Guide Days of Beer: A Memoir of a Beer Drinkin Man

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Mind you the parties and meeting the Dutch girls was in full swing.

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Surprisingly most of the girls could speak some English and our fellows were ready to further their education. We were quite pleased with his visit as I believe he was a gunner early in his career. We polished our old desert guns until they shone, also all our vehicles and our personnel were up to a fine state of excellence. Our regiment had great pride in both appearance and field performance.

We had orders that the whole division would assemble at the airport in Eelde, Holland to participate in the great exercise. At Eelde, the whole division was lined up in a hollow square. Then General Crerar took to the saluting stand and the whole division drove past. Our regiment was judged the best in every way and this was later confirmed by Gen Hoffmeister. Oh well, probably all received the same accolades, but it is always nice to get a pat on the back instead of a boot in the rear.

General Crerar inspects the regiment in Winschoten Rankin, Major Crown and Brigadier Ross are with him. The gun is a 25 pounder field gun. After this great exercise, equipment was turned in and we were down to a bare amount of transport. Some of our drivers joined with other divisional units and drove hundreds of vehicles into Czechoslovakia and turned them over to the government there.

Some of our drivers did have a chance to see a couple of the large extermination camps and were horrified at what they saw. Yes there was the gas ovens and extermination camps. Winschoten, Holland, June We were gunners without guns and time on our hands and the next turn of events was whether any of us would volunteer for the Pacific, or go to the Army of Occupation in Germany, or wait it all out until we were sent home. Orme Payne, myself and few others that had all joined up over five years ago had a meeting and each one put forward what would seem in our best interest.

I came on strong saying we already had volunteered for the duration of hostilities and for a year after or whenever His Majesty saw fit. I was ready to go as unit anywhere, but not a few of us here and a few elsewhere. The group of us did not volunteer any further.

Paul Shwarek, troop Sgt. Not long after this Battery Sgt. This left me as the now Battery Sgt. Major and the only WO in 76 th Battery. This was all that remained of Fox Troop as all long term personnel and older married men were repatriated. Trade schools were set up in the school that our Battery were billeted in. Also Lt Alex Ross was looking after a school for the troops in Groningen. A motor mechanic school was established in Groningen. Jack Parr and some of the other transport people gave instruction.

Somewhere in this state of upheaval I, along with twenty or thirty other ranks, went to a town called Deventer to have a vehicle park guard for a 2 nd Corps unit, the 12 th Manitoba Dragoons.

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How we were picked to do this duty I will never know. I think that most of their personnel except for a few Sergeants had been sent to the Army of Occupation in Germany. More of our long service married men were sent to England on drafts hopefully for a quick trip home. But transport home did not come soon as most of the large troop ships were transporting the American forces home so they could be sent to the far east.

In the interim fellows like Lloyd Fraser and Eugene Agrette were enjoying the good life at a racing stable and getting some jockey training. Lloyd marvelled at the beautiful horses this stable had and the racing fever the Dutch enjoyed. Lloyd and Roy arrived in England either just at the time of the Aldershot riot or after it and troops were being sent out of England as quickly as possible.

Lloyd and Roy had a speedy trip home along with twenty more soldiers on a Canadian destroyer, fast and rough, but HOME. The rest of us were still in Holland and would be for quite some time. The parties, the dances, movies, the Dutch girls and the hospitality of the Dutch community made time go by. Yes there was a lot of escapades that happened in this town.

Roy Childs told me that here in Winschoten one of the quartermasters that was not liked by any of the gunners was knocked on the head with a pick handle, sent to hospital and never returned to the unit. This resulted in Sgt. Jim Jessup being promoted to quartermaster Sgt.. He did a good job in his new role.

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Accidents happened here and Jack Beckwith was shot in the knee by Bill Strickland doing the fast draw act with his revolver. It fired hitting Jack in the knee. This knee bothered Jack all his life. Our regimental numbers were rapidly being reduced as the days went by.

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Drafts sent out with those that had volunteered for the Pacific, and to the Army of Occupation, plus the married long term soldiers. Every day it seemed someone all of a sudden was no longer here. It was the breaking up of the family that we had known to have loved, clothed, fed, and sheltered us. You hoped that all the rest of you could go as a group.

This was not the case. Try as everyone did, it was pretty hard to keep a group involved in any one thing. The question was when are we going home? I think the Dutch people played a great role in our getting ready to enter a new role as civilians. We were treated like family in their homes and in their everyday life.

Where there were children and Canadian soldiers, the soldiers won the hearts of kids and it was not unusual to see a Canadian soldier walking along the street with a couple of kids tagging long. A chocolate bar handed out and even helped fix a tire of a bicycle. It helped to know the kids and often you met their older sisters by doing the younger ones a good turn.

This was so much different than Italy. The Dutch people were more than kind to all of us. The mothers treated us like sons and felt how much we must miss home after being so far away for so long. Most of us had no voice contact with our parents for almost five years. Some of the fellows had lost loved ones at home, some their wives divorced them. One sad case that comes to mind was Capt Taylor whose wife passed away within days of his return home.

This was sent from Ottawa. The sad part of waiting and trying to put in time there were some motor cycle accidents, jeep accidents, poisoned booze, and Canadians thrown in the canals with arms wired [in Belgium]. All these things took Canadian soldiers lives and the waiting went on. I did not get depressed with the waiting and knew that we would eventually get home. With this pair there was a challenge who was the best dressed each morning.

To be the best turned out you had to be up early. Elmer had seen Orme press some battle dress trousers the night before so he, being a monster, awakened first and on with Orme's pressed trousers. Now Orme being a good sport about this was going to get even, so the next morning he awoke first and half asleep leaped up and went to pull on fresh washed socks that he had seen Elmer wash the day before.

Elmer had fallen in the canal on the way home. The canals were used as sewers for centuries, so you can imagine the condition of the rest of Elmer's clothes. I, sleeping in the next room, did not know until the door opened and Orme gave the still sleeping Elmer heck for the condition of the room, clothes, and stench.

Oh yes, some of it was fun and interesting. Capt Weir and his lady Pat were married on Doug's first leave from Belgium. Pat was an officer in the ATS. Doug Weir was now a major at the young age of 24 and being billeted in a private house in Winschoten.

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Here he says he was treated like a king and had an egg for breakfast with the trimmings, a far cry from dehydrated mutton from a mess tin that we were all used to. The changing face of the regiment was ongoing with the old timers leaving and new faces coming in to be repatriated with us. Of this group Sgt. MO Nelson and Sgt. Sparky Ament came from other regiments and they fitted right in with our group. Their experiences after the D- Day landings and the fierce fighting in Normandy were certainly quite different than a lot of the Italian campaign.

We all drank a fair amount during this time and put in the time as best we could. Super scrounger Joe Telfer and a lorry driver travelled from Holland to Belgium on buying trips. Joe would go to the Belgium breweries and purchase kegs of beer for the officers, WO's, and Sgt. Joe was an entrepreneur class 1. Joe would pick up anything that was saleable, either on a short run into Germany for a diesel motor, sewing machines, you name it.

Joe picked up and sold this stuff into the black-market in Belgium and in exchange received British pound notes. Belgium was flooded by the Germans with bogus pound notes. The British knew this, but made good on all these bogus bills. Joe made a small fortune, but at the same time brought back to anyone that wanted shoes or hand bags, or whatever, for Dutch or English girl friends. Joe was a shopper that rated right up there with the best. I asked Joe what had happened to the beer barrels that belonged to the Dutch that he had used on all the trips to Belgium.

Joe admitted he sold them on his last trip. Holland, late fall of We are still in Holland and of course heard all the stories of units going home with very little points compared to what we had accumulated in Italy and being overseas so much longer. The revelation hit some of us that it was likely the Government way of doing things. If all of us that had joined together went home together, we would have been a voice that maybe the Government did not want to hear, or maybe it was nothing sinister at all.

Who knows? None of us had any political stripe. Home was where we wanted to be! Orme and I had quite a beer session one night. George was not a drinking man so he may of had a beer, but soon went to bed. Orme and I had settled into drinking a small keg of Belgium beer. I cracked the first one into my glass, downed the beer and egg. The next egg and beer same thing. On the third egg, I cracked it on the edge of my glass and to the bottom of the glass went an unborn chicken. Dumping the chicken out, Orme and I proceeded to finish the small keg of beer.

About six in the morning my brother George arose to find Orme and I still telling stories at the same spot. We were probably in better shape than at midnight as the Belgium beer was not too powerful. When we came to Winschoten a couple of our fellows saw a Dutch girl riding by on her bicycle.

One of the fellows hollered out say lady your hind wheel is turning. This lady well and truly understood English. As fall was with us, the idea of hockey was brought up.

The fellows had a pretty good few weeks in the city of canals. Herbie was part and parcel of every Canadian in Italy. He did all the things that could and did happen to us over there, each of us saw some bit of Herbie in ourselves. The CWAC pipe band came to Winschoten and put on a most impressive exhibition of marching and playing. It was great to see these Canadian girls doing their stuff.

It was our first chance to talk to any Canadian girls since the summer of in Italy when 1 Canadian Entertainment company put on shows for us after the Hitler Line. A pivotal job as a bag boy at a grocery store. Judge has reportedly been cooperating with the FBI in its renewed background investigation of the nominee.

What follow are excerpts from Wasted that illuminate the student culture at Georgetown Prep during that era — and fill in some of the gaps in the timeline of the critical summer of In some cases, the names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved. On Monday morning the upperclassmen would return from the weekend with stories about keg parties, girls, and hours spent in bars in Georgetown….

At Prep, seniors would often go directly from class to a bar. They would even drink with alumni at football games. Judge writes that his struggle with alcoholism began the year before the encounter alleged by Ford. Brett Kavanaugh does not make a direct appearance in Wasted , but a similarly named classmate appears, in dialogue Judge recalls with a girl he liked named Mary:. He passed out on his way back from a party. Judge writes of his decision to try out for the football team before his senior year, in part to win favor with his distant father. It would put me right in the center of action.

In her Senate testimony, Ford described running into Judge after the alleged attack at a Safeway where Judge was working. Sheldon Whitehouse D. These can make getting through the day an Olympic event. This was never more evident to me than when, to raise money for football camp, I spent a few weeks working as a bag boy at the local supermarket…. It was a nightmare. Invariably I would be hungover or still drunk when I got to work at seven in the morning, and I spent most of the first hour just trying to hold myself together.

Luckily the bathroom was a private room in the back of the store, and I often managed to recuperate there unnoticed. On the weekend before football camp, Judge recalls a getting blackout drunk after taking shots at a bar with friends. I was curled up in the fetal position with saliva running out of the side of my mouth. I sat up and tried to open my eyes.

Then I struggled to my feet and looked in the mirror. It looked like a bunched-up pillow.

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