Oral History - Case, Ben


C. Barker (00:00):
This recording is being made, uh, at the house of Mr. Ben Case, rural route number one, Georgetown, Ontario, on the 15th of September 1981. Mr., uh, Case has been kind enough to, uh, have me come here and talk to him about some of the events of the First World War, in particular in connection with the 43rd, uh, Canadian Field Artillery, of which he was a member.

C. Barker (00:27):
I have, uh, read something about him in the Globe of a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be useful to come here and perhaps find out if he knows anything about some of the, uh, First World War veterinary officers, uh, something about the horses maybe, and the odds and ends in connection with the artillery unit that he belonged to.

Ben Case (00:48):

C. Barker (00:49):
Well, tell me something, when you, uh, you joined up in what year would that be, Mr. Case?

Ben Case (00:53):
Uh, when I was, to be clear, I joined up in England before they left for France, I'd, I'd gone over in the Second Division.

C. Barker (01:01):

Ben Case (01:02):
And, and, uh, in a field ambulance initially.

C. Barker (01:04):
And you switched-

Ben Case (01:05):
So I couldn't, uh, uh, I couldn't, uh, uh, get into any, any outfit, but an ambulance [inaudible]-

C. Barker (01:15):
Yes, yes.

Ben Case (01:16):
... and, uh, I was a year with them.

C. Barker (01:18):
I see.

Ben Case (01:18):
And I transferred then to the Battery. There's a lot of fellows came from the Knox College, Toronto, about 35.

C. Barker (01:25):
Were you in Toronto at that time when you enlisted?

Ben Case (01:28):
No. Oh yeah, I, when I enlisted, I was going to college-

C. Barker (01:31):
Yes, yes.

Ben Case (01:31):
... you see.

C. Barker (01:31):
Were you?

Ben Case (01:32):
And, and I knew a lot of fellows, uh, they're in, uh, in, in the, uh-

C. Barker (01:36):
At the University of Toronto.

Ben Case (01:37):
At the university, yeah.

C. Barker (01:37):

Ben Case (01:38):

C. Barker (01:38):
What were are you taking then?

Ben Case (01:39):
Well, it was an arts course.

C. Barker (01:41):

Ben Case (01:41):
It, it was, uh, I was, kind of, a little diversified-

C. Barker (01:45):

Ben Case (01:45):
... I was taking political science at that time-

C. Barker (01:46):

Ben Case (01:48):
... and, uh, not knowing what I was going to do.

C. Barker (01:50):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (01:51):
And, and, uh, I, I was my third year, and, and, uh, the, uh, uh, so I ... Exams were coming up, and I wasn't very well prepared, (laughs) and so I went down, the day the exams started, I went down, uh, to the exhibition grounds at nine o'clock to see about this field ambulance, if I could get in it-

C. Barker (02:09):

Ben Case (02:10):
... and they took me on. So I, uh, there were several ... It was Monday morning, and several fellows have been discharged for drunkenness, (laughs) and, uh, they're, they're expected to leave immediately for overseas-

C. Barker (02:23):
Well, you went.

Ben Case (02:24):
... and, uh, I was accepted, (laughs).

C. Barker (02:25):
What was the number of that field ambulance?

Ben Case (02:27):
Uh, number five.

C. Barker (02:27):
Number five.

Ben Case (02:28):
Yeah, of the Second Division, uh-

C. Barker (02:30):
Is wasn't part of the University of Toronto?

Ben Case (02:32):

C. Barker (02:32):
Not associated?

Ben Case (02:33):
No, no, no connection.

C. Barker (02:34):
Were you, were you in the Officers Training Corps at university or not?

Ben Case (02:38):
No, no, I didn't, uh... I had no idea of enlisting-

C. Barker (02:41):
I see.

Ben Case (02:42):
... during that year and I, I ... It had just started up. But, I, uh, I, I hadn't, uh, uh, any, any information to join up, you know, not knowing I was going to enlist and-

C. Barker (02:55):
No. Did you, did you finish your university when you come back?

Ben Case (02:57):
Yes, yeah, my third and my fourth year.

C. Barker (02:59):
Fourth year?

Ben Case (02:59):

C. Barker (02:59):
What year was that, in 1920?

Ben Case (03:01):
That was 1920, yeah.

C. Barker (03:02):

Ben Case (03:02):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (03:02):
Well, that was good.

Ben Case (03:02):

C. Barker (03:04):
And what did you do after that?

Ben Case (03:06):
Well, I, uh, when I, when I graduated, I, uh, Eton's were starting up a, a life insurance company for their employees.

C. Barker (03:16):

Ben Case (03:17):
And, uh, they, uh, I was always fairly good in mathematics and a, a friend of mine was in the, in enrollment of, uh-

C. Barker (03:26):

Ben Case (03:27):

C. Barker (03:27):
Yes, yeah.

Ben Case (03:27):
... in the personnel department. And, uh, so he told me about this, and I got in there. And I was there, I worked for about 30 years.

C. Barker (03:36):
You're a long-term employee of the, uh-

Ben Case (03:37):
I was, yeah, at that time.

C. Barker (03:37):
And you only had the one job then, did you, or did you-

Ben Case (03:38):
Yes, yeah, that's right.

C. Barker (03:38):
Yes, yeah.

Ben Case (03:38):
And then I, uh, I, um ... We, we bought this place, uh, in 1938-

C. Barker (03:49):

Ben Case (03:50):
... a bunch of these Battery chaps, uh, in Toronto, we wanted a place, uh, well for gardening and so on out in the country.

C. Barker (03:57):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (03:59):
And, and, uh, I had the idea, uh, ultimately retiring-

C. Barker (04:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (04:02):
... and I, uh, um, like, uh, as it turned out, uh, I want- I retired early, uh, at age 58-

C. Barker (04:11):

Ben Case (04:12):
... and I came out here, and I've been here-

C. Barker (04:13):
Ever since.

Ben Case (04:14):
That was 32 years ago, yeah.

C. Barker (04:14):

Ben Case (04:14):
And I enjoyed every minute of it.

C. Barker (04:16):
Quite nice place here.

Ben Case (04:17):
Well yes-

C. Barker (04:17):
Oh yeah.

Ben Case (04:18):
... it, it was, we were very fortunate to get the place.

C. Barker (04:20):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). It's a build a bit around you now.

Ben Case (04:22):
Yeah, yes, it's, there wasn't anything around then.

C. Barker (04:24):

Ben Case (04:25):
And Georgetown was not a very big place in about, 1900 I think it was.

C. Barker (04:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (04:30):
And, uh, today it's about ... well about that many thousand, so there's been plenty of change.

C. Barker (04:37):

Ben Case (04:38):
But, uh, it, it worked out wonderfully well and, uh, there were five of us that divided this farm into, uh-

C. Barker (04:44):
Were you all members of the Battery?

Ben Case (04:45):

C. Barker (04:46):
Were you?

Ben Case (04:46):
Yeah. Well, one, one chap was a, a brother-in-law of, of, a, a fellow-

C. Barker (04:50):

Ben Case (04:52):
... in the next lot to me here. There was a creek running right across the, the farm-

C. Barker (04:59):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Ben Case (04:59):
... and we divided, uh, into five lots of across this creek, each one had a lot, uh-

C. Barker (05:06):
Very convenient.

Ben Case (05:06):
It was, very good. Yeah.

C. Barker (05:10):
And how many of those people are still here?

Ben Case (05:11):
I'm the only one left, yeah, there was the, the five ... Um, this brother-in-law of the fellow's, he's down in Tennessee, and the other fellows are all dead.

C. Barker (05:22):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (05:22):
And so I, uh, I happen to be the only one.

C. Barker (05:27):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, you're looking very healthy.

Ben Case (05:30):
I feel that, yeah. Well, I always say being a bachelor, you see, I, I've had no, uh, worries or troubles (laughs). Yeah, I always credit that (laughs) for my good looks.

C. Barker (05:43):
Let's get back to Eng- England then.

Ben Case (05:45):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (05:45):
You, you left the, the field ambulance to go into the artillery.

Ben Case (05:48):
Yes, that's right, uh, this-

C. Barker (05:51):
Did somebody coax you into it or-?

Ben Case (05:52):
Oh yes, yes. Uh, in fact, I had gone back for a commission from the, from France.

C. Barker (05:58):
Oh yes.

Ben Case (05:58):
And it was to be in the Imperial Army.

C. Barker (06:00):

Ben Case (06:00):
And, uh, uh, I went down to see these fellows, uh, in the Battery, they had just come over from Engl- from Canada, and there's one fellow in particular, he coaxed me, he's a great friend of mine-

C. Barker (06:11):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (06:12):
... and coaxed me to drop the other and, and join the Battery. And, uh, well I wasn't averse, I, I, I wasn't too keen on going into the Imperial Army, you know.

C. Barker (06:22):
No. A number of officers did though, Canadians did go into the Imperial Army-

Ben Case (06:26):
Oh, there were, there were a great number.

C. Barker (06:28):
... because it paid more than the Canadian Army, I understand.

Ben Case (06:30):
Oh, I didn't know that, yeah.

C. Barker (06:31):
The officers, uh, in the Army Veterinary Corps, whom I have known, have told me that the reason they went into the Imperial Army Veterinary Corp-

Ben Case (06:40):

C. Barker (06:40):
... was that it got better pay for them.

Ben Case (06:42):
Is that so?

C. Barker (06:43):
And they got promotion faster.

Ben Case (06:45):
Yes. But, you know, that's an amazing thing, uh, the poor, Tommy we call them in the Imperial Army-

C. Barker (06:52):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (06:53):
... uh, he got, I think it was a shilling and tuppence a day. He, he only got about a fifth of, uh, what, what we did.

C. Barker (06:54):
What you were getting, yeah.

Ben Case (06:54):
And, and, uh, their, their, the upper crust, you might say-

C. Barker (06:54):
They got more?

Ben Case (06:54):
Yeah, they got more.

C. Barker (06:54):
Yes, yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (06:54):
It doesn't seem fair.

C. Barker (06:54):

Ben Case (06:54):

C. Barker (06:54):

Ben Case (06:54):
Um, but anyway this Battery, uh, I don't know whether you know anything about it, but it was raised in Guelph.

C. Barker (06:54):
It was raised there, yes.

Ben Case (06:54):
By, and under, by, recruited by, uh, Colonel David McCray.

C. Barker (06:54):
Yes. His pictures are hanging up in the armory.

Ben Case (07:24):
Is that so?

C. Barker (07:25):
Would you ever have known a fellow named Walker? Major Walker? Ken Walker?

Ben Case (07:29):
No, he wasn't with the, in the OEC, no. No, no I wouldn't know him. No.

C. Barker (07:34):
Well anyway ...

Ben Case (07:35):
Yeah. Uh, and, and anyway, he wasn't allowed, he was 73 at that time, he wasn't allowed to go to France-

C. Barker (07:41):
Oh yeah.

Ben Case (07:43):
... because of his age. So, uh, I, I, I was able to get in just before they, uh, left for France in July '16.

C. Barker (07:51):

Ben Case (07:52):
And, uh, then they were-

C. Barker (07:53):
And you want as a signaler?

Ben Case (07:53):
Yes. Yes.

C. Barker (07:57):
Just an ordinary signaler, no rank or anything other than that?

Ben Case (07:59):
Well, I explain, uh, to, to people that I rose from the ranks, uh, to, from a gunner to be a, um, an acting bombardier, [crosstalk] after four years in the army (laughs). And the, uh, no I, that's all, I just came in as a signaler.

C. Barker (08:19):

Ben Case (08:19):
And, uh, oh yeah, it was enjoyable work too, and-

C. Barker (08:22):
Oh yeah, certainly. Oh yeah.

Ben Case (08:24):
... and when we were-

C. Barker (08:31):
Stringing wire?

Ben Case (08:32):
Beg your pardon?

C. Barker (08:32):
Stringing wire?

Ben Case (08:32):
Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

C. Barker (08:32):
Laying it out, yeah.

Ben Case (08:35):
Uh, yeah, run it across river and road, you know, stringing it out.

C. Barker (08:37):
Sure. Yeah.

Ben Case (08:38):
And the, um, the courses, uh, we strung it wherever their observation posts was, you see.

C. Barker (08:46):
That's right.

Ben Case (08:46):

C. Barker (08:48):
Did you ever get put on to any courses?

Ben Case (08:50):

C. Barker (08:51):
Never got sent back to England for a course of any kind?

Ben Case (08:54):
No, but there was a course, I went to a signaling course about three months before the Armistice-

C. Barker (08:59):
Pretty late in the day.

Ben Case (09:00):
... and after I was, uh, what, uh, two years as a signaler without having taken any training (laughs). And then about, uh, two, three months before the Armistice, I, I went to this, I became what they called a, a three, a AAA signaler (laughs). Uh, it wasn't long to make use of it, the course.

C. Barker (09:23):
Well, you-

Ben Case (09:23):
It was all by telephone, you see-

C. Barker (09:26):
Oh yes, yes.

Ben Case (09:26):
... you didn't require-

C. Barker (09:26):
Yeah, you didn't require any semaphore work, or anything like that.

Ben Case (09:26):
No, no not, uh, like in service, no-

C. Barker (09:26):
No, no.

Ben Case (09:33):
... although on the course they gave you a lot of that.

C. Barker (09:34):
Yeah. Yeah. I remember taking some of that in high school cadets-

Ben Case (09:38):
Yeah, that's ... Oh yes, yeah.

C. Barker (09:39):
... with the, with the flags.

Ben Case (09:40):
Oh yes, yeah.

C. Barker (09:42):
It was more exercise for your arms than anything.

Ben Case (09:45):
Well, that's right, yeah. That's right, yeah.

C. Barker (09:46):
Well, it was interesting anyway.

Ben Case (09:48):
Yeah. The, uh, the, the Battery was engaged in all the curricular engagements, we went first in front the infantry-

C. Barker (09:55):

Ben Case (09:55):
... uh, in July '16, and then, uh, down to the Somme, you know, we come up the-

C. Barker (10:03):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (10:07):
... and I guess the 1st of December up to the Vimy front.

C. Barker (10:11):
Now tell me, when you were moving like that, what kind of vehicles were you using, motor power or horse power?

Ben Case (10:18):
It was all horse.

C. Barker (10:18):
All horse power?

Ben Case (10:24):
Yeah. Now, I have a, a picture somewhere, uh, well I guess it's just similar to that-

C. Barker (10:26):

Ben Case (10:27):
... the, uh, the horse-drawn guns and so on.

C. Barker (10:28):

Ben Case (10:33):
Uh, in fact I have one picture ... That's a very typical picture, one of our fellows took it, it was after the Armistice.

C. Barker (10:37):
Looks like it's a rainy day.

Ben Case (10:38):
It was a rainy day. Well, [inaudible]-

C. Barker (10:40):
And there's your gun carriage.

Ben Case (10:44):
Beg your pardon?

C. Barker (10:44):
There's your gun carriage and everything with it.

Ben Case (10:45):
Yes. Oh yeah, the whole, the whole works, and there are three-

C. Barker (10:47):
And there are the horses ahead, go- going up the road.

Ben Case (10:49):
Ye- yes. And there are three, uh, uh, to each, uh, gun there were three, uh, teams-

C. Barker (10:57):

Ben Case (10:57):
... and two were ammunition wagons and, uh, and the gun, you see.

C. Barker (11:00):
And the gun.

Ben Case (11:02):
Yeah, six-horse teams.

C. Barker (11:03):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Case (11:04):
Uh-huh (affirmative). That's very typical.

C. Barker (11:07):
Can you, uh, can you recall how many, uh, how many horses they would have with, with that 43rd unit?

Ben Case (11:12):
Yeah. Well, at, at first they had, uh, they had, um, uh, it's a four-gun Battery, and, uh, now there's the, the three gun teams, which would be, uh, six horses, see, 18 to each gun, and four ... About 72 horses I guess, with, uh, four guns, 72, that's right.

C. Barker (11:35):
That's right. That's right.

Ben Case (11:35):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (11:36):
That's right.

Ben Case (11:37):
Well, then there'd be probably another 50 horses for the officers and the grooms and, uh, and, uh, at that time the, uh, signalers had horses too and [inaudible] warfare, you know, and, uh, uh-

C. Barker (11:53):
Well, all of your equipment would be carried separate wagons along-

Ben Case (11:56):
Yes, that's right. Yes. Yeah.

C. Barker (11:57):
Were you up ahead of the guns, or behind the guns, when you'd go forward?

Ben Case (12:01):
Uh, oh we'd be, uh, uh ... You mean a- along the road?

C. Barker (12:05):
Yes. Yeah. When you were going up to move into action somewhere-

Ben Case (12:08):
Oh, to move into action.

C. Barker (12:09):
... you would be ahead of them for laying line before they got there, wouldn't you?

Ben Case (12:14):
Well, it, it depended, you know, sometimes they'd run, they'd pull right ahead in a hurry, if they were racing from one stage to another, and-

C. Barker (12:23):
Well, I was just wondering about, uh, breaking your lines of communication.

Ben Case (12:27):
Oh yes, yeah. Well, we'd lay them and, uh, like the brigade, uh, ha- had their Signal Corps, you see.

C. Barker (12:34):

Ben Case (12:34):
And they'd come up and, and be ready to shoot the, uh, line to the Battery.

C. Barker (12:40):

Ben Case (12:40):
And, and then we'd probably put a line forward, to some observation post.

C. Barker (12:45):
Oh, to the forward observation post?

Ben Case (12:46):

C. Barker (12:47):
Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, [crosstalk] but we'd, we'd go along as, as the guns were going, all our equipment was on the wagons, and, and we'd just follow them along.

Ben Case (12:56):
I can see, uh, from this photograph, that when things got pretty muddy it might be pretty tough pulling, uh-

C. Barker (13:02):
Oh yes, it was. Yeah.

Ben Case (13:03):
... through the mud a bit.

C. Barker (13:04):
Yeah, [crosstalk].

Ben Case (13:06):
Although that's, kind of, a paved road there.

C. Barker (13:07):
Yeah, this was a kind of, it's Jimmy Fleisch, I guess you wouldn't, uh-

Ben Case (13:12):
Yes, I know him.

C. Barker (13:12):
Oh, did you?

Ben Case (13:12):

C. Barker (13:12):
Uh, that's an indication of, uh, like the mud and so on.

Ben Case (13:16):
Up the line with the best of luck, and it's really dragging a camouflaged gun. Oh, look here, look he's got mules over here.

C. Barker (13:24):

Ben Case (13:24):
All in-

C. Barker (13:26):
About, the mules came about, uh, just before Vimy-

Ben Case (13:29):
Oh yes.

C. Barker (13:30):
... we got mules. Uh, I think they're from the southern states, uh, they were recruited, uh-

Ben Case (13:34):
It's quite possible.

C. Barker (13:39):

Ben Case (13:39):
It's quite possible.

C. Barker (13:40):
And, and, uh, but before that it was all just straight horses, and-

Ben Case (13:40):
Oh, I can see this fellow going through the, the mud here at the Somme, riding on a horse's back, it looks like, it's [crosstalk], it's quite humorous.

C. Barker (13:45):

Ben Case (13:45):
It's quite humorous.

C. Barker (13:50):

Ben Case (13:51):
There's another one back here, bogged down in the mud, and he's, he's standing on the top there carrying a shell under his arm.

C. Barker (13:55):
Yeah, that's right, yes. And here they're covering up the lines.

Ben Case (13:58):

C. Barker (13:58):
Uh, the mules were pretty, uh, skittish, you know, with, on the gun. Well, the horses were too for that matter, they were nervous. And, uh, they didn't waste any time getting home.

Ben Case (14:10):
And here's the Christmas meal coming in-

C. Barker (14:12):
Oh yes.

Ben Case (14:12):
... driven on a horse-driven wagon.

C. Barker (14:14):
Yeah. Yeah. Now, that is, uh, he'd sent back to the [inaudible], Jimmy Fleisch-

Ben Case (14:19):
Oh yes.

C. Barker (14:19):
... and, and the artillery uniforms these fellows have, I mean, uh-

Ben Case (14:25):
Oh, I see, I could tell from here. They're all carrying their, their masks with them here anyways-

C. Barker (14:28):
Yeah, that's right. Yes. Yes. Uh, actually, uh, it was probably, um, infantry-

Ben Case (14:35):
Oh, infantry unit, waiting to be picked up for the front.

C. Barker (14:39):
... they didn't have the riding breeches, and everything, obviously.

Ben Case (14:40):
Oh, that's right, that's right.

C. Barker (14:40):
Yeah. But, uh, uh, then we were on the Vimy front-

Ben Case (14:46):

C. Barker (14:46):
... 'til, uh, well about, the, the Battle of Vimy was on, uh, May the 9th, and, and, uh, it was April the 9th, yeah, April the 9th, and we were there until about the 1st of, uh, of, uh, August. And, and from there we move up into the Passchendaele front, up north.

Ben Case (15:08):
You saw lots of-

C. Barker (15:10):
Well yeah, [crosstalk].

Ben Case (15:10):
... places while you were there.

C. Barker (15:14):
Yeah. Yeah. And as a signaler we could often move around too, uh, uh, you know, more freely-

Ben Case (15:19):

C. Barker (15:19):
... we, we get time off and wander around the country more.

Ben Case (15:22):
You didn't have to sit, you didn't have to sit around the gun all the time-

C. Barker (15:26):
No. No, that's right.

Ben Case (15:27):
... or clean it up or anything like this.

C. Barker (15:29):
No, that's right, yeah.

Ben Case (15:30):
That's right.

C. Barker (15:30):
Yeah, in case of action, you see, they want to go right in.

Ben Case (15:30):
That's right. That's right.

C. Barker (15:30):

Ben Case (15:31):
Well, yeah.

C. Barker (15:31):

Ben Case (15:32):
Where would you be, uh, bivouacked at this time, were you in the local homes or out in the open with-

C. Barker (15:37):
Oh yeah, we, we [crosstalk].

Ben Case (15:37):
Was it trenches you were in?

C. Barker (15:40):
... had our own, uh, we had just to make our own base, and probably we dig in or to a large extent the ... Well, this, this is the horse ranch, you see.

Ben Case (15:49):
Oh, there's a picture of the horse ranch.

C. Barker (15:49):
Yeah. Yeah. That's Ravelli.

Ben Case (15:49):
That's Ravelli

C. Barker (15:55):
Yeah. And you can see they made up the, each, uh-

Ben Case (15:58):

C. Barker (15:58):
... group of fellows would make up their own.

Ben Case (16:00):
Anything you could get.

C. Barker (16:00):
Beg your pardon?

Ben Case (16:02):
Anything, anything you could get to make cover.

C. Barker (16:03):
Any, yeah, that's right, any materials around. And, uh, some, some fellows were able to, uh, get tarpaulins-

Ben Case (16:10):

C. Barker (16:10):
... and make a tent.

Ben Case (16:11):

C. Barker (16:11):
And, uh, they called that, uh, uh, salvaging, but, uh, others would call it, uh, scrounging (laughs). Yeah.

Ben Case (16:18):
Well, that's what you've gotta do.

C. Barker (16:20):
Yeah. And that, that shows just a typical horse ranch at, uh-

Ben Case (16:28):
That's what interested in. Now, those would be horses that came over from England with you then-

C. Barker (16:33):
Yeah, that's right.

Ben Case (16:34):
... and maybe came from Canada.

C. Barker (16:35):
No, uh, the, the horses came from Canada, but not with the Battery.

Ben Case (16:40):
Not with the Battery?

C. Barker (16:40):
No. And then of course they moved over to France with the-

Ben Case (16:44):
With the unit, with the regiment?

C. Barker (16:45):
Yes. Yeah. In fact, two different boats, the horses were on their own transport boat and-

Ben Case (16:52):
Well ...

C. Barker (16:53):
... the gunners were in the other.

Ben Case (16:54):
The gunners in the other.

C. Barker (16:54):

Ben Case (16:55):
Well, would you have to learn to ride a horse at this stage in time?

C. Barker (16:58):
Um, I had done a certain amount, but, uh, I didn't know anything about this. Was it numnah riding?

Ben Case (17:06):
Oh yes, yes.

C. Barker (17:09):
Is it nummer or numnah?

Ben Case (17:09):

C. Barker (17:09):

Ben Case (17:09):
That's riding on a blanket pretty well, just with no saddle.

C. Barker (17:12):
Yeah, that's right, no saddle.

Ben Case (17:12):
That's right.

C. Barker (17:14):
And, uh, they put me on there, uh, it was a big team, the gun team that I, I was on and, boy, they're big fellows, you know, and I couldn't hold them at all, I couldn't really get any grip, you know, they're big fat fellows and, uh ... So, there was a corporal there from a, a gun team, he'd come with his riding horse and he told me to pull off, and so he says, "I'll take them in, you get on my horse." And I was able to handle his horse.

Ben Case (17:42):
You survived that episode anyway.

C. Barker (17:43):
Yeah, and I always appreciated that, that, because they clamber up on, on the team ahead, you know, and they start kicking. I got a, one kick just grazed my knee, you know, (laughs) I didn't know what was gonna happen.

Ben Case (17:55):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, you wouldn't, you wouldn't be associated with the horse very much then?

C. Barker (17:59):
Not too much, no, that's where, and we got, uh, as much of it as we could, you know.

Ben Case (18:03):

C. Barker (18:04):
Of course, if we were sent just around the wagon lines, uh, the gunners had to help the drivers with grooming and stables and all of that, and, uh, cleaning the harness.

Ben Case (18:15):
Yeah. Do you recall if you had a farrier sergeant with you, a person who was looking after the horses feet most of the time, and so on, do you remember?

C. Barker (18:24):

Ben Case (18:24):
Would you have one of those with you?

C. Barker (18:27):
Oh yes. You know, uh, there's a peculiar thing, in the Battery, and I, I don't know whether you'd ever heard of, uh, there was a Captain Harvey, a, a veterinary in, in, uh-

Ben Case (18:37):

C. Barker (18:38):

Ben Case (18:38):
Yeah, J.D., J.D. Harvey, he lived on the highway there, Harvey's Poultry Farm, and that's his son.

C. Barker (18:45):
Yeah, the poultry farm. But his son, uh, George-

Ben Case (18:47):

C. Barker (18:47):
... uh, was, I guess he was another fellow, the fellow that had the poultry farm.

Ben Case (18:52):
Right past it.

C. Barker (18:52):
Yeah, and the hold gentleman that lived there-

Ben Case (18:54):
He used to teach at the college at one time.

C. Barker (18:55):
Beg your pardon?

Ben Case (18:56):
Old Dr. Harvey used to teach at the college.

C. Barker (18:58):
Did he? Yeah. Yes.

Ben Case (19:00):
He ran the college when he first came to Guelph, for a short time.

C. Barker (19:04):
Yeah. Uh, a learned, uh, horseman.

Ben Case (19:06):
Was he?

C. Barker (19:06):
Yes. And, uh, and his son-

Ben Case (19:08):
Was he with you over there?

C. Barker (19:09):
Beg your pardon?

Ben Case (19:09):
Was he with you over there?

C. Barker (19:10):
No, but he was in the war, he was recruiting, uh, buying horses for the, uh, artillery here-

Ben Case (19:15):
Oh, he was doing that?

C. Barker (19:15):
... and out west and so on.

Ben Case (19:16):
He would be what was known as a remount purchaser.

C. Barker (19:19):
That's right, yes.

Ben Case (19:19):
He might have been a remount officer.

C. Barker (19:21):
Yes. Yeah. You know, his son, George, had never gone to college, but he, he was a, an expert too, he'd been around horses all his life. And, and he was a, a, a great, he should have been a veterinary sergeant, but, uh, the head fellow had come, a fellow from Winnipeg, a Scotchman, who, uh, was a blacksmith in Winnipeg, and he knew nothing about treating horses, you know, or any ailments they had. He was a blacksmith, but he was a veterinary sergeant from the Veterinary Corps, and, and, this George Harvey was made farrier sergeant, because, uh, that was the only opening for, as a sergeant.

Ben Case (20:03):

C. Barker (20:03):
He's, he's a promoted sergeant. He knew all about horses' ails and so on, but, but, uh, but he was, he was-

Ben Case (20:10):
He never qualified?

C. Barker (20:11):
No. He, he, uh, but he was rated as a farrier.

Ben Case (20:14):

C. Barker (20:14):
Our farrier sergeant was really a ho- a horseman, and, and the, uh, and the veterinary sergeant was a blacksmith.

Ben Case (20:23):
Yeah, mixed up with that.

C. Barker (20:25):
(laughs) So, it was quite, yeah, the army-

Ben Case (20:26):
That's right.

C. Barker (20:27):
... often had mix ups of-

Ben Case (20:29):
Oh yes.

C. Barker (20:29):
... of that nature, yeah.

Ben Case (20:30):

C. Barker (20:31):
But, uh, this, uh, George Harvey was, uh-

Ben Case (20:33):
Very good?

C. Barker (20:33):
Fine, yeah.

Ben Case (20:34):

C. Barker (20:34):
And then there's another fellow, Bob Learmouth, uh, who was in the 29th Battery, or, or, yeah, the 29th Battery, a veterinary surgeon, he became a veterinary I think after the war.

Ben Case (20:45):
How would you spell his name, do you remember?

C. Barker (20:47):
L-E-A-R-M-O-U-T-H, Learmouth.

Ben Case (20:47):

C. Barker (20:50):
Yeah, Learmouth, Bob Learmouth. He was the veterinary sergeant to the 29th.

Ben Case (20:55):
To the 29th?

C. Barker (20:56):
Yeah. From Guelph too.

Ben Case (20:57):
Well ...

C. Barker (20:58):

Ben Case (20:58):
Was he a, was he a Guelph native, do you know, or did he come-

C. Barker (21:01):
Well, he was a native of Scotland, and I think he enlisted probably from Guelph. I don't know whether he, uh, lived at Guelph at that time. But, uh, uh, I don't know what experience he had before the war, but he lived, he's a veterinary here in Georgetown, he practiced here in Georgetown.

Ben Case (21:19):
After the war or?

C. Barker (21:20):
After the war.

Ben Case (21:20):
After war.

C. Barker (21:21):
Yeah, a very fine fellow.

Ben Case (21:24):
So, do you know whether he had, he had got his degree before the war or after the war?

C. Barker (21:28):
No, it was after.

Ben Case (21:28):
After the war?

C. Barker (21:28):
Yeah. Yes. I think he went to the Ontario Veterinary college, I believe. Yeah. But I don't know what experience he'd had, you know, with horses, likely he had a certain amount of experience with horses.

Ben Case (21:39):
It's quite possible.

C. Barker (21:41):
Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Ben Case (21:41):
It's quite possible. Do you remember what happened to the, to the horses of the, of the unit when, when you were disbanded, did you ... you didn't bring them home?

C. Barker (21:49):
No, no.

Ben Case (21:50):
They were sold, I think.

C. Barker (21:51):
I think they were sold, uh, to the French people, I think, I'm not sure.

Ben Case (21:55):
I, I understand that-

C. Barker (21:57):
I wasn't, I wasn't sure of that, but I know we held them quite a while and, and, uh, they took them all down to the base, they might have gone to England, I don't know.

Ben Case (22:05):
Where would your base be at that time?

C. Barker (22:07):
Uh, it was not far from Brussels.

Ben Case (22:09):

C. Barker (22:10):
We were, we were the Third Division, the tanks were the Third Division.

Ben Case (22:14):
All right. The horses, I recall now from reading an officer's diary and so on, were sold in Belgium-

C. Barker (22:22):

Ben Case (22:22):
... to the Belgian people.

C. Barker (22:25):
Yeah. Yeah.

Ben Case (22:26):
They left them there.

C. Barker (22:27):
Well, yeah, yeah, well, well, I think all our horses went down to the base, and, and, the ... By then the Third and Fourth Divisions were going up to ... No, I'm sorry, uh, the First and Second Divisions went up to Germany, the horses, and I don't know what happened to them after.

Ben Case (22:40):
Well, I think this, this Dr. McLellan that I've been talking to over in Lindsay, he was on the group that went up into Germany-

C. Barker (22:50):
Oh yeah.

Ben Case (22:51):
... with, with the horses, and with, with the others afterwards.

C. Barker (22:52):
Yeah, that would be with the, uh, First and Second Divisions.

Ben Case (22:55):
I think so, yes. He was, he was a physician-

C. Barker (22:56):
Does he, does he know what happened to them, the horses [crosstalk]?

Ben Case (22:59):
No, they were dis- they were dispersed in, in, uh, in Europe when they were-

C. Barker (23:03):

Ben Case (23:03):
... when they were finished with them. And I've talked to some other veterinary officers who were with the British Army and, uh, they sold the, the horses that were in Italy and so on, they sold them right in Italy to the people there. Uh, they didn't move them out of Italy.

C. Barker (23:17):
That is the first war?

Ben Case (23:18):
First war, yes.

C. Barker (23:18):
Oh yes, yeah. I see, yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (23:20):
Yes, they didn't bring any of them back at all.

C. Barker (23:20):

Ben Case (23:23):
I don't know, I think they were maybe, uh, worried about transmitting a disease from one country to another-

C. Barker (23:31):
Oh, of course, yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (23:34):
... so they, they left them right there.

C. Barker (23:34):
And our, see we were in Belgium, and they went back to the base in France and whether they were sold-

Ben Case (23:34):
At, Havre, at Havre, at Havre in France, Le Havre?

C. Barker (23:37):

Ben Case (23:38):
Le Havre.

C. Barker (23:38):
Yeah. Yeah.

Ben Case (23:39):
Well, that was the number one, uh, base veterinary hospital.

C. Barker (23:43):
Oh, I see, yes.

Ben Case (23:44):
And the officer who was in charge of that is living right now out in the Tsawwassen Delta, near Vancouver.

C. Barker (23:53):
Is that so?

Ben Case (23:53):
His name is, is Robinson.

C. Barker (23:55):

Ben Case (23:55):
He is, uh, 94 years of age.

C. Barker (23:59):
I was gonna say, if he was-

Ben Case (23:59):
Yes. And I've written to him, I have a letter back from him, and he has told me how he enlisted in Toronto-

C. Barker (24:06):
In Toronto.

Ben Case (24:07):
... and where he took his qualifications and all the rest of it.

C. Barker (24:11):
Yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (24:12):
And it's quite interesting to hear about it.

C. Barker (24:13):
Yes. Yeah. And he would know what happened to the horses?

Ben Case (24:20):
Oh yeah. Oh yes. Yes. And I also have the complete diary of, uh, one of the, uh, well he was the chief veterinary surgeon at the, at the base hospital. Uh, I have a copy, his wife lives in Winnipeg, and the diary was copied for me, and I have it in over, well Dr. McLellan over in Lindsay, I'm reading it right now.

C. Barker (24:42):
Most interesting, yeah.

Ben Case (24:42):
It's very interesting.

C. Barker (24:42):
Now, I'll tell you a very interesting thing in connection with the Veterinary Corps, they, uh, before Vimy, that winter, uh, Vimy Ridge was April the 9th, and that winter was a very severe one for France.

Ben Case (24:56):
That's what I understand.

C. Barker (24:56):
Yeah. And cold and, uh, snow and, uh, and the horses were often out in open stands, you know, that they, they didn't have-

Ben Case (25:08):
No shelter.

C. Barker (25:08):
... no shelter. And they used to give them an hour's, uh, exercise, right.

Ben Case (25:13):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (25:13):
Well, orders came in from, uh, from, uh, I, I don't know how far, uh, down the line, it might have been from the army-

Ben Case (25:22):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (25:23):
... that the horses had to be clipped, uh, underneath.

Ben Case (25:26):

C. Barker (25:27):
And I don't know whether you've ever heard of that.

Ben Case (25:28):

C. Barker (25:29):

Ben Case (25:30):
There's a comment about that-

C. Barker (25:31):
Oh yeah.

Ben Case (25:32):
... in, in, uh, this, this, uh, diary that I've been reading.

C. Barker (25:36):

Ben Case (25:36):
The comment was made that this is one of the crazy things, we're gonna have pneumonia in our horses if we clip them.

C. Barker (25:41):
Yeah. And the horses died, uh-

Ben Case (25:42):
Yes. Yes. There's a comment there about it.

C. Barker (25:44):
... by dozens and scores.

Ben Case (25:46):
Because the horses came back when they were, when they were sick, and desperately sick, they would bring them back in, in carloads or whatever you wanna call it, to the base hospital.

C. Barker (25:57):

Ben Case (25:58):
And this clipping episode, uh, brought on a lot of pneumonia-

C. Barker (26:03):
Oh yeah, sure.

Ben Case (26:03):
... they came, they came back down, and they didn't survive, there was no-

C. Barker (26:05):
No. They were, quite a number died right in the horse ranch-

Ben Case (26:08):
Yeah, right there.

C. Barker (26:08):
... and they were out in open standings, you know, and, uh ... Yeah. And I, I didn't know whether you'd heard about that.

Ben Case (26:13):
Yes. Yeah.

C. Barker (26:14):
No, that is very true.

Ben Case (26:15):
And there was another thing that he relates, and that was there was a lot of mange in the horses at one time.

C. Barker (26:20):
Oh yes.

Ben Case (26:21):
And they came back for treatment.

C. Barker (26:22):
Yes, well, yes, it was a

Ben Case (26:25):
It was, uh, quite a problem, I guess, for a while over there.

C. Barker (26:28):
Oh yeah. I don't recall in our case, you know, whether there was, I don't know. It was, uh, it was really pitiful to see the horses, you know, standing there and freezing. They had blankets, you know, but they covered the back and, and didn't ... And they were clipped underneath and the legs, the very exposed parts, you know. Wherever that order came from, I mean, I don't know whether they ever found out or not-

Ben Case (26:54):
I don't know, it was-

C. Barker (26:55):
... who was responsible.

Ben Case (26:57):
It was, uh, not the right thing to do, anyway.

C. Barker (26:58):
Oh, it was not. No, that's true. Yeah.

Ben Case (27:06):
No. No, that's true. I've just been asking Mr. Case if he knew any of the veterinary officers, but he says that these of course were officers attached to the brigade, and would not be associated with the unit. And I'd just begun to ask him if there is a, a history of the, uh, 43rd. Is there a book of that, Mr. Case?

C. Barker (27:24):

Ben Case (27:25):
I would be interested in seeing it, if, if there is one available.

C. Barker (27:29):
Yeah. But you know, uh, I had one copy, in fact I had a borrowed the copy, I gave one to my, my nephew, he's interested in military affairs, great-nephew rather. And, uh, I hadn't a copy, and, uh, I, uh, uh, like I borrowed one from the fellow next door, like, uh, from his son, the other fellow's dead. And, and I gave it to one of our fellows who was a doctor in charge of the, uh ... What do you call it? Uh, TB, uh-

Ben Case (28:00):

C. Barker (28:01):
... sanatorium in London, the Adam Baker Sanatorium. And he used to, uh, he used to, he was wounded at Passchendaele, he used to, uh, propose a toast to the Battery, you know-

Ben Case (28:10):
Oh yeah, certainly.

C. Barker (28:12):
... so I, he'd, he'd lost his and, and I loaned him the one I had.

Ben Case (28:16):
You, you really should have ... How many pages would there be in one, you know, because they can be copied very easily.

C. Barker (28:22):
Well, I'd say it might been 250 to 300.

Ben Case (28:25):
Oh, a pretty, quite, a pretty thick book, was it?

C. Barker (28:27):
Yeah. Yes. And all these illustrations-

Ben Case (28:28):
Are in it?

C. Barker (28:29):
Yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (28:29):
Oh? Would you know if-

C. Barker (28:32):
I think there'd be one, uh, probably in the uni- in the library in Guelph.

Ben Case (28:34):
Well, I'll go and inquire about that.

C. Barker (28:36):
Yes. Yeah.

Ben Case (28:38):
There's one, there might be one in the Ottawa, in the National Library.

C. Barker (28:39):
Oh, there's one, uh, there's three or four there, this fellow's 95, in Deer Park [inaudible], that's the ... Oh, here's Ontario, you see, so-

Ben Case (28:54):

C. Barker (28:54):
Now here, it's quite interesting, Very Reverend James R. Mushmore.

Ben Case (29:00):
Was he a member?

C. Barker (29:01):
Oh, he was a sergeant with us, yes.

Ben Case (29:03):
Was he?

C. Barker (29:03):
Yes. He died just about two years ago.

Ben Case (29:06):
Yes, he was with our United Church, I belong to the United Church-

C. Barker (29:10):
Oh yeah. Oh you-

Ben Case (29:10):
... in Guelph.

C. Barker (29:10):
You're how old?

Ben Case (29:10):
Chalmers Church.

C. Barker (29:10):
Beg your pardon?

Ben Case (29:11):
I said I belong to Chalmers Church in Guelph.

C. Barker (29:13):
Oh, I see, Chalmers Church, yeah.

Ben Case (29:14):
And his name has been in the United Church for a long time, you know.

C. Barker (29:17):
Oh yes, yeah. Yes, oh yes, indeed. Uh, yeah, he was a fine chap. And, uh, he was a great anti-liquor, uh-

Ben Case (29:25):
Oh yes. Oh yes.

C. Barker (29:26):
Yeah, yeah. But you know what he ... with the fellows', uh, reunion and so on, he-

Ben Case (29:31):
It didn't bother him.

C. Barker (29:32):
Oh no, it didn't bother him at all. That's what the fellows want, he couldn't, uh, he wasn't go to, he had no authority to stop them (laughs). And he always, he's a very ... He just never. And yeah.

Ben Case (29:44):
Who was this Dr. William Sharpe, and what do you know?

C. Barker (29:46):
Well, that's the fellow I was talking about, is, uh, he was, uh, the, um, superintendent of the-

Ben Case (29:52):
Oh, of the sanatorium in London?

C. Barker (29:54):
Yeah, the Adam Baker Sanatorium, yeah.

Ben Case (29:55):
And he's living now in Toronto?

C. Barker (29:56):

Ben Case (29:57):
And he's going to propose the toast?

C. Barker (29:59):
Yes, to the Battery. And there's one, uh, other fellow, uh, Ralph Morden, he, what we call a, a silent toast, uh, he is, uh, you know, it was Ontario, Western, uh, anyway he lives in Stoney Creek, he's a minister, one of the ministers who came from Knox College, and, and, uh, he was a United Church minister, retired of course, seven years, and each year literally he, he has been the, uh, uh, conducted the silent toast.

Ben Case (30:30):
The silent one, yes.

C. Barker (30:31):

Ben Case (30:31):
Who is this Colonel Robert Kelly here, is he alive in, in Burlington?

C. Barker (30:36):
He, no he was signaler in the first war.

Ben Case (30:39):
Oh yes?

C. Barker (30:39):
Yeah, yeah. Oh yes, he is still alive and he was, in, in the, in the second war he was I guess with the artillery.

Ben Case (30:47):
Oh, was he?

C. Barker (30:48):

Ben Case (30:48):

C. Barker (30:50):
... in, in, uh, Guelph, but he was a signaler in the, in the Battery.

Ben Case (30:53):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (30:53):
And, uh-

Ben Case (30:55):
And here's a Colonel Craig, from Brockville.

C. Barker (30:58):
Yeah, yeah, yes. He might have something, he was an officer, he was one of the few officers we had left. Uh, and, uh, he, uh, he'll be at he reunion, and, uh, he'd probably know-

Ben Case (31:11):
It might help.

C. Barker (31:12):
... something of the horses.

Ben Case (31:12):
It might help, yeah. Yes.

C. Barker (31:14):
He was there with us about a year, probably a year and a half, like after he'd-

Ben Case (31:19):

C. Barker (31:20):
And, uh, Leonard Hewell.

Ben Case (31:23):
Oh, Hewell, yes.

C. Barker (31:24):
Yeah. Yeah. He was the only, he was in the, he was responsible for that writeup as a matter of fact.

Ben Case (31:29):
Was he?

C. Barker (31:29):

Ben Case (31:30):
It's a good writeup.

C. Barker (31:30):
Yeah, it wasn't bad.

Ben Case (31:30):
It was a very good, a very good write up.

C. Barker (31:30):
I'll tell you, we had a fellow, Hugh Kay, uh, was, um, one of the Knox College, uh, theological students, he was, and, and, um, the first Christmas, uh, uh, Len Hewell had him, uh, write a, a story for the, uh ... The boys really read it, you know, he was a very-

Ben Case (31:56):
Hugh Kay, The History of the 43rd Battery, it's a condensed history of it here, is it?

C. Barker (32:01):
Uh, well it isn't really a history, it's more just, uh-

Ben Case (32:04):
Anecdotes, is it?

C. Barker (32:05):
Yeah, anecdotes and [crosstalk] humorous, uh, happenings, you know.

Ben Case (32:09):
All right.

C. Barker (32:10):
And he tells about these Knox College fellows come up to, uh, Guelph, you see-

Ben Case (32:15):

C. Barker (32:18):
... and, uh, (laughs) they were probably about 20, or it might have been 18 of them, were, um, were, uh, divinity students, and the others were arts and, uh-

Ben Case (32:30):
Ever, did you ever see the old college up in Temperance Street, the Veterinary College, you wouldn't have much to do with it I think?

C. Barker (32:35):
No, uh-

Ben Case (32:37):
It was-

C. Barker (32:38):
... as far as I can remember they're on University Avenue.

Ben Case (32:39):
That's right, but the old college was on Temperance.

C. Barker (32:44):
The old college was on-

Ben Case (32:44):
It was on Temperance Street.

C. Barker (32:44):
... Temperance Street.

Ben Case (32:44):
Just east of Bay, and the-

C. Barker (32:46):
Oh yeah.

Ben Case (32:47):
... and the new college-

C. Barker (32:49):
Between Bay and Young.

Ben Case (32:49):
Yeah. And the new college, at your time, would be at 110 University Avenue.

C. Barker (32:55):
That's right, yeah.

Ben Case (32:55):
And the buildings are still there, but the Province of Ontario Savings is in it.

C. Barker (32:59):
Yeah, it was turned over to that, when they went to Guelph.

Ben Case (33:02):
That's it. That's right. That's right.

C. Barker (33:02):
Yeah, that's right.

Ben Case (33:02):
That's right. That's right, yeah.

C. Barker (33:02):
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Ben Case (33:04):
Not many people know that.

C. Barker (33:06):
No. No. Yeah. But I, I, uh, first went to Ontario in 1908, they might have been-

Ben Case (33:13):
That was the year the government took over the veterinary college-

C. Barker (33:16):
Oh, I see, yes.

Ben Case (33:17):
... from, from Andrew Smith, who owned it.

C. Barker (33:19):

Ben Case (33:20):
He had owned it since 1866.

C. Barker (33:25):
Is that so? Well.

Ben Case (33:25):
It was a privately owned college.

C. Barker (33:32):
Is that so? That's, uh, right down the street. And then they, is that the year they moved, uh-

Ben Case (33:33):
In 19- in 1915 the were in the new building on University Avenue.

C. Barker (33:38):
Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, uh, see it was 1915 that I enlisted and they probably were down the other place, and I probably hadn't heard of them.

Ben Case (33:47):
They were, they were just in the move from one place-

C. Barker (33:50):
I see, yes.

Ben Case (33:50):
... to the other.

C. Barker (33:50):
In that time.

Ben Case (33:52):
Yeah. yeah.

C. Barker (33:52):
Well, that's-

Ben Case (33:54):
One of the, uh, one of the veterinary officers who was with the recruiting center at the National Exhibition was, uh, Dr. J.A. Campbell. You wouldn't have met him, I'm pretty sure.

C. Barker (34:07):
No. No. Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah.

Ben Case (34:09):
And he, uh, he eventually was with the, uh, expedition into, into Russia, after the-

C. Barker (34:15):
Well ...

Ben Case (34:16):
... after the Armistice was signed I guess it was.

C. Barker (34:18):
Yeah. I guess there were two, uh, one went by way of [inaudible]-

Ben Case (34:20):

C. Barker (34:20):
... and the other one went in by-

Ben Case (34:26):
The back door.

C. Barker (34:27):
Yeah. Murmansk or something, yeah.

Ben Case (34:30):
That's right. I think he was on the Murmansk episode.

C. Barker (34:34):
I was going to tell about this, uh, the officer that let me in the army.

Ben Case (34:41):

C. Barker (34:41):
He, uh, he-

Ben Case (34:43):
Recruiting, the recruiting officer, was it?

C. Barker (34:44):
The recruiting ... Well no, he was in the ambulance.

Ben Case (34:46):
Oh, the medical officer?

C. Barker (34:47):
The medical officer.

Ben Case (34:48):

C. Barker (34:48):
Uh, in Toronto when I went to, to see if I can get into this ambulance-

Ben Case (34:50):
Yeah. Yeah.

C. Barker (34:54):
... and avoid examination.

Ben Case (34:55):

C. Barker (34:56):
And he, uh, uh, like, um, he asked me, everything is fine, and he asked me to read a calendar-

Ben Case (35:03):
All right.

C. Barker (35:04):
... up on the wall. And I couldn't, you see. He says, "Do you wear glasses?" And, uh, I said, "Yes, I do." Well, he says, uh, "We'll let you go, all right, as, as long you don't wear them around here, in the ranks," it wouldn't do for a fellow to be in the ranks with, uh-

Ben Case (35:17):

C. Barker (35:18):
... with glasses. So, uh, I, I was always very grateful to him, and he, he was an awfully nice chap. But after the war, he, he came out, he got married in England-

Ben Case (35:27):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (35:27):
... and, and, uh, before the war was over, I guess, and he, he, um, he'd come out to Canada after the Armistice, and his wife didn't like it here, they went back, and he practiced in the, in the Midlands.

Ben Case (35:47):
Oh, did he?

C. Barker (35:47):
Yeah. And then, their only boy, their only child was killed in Africa in the second war, and his wife I guess died of a broken heart. And, uh, well he decided to come back to Canada, uh, he gave up his practice. And he, he lived over at, uh, Aberfoyle, rural Guelph, and, uh, with his brother. And, uh, they, uh, I, I was over there one time to, I went over to see them both, I knew the brother too, and, and they, um, like this [inaudible], spoke of a trail, a moose trail.

C. Barker (36:30):
And I said I was interested rather in it too, but I said, you know, some day we'll, uh, go along, I knew quite a bit of the trail from Camberwell, and, and, I said, "I'll, I'll meet up with you over at Camberwell some day." So, we came along in the spring and, uh, I thought it would be a good day to go over and I, I phoned them, "Yeah, that'd be fine."

C. Barker (36:54):
Uh, and we, we'd at Camberwell on the corner, Main Street corner there at nine o'clock, or no 10 o'clock on, uh, on the following day. And so we met there and, uh, they, uh, and I went over it, I started to figure it out, it was 50 years to the day that he let me in the army. And, and at 10 o'clock when we met, it'll, it'll be almost to the minute that he, that he let me, 50 years. It was quite a, quite a coincidence.

Ben Case (37:26):
Very, very coincidental.

C. Barker (37:27):
It was, yeah.

Ben Case (37:27):
Oh yeah.

C. Barker (37:28):
It was real nice, yeah.

Ben Case (37:29):
Well, I'm going to, uh, turn off my recorder now-