Feb. 1–26, 1945 (getting caught up, round 2)

February 1945.

 Infantrymen of the North Shore Regiment boarding an Alligator amphibious vehicle during Operation VERITABLE near Nijmegen, Netherlands, 8 February 1945. LAC.

Infantrymen of the North Shore Regiment boarding an Alligator amphibious vehicle during Operation VERITABLE near Nijmegen, Netherlands, 8 February 1945. LAC.

Feb. 1/45 — Ned Stuart left for St. Omer to join #21 Gen. Hospt. Col. Kerr brought me the grand news that my last culture was Diptheroid rather than Diptheria. Another smear will be taken on Feb. 2 if negative I will go out on Feb. 4. Paul, Cpl. Roanes and Baughen visited. A party in my room in the evening. Maj. Carter Corps H.Q., Maj. Funnel, Corps H.Q. Maj. McKay, Imperial Ordinance, Lieut. White, Essex Reg., N/S Owen and myself. A good time had by all.

Feb. 2 — Usual day, nothing of importance.

Feb. 3 — Saturday. Smear negative. If everything is o.k. will be leaving tomorrow. Small party in my room at night.

Feb. 4 — Left Hospital at 4:00 p.m. Roads terrible. Took three hours to get from Turnhout to Zielst. A grand reception awaited me. The room decorated with Welcome signs. Joep took charge. She is the cutest thing — black skirt, khaki shirt wit collar, black trimmings on sleeves and pocket, black tie, and a crown on her pocket. Believe me, she is certainly looking after me. Nothing dong in the Unit at all — Field Surgical has left and once more we are down to six Officers and four Nurses. Very, very quiet. The roads are terrible, absolutely buried in mud, no bottom at all. Transport is very difficult. I am resting most of the time, but perhaps will start work in a few days.

Feb. 8 — Rumour has it that the big push is starting. Last night was terribly noisy — aircraft everywhere. Dolly Vincent and Lutes go on leave to England day after tomorrow. They will be relieved by two girls from 20 G.H. Was out to the airfield today. The first time for over one month. Am gradually getting stronger, and am doing a little more work.

Feb. 10 — Gordie and I went to Army H.Q. in Tilburg. Had lunch with Col. Gossage and got a little information on our future. In the evening we had a picture show in the Mess “The White Cliffs of Dover.” Dolly Vincent and margaret Lutes went on leave to England. They were relieved by Miss Watts (Calgary) and Miss Bradley from No. 20.

Feb. 11 — Very busy today. Maj. Stevens and Lieut. Jones (British) were down to see me about Air Evacuation. They had lunch with us. Very wet and miserable.

Feb. 12 — Usual day of admitting and evacuation. Timmy Cameron dropped in for lunch and we had a very pleasant hour before he returned to Tilburg. Terribly wet and muddy today.

Feb. 13 — Drove Mrs. Wickers over to Schijndel near ’s-Hertogenbosch to visit Joep. WWe stayed to dinner and then went onto 8th Gen. Hosp.

Feb. 14 — Gordie and I drove to 9th FDS in Turnhout, then to Army Troop h.Q. — twenty one kilometres south, then back to Tilburg where I visited Brig. Elder and Col. Gossage. learned about a proposed move for us — will probably have to recce a spot in a day or so — will still be on air evacuation work, worse luck. We are now planning a dance in the Officer’s Mess on Saturday night.

Feb. 16 — Hans has gone to Tunrhout today to get supplies for our big dance which comes off tomorrow night. This afternoon Ronnie has disappeared and I have been looking after things. On Monday I have to make a recce of a building near Tilburg. Nothing of interest today.

Feb. 17 — We had another dance in Mr. Basselman’s home. It was very nice, just like the others. Paul has been in Brugges for several days stranded as no aircraft are flying.

Feb. 19 — Reported to Army H.Q. in Tilburg at 9 A.M. and was sent to Maria Hoffen Reguee Centre on a recce. It is near Giles Rijen Airport on the road between Tilburg and Breda. Returned to H.Q. at noon and gave my report. Am now awaiting further news. Ronnie leaves for England in a couple of days on leave. I hope to get away on the 8th of March. Terribly foggy and wet these last few days.

Feb. 20 — Very foggy. No flying weather at all.

Feb. 21 — Inspection by Col. Morgan Smith — place not in good shape. i.e. billets. Very busy today. Good flying weather. Drove Joep back to her school in Schijndel.

Feb. 22 — General cleaning up in area. Ronnie flew to England today. I will be very busy for the next ten days.

Feb. 23 — Visits by Lt. Col. Stone, Capt. Jennings and Major McLaron — the latter is O.C. of 13th FDS who came over on the boat with us. Turkey declared war today on Germany and Japan. Very busy today — lovely flying weather. Dolly Vincent and Clare Lutes arrived back from England today, but I have not seen them yet.

Feb. 24 — Beautiful flying weather. We are quite busy. Dolly and Miss Lutes. returned from leave. Mr. and Mrs. Wilbers went away for the week and left me in charge of the children.

Feb. 25 — Went to both 6th and 8th Gen. Hosp. I had a little party at 8 with Eddie Walstein, Gross, McNaughton, George Curray, McMann.

Feb. 26 — Today completes my fourth year in the Army. We have been very busy for the past few days. The flying weather has been good and a great many patients have been coming through.


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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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