Archive | March 2013

March 29, 1943

Nothing very interesting today. Old Hank Greenberg and I went to the flicks to see “Tarzan in New York”. Really got a kick out of it. War news awfully good today.

Alexander family collection.

Alexander family collection.

March 27 & 28, 1943

March 27: Was raining when we woke up. Started off at 8 a.m. and travelled through very hilly country. Very slow. Passed through Taminton (?), Wilton and arrived at Minehead at 10:30 p.m. Have a nice single room and everything is O.K.

March 28: R.A.P. down the street. Fld. Amb. arrived. This afternoon John, Bob Purves, and I drove to West Portlock to tea then over to Exmoor in Lynmouth, then home. Went to Metropole Hotel for a while and then home to bed.

March 26, 1943

Moved off in convoy with Tanks at 8 a.m. Passed through Arundel, Chichester, Emsworth, Havant, outskirts of Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton, Totton, Cadnam, through the New Forest to Godshill, and we are parked in this Village green outside the “Fighting Cocks Inn.” My bed is made up against a little hall, and at my feet is a stone which reads “This stone was laid by the Honorable Lady Hulse – Aug. 8th, 1924.” Have just succeeded in buying a 1 1/2 dozen eggs – Bruce Trotter is donating a can of sausages – so we will eat. Had a wonderful meal and to bed.

R.S.M., myself, Uncle. Salisbury Plains 1941. Alexander Family collection.

R.S.M., myself, Uncle. Salisbury Plains 1941. Alexander Family collection.

March 24, 1943

Have put up another fight against existing arrangements – do not know whether I will have any success or not – but really, those in authority, especially the , care less for the lives of our men than Hitler does for his. Everyone is afraid to say anything as it might hinder his promotion. Poor show.

Dick Eldred and Doc Alexander, Muskoka, 1941. Alexander family collection.

Dick Eldred and Doc Alexander, Muskoka, 1941. Alexander family collection.

March 22, 1943 – strong words about army red tape and medical arrangements

All Churchill Tanks called in and we are now issued with Rams. The reason for this I do not know. I am very fed up and disgusted today – all our medical build up has been broken down and we now have absolutely nothing to work with. Many Canadian homes will have vacancies in them due to nothing but selfishness, Army red tape and absolute lack of interest in the lives of the men who do the fighting. Regimental medical arrangements at present are criminal – God alone knows what the result will be.

Calgary Tanks sick parade, 1941.

Calgary Tanks sick parade, 1941.

March 20, 1943

Saturday afternoon – everything is awfully dead – orchestra strumming away downstairs, preparing for tonight’s dance. We are exchanging our Churchill Tanks for Rams. A lot of the boys are pretty disgusted. John Begg will be leaving soon to take up some position back in Canada. Either DeRotzo from the 12th or Smetland from Brigade will take over.

The Calgary Tanks with their Churchill tanks during an inspection shortly before the Dieppe Raid. Alexander family collection.

The Calgary Tanks with their Churchill tanks during an inspection shortly before the Dieppe Raid. Alexander family collection.

A Canadian Ram tank. Library and Archives Canada. www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

A Canadian Ram tank. Library and Archives Canada. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

Calgary Tanks on the ranges at Stackpole Court, Wales – Sept. 1942

Below is a pair of photographs taken in September 1942 while the Calgary Tanks were training in Wales with the corresponding journal entries.

Tanks on the ranges at near Stackpole Court in Pembroke, Wales in Sept. 1942. Alexander family collection.

Tanks on the ranges at near Stackpole Court in Pembroke, Wales in Sept. 1942. Alexander family collection.

Sept. 21: 10 a.m. We arrive at Pembroke, South Wales and travel by bus to Stackpole Court – a huge country estate – old home covered with ivy – beautiful grounds. Got a single room – imagine four walls, bed, fireplace and electric light all at the same time. Drove over the ranges this morning to start work tomorrow. Mr. Ferguson the Imperial M.D. Dropped in and spent the evening with me. A very fine chap  and am going to his home on of these nights.

Sept. 22: Spent morning on ranges with Rx – in afternoon Ralph, Furman and I went to Haverfordwest to visit Bartholow in hospital with fractured Femur. On our way home stopped at Carey Castle – had supper – ham and eggs with Mrs. Morris – visited castle and went through it after supper – shown by Pat (3 years old).

Sept. 23: Spent entire day on Ranges – fired b.. 2 ½ rounds, not so hot. Enjoyed firing.