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Verriere Ridge

Heroes Remember

I would, I would say mortar fire and artillery fire are the, are the dominant cause of wounds, but, May was killed by a, by a mine, an anti-tank mine, a shell fragment took the throat out of John Clarke, God, and ... Interviewer: To take you back there, it's awful memories. Well, I'm sorry, that's, that's part of the game, and a fair number were, were killed or wounded by machine gun fire in the open attacks. But they could lay down quite a heavy defensive fire pattern using all weapons and, for instance, I was initially wounded by being, by hitting a mine. My carrier hit a mine, in the attack on the village of Verriere, but then it, it was just barely light. We'd started attacking at 4 o'clock in the morning, the flash of the mortar going up attracted, they had their, they figured, someone's trying to clear a mine, so several machine guns opened up, within a couple, from within a couple of yards of us, and we could, lying there in the granary, you'd hear these damn bullets sticking through the grain so we, we crawled like hell, those of us who were still alive. I was dragging my leg behind me over about fifty feet, and all of a sudden, there, wham. I'm hit on the side of the head, rolled right over on my back, and it ricocheted off of the ground and caught me right, right behind the ear and imbedded itself, a little MG-42 bullet, but thank God it was, bounced off the ground first and hit me sideways. It, it made quite a dent in my neck muscles there which is, I can still feel it quite deeply. So, many people were wounded several, several times as they, they, in that Verriere, Verriere thing.

Mr. Smith talks about how he was wounded on the Verriere Ridge.

Arthur Britton “Britt” Smith

Mr. Smith was born on May 13th, 1920 in Kingston, Ontario. His father was a lawyer, and Mr. Smith was headed to the law firm at a very young age to follow in his father's foot steps when he decided to branch over and become an army officer with the 32nd Battery at the age of 15. Mr. Smith climbed the ranks quickly, becoming a signal sergeant by his 18th birthday. Educated on what was happening throughout Europe, Mr. Smith was not surprised when he heard of the outbreak of war in 1939, and within a year of the declaration, his unit was overseas undergoing artillery training. While in Europe, Mr. Smith's unit became a vital part of the Normandy Campaign, fighting on the dangerous and unforgiving battlefields of France. After the Dieppe raid of 1942, Mr. Smith was promoted to Captain at the young age of 22, carrying the weight and responsibility for 85 men. Mr. Smith's military career was ended abruptly in 1944 when he was wounded in action on the Verriere Ridge in France. Upon arrival home Mr. Smith was awarded the military medal and was finally able to marry his childhood sweetheart Sally. Mr. Smith returned to law school and became a lawyer, creating a home for himself and his wife in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Arthur Britton “Britt” Smith
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
4th Field Regiment
Gunnery Officer

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