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Fighting Patrol

Heroes Remember

The worst part of soldiering for me was going on night patrols. We had what they call a fighting patrol, a fight patrol and a reconnaissance patrol. A reconnaissance patrol would be to go out and get information. To find out exactly where the enemy was, how many there was, if there, how many tanks there was, you know what I mean, how big their front was. And a fighting patrol was to go out and draw fire. Now I remember one, one instance they had a fighting patrol going out one night, and I made myself very scarce when they were choosing this, this fighting patrol and we had a fella with us named Cobdon. He was an elderly sort and I don't know, he might have had a premonition. Cobdon for some reason didn't want to go out that night and he asked Hawkley to take his place. Hawkley wouldn't take his place. And he came to me and he asked me and I told him “No, I'm not going, not at night, I'm not going out.” So he had to go, and low and behold, wouldn't you know, he got killed. He got killed and I remember the night they came back we were in a bombed out place and when the patrol came back we found out that they had to leave him. They couldn't even bring him back. And the sergeant that went out with them, Hodge got his, both his hands shot up, but what is really sad about it is like when the patrol goes out, as the fellas that are on patrol will come to you with their effects, their personal effects and they'll ask you “If I don't come back you can send this home to my wife, send this to my family, these destroy, these you can keep.” You know, I mean that's, it's, it's sad.

Mr. Marshall explains the difference between fighting patrol and reconnaissance patrol when going out on night patrol.

Calvin Marshall

Mr. Calvin Marshall was born in Montreal, Quebec. At the age of 19, he decided to join the Reserve Army with the Royal Montreal Regiment. After receiving basic training in Farnham, Quebec, he enlisted with the active force in May of 1943. Mr. Marshall was part of the West Minister Regiment. He went overseas on the Mauritania, landed in Liverpool, England where he received advanced infantry training as a Bren gunner and moved in as a replacement with the regiment. After the war, Mr. Marshall was employed at Long Ports Canada Depot, and became a member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 14, 2011
Person Interviewed:
Calvin Marshall
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
West Minister Regiment
Bren Gunner

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