Monday, August 8, 2011

Brockville or bust…

We have been very lucky with the weather here on the farm, it did rain for a little bit last night, just enough to keep the gardens growing.

Today was a nice warm, clear day we enjoyed.  This morning, Uncle Art wandered in from the farm house to visit us in the RV.  We had a great visit this morning.  He may be 91, but his memory is like it all happened yesterday!

I had a chance to talk to him this morning about him and my Dad, and the time they spent in the Army during WWII.  My Dad would talk very little about what went on during the war, so there was never much conversation about it at all.  That is my experience with many of the war vets… they just don’t like to talk about it. 

Uncle Art started off by telling me about joining the Army just before the war, as the nations built up their forces.

Here he is with my Mom enjoying the morning in the RV.


He was under 18 when he joined up, and told them he didn’t know a thing about being a soldier… no problem they said.  Two months after he joined, he was shipped overseas to England!  When he got there, he was assigned to an Artillery Unit.  He ended up being the man on the team, who set the elevation of the Artillery Gun.  Yes, it was loud when they fired the big gun.  He spent time in Wales, where they practiced shooting at some boats, and airplanes.  He has many memories about being in England, and eventually France.   Of course as an Artillery Gun Shooter, you were about 5 miles away from all the action.  He said the biggest problem was, when they fired the gun, they always had to wait to see if the Germans were going to fire back at them!  Firing the gun gave your location away to the enemy.  Many times he was fired at, and said a couple of times, they retreated real quick, leaving the guns behind them!

They did receive some pay, and were given a couple days of leave time every now and then.  They always found their way to a Pub of some type to blow off a bit of steam… who wouldn’t! Four years he spent on the Artillery Gun Unit, and named off each man of his team like he was a Brother! He said they never knew what they were actually shooting at, only being given co-ordinates of where to shoot, and when.   If you can imagine, he is very hard of hearing now, and uses two hearing aids… he does receive an Army Pension for his hearing loss. 

Thank you for your service Uncle Art!

Uncle Art and my Dad did not serve together.  My Dad was in the infantry, and fought in North Africa, and Italy, before being wounded in the shoulder, and eventually being sent back home, as he had to marry my Mom and start a Family!

It was fun and interesting talking to my Uncle Art today, something I do not get a lot of chance to do!

This afternoon, Judy and I jumped in the Jeep, and took my Cousin Marion into Brockville with us for a bit of shopping.

We made a little tour of the water front area.  Brockville of course, is right on the St. Lawrence River.


Lots of sail boats…


And of course, everyone knows their geography, and knows that on the far side of the St. Lawrence River, you are looking at New York State!


Below is Brockville’s claim to fame, home of the first Railway Tunnel in Canada. 



The tunnel actually went under the Town Hall and Main Street of Brockville!  Very Neat.

Judy and Marion did an excellent job of keeping the local economy of Brockville going, with all the shop owners saying “Thank you!”

Till tomorrow…


  1. I appreciate his service too!
    Love these sailboat pictures. =]

  2. gorgeous pics...I also appreciate your uncle's service and don't you just love listening to his stories..the last time I heard Brockville or bust was in June when we were travelling to Grimsby to trade our MH in for our new one..We drove from Edmunston NB to Brockville..11 hours later we what a long haul day that was..its a beautiful place to say the least...take care and travel safe..

  3. It's great that you can sit and talk to your Uncle about his experiences in WWII. I'll bet he enjoys it as much as you do. So much of that history will be gone forever soon. Like your Dad, mine never talked too much about his WWII time either.

  4. My Dad wouldn't talk about his time during WWII either. He would tell a story of peeling spuds but not about all the fighting that took place. Nice that you could hear your Uncle's stories about his life. I'd love to visit this place.