Archive for December 3rd, 2008

Story One  CNE  Horse Palace

Home for Canadian soldiers during training before being shipped overseas to the European theatre

At it’s opening in 1931, the Horse Palace was hailed as: “The finest equestrian facility in the country”. It’s also a nice bit of Art Deco.

soundslide3Watch an audio slideshow



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Story Sixty Four: Trench Foot


William “Sam” Magee suffered from Trench Foot while serving in Italy. He was shocked to hear that the doctor threatened to cut off his feet

Trench Foot

Many soldiers fighting in the First World War suffered from trench foot. This was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and insanitary conditions. In the trenches men stood for hours on end in waterlogged trenches without being able to remove wet socks or boots. The feet would gradually go numb and the skin would turn red or blue. If untreated, trench foot could turn gangrenous and result in amputation. Trench foot was a particular problem in the early stages of the war. For example, during the winter of 1914-15 over 20,000 men in the British Army were treated for trench foot.

The only remedy for trench foot was for the soldiers to dry their feet and change their socks several times a day. By the end of 1915 British soldiers in the trenches had to have three pairs of socks with them and were under orders to change their socks at least twice a day. As well as drying their feet, soldiers were told to cover their feet with a grease made from whale-oil. It has been estimated that a battalion at the front would use ten gallons of whale-oil every day .

source: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWfoot.htm

Story One:  Sam suffering from Trench Foot


Story Two: Sam gets Trench Mouth

A painful infection of the mouth and throat characterized by ulcerations of the mucous membranes, bleeding, and foul breath. It is caused by the bacterium

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Story Sixty-Three: Venereal Disease


Donald Duck, dressed in the uniform of an Australian soldier, for some reason. The ‘Pro’ in the poster being the slang term, at the time, for prophylactics :

Sexual Transmitted Diseases was a serious situation facing the soldiers  and prior to the use of penicillin the treatment  was limited.  Including  a technique called “The Hockey Stick”


According  to  US statistics…….During the Great War, V.D. had caused the Army lost services of 18,000 servicemen per day. Although by 1944 this number had been reduced 30-fold, there were still around 606 servicemen incapacitated by V.D. every day. This drop in numbers was partly because of the Army’s effort to raise awareness about the dangers faced by servicemen through poor sexual hygiene, but also because of the important developments in medicine in the area of treatment of the disease. In late 1943 a case of gonorrhea required a hospital treatment of 30 days, and curing syphilis remained a 6-month ordeal – by mid 1944, the average case of gonorrhea was
reduced to 5 days, and in many cases the patient remained on duty status while being treated.

Source: http://med-dept.com/vd.php

Story One:  Canadian Military Rules for Catching VD  was 28 Day Charge

Story Two: Penicillin the Miracle Medicine

Listen to one of the Dominion Institute Memories  Archive story

Story  Prisioners of Love by Nina Rumen. I was a nursing sister in the R.C.A.M.C


She states….

My first posting was in Kingston, Ontario, in 1951. I was assigned to a lovely lady who died just recently, and the first thing she asked me to do was to give penicillin to twenty-five young men at the back of this surgical ward. Well, of course I knew how to give penicillin. “Why are they having it?” “Because the doctor prescribed it.” “Why did he prescribe it?” “Because they have gonorrhea!” We didn’t have outpatients in those days and they had to be given every three hours, so there were twenty-five bottoms up. And they were quite literally prisoners there, because they were in the army and they had to do as they were told. The song, “I’m a prisoner of love,” was popular in ‘51, and they called themselves the, “Prisoners of Love.”

Story Three:  Distribution of prophylactics through Yellow Stations in UK

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Story Sixty-Two: Misdemeanors and More

magee_005 William “Sam” Magee discusses  two examples of his WW 2 experiences  which demonstrated  how he bent  the rules.

Story One   Two 5 gallons cans of gas liberated  in exchange for a Great Meal This story is how  Sam liberated two cans of gas, caught and charged,then  released due to no evidence while in Southern France

Story Two: Stolen Convey Truck with Rations After hitching a ride upon  a  US  Convoy truck, he recalls a story when the driver  slowed  his vehicle down,  out of sight of  the other drivers , he quickly left the convoy,  drove into to a  enclosed courtyard,  doors opened, drove in and  sold the truck and all it’s  rations, then took off.

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Story Sixty-One: Battle Experiences

William “sam” Magee conveys stories during his stint with the Canadian military


Story One: Impact of  one mortar shell,  Resulting in killing 28 men

Story Two: Rabbit Attack: Unnecessary Gun Fire creating problems

Story Three:  Self Inflicted Wounds.  Some Soldiers to get out of battle inflicted themselves with gun shots

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Story Sixty: Soldiers Kits

Each Canadian soldier during WW 2  needed to be self-sufficient in many ways and they carried on their  own person a  wide range of things in order to be self-reliant.

Story One  Sewing Kit


Story Two  Shaving Kit


Story Two:  Shaved by a Nine Year Old in Italy


Story Three   Hold All Kit


Story Four:  Field Dressing


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