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Just in Time For D-Day

Heroes Remember

Just in Time For D-Day

The whole area, whole area for miles, was just stacked with equipment of all sorts. Truck transport, munitions, supplies and it was all camouflaged along the roads and we had to take our turn and guard a lot of these here locations where all this equipment is, is laying around waiting for use. In the meantime, a lot of the regiments, the carrier platoons and things like this, they were away getting fitted for water preservation treatment, water proofing and we started to get more information about the possibility of the invasion. We were allowed twenty four hour passes down into Southampton that particular time. But as the day, as the day to the invasion came a lot closer, and the London Scottish came and they were placed on guard and we were under guard for the balance of the time prior to the invasion. The London Scottish served, they’d provide all the services, but we were not to go outside, period. They had orders to shoot if anybody left the camp without permission because at that particular time, we were now starting to see mock ups of the invasion coast, they were code names but no actual names of the towns, or anything like this, where we would be landing. So everything was stiff upper lip, and keep your eyes and mouth, mouth shut and your eyes open and don’t venture out of the camp. So, and we were well looked after within the camp, so there was no reason for anybody... It’s a marvel to me with all the preparation and all the number of people involved, including all the civilians that were surrounding the area, and equipment that went for vast miles and they were able to keep it all secret. It’s unbelievable, when you think back in history. All those people know something’s happening and they, they just couldn’t relate to it. Interviewer:Mr. Ross, at that time, did you fully appreciate what was happening around you and what, what was laying before you? I was becoming more familiar with what was happening, you know, because the eight of us, we were the green horns, and I probably was the youngest of all the green horns, and of the eight of us. So, yes, we were familiar with what was going on and we were being told at the hearing sessions that they expected about sixty percent casualties of our regiment. So, we were aware of what might happen.

Mr. Ross enlisted on his 18th birthday and was assigned to ‘C’ Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He recalls preparation for the invasion of Normandy.

Joseph William Ross

Mr. Ross was born in Montreal on February 15, 1925. His father served during the First World War and was seriously wounded at the second battle at Ypres. When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, Mr. Ross was only 14 years old, working as an office boy for six dollars a week. Later, he worked as an apprentice fitter in the aircraft division of Vickers, near Montreal. Mr. Ross enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday in 1943. After training in Quebec and Nova Scotia, he was sent as part of the reinforcement troops to England where he was assigned to ‘C’ Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. His overseas action included landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, and serving throughout both Normandy and Northwest Europe (Belgium and Holland). During an encounter with German forces, Mr. Ross sustained injuries from flying shrapnel.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Joseph William Ross
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North America
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

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