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First Shell Fire (Part 1 of 2)

Heroes Remember

First Shell Fire (Part 1 of 2)

Well, the land in Beveland, a lot of it's like a waffle, it's reclaimed from the sea, and they build dykes cris-cross like this, so little pockets of fields between them and the fields are down maybe 20 feet, you know. So, if you, like overnight, if you dig a trench to get in and sleep, you got 6 inches of water on you in the morning, you know, cause it just comes up from the ground, you know. So you couldn't, you had to dig in the sides of the, of the roads. And of course the Germans, you were in a restricted area, so the Germans knew you were coming, you could only come down certain ways! I think the, some of the infantry later had water vehicles, like, that, you know, a combination track vehicle that could go across the water, small ones, and I believe they used some of those but most of the time they were going down these roads, so it was murderous, you know, it was very difficult fighting. And of course the guns were getting shelled a lot too on the crossroads because the, every crossroad the Germans had targeted, you know. Yeah, the first time I came under shell fire actually was on one of those crossroads, you know. We were, we were about ready to go and get something to eat. We had a little pup tent set up about 300 yards from the crossroad, but right next to the road, you know, and then we were watching the MPs directing traffic up on the road and the call went out, "Go and get, if you want something to eat, go and get it." There was a little shack over near, not far from the crossroad and all of a sudden these shells came in, you know, where they were, the shack was where they were serving the food.

Mr. Field describes the slow fighting in Beveland and the first time he came under fire.

Richard (Dick) Field

Mr. Richard Field was born in Toronto, Ontario, on November 11, 1924, where his father was an accountant for Brazilian Traction Light and Car Power Company located in Toronto. After hearing stories from his grandfather and friends about the service, Mr. Field and his father enlisted in 1943. Serving as a Gunner in the Royal Canadian Artillery, Mr. Field went to the continent after the summer of 1944, and landed at Dieppe. Having witnessed battles such as the Battle of the Bulge, which was, on record, the coldest battle fought during the Second World War, encounters with German POWS and the German SS, nothing stirs up memories such as the moving story about the Highland Light Infantry returning from battle, wearily marching on to battle, serenaded by the haunting melody of the bagpipes. Mr. Field returned home to Toronto and married his high school sweetheart, however, the war never left the dreams and thoughts of Mr. Field, who still, quite frequently, is plagued by dreams and nightmares of life on the front.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard (Dick) Field
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Northwest Europe

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