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Christmas Dinner in Germany

Heroes Remember

Christmas Dinner in Germany

I wasn’t there at the first part because I was on leave. But I was there for a month, about a month, and we were in the town of Gottisberg (sp), no Seeburg. I don’t know if you know, were you in Germany at all? You haven’t been. Well, I have photos of it. And that was the town we were billeted in, and we were billeted in a big munitions factory. They were not bombed. Some of the men were billeted with the German people. They were very good to us, really they were. Strange, you know, there’s your enemy, but they were very good to us. But we had, we had a Christmas dinner there when we were in Germany. You see, we were there at Christmas. I arrived on the 23rd and we had hired a hall and there at the end of the hall was a photo of the Kaizer. It was a German hall, of course, and we had this hall and our officers all sat at the end. And when they came in and saw this, they made them take that down and play "God Save the Queen’. And again it was something and … but what a night that was. They really went, they, half of them were drunk and they’d walk up and down the tables and all over the place. This was in Germany.

Mr. Pitcairn describes an unique Christmas dinner during his time with the Army of Occupation in Germany.

James Pitcairn

James Pitcairn was born in Kirkintilloch, Scotland on May 3, 1897. The second of four children, he moved to Vancouver with his widowed mother in 1911. At the age of thirteen, he was working as an elevator boy when a truancy officer sent him back to school, which he attended for five years. In Vancouver, Mr. Pitcairn was twice denied enlistment because of his small size; however, he joined friends in Kingston, Ontario and was accepted there as a member of the 50th Battery, Queens Artillery on March 7, 1916. He trained as a horse artilleryman at Petawawa. Mr. Pitcairn sailed for England aboard the SS Olympia in August, 1916. He had further training at Camp Whitley and was finally sent to France as a member of the 52nd Field Artillery, 5th Division. Mr. Pitcairn’s service saw him in action at Lens, Vimy, Hill 70, Amiens, Drocourt-Queant and Valenciennes as the layer on an 18-Pound artillery gun. One hundred and two at the time of his interview, Mr. Pitcairn’s clear voice and photographic memory offer some very informative descriptions of the Artillery’s role in the First World War.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Pitcairn
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
50th Battery

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