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Message to Youth

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: If you could speak to the young people today about the duties and obligations, what would you say to them? I can't think of any good advice I can give anybody except that I hope and pray we never have another war like that. ‘Cause it's a terrible, terrible thing. But there's one thing that's more terrible, that's losing your freedom. Freedom is the greatest thing in the world. If you're not free, I don't mean liberty by freedom I mean free, if you're not free you've got nothing. And that's what that war was really for, it was for freedom. And it was, it was worth fighting, even though it cost so much to so many people. And it did. I'd say to them, I guess I'd say to them, if I said what I really think. If it wasn't for what the people did in our generation they'd be all either talking German or slaves or something because Hitler had made a slave of all of Europe. I mean we felt very strongly about that, we knew that civilization was in danger. The whole civilized world was in danger, from Hitler and from Japan. There was, there was no options, there were no options. You had to, you had to do your part. The States was in the war too, after Pearl Harbour. I remember when Pearl Harbour came. We were having a little, it was just around what's the date of Pearl Harbour, I've forgotten It was around Christmas I know, because we were having, we were having a Christmas party and they came and announced that the Japs had bombed Pearl Harbour. We were, we were sorry that it was bombed but we were glad that America was coming into the war. There was no guarantee ever that we were gonna win that war, you know, we looked like we were gonna lose for the longest time. Interviewer: Did you feel confident you were going to win? I always figured we would, I couldn't believe we wouldn't, if you know what I mean. You just couldn't face the fact that you might lose a war. You had to win. Interviewer: So when you look back at the sacrifice you did for our country, are you proud of what you accomplished? Well I think so many other people seem to have done so much more, do you know what I mean? It seemed like, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I didn't feel like a hero and I still don't feel like a hero. The heroes are not supposed to be scared all the time, we were all scared to death. But I'm glad I served, yes, I'm glad I served my country, I was loyal to my country. Interviewer: Would you do it again? Oh I think so yes. Yes I think I wouldn't now because it's impossibly ridiculous to even think of it, but if I was young, I, I.... And another thing about it you know the war was, the war was life then. It was the biggest part of our life, and it was history and you didn't want to be left out, you wanted to be a part of it, you wanted to do something.

Mrs. Gilkes passes on a message to youth about the importance of the Second World War , explaining how the entire world was in danger and winning was vital to protecting freedom.

Margaret Gilkes

Mrs. Gilkes was born in Strathmore, Alberta on February 8, 1917 - the youngest of five children. Mrs. Gilkes joined the Canadian Women's Army Corp during the Second World War, and served as a motor transport driver. A role that was increasingly filled by women as the war progressed, in order to make more men available for service in battle. She spent the majority of her service in England, transporting troops and supplies. Postwar, Mrs. Gilkes became a policewoman, serving in the Alberta area for 15 years. Since her retirement, she has authored two books; Soldier Girl and Ladies of the Night, which depict her life during wartime and postwar service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Margaret Gilkes
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC)

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