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Wounded Because of a Numb Leg

Heroes Remember

Wounded Because of a Numb Leg

That night I was on duty. We had an advance trench above the position on, on the dike. We had a hole there for two, for two of us. And if the Germans tried to move in, if we saw anything, then we were the lookout trench as we called it. Anyway, I told my friend I said, “Look,” I said “my legs, I got to get up and walk around.” Well, I did. I took about three steps and then, wham! All I saw was a big flame and I woke up in the basement of a bombed out house. They carried me down to the position and they applied first aid, put something, I was wounded right here. And covered me up. I couldn’t open my mouth, I couldn’t say anything. I had a broken bone in there someplace. I was passing out all the time because of that dope that they had given me. It’s the dope, we had the, everyone of us, had an Atropine thing. It was about that long, and with a needle on it. See they had taken that and injected me with this and that’s what was putting me out. I came to when the platoon sergeant came in to visit and he says, he says, “What can I do for you, Bob?” I said, “Could you get me a ration of rum?” I says, “I feel like I have to have something.” My head was spinning and everything. Oh, he says, “When I get back I’ll do that.” So, after we had a little talk, he wanted to know how I was, was I going to recover from this or whatever. He went back to the position. And then later on the officer came in to see me and he wanted to know how I felt and all that. I said, “Well,” I said, “it would be nice to have, to have another shot of rum.” “Well,” he says, “when I get back,” he says, “I’ll send Sergeant Cole.” And that’s what he did. Now the next morning, when I, I was awake by then, there was a landing craft there, and they had already put some prisoners in there. And one, one of the best stretcher, it was a dead soldier that they had put there. The other one, so they loaded the three of us on the thing and we ended up, back into, across the river to, to the first aid post that was set up there. They, they patched me up, they checked me out and again I was passing out. They put me in an ambulance and took me to, to Brussels in Belgium. A big British, big British hospital.

Mr. Champoux describes how he got wounded when he got up from a trench to stretch his legs.

Robert Arthur Champoux

Mr. Champoux was born in Hull, Québec on March 21st, 1921. He lived there until the age of 8 when his father, a First World War Veteran, moved the family to Ottawa. Mr. Champoux had three brothers and four sisters; he was the third oldest child. When the war broke out he was attending Ottawa Technical High School. He left school, after his first year, to join the Army after failing to join the Navy and the Air Force (who were not yet recruiting). He left for Europe July 17th, 1940 and ended up stopping in Iceland where he remained for the next 10 months. Mr. Champoux’s wartime service saw him fighting on D-Day and in the Falaise Gap. He also fought in Calais and later on in Holland where he was wounded. Mr. Champoux got a job with the Mint upon returning to Canada. He joined the army again in 1948 retiring in 1965.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Arthur Champoux
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
13 Platoon - Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Machine Gunner

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