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A Moment In Time To Live With Forever

Heroes Remember

A Moment In Time To Live With Forever

They had what they called "Left-out-of-battles." Have you heard of "left-out-of-battles"? These guys that come along, they took ‘em out so that if the guy got killed they had somebody to replace him and promote him. And I was one of the "left-out-of-battles." And we were clearing up this one field there and there was me and a Sergeant by the name of Veals, and we're going across this field where the battle had been there, The Gustav Line, and the Germans had dug, taken the tops off their tanks, their tiger tanks, and placed them in cement, and there was a sort of a turret there, not too high above the ground, they were rather difficult to see, and the dugouts and that, and our troops had gone there, it was a real tough battle. So anyway, we, we're coming along cleaning up, and we, we come to this one turret and we got our Tommy Guns at the ready, of course, because you never know what you're going to run into. And this young German soldier come out of the steps of this dugout, and he had his hands over his head in the normal manner you know, but unbeknownst to us, he had a grenade in one hand. And he, he threw it, and I'm about as far as I am from you're camera operator there, from Veals, from my sergeant, and it hit him, right in the shoulder and it was already primed, it tore off his arm, tore off his half his shoulder and that, and I let go of my Tommy gun and I killed this German, just automatic reaction, and that was the first time I'd killed a guy close up, somebody I could see. And so anyway I buried, I dragged them both over to the corner of the field, the Sergeant and this German, and I started digging a slit trench, and we got a blanket from someplace, I can't remember where it was we usually buried them in. And I was burying them and I put the German in first, in this little grave, grave I'd dug in the corner of the field and I went to lift the, Sergeant Veals, my friend, up, and as I was lifting him, the blanket parted and his arm and his chest rolled out, and this is about half an hour later and it was hot like it was today, and the maggots were there, and of course I up-chucked over both of them. Took me about a minute to recover and I covered them with dirt. But that was, I remember that, I've always remembered that experience.

Spring 1944 brought a renewal of offensive action along The Gustav Line. Mr. Hyde recalls an incident that always haunted him where he shot a member of the Hitler Youth.

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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