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The Fear of Being Taken Prisoner

Heroes Remember

The Fear of Being Taken Prisoner

One time I nearly got, I nearly got taken prisoner. We were, we were on a night march, going up towards a place called Ravenna, and we were near Pan..., a place, another place called Pagannoni, and the whole regiment was there. The colonel and everybody and we were supposed to meet up with the Irish Regiment of Canada. They were going to make an assault on Ravenna. And the colonel ordered that we stop and those that wanted to smoke would go in this barn and have a cigarette. Well I didn’t smoke at the time, so we were laying around outside and we could hear the Germans coming up the road. We didn’t expect that there were any Germans there. So there was an artillery officer with us, four artillery officer, that’s the guy that’s up front that directs the artillery that’s back, you know, to let them know where their shells are falling, you know what I mean. Give them coor..., the map coordinates where the shell, and he kept telling us to go back, go back, go back, go back, because we don’t know, didn’t know how many Germans they were of them and they didn’t know how many there was of us and eventually we got separated from the main group. And I’m gonna tell you something, that’s the first night I never was so scared in my life because I thought I was going to be taken prisoner that night and at the time the Germans were always spouting about they were the master race and the hate they had for Jews and for anything other than Germans. I was fearful that if they took, I was taken prisoner, what they might do to me. And I always remember we heard in the back, we could hear the Germans in the back of us calling out to each other “Hans, Hans, Fritz”. So we started to run and I had on this webbing with, I was a Bren gunner. I had on this webbing with Bren gun magazines in the front in the pouches and we had another fella named Bailey with an 18 set, which is a radio set and everybody, everybody started to run and I seen Bailey take off his 18 set and I had these magazines, well I took these magazines sets out and I was right up with them. And we went up into a farmer’s loft up, on top of the loft and we stayed there all night very, very quiet. Luckily the chickens are asleep at night too. And the next morning when we woke up, when daylight broke, we looked out through the little thing and we seen Canadian soldiers there. We went back to our regiment and by the time, that fast, by the time we got back to regiment, they already had us listed, listed as missing.

Mr. Marshall shares the experience he had during a close encounter with the Germans and how he hid in fear of being taken prisoner.

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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