Stories of World War II
contributed by Raymond T. H

Raymond H.RR #1

I see a request in the November-December issue of the Legion magazine for information on Terrace by someone who had been stationed there during the World War II. I was there for some time in 1942 and 1943.

I was a farm boy from the Tisdale area in north eastern Saskatchewan who have never been more than a hundred miles from home when I was called to the armed forces to report to Regina April 9, 1942 to take part of my basic training there and the rest of it at Dundurn, near the city of Saskatoon. In early September I was sent to Sydney on Vancouver Island, then to Courtney for barge landings where we were wet up to our armpits and ordered not to get our rifles wet. I was then sent to Terrace and to get there in 1942 we had to back to Jasper by C.N.R., then back west again on the train to Terrace, which took four days. I arrived there along with about 50 troops. It was October 9, 1942. I remember the date well because after six months in the army I was due for a furlough and for a guy who had never been far from home I was sure looking forward to two weeks at home, but the army did not see fit to give me a furlough until March 1943. Anyway, it was raining the day we arrived in Terrace and it rained for the next four weeks. We got our daily rations from a unit up on the hill, which was I think, north east of town where Carter Hall Construction was building army barracks. There was a street just west of the C.N.R. station and about half way north on that were two empty buildings, one, I think, had been a butcher shop and that became our kitchen and sleeping quarters for some of the troops, and another building on the north side of it, which had been a store became shelter for the rest of the boys. There was also a small saw mill west of the C.N.R. station where some of the boys could make a few dollars on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. I never got a chance to work at the saw mill because of there being so much rain, the streets were a real mess so the first job I got was to haul gravel from the Skeena River to put on the streets. We shoveled the gravel on to the trucks and we had to back down the streets, shovel it off and then drive over it to pack it down as we drove away for another load. It was at this time that I wondered why I was with this bunch as I had also driven Bren gun carriers, trucks, etc. One day the Captain finally told me that I was spare man and he informed me that since our cook was sick and had been taken to Carter Hall Sick Bay, I was to be detailed to the kitchen to help the cook's helper. We were in the two buildings I described above for about twenty days and then we moved north east of town to an almost finished kitchen for about a hundred men. It was so convenient that I guess we all took a new lease on life.

I don't know how many people lived in Terrace but I would take a guess of about three hundred. I don't recall having seen a school there, but there must have been as there were several children around.

I turned cold after we moved to the new kitchen, the ground froze and was very slippery. I was there until after Christmas when I was sent to Vancouver for January and February on a cooking course. After my furlough in March I returned to Terrace to see spring come and it was a lovely time of year to see. I enjoyed the spring there in the barracks as it was warm and dry. We left there the end of June, 1943, for Wainwright, Alberta, and I have never been back, but I do think of it at times.

I was in the army for four years and I was a cook for three and a half years. I went overseas in December, 1944 and saw a bit of the world. I came back all in one piece, got married and after farming my own land for over fifty years I am still able to get around under my own steam. I will be 80 years old March 27, 1999 and I am a member of Tisdale Legion #50.

I am enclosing three post card pictures of Terrace, also a snapshot of myself, all of which I would like to have returned to me if at all possible.


Yours sincerely,

Raymond T.H.

PS I would be pleased to hear from you if you are able to use any of this infomation.

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