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The Way Home

Heroes Remember

I was in England seven months in the hospital and I couldn't go back to my regiment. I wanted to go back, I tried to go back. They said they needed the men in France, so I got sent with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry 2nd Division in France. So I went to France and when I went over to France, my wound was still running. We were short men, we were short men. When I left the front lines in Germany, we were short men. So, it wasn't that rosy. And when I got slightly hit again, in the, when I went the Hochwald Forest that bordered Germany and Holland, my time came up for repatriation. I was digging a trench, it was snowing, we just, just went in the line and I was digging a trench, it was, it was, about six inches snow on the ground, the sergeant came up, and he was looking for McInnis, I said "I'm over here." He said "Get your stuff together, you're going back to Canada.", now that was the way it was sprung on me. So what was I going to say? "I got no stuff, let's go." So they sent me back to Canada. I arrived here Valentine's Day 1945, so I was home before the war was over. And the funny part of it was, I didn't want to leave. You get a bond between soldiers eh. And it's different in that it's a different kind of a situation you know, but you depended on them, we depended on them all through Italy eh. For nine months was in Italy and you know, five months over there, and you depended on those guys, they looked after your back eh. You know. And you come so attached to them and you depend on them for your life, and you think you're deserting them when you leave. It was tough leaving them. I didn't want to leave my buddies in the, although I was married before the war, it was hard to leave those fellas, and you coming, you know, you felt guilty leaving them there and coming home. So that was the, that's probably was the time I felt worst. Great to come home because I was married to a beautiful lady, she's only 18. And war, war was hard on families too eh. But what was taking place in Germany at that time you know you say well, I guess everybody thought the same, that they were just not going to come over here and start that stuff over here, it was better to confront them over...

Though he had been wounded twice and had been through some tough times, Mr. McInnis still felt awkward going home. He tells us why.

Alexander McInnis

Mr. McInnis was born in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, on September 7, 1919. His father was a section man for the CNR. He was the 3rd in a family of six (four brothers and one sister) of which his sister was the eldest. He joined the Cape Breton Highlanders without telling his parents when he was 20 years old. His four brothers also joined the forces. He started training in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, and then Victoria Park in Sydney until joining the West Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment. He went overseas May 12, 1940, and trained in Aldershot for three years. In 1943 he was sent by convoy to partake in the invasion of Sicily. After helping to free the town of Agira, he was sent across to southern Italy. After taking part in the Battle of Ortona he was wounded and ended up in the hospital in England for seven months. He then moved on to France, with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Division. After five more months of fighting in France and Holland where he helped in freeing the port of Antwerp, he was sent home to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alexander McInnis
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry 2nd Division
Three Inch Mortar Man

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