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A New - and Dangerous - Job

Heroes Remember

A New - and Dangerous - Job

Well the armoured car I first got was called a Foxhound. It had a little thicker armour than the... than the carrier and the Lord be praised, it had a roof on it. So if it rained or if it snowed you could get inside and at least you weren't getting, I won't say it, from high above You could at least get some shelter, but it was cramped too, there was three men, a commander, a driver and a gunner, of course it had a turret on it, you know, the armoured car with a turret, and I think we had a twenty pounder in it, and the three of us in there with the ammunition, and our gear, one thing and other it was a pretty tight fit but it was much better than the carrier. We were inside. But it was difficult getting in and out, you had to be like an agile... like a monkey to get in and out of the damn thing. So I... I stayed in that thing for about six or eight months, I guess and learned the skills of an armoured, an armoured car commander So now instead of sitting back, I was the guy that was doing the probing up in front, I was one of the lead armoured cars. And on some of these roads, I can remember, we had to get out sometimes, the engineers, we couldn't get them, I can remember going along roads on my hands and knees with a bayonet, probing for mines. And of course, as you can imagine, going on your hands and knees, you didn't make a heck of a lot of progress, it'd take you two or three hours to go a hundred yards. But you, you had to probe for mines because the Germans mined everything A lot of the times, the sides of the roads, there'd be Beware... beware..."vor minen," you know, but a lot of times there weren't and I guess that's why they're having difficulty over there now getting rid of these mines, because I guess there still there some of them because they planted them everyplace. And especially on some of the back roads, which we had to probe a lot, the... we didn't always stay on the main routes, like we had to go out and probe all these little cart tracks, and little gravel side roads, and little mule tracks and one thing and another. So that was practically how I spent the... my winter and spring of 1943-44.

In the autumn of 1943, Mr. Hyde requested a change in his responsibilities. He wanted out of signals. His commanding officer made him a commander of an armoured car and promoted him to Corporal. He describes his vehicle and tells of the slow and dangerous work of probing for land mines along the roads of southern Italy.

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
Armoured Car Commander

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