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Different Regiment - Still A Waiting Game

Heroes Remember

Different Regiment - Still A Waiting Game

Then it finally happened, one day we were told to get on the train and they took us down to Glasgow and we got on the Arundo Castle, which was a British troop ship and we knew we were someplace, we didn't know where, we knew we were going someplace, and by this time we had our tropical gear, of course. And I guess about four or five days out when they knew there couldn't be any leak or loose talk, the officers were told where we were going and then we were told it would be Sicily. I can't remember how long an ocean voyage we had, I know we had to, there were rumours that we had to proceed out into the Atlantic way out in the Atlantic because the Germans had brass had come out you know. So our convoy, I guess, took a detour out in the Atlantic before swinging back into the Med. Interviewer: What was the morale of the men as they realized they were going into action? Oh, top, couldn't have been better. "Let's get at it." I mean, after all, this had been what three and a half years? ‘40, ‘41, ‘42 and a half of ‘43, we'd been sitting on our arses in England doing nothing but training, training, training, training. We were well trained so it was gung ho and all the, you know especially with Monty's 8th Army, (we) couldn't have asked for better, you know. Interviewer: What happened next? Well, before we got to there, we pulled in at Algiers Harbour, and I must admit I was really impressed with the white, all the white houses and the white cliffs, and a few of us are standing over the bow of this Arundo Castle, and lo and behold we see the track of a torpedo. Couldn't believe it, we're in harbour! And so help me it passed about, well from here to that wall, under the bow of the ship and hit some poor buggers over there, hit a ship over further. And, of course, we just up anchor and out of there, and ... we ...were.... again .... being a Lance Corporal wasn't too pretty, you know. What was going on? but we traveled, I guess, for another day and half, two days, and then got to Sicily. And only half of our regiment was there, A Squadron, not even half, just one squadron. I didn't know this at the time until I'd read the regimental history later, I thought the whole regiment was there, but it was only our squadron that was there, and the regiment even hadn't, hadn't even left Scotland yet.

By the spring of 1943, Mr. Hyde has been moved to "A" Squadron, 4th Canadian Battalion, 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards and is in Scotland waiting for word on their next move.

Gilbert John Hyde

Mr. Hyde's father was an electrician with the Moose Jaw Power Company and also a Veteran of the First World War. Mr. Hyde was an only child. He enlisted on 18 October 1938, two weeks after his 18th birthday with the PPCLI. Basic training was taken in Winnipeg before sailing from Halifax to Scotland in December 1939. On arrival, Mr. Hyde went directly to Aldershot in England where he spent several months in further training. Mr. Hyde then moved from being a military police officer to the job of dispatch rider - to a signaller assigned to a signals battalion with the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards. That was followed by a 3 ½ year stint on a Bren Gun carrier. The squadron was eventually posted to Scotland and eventually sailed for Sicily where Mr. Hyde participated in the landing there and went on to a number of battles in Italy before returning to Sicily, where his troop, the PLDG, received several awards, including a battle honour and a commendation from the Divisional Commander and the British 8th Army Commander.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gilbert John Hyde
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards

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