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Motorcycle Convoys

Heroes Remember

In England, not in action, but in England, convoys of the regiment, now the convoys were seven miles long, a regiment took seven miles long with, but you see with that it had to be 50 yards between each gun and vehicle, stretched out. You had to pass by that, seven miles of vehicles, to get to the Front to stand at the next crossroads and, holding your arm out the right direction that they'd go, they'd turn. You see, the roads in England it's, you have to, you have to, did you ever travel the roads in England? Without any signs whatsoever pointing in the right direction, find your way through some towns and villages. On the map it showed a Y. You'd come up and there's a Y. If you took the right one, you'd end up in, jammed into their whole outfit behind you, would be jammed into a, a barn yard or a, or a dead end street. That wasn't the Y at all. The Y went that way, it didn't show on the map that it went that way. But that's the way it was and so maps were killers. So to keep the regiment in tact on the way for a two day's trip up to Sonnybridge in Wales, subalterns were on motor bikes and you continually leap-frogged ahead, now you're passing often, you know, the roads are about like that with hedges on both sides, and you're passing by the right hand side and you're passing, you're, you're brushing your sleeve on the squads going by here, and you're brushing the ivy on the thing there, and you're doing 70 miles an hour that's the only way you are ever get to the Front. With the thing wide open. So you had to be pretty well trained, even, even so, the hospitals, wards were full of motorcycle accidents. They were full of them.

Mr. Blackburn talks about the dangers of riding a motorcycle in a convoy.

George Blackburn

George Blackburn was born in Wales, Ontario, on February 3, 1917. His father started out as a steam shovel runner in building the railroads in the United States. George also worked in journalism for a little while. In 1940 after the war had broke out he decided it was time to join the services. He was rejected from the navy and the air force because of his poor eye sight. It was then that he joined RCA. He went through training and it was there that he learned valuable lessons. George was part of the 4th Regiment. He experienced the Battle of Normandy. There he was a gunnery officer. Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Blackburn made Ottawa his home. His list of occupations include newspaper reporter, Director of Information of the Federal Labour Department, and Director of Fair Employment Practices. In addition, he has been a radio producer, an award-winning documentary scriptwriter, an award-winning playwright, published author, and a lyricist and composer. Mr. Blackburn also earned his Military Cross helping to save the Twente Canaal bridgehead in Holland.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George Blackburn
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Northwest Europe
4th Battery
Gunnery Officer

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