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The Big Barrage

Heroes Remember

Well, we went right out to the end of the peninsula to Walcheren to the, there's a causeway and a, and a, and a break between the island of Walcheren and Beveland Peninsula itself, and there was a causeway, and when the infantry got to the causeway, they couldn't get across it. Well, they did get some troops across, but they couldn't hold it. It, it was crazy, they were getting slaughtered there, you know. I think the 48th Highlanders took a real beating and friends of mine, the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, I think it was, they took a beating there, and a friend of mine lost about twenty-eight men out of his platoon there. He never did go back, he was so shattered psychologically. And so it was really rough and, and a lot of the guys were really badly hurt, you know. So then we pulled back and they decided to attack from the sea, you know, I think you know the story. They, they bombed and breached the dykes with the big bomber, 4-engine Lancasters and what not. And the Royal Marines went in and I think, I think they were mostly British troops. There may have been some Canadians. But we had to move a hundred miles back from Beveland, through Belgium, and to the south shore of the Scheldt, which is also Holland. There's a strip there that belongs to Holland, and we had the guns lined up all along the shore, the south shore. And we fired across in support of the attacks. So we had, I think we had something like, four or five hundred guns lined up of various caliber shooting across. It was the first big barrage that I was in. I mean really big barrage. That was the Field Regiment, Field Regiments were equipped with twenty-five pounders, both British and Canadian.

Mr. Field recounts about his unit moving to the south coast of Beveland and undertaking a large scale (support) barrage to drive the Germans out.

Richard (Dick) Field

Mr. Richard Field was born in Toronto, Ontario, on November 11, 1924, where his father was an accountant for Brazilian Traction Light and Car Power Company located in Toronto. After hearing stories from his grandfather and friends about the service, Mr. Field and his father enlisted in 1943. Serving as a Gunner in the Royal Canadian Artillery, Mr. Field went to the continent after the summer of 1944, and landed at Dieppe. Having witnessed battles such as the Battle of the Bulge, which was, on record, the coldest battle fought during the Second World War, encounters with German POWS and the German SS, nothing stirs up memories such as the moving story about the Highland Light Infantry returning from battle, wearily marching on to battle, serenaded by the haunting melody of the bagpipes. Mr. Field returned home to Toronto and married his high school sweetheart, however, the war never left the dreams and thoughts of Mr. Field, who still, quite frequently, is plagued by dreams and nightmares of life on the front.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard (Dick) Field
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Northwest Europe

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