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It was a good bunch of boys.

Heroes Remember

It was a good bunch of boys.

I guess you think of the good things. You don’t think of the bad things. Well, I don’t know just what to say in a sense, I guess. But you had friends around town and things, when you’re in a port and so on. We were lucky that way. You’re in and out. And I got home a lot, too. Because, like the last few trips, the last few trips I was home. I think two trips, three months in a row. Because the boys from out in Western Canada, and so on couldn’t care less. They couldn’t get home anyway. Sometimes you’re supposed to be on duty, but somebody else would do your duty … you might as well go home. There's no good of you staying around. I’m not going anywhere anyway. Just an example, I done something, wartime. Today it would be nothing, but I was home on Dominion Day and went back to the ship. Went over to England, and I spent three days leave in England, and I was back home again before the month was out. That was something in wartime. I mean, you didn’t travel, but that was just the way you could travel back and forth. I think about it a lot of time. I think of the ship, ‘cause I enjoyed it. It was really ... I was so happy to be on there. Like, I mean, with a good bunch of boys. I say we’re still three of us. Not very often three boys, after 60 years, can still get in touch. And there wasn’t anybody there that you couldn’t work with. I mean, you put people together, they always got along. There was no fighting among, I don’t think, anybody. I can’t remember of anybody in the quarters ever having a row or anything …or fights or anything. I didn’t drink when I went into the service and I didn’t drink when I got out, and that was just me. I mean that was ... there was two or three that didn’t drink on the ship, not many people. They said when you went into the army, you had to learn to drink. Well, I didn’t find that and I didn’t lose any friends, either. I had as many friends as anybody else. But I think a lot of the boys must have had quite a problem going back to civilian life, because I know some of the boys with us that never drank in their life or anything, l lived in well good families like and so on … they started drinking, and so on. One fellow got to be quite a heavy drinker. Well, when he went back home, how is he going to fit in with his folks? That must have been quite a problem for a lot of the boys, because they’re away in the service, and then back home is a different thing altogether. Now, I think that must have been, to me ... I often wonder how the boys made out.

Mr. Clark discusses some good and bad aspects of life at sea.

Charles Howard Clark

Charles Howard Clark was born in Chelton, Prince Edward Island on November 16, 1924. His father worked as a fisherman, carpenter and butcher during the Depression. Mr. Clark indicates that although times were tough, his community shared its resources and no one went hungry. He attended a one room school. Although he was able to enlist, he, like many local youth, had to stay on the farm as the production of food was vital to the war effort. Mr. Clark’s attempts to enlist in 1943 were at first unsuccessful; he was turned down by both the navy and air force, but was finally accepted into the infantry. However, his stay there was short due to a childhood hip injury, which made marching difficult. He then trained as a stretcher bearer, before finally joining the hospital ship ‘Lady Nelson’ as a nurse-orderly. Aboard this vessel, Mr. Clark made seventeen transatlantic voyages, offering medical care of various types to the wounded who were being returned to Canada. He witnessed the Halifax riots and feels much of the blame placed on the military was unwarranted.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Charles Howard Clark
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North Atlantic Ocean
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

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