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Fighting in Holland

Heroes Remembers - Liberation of the Netherlands

Well they, they were, it was different, seemed like it was different. They were, like I say, had more cover probably and you had more help more, probably more armour, more, I think that's it, you felt a bit better because you knew you were getting so far up now that it was gonna to be over any day. You know, and what was doing, the sad part of it was that the people that got killed in the latter, the latter part of April and that, and we had 'em, we got 'em. I can remember a sergeant, Sergeant Hocksey and Tommy Tomkins, our lieutenant. We were going in to battle the next day, in Apeldoorn. We were taking, we were going up by the Queens Palace and that there and a few places and we were short, eh, really short of men and short of NCO's and that. So our Tommy Tomkins was our lieutenant and Neil Hocksey was our sergeant and that night and you know, when we were getting ready and that, they tossed, somebody, one othem had to go to another unit eh, had to go to another. So Tommy Tompkins was the one that had to go and the first thing the next morning, he was dead. And he was, he was an excellent he was and so was Hocksey. But yeah, they flipped a coin and it was, you know, it was towards the end of April, I think it was around the 21st or 22nd and it was a sad thing to see. And I mean we had another fellow there and he was on th 26th of Apriland he was, he was out fixing telephone lines or something and "bang", he had been with the regiment for four or five years or something eh, sniper, and I mean that was only, and, the war was over in two weeks or something, I think.

Mr. Colbourne talks about getting into Holland and how the Germans were much tougher to fight against in Holland.

Gerald Colbourne

Mr. Colbourne was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, in 1924 but at the age of one his family moved to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, so his father could work in the mills. Mr. Colbourne enjoyed growing up in Corner Brook where he went to school and played hockey and basketball. When not in school he enjoyed fishing and hunting. In March 1944, he joined the Infantry branch of the Army and was sent overseas a short time later. He arrived in London for his first look at war and then moved on to join his regiment in Italy and worked from Italy through to Holland and Germany until the war ended.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gerald Colbourne
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Ontario Regiment

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