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Taken Prisoner

Heroes Remember

Our wounded were saying nothing. We took our licks. We took our licks. We didn't ask for any quarter and I'll say that, and I think a lot of the other guys would say it too. We didn't beg. We didn't crab. We didn't bellyache. We knew we'd been licked and we knew the Germans had licked us and we were gonna take it like men, like soldiers. So we were marched to Puys - to Dieppe from Puys. All along the road they had the German's dug in holes, I called them post holes, with their eyes and their helmet just above the ground. Now they hadn't dug those holes that day. They dug them holes a week ago or maybe ten days before or a month. And they were staggered. And the dirt piled up in front to rest the rifle on. So all they had to do was keep shooting and you couldn't see them. They searched, you know, had to throw all away, they took all our watches. I kept my pay book. My pay book was in there and I never gave it to them, I just never pulled it out and threw it onto the pile. Well we marched out in fives, they lined us up to march. Somebody started to hum the French national anthem and everybody was humming this. Well, the German's went crazy. They were all on horse back, the officers were riding horse back. They used horses you know, the German's, a lot of horses and trying to stop the... and the French people were crying on the side and giving us the sign of the “V” for victory. Anyway, they tried to stop this, the French national anthem and then we switched into The Maple Leaf Forever. So we went out, you know, you couldn't break us, they couldn't break us, the bastards couldn't break us. We didn't go out surly and with our heads hanging even though we'd been licked. We knew we'd been licked.

Mr. Poolton shares his experience about being marched as a prisoner of war.

John (Jack) Poolton

John (Jack) Abernethy Poolton was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 9, 1918. He was one of seven children. His father farmed 100 acres near Kapuskasing, Ontario. Mr. Poolton enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Canada and provides vivid, clear details of the allied landing at Dieppe, France on August 19, 1942.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John (Jack) Poolton
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Regiment of Canada

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