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The Sights and Sounds of War

Heroes Remember

The Sights and Sounds of War

The first time I went into action along the Liri, 1 Div. was in and we came in, in support of them and as I was approaching the front, I looked down and there were about 250 Canadian bodies lying there. Just like cord wood. Most of them with the 1 Div. patched on it. Most of them, you didn’t see what had killed them. They looked like they were, they could have been asleep. But, you realized that these were dead soldiers and 250 of them there. It was just, just unbelievable. But you had a job to do. Later on in actual action, when people got blown up by shells, when tanks got blowed up and people dived out, all fire and everything, and you would see them lying there and I remember as I told you one time, I saw a friend of mine lying there and his stomach was ripped open and his guts were on the ground. They were grey. And this was my friend; I could see his face. And I looked at his body. You don’t recover from that easily. You’ve got a job to do, you get back in your tank and you fight. But it comes back to you later. It doesn’t go away. You have to gradually get rid of that, I don’t know by what process. I didn’t do anything, it just went away over a period of time.

Mr. Finestone explains the factors of war that may cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Bernard J. Finestone

Mr. Finestone was born in Sacramento, California, and moved to Montreal when he was ten months old. His father served with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery during the First World War. Mr. Finestone joined the COTC while he was studying at McGill University and when the war broke out he was in officer training. Mr. Finestone served as a tank commander in Italy and during the Italian Campaign, he was severely wounded. Mr. Finestone is an active speaker. He speaks to young Canadians about his military experiences and being a Jewish veteran.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bernard J. Finestone
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North America
5th Armoured Division

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