Language selection


Canada Goes To War

Heroes Remember

We were in Tuktoyaktuk then, we were, we took the freight in for the Saint Roche, a Hudson Bay vessel, Our Lady of the Lourdes, and the Fort Ross. No, the Saint Roche was the RCMP vessel, yeah, Saint Roche, Fort Ross was the Hudson Bay vessel. And we were unloading freight ‘cause we had a couple of big barges loads. And when we were unloading the freight, they flew a lone Canadian signaller in there and that was a few days after and he says there was a war on. And that's when the rest of the deckhands started telling me how good the army was. Of course, I had to be there, I just couldn't wait to get out of that area again. Interviewer: How did these other crewmen of yours know how good the army life was? Well, all of these boys were from Winnipeg and Lake Winnipeg and they belonged to what they said was the Little Black Devils, the Winnipeg Rifles, and they were in peace time. And I didn't know nothing about the army, but I thought it was another great adventure. And of course when the world war broke out, well I though, "Oh, well, it's not going to last long. Gotta get into it And it will be a big, great vacation." Didn't prove out to be totally a great vacation.

Mr. Lenko, employed aboard the Hudson's Bay stern-wheeler, SS MacKenzie, learns that Canada has declared war on Germany.

Sam Lenko

Mr. Lenko enlisted in the army in Edmonton of February 14, 1940. He took basic infantry training in Calgary and then travelled to Halifax by train where he boarded the Duchess of Bedford, where he sailed in convoy to England. The ship arrived in the port of Liverpool and he was sent immediately to Aldershot for further training.His service included Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. He returned to Canada and to Calgary on August 29, 1945, eventually training as a barber. He ran a barber shop for 20 years before changing his job to an unspecified occupation. He spent his working civilian life in Sangudo, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Sam Lenko
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: