By George Mock, Royal
Canadian Corps Of Signals
arrived at our seaport in Italy amongst bombed out ships,
submarines and even a sunken Red Cross ship.
Photo: George in
front of 1840 Albert Road, his girlfriends house
(now wife of 55 years.) He lived at 1850 Albert Road
so had a long way to go to court her - three houses.
was born in Ford City, (East Windsor) and have lived in Windsor
all my life except for during my army service. I remember sitting
in class at Gordon McGregor School watching the Essex Scottish do
training in the fields, which later became the Ford Test Track.
parents emigrated here from England; Mother was a servant for the
Parson family in Walkerville and at one time, Dad was a gardener
at Willistead and also worked at Walker Farms. Mother used to tell
me the war would be over before I turned 18, which wasnt the
was 19 when I was sent to Italy as part of reinforcements for the
Royal Canadian Signal Corps. I was hoping to go to France to be
with my brother, but we had no control over that.
outfit boarded a troop train in Aldershot in Southern England and
we all wondered where we were heading. Not long after the train
pulled out we realized that we were heading north. Eventually we
would arrive in Greenock, Scotland. That meant we were not going
to northern Europe and they certainly were not sending us home,
leaving us to believe we would be heading to the Mediterranean,
probably Italy. Conditions on the train were terrible. We used our
greatcoats to keep warm.
in the Firth of Clyde was our troopship, the SS Chitral. She wasnt
very large, only 14,000 tons compared to the Queen Mary at 81,000
tons. We were assigned to E Deck, the lowest deck on the ship just
above the engine room. Our compartment held over 200, with bunks
stacked 4 to 6 high.
three days on board, we finally pulled out to sea. By daybreak we
were in a storm, with the ship rolling and pitching nearly
two thirds of the 2000 troops (I was spared fortunately) were seasick.
What a mess! When we were finally allowed on deck, the sight of
being in a huge convoy was overwhelming. There were ships as far
as the eye could see, along with many Corvettes for protection.
later we saw the northern coast of Spain and Gibraltar. The convoy
then began going through the Straits of Gibraltar in single file
while PBY Catalinas flew overhead on the look out for submarines.
days later we arrived at our seaport in Italy amongst bombed out
ships, submarines and even a sunken Red Cross ship. It was Christmas
Eve. After 14 days my Mediterranean cruise was over.
we disembarked we were taken by train and then by transport to our
depot in a bombed out building half way up a snow covered mountain.
We arrived late that night in unbelievable cold.
Christmas day, I was assigned to return to our troopship to help
unload supplies and I did not return to the depot until late that
night. I hadnt eaten all day and had also missed out on Christmas
dinner. When I finally did get some food it was so dark I had no
idea what I was eating.
guess this is why I enjoy being with our children and grandchildren
every Christmas and why it means so much more to me than anyone
Boys from Walkerville C.I.
Never Came Back
Ruth and Leonard St. Louis
plaque displayed in Walkerville Collegiates front Hall
was featured in The Blue & White,1947 (Walkerville
Collegiates yearbook) along with some sentiments on
its significance. Included were a short essay by Barbara Jane
Lees and part of the famous WWI poem, For the Fallen,
by Laurence Binyon.
students from Walkerville Collegiate answered the call of
duty and served in WWII. Jack Gooby, brother of Ruth St. Louis,
was among seventy boys from the school who didnt return.
Jack died in Normandy on July 28, 1944 while serving with
the Royal Canadian Artillery, 2nd Anti-tank Regiment. He is
buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery in Bayeux, France.
Parent, (cousin of Len St. Louis) was killed October 23, 1944
while serving in the 21st Armoured Regiment (Governor General
Foot Guards) and is buried in the Canadian War Cemetery, Bergen-op-Zoom,
the other names listed on the plaque will bring back many
sad memories for friends and relatives of these former students.
here to see the plaque.