Language selection


No Time For Making Friends In Belgium

Heroes Remember

No Time For Making Friends In Belgium

We wouldn't be able to go up, you know, further than Belgium or to go any there, but we could go back and you could go to the people. Somebody asked me, then said, "Well, did you make friends there? Did you know the people when you went back? Did you see them?" I said, "Look, you didn't have time to make friends." You went in a few stores, you bought, when you had time, you might have bought gifts or something, but I said, "There wasn't any great chatter because after all, they didn't know who was going to win the war." So, I don't suppose, they were friendly with us and everything but they would be scared too and I would be scared if I had too, lots of people in the country. You wouldn't know who was going to win or, and certainly they were because they were harbouring some of our air force people and hiding them in their attics in Belgium and Holland and they worked in a kind of an underground way. But they were scared for their children and if they could, they'd send their children either further down the line or send them away. Something as the English people did when they were there to be out of danger. But went back the second time, they just hugged and kissed us, they were so glad to see us and they couldn't do enough everywhere we went.

Belgium was an occupied country while Miss Turner was in the Casualty Clearing Station there. Was she able to move freely around the country during her posting in Belgium?

Lettie Turner

Ms. Turner was born on Christmas day in 1911. Before enlisting Ms. Turner first served with the Victorian Order of Nurses, followed by a short period as a public health nurse with the province of Nova Scotia. Ms. Turner enlisted in Halifax in 1942. She went on to take basic training in Debert, Nova Scotia, and was then posted to Halifax. She returned to Debert for further training before being posted overseas in 1944 at No. 20 Canadian Hospital near London. More training followed in Yorkshire and after D-Day she was posted to Belgium where she remained until the end of the war. In Belgium she nursed at a casualty clearing station. On her return to Canada after the war, Ms. Turner completed her nursing training, worked extensively in public health and eventually worked as a professor in universities in Canada and the United States.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lettie Turner
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Nursing Sister

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: