied Army occupation in Germany, describing the success of the Canadian surprise attack at Amiens, learning of the war’s end, and offering his empathy for German civilians.

Harold Lidstone

Harold Lidstone was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on March 4, 1896. He moved, with his family, to Prince Edward Island around 1905 where his father began a farm operation at Mount Royal, PEI. At the age of 19, Mr. Lidstone went to Summerside to enlist in the Canadian Army, joining the 82nd Battalion which became the 105th Battalion comprised entirely of men from Prince Edward Island.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harold Lidstone
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
127th Alberta Battalion

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