D-Day: Central Alberta veteran encourages Canadians to visit Vimy Ridge

Sometimes you remember, sometimes you forget

There are some memories you want to remember, but there are others that you want to forget.

For a Central Alberta Second World War veteran, the latter rings true – believing it is important to move on with life.

“You let it go. It’s another happening in your life,” said Joseph Young, who turned 100 in April. “I have moved on. You don’t think about it anymore.”

Young drove a truck when he was in France from 1941 to about December 1945. The military truck driver drove a corporal in the front and six soldiers in the back.

Young, who grew up in Carrot River, Sask., was a member of the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment, a light armour arm of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division headquartered in Swift Current, Sask.

Sometimes, on his drives, he came upon dead bodies laying in the middle of the street. But that never made him afraid or nervous.

“You get used to it,” he said in an interview recently.

On D-Day, which is symbolic, especially to Canadians, Young was on a ship from England to France.

“I drove an armoured vehicle out of a tank landing ship onto the beach,” he said, adding he arrived in France after D-Day.

Today, he advises Canadians to visit Vimy Ridge in France, something he did on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014. He saw the names of many Canadians who were buried there, along with his best friend, who was laid to rest at Bretteville-sur-Laize.

The two, Lance-Cpl. Clifford Cushing of Regina, and Young, met in the Canadian Armed Forces.

“I wish he made it through the war like I did, but he didn’t,” said the Central Alberta veteran.

He remembers August 1944, when he was severely wounded from shrapnel in his left shoulder.

The truck driver and the crew had made a stop at night in France and were digging a trench to rest. That’s when the Germans started bombing, he recollected.

The crew stayed there until the bombing stopped, said Young from his Lacombe County home.

“A scout’s car came and got me and took me to a field dressing station, where they bandaged me up,” he said.

He was then taken to a Canadian field hospital, where the experts operated on him and took out the “bullet-like metal piece” from his shoulder and back.

“I was there about four or five days, and they flew me to England for about three or four months,” he said, adding he headed back to France once he recovered.

Young remembers the doctors waking him up every three hours to give him a penicillin shot while recovering in England, but doesn’t remember being in pain.

“I could get up and walk around. The shock of getting hit deadens the pain.”



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Former principals, staff and students celebrate 50 years of Westpark Middle School

In the mid-1970s, Paul Gowans became principal at Westpark Middle School and… Continue reading

Central Alberta MPs seek stiffer punishment for rural crimes

Bill C-458 was tabled Friday, and proposes to amend the Criminal Code to account for rural residents

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets second green light from Ottawa

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is giving the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

WATCH: New RDC president has three decades of experience working at colleges and universities

Peter Nunoda says he’s ‘excited’ to help transition the college into a university

Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

OTTAWA — Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says more must be done… Continue reading

Pricey tours of decaying Titanic shipwreck delayed until June 2020

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists who paid $168,000 each to help… Continue reading

Police searching for suspect after shooting at Toronto Raptors rally

Toronto police are still looking for a suspect after Monday’s shooting that… Continue reading

The corporate winners and losers from the Toronto Raptors’ historic win

We The North mania spread across Canada as the Toronto Raptors created… Continue reading

Efforts continue to raise profile of New Brunswick sprint champion from 1900s

HALIFAX — A New Brunswick sprinter who achieved world-class success in the… Continue reading

Campaign to eradicate rodents puts other animals at risk

The bird was a female cardinal. It was on the ground and… Continue reading

Opinion: Throwing cold water on fee for calling firefighters

There’s never any upside to adversity. Whether it’s the loss of a… Continue reading

‘This is our story:’ Winnipeg General Strike commemorated on screen, stage

WINNIPEG — A moment in history that changed Canada forever is headed… Continue reading

Most Read