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Joining up with Friends

Heroes Remember

Joining up with Friends

It was a school picnic on the 28th of June and four of us or three of us really decided we would join the army. I don’t know why and we thought we could go over to Germany and finish that war off on the first day, you know, so we joined the army. My brother then he took over the farm. One of the guys that I joined up with he was training with paratroopers and his parachute didn’t open. The other guy I don’t know where he was in the army, I never really asked him but after the war he worked for Burns Construction, they were strip mining those days and he asked me, you know, in the winter time why don’t I work him. well looking after cattle and that I thought no I won’t but anyhow he committed suicide. I guess it got too much for him. So that was my friends that joined with me. Sad eh, but anyhow…

Mr. Coles shares the story of his decision to join the army while at a school picnic with friends.

Elmer Cole

Mr. Elmer Cole was born in Roche Percee, Saskatchewan on December 22, 1919. At age 15 he started working and left school with a grade eight education. In 1940 he joined with the South Saskatchewan Regiment taking basic training in Winnipeg and in Feb. 41 he came back to Brandon, Manitoba for mechanical training, switching over to The Calgary Tanks as a trooper on the Churchill tanks. Mr. Cole travelled overseas to England where he was given more training until the summer of ’42 when the Dieppe Raid occurred. Mr. Cole fought through the battle only to surrender with other Canadian soldiers where he became a POW until ’45 when they were set free. After returning to Canada, Mr. Cole worked with the Department of National Defence, then carried on as a mechanic but with the strong desire to always be a wheat farmer, he and his wife bought a farm in Oak bank, Manitoba until he retired at the young age of 54. Mr. Cole and wife Isabel adopted two boys. Now widowed, Mr. Cole spends much of his time playing cards and socializing with residents of his retirement home as well as spending time with his grandchildren. In 2005 Mr. Cole was presented with an Honorary Life Member certificate of the Kiwanis Club in his local community. Presently, at age 97, Mr. Coles continues to enjoy a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Elmer Cole
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Tanks

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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