My Grandfather was a Canadian MP who was stationed in many places during WWII. In one photo we recovered there was the entire base and my Grandfather
dressed in white. We actually found someone else from the photo who said my Grandfather was the Provost Marshall, the head cop for the whole area the
base was in and could arrest anyone...military or civilian (due to the way Canadian law worked then I guess).
We asked him about it, since he always was casual about his service.
"Hey, this picture of you..."
"Yep, that's me."
"Why are you wearing white?"
"Oh, I don't know..just was I guess. Must have been cooking."
"We found out you were the Provost Marshall and ran the whole base and the area."
"Well, yeah...I was. But I liked to cook too."
(later stolen by a certain "I also cook" themed movie- lol)
He was a big, tough son-of-a-gun who grew up running the alps in Europe and working hard. Then he emigrated to Canada where he worked even harder. He
was well known in the area I lived as a nice guy, but not one you messed with.
So one story placed him in Europe attached to an American group to pick up a deserter and bring him back to Canada for trial. He said that in one area
they were ambushed and pinned down for a couple days with heavy casualties. Their supply never came and the bullets and food were low. Then came word
the Germans were advancing and he said the American commanders passed the word to save one bullet each to avoid capture.
He said the most amazing thing was seeing the dispair turn to cheers as bagpipes played from the hills behind and the
Canadian Black Watch
marched over the hills and "those tough buggers gave them Germans hell
until they surrendered or ran."
DISCLAIMER: Not intending to belittle any nationality, just simply relating a story I was told.
One other story he told was in Canada with him and a partner "a little Frenchie" who went to a bar because some soldiers were raising hell. He said
to the partner "watch my back" and went in. The tension was raised in the 5-on-2 situation and soon, it was clear that a fight was going to break
He ended the story saying he turned around and the "little bastard was gone, ran out on me." Then he was back to his tools in the garage, tinkering
away leaving me and my dad just standing there.
The funny part was my dad asking him, "Well, what happened with the soldiers in the bar?"
He replied "Oh them? Yeah we scuffled and I arrested them."
"ALL five?" my dad asked (both he and I wide-eyed).
"Well, yeah" he said "Nobody else was around. Was a hell of a fight, but you should have seen what I did to that little French bastard when I got
back to the base."
These were just a couple of the most memorable WWII period stories from this larger-than-life hero I had. This was a guy big as a mountain with
muscles like an ox. I can't even convey the real-life strength of character or the quiet spoken gentleness and humor of the man. His favorite trick
on me when I was little was to reach INTO a boiling pot of water to remove the eggs and then hand them to me, grinning as I yelped with suprise.
"Bah, that's not hot" he would say. Truth was he worked so hard his whole life, his hands were huge and calloused.
He repeated the joke years later pulling a white-hot coal from a barbeque on summer day and holding while he lit his pipe. Then held it out to me.
"Want this?" he asked grinning at my bulging-eye stare before tossing it back.
I saw his uniform and stuff as a kid and to this day I have one nice momento. His original MP armband. Thanks for this thread and bringing back some
good memories of a great man.