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A Signaller

Heroes Remember

You had to train on all the weapons, you know. Even though you were only going to be a signaller. You had to train to use any weapon they might have on hand if you were called on to do it you know. There was many casualties in transit they had to keep drawing from us, we never got to France as a unit, as a brigade, you know. They took so many recruits from our ranks that we had to break up and they finally broke us up and I went to France with the heavy machine guns, the Machine Gun Battalion, and it was the heavy Vickers guns, you know. Course I was a Signaler wherever I went and that's the communications man you know. Oh, mostly telephone, telephone. We learned on these telephone signaling and the other Morse code signaling with the flags which they never use that in the war. They couldn't stand up and start waving flags around or you'd get a bullet in the head or something.

Mr. MacDougall describes how his brigade was broken up to provide reinforcements to the four brigades already in France, and his role as a signaller in a machine gun battalion.

Alec MacDougall

Alec MacDougall was born on September 20, 1896 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. His father was a miner and also owned a farm. Mr. MacDougall finished grade 10, then worked at the local foundry until enlisting in the Army in 1916. His Battalion, the 185th Cape Breton Highlanders trained at Camp Aldershot, Nova Scotia before sailing to England aboard the SS Olympia. He deployed to France as a signaler with the 4th Division, and saw action most notably at Arras and Amiens.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alec MacDougall
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
185th Cape Breton Highlanders

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