“Remembrance Day is a time to stop and remember lost lives of those who paid the price for the freedom”. This is the statement WW II veteran, Mr. Alder Greenslade made just prior to Remembrance Day, 2011. Mr. Greenslade was ill for Remembrance Day 2012 but was greeted with a great deal of respect when he attended the Millet Remembrance Day, 2013.
Veteran Greenslade served on the front lines in WWII. From Dieppe he went to Antwerp. “I joined the outfit (in Antwerp) and from then on we hauled food, petrol and ammunition to the front lines. I stayed with it until the end”.
Note: Mr. Greenslade was in the midst of the campaign to free up Antwerp. It cost the Allies dearly. They had lost 703 officers and 12,170 other ranks were killed, wounded or lost in action and presumed dead. Over half of these casualties were Canadian men. However, the capture of Antwerp and the ability to use its port facilities was vital for the Allies as they drove on to Germany. Source – http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/antwerp_and_world_war_two.htm
From Millet to WWII – Mr. Greenslade
“I was raised on a farm and the quarter section wasn’t big enough for my Dad, my brother and myself so we decided to join the army. My Dad, my brother and two neighbor boys went to North Battleford to join up but my Dad was too old and my brother had polio so they wouldn’t take them. So I was the only one. I was 17 and they said I was a little too young. So I waited and in 1940 joined up. Went to Saskatoon to get my uniform and then to Calgary for my basic training.”
While in Calgary, Mr. Greenslade got sick and was in the hospital for a year. “When I came out of the hospital I had to go Red Deer for my training but after I finished they said I was too young to go overseas so they held me back until the next draft. A year afterwards in 1941 was when I went to England and then to France. To Dieppe. That’s where the big raid was. We went from England to France on little ships, 18 of us bouncing like a duck on the water but anyway we made it.”
Mr. Greenslade recalls numerous hardships they encountered. He recounts arriving in Dieppe in rainy and muddy weather and sleeping in tents in the mud and water. He chuckles when telling about one incident. “My boots got so muddy and wet so one of the boys lit the stove making a fire from boxes. I put my boots on the stove to dry. The next day when I went to get them my boots were burnt out. But later I got a new pair.”
Although the number of veterans is decreasing each year Millet and region is fortunate to have a gentleman like Mr. Greenslade in our midst to genuinely remind us of the importance of showing honor and remembering those men and women laid down their lives so that we may live in peace. And like he said, “Remembrance Day is a time to stop and remember lost lives of those who paid the price for the freedom”.
Remembrance Day 2013
The Royal Canadian Legion Millet Branch #229 is to be commended for all work and effort they put into Remembrance Day. It is through their efforts year-after-year that, even though the clock keeps distancing us from WWI, WWII and even the Korean War, the Griffiths-Scott gymnasium was standing room only on November 11th.
Following the official service, the Sergeant at Arms, led a parade to the Cenotaph a few blocks away for the ‘March past’ and a single wreath placement. The day concluded with the Legion hosting an afternoon of comradeship and lunch at the Millet Legion Hall.