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House to House Cleaning

Heroes Remember

House to House Cleaning

Well, you're scared. You had to clean out the houses, eh and so forth. You know you're going up the streets and they are very narrow, especially in Italy and that, eh. See Italy was a lot different, you see I was in, cause we left Italy and went to Holland and that, eh, up in Europe eh. But there was a big difference eh, cause there was all these houses, concrete houses and small streets and that eh. And you had to clean out the little towns and that, eh. You'd have to go up these small streets and at the same time you had to clean the houses out, seeing, there was nothing there and that, eh. But someone, this is you know, whoever was in charge or something else they'd get the information and say, "We gotta clean this out, these streets, just in case. Now there may not be nobody there, eh, but you went up and you took your time, you didn't rush right in. You watched for every movement, every sound, or something that might help you and you just went up and took in steps, stairs, one at a time. And you wouldn't go in, in a bunch, you and a bunch of people because you could kill one of your person get killed but if there is four or five the whole works could go so you had to pace yourself.

Mr. Colbourne describes what it means to go house to house, cleaning, and how your senses take over.

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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