Posts Tagged ‘Camp Borden’

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month. At 11am I was with my Dad participating in Remembrance Day services. My Dad is my “Hero”. The following is a story he wrote years ago for the “Humour In Uniform” section of Readers Digest. I would like to share this with you. My copy is hand written and I will type it out without any editing.

17 Year Old William Duncan Gillies

17 Year Old William Duncan Gillies

It all began in 1939, a war erupted, I was underage when I enlisted (seventeen) so the first three months my duty was guarding the locks of the Welland Canal, then six months of basic training.  Training can become boring so I volunteered for the Pipes & Drums of the number two training depot stationed at Camp Borden.

This was an enjoyable time, we practised daily and took part in parades for War Bond Drives where the local residents fed & treated us royally.  When in camp the retreat ceremony was one of our duties this was an interesting and colorful performance that ended with the lowering of the flag to conclude the day.

During all the guarding, training, and parading I followed the progress of the war with great interest, in particular the exploits of the British Tank Corps and the German Panzer Divisions.  My interest was whetted to the point that I decided when I was old enough my service would be as an adventurous tank driver.

So it was in mid 1940 a notice was posted on the bulletin board the 11th C.A.R. (Ont. Tank Regt.) wanted volunteers.  At last my dream had come true.  I was in a tank troop.  Imagine my surprise when on my very first day the Sergeant said I could drive!  The troop assembled in groups of five (a tank crew).  Four men formed a square and the tank commander (a Sgt.) took his place in the center.  It was then my balloon was punctured.  The Sergeant turned to me and with a slight smile on his face ordered,

“Driver Advance!”

There were no tanks in Canada we trained on foot.


Submitted by

 Wm. (Bill) Gillies

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