They stood together in the mess hall. Waiting. Wondering. There had to be an important reason the entire ship had been gathered, but what was it?
Gordon Weaver was born in Welland, Ontario, in April 1922. He joined the Canadian Army in 1942, at the age of 19, out of a sense of duty. He chose to join the infantry because he had no experience on either a plane or a ship. After signing up, he was almost immediately sent to England, where he trained in the country side for three years, often watching the bombs fall on London.
“We were in no danger from that, they were definitely after London,” Gordon said.
Almost everyone training with Gordon was his age or younger, and their training was mostly physical. Finally, after years of preparation, Gordon and his team got their orders. They were to cross the English Channel to France and join the war.
Not long into their journey they were gathered together in the mess hall by those in charge.
“We got half-way across the Channel and guess what? The war was declared over!” Gordon said. “We were all relieved and happy. It was incredible in fact, at that time, we thought it was, because they weren’t giving us all the news about the war so it was unexpected for us.”
Celebrations followed the news. Shortly after they docked in France, where they waited for another ship to come and take them back to Canada.
“It was totally uninteresting I guess, I mean other than the fact that we were sitting in the middle of England and training as a group of Canadians,” said Gordon, who is now a resident at Owen Hill Care Community in Barrie. “I mean, at that time of the war there was all kinds of strange things going on, you know? Different things, odd things.”