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Cleveland Abraham “Cleve” Jagoe (Primary Source)

Wounded Canadian soldiers awaiting evacuation to a Casualty Clearing Station of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.) in the Normandy beachhead, France, 6 June 1944.


I did my primary coaching in [No. 70 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre] Fredericton, then I went to the PEI [Prince Edward Island] Highlanders, then I went to A22 [Canadian Army Medical Corps Training Centre], which was the medical corps [Royal Canadian
Army Medical Corps], and that was superior coaching. The most important concern was, about superior coaching, as a stretcher bearer, our accountability was to cease the bleeding, deal with for shock and evacuate. That’s three issues ̶ and by no means, now this was the
half that I thought of for an extended whereas, by no means let the wounded fellow or your comrade that was wounded, by no means let him know that you just had been afraid. Now, how may a younger fellow of 21 years outdated, after all, I used to be raised on a farm, and I knew amongst [live]inventory
and I had some thought, however anyhow, that was just a little totally different factor after I acquired up there. It appeared totally different. I imply, you understand, we had been educated what to do and we did it. And that was it. There was a coolness or one thing, type of came to visit you. Properly,
simply while you acquired into the thick of issues. Six days from the time I landed in England, I had the AV uniform and anti-vermin uniform and French cash in my pocket. We acquired off at, the [SS]Girl Nelsonwas the ship that I went abroad on. It was a medical
ship. It was fairly a sobering impact to us younger Canadians that had simply landed abroad. They took us to the QM [quartermaster] shops and we signed for our dying blanket. Now, your dying blanket is the one that you just take with you; and also you’re buried
in a blanket. And I do know that as a result of I buried just a few in a blanket. However, anyhow, that was a sobering impact. Properly, being within the holding unit, and within the meantime, we had been a few mile from the place we had been, was the British 75th[Field Ambulance]
Hospital, 600 beds underneath canvas. Now, and the working room ran 24 hours a day; and that was an English hospital. Once we went over there, we had been out on a route march and the docs that had been with us, I used to be within the medical corps, they had been lecturing
us about various things within the medical discipline; and we advised to them, we’d be so much higher getting some sensible [experience] down on the hospital than, now, not that your lectures weren’t good, sir, (laughs) however we’d had sensible. So that they requested
for 30 volunteers that night time, in order that they acquired 30 volunteers, one proper after the opposite. Within the medical corps, you had been on responsibility 24 hours a day, seven days every week. Now thoughts you, we didn’t work that every one. You slept when you would. However, anyhow, that was it,
this was your responsibility. There was no timetable, you simply labored so many hours and was off so many. There was none of that. If there was one thing to do, we did it. We wore a purple armband and we wore a discipline dressing bag. We had our bag on and we had a stretcher.
And we had a purple armband, with a purple cross on it. As a result of I used to be up on the RAP, on the regimental support put up, and we needed to evacuate at night time. And anyhow, however I at all times, fellows that had been up on the entrance strains, which wasn’t too distant, I’ll inform you that
now, and I at all times had a sense for these fellows. And after you’ve been as much as the entrance strains, with casualties, we even had to enter ‘no man’s land,’ you realized what these fellows had been dwelling beneath. What strain they had been dwelling 24 hours
a day. See there was 5 of us went as much as the unit, from the holding unit, on the afternoon the sixteenth of August from the holding unit to the [No.] 18 Area [Ambulance, RCAMC]. Now, the subsequent day, that was the primary time I used to be bombed, that I used to be
bombed. And the subsequent morning, we knew there was one bomb that didn’t explode. We had 130 some sufferers are available that night time from the anti-personnel that was scattered, that was in convoy they caught; and we completed up at 3:30 within the morning. My chum
and I had been sleeping beneath an apple tree, with our blanket over our shoulders; and at 6:00 within the morning, the bomb went off and there was a cider apple got here down and hit me within the thumb. I ran to the place the place we had labored and my chum ran the
different manner. And that morning… that blew a gap, that bomb blew a gap, I might say, roughly 15 toes deep and about 20 toes throughout or extra. Now, I didn’t measure, that’s approximate. And it dumped a cubic of clay and it killed three of the fellows
that I went as much as the unit with. And so they had been …

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