Language selection

German bombers

First World War Audio Archive

German bombers

This video format is not currently supported!

They were getting ready for Vimy, you know, they were getting prepared to take Vimy. And we were, we were at a place called Carency, at the time, and they moved us over around Mont Saint-Éloi and we were taking up supplies mostly at night, because we had horses and wagons, you know. But the rail heads were back at the, oh a place called Bruay and St. Paul and that. And a lot of these, a lot of trucks, these lorries, these army lorries, used to haul stuff from Bologne, get loaded up there, you know, on the coast and come up with stuff. We used to go up at night a lot. Oh, you’d just have no light, because it wasn’t the planes that it was in the Second World War, but they still, if it was a moonlight night we had to watch out then, because these German bombers would come over. And the safest place to be is if you knew what they were trying to hit, get there because they never hit what they was trying to hit, something else. That was our type work and supplying the the food, you know, taking food to the different battalions in our brigade, and then work parties would take stuff from there, from us. We were never in action but we were always ready, we had rifles. There was two drivers to a wagon, first and second drivers, they called us. When that wagon was loaded, the two of us could not ride on that wagon, that was discipline. Just one driver, the other one had to follow behind the wagon. So you’d both be there to help unload and that, but then you’d take turns if you had any distance to go. We had our rifles, we had racks behind the seat, back seat of the seat on the wagon. Brackets, and we had our rifles there. Of course in case of an emergency we’d have been called into action.

Mr. Bourne describes his role in moving supplies from behind the lines to forward positions for dispersal. He describes the risk of being bombed, as well as being armed for infantry combat.

Francis Bourne

Francis Bourne was born in West-Ham, England, on June 6, 1899. His family moved to Canada in 1906. With his parents’ permission, he joined the 90th (Royal Winnipeg) Rifles in September 1915, becoming a bugler. Once in England, Mr. Bourne was attached to the 10th Brigade, 2 Company which served as a supply battalion in France. While not seeing direct action, the risk to the supply lines from shelling and bombing was high. After returning home from the war, Mr. Bourne had a variety of employment before finally joining the Canadian National Railroad in 1922. During the Second World War, Mr. Bourne answered his country’s call once more, training personnel in the 2nd Armoured Car Division at Winnipeg. Married and widowed twice, Mr. Bourne died on May 16, 1993.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Francis Bourne
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
10th Brigade

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


Related Videos

Date modified: