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More From the Beaches of Normandy

Heroes Remember

More From the Beaches of Normandy

We got up to the wall and in front of that big house that, you see. That’s so prominent today. In fact, we went back a couple of years ago and dedicated that house, I’ll tell you later about that. But we got up to the wall and, that house, we landed pretty well in front of that house, but the railway station behind it see, the railway station was supposed to be the dividing line, but this house was in front of it. So we went up to the wall, the wall was about maybe six feet high, and we went along the right, for maybe several hundred yards and then there was an opening that had been cleared, so we went through the opening. There was a railway track going down there, we could see the station down there. There was a sniper firing down the railway track and once again the lance corporal said, “Bill, there’s a sniper there.” And we run like hell across the track, you know, with this sniper firing at us down the track. So we got through and we were supposed to go around the town, but because of the conditions we were in, we went right through the town, the corporal says we’ll go right through. So we cut right through the town and around by the church and we got to the outskirts of the town and we met up with some of our other fellows and the officer they told us to take a defensive position in which we did, along the hedgerow of the road and wait for the tank support to come in. And the tanks did start coming in, some moved in behind us on the left in an apple orchard and they were concealed, but on the right, there was a big wall and some of them come in behind two of them, three of them got into the opening of the field there, and once they had got into position, unbeknown to us, there was an 88 gun, maybe about fifteen hundred yards up the road, had opened up on these tanks and he knocked two of them out and the third one happened to back out and get out of there, in the mean time, the machine gun opened up on us on the right side of the road and I can remember this artillery officer trying to spot the gun, he was up with his field glasses trying to spot the gun, when the machine gun opened up and he got hit in the arm and wounded, he was just right behind me. And then the tanks start blowing up and the men were caught in the tanks and they didn’t survive.

Mr. Ross continues to recount the events of the Normandy landing.

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
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

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