Canadian Army 1943-1946
My name is Sylvester McCallum. While I was in the service I was referred to as Mac or Red and later in civilian life I was referred to as Bus. I was born 10 January 1926 in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia to a family consisting of five boys and five girls.
I joined the military 17 November 1943 at the ripe age of seventeen. I took my Basic Training in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and transferred for Advanced Training in Aldershot just out side of Kentville, Nova Scotia. On the 7th of May 1944 I was shipped overseas on the Ill de France, and we landed in England approximately seven days later.
On D-Day 6 June 1944, I landed on Juno Beach Normandy at approximately 0610 a.m. I was assigned to the Canadian Scottish Regiment from British Columbia, as a reinforcement to B Company 12th Platoon 3rd Division 7th Brigade. I was in the front lines traveling from Caen to Antrewpen.
After crossing the Leopold Canal, on 8 October 1944, I was wounded. And the story of how I was wounded is rather a funny tale. You see we were on the run and the Germans had us pinned down in a little bunch of trees. One of our guys got shot and he was crying and said he couldn’t walk so I picked him up over my back and took to running with him. Then I got hit in the leg and shoulder and when I fell to the ground the guy I was carrying took off running! But nevertheless, I got out alive and was transferred to a hospital in England.
After I recovered, I took several related courses in England, preparing to go to the Pacific. I was shipped back to Canada on the Ill de France on 5 August 1945 for leave, prior to going to the Pacific. Peace, however, was declared 8 August 1945. After my leave I was assigned to Aldershot, Nova Scotia, then transferred to Debert, Nova Scotia. I was discharged from the service on 1 March 1946, end of demobilization, in Halifax. I enjoyed touring England back then, but I don’t wish to remember or talk about the bad times.
I married Doris, the girlfriend I had before going overseas. We’ve been married for 58 years and have two children, three grandchildren and one great granddaughter.