THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

 

Civilian Service of
Remembrance and Thanksgiving - 2007

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Bruce Evans, Canadian Veteran - 1st Hussars

By September 1944, from June 6th, the Canadians had fought their way up through Normandy. then we proceeded north to Boulogne and on to Calais and Cap Gris Nez.

We had some scary battles there, dealing with the guns. The fort at the Cap was massive, but we took the area with few casualties. We were pleased to know that the big guns at the Cap could no longer harrass and fire across those miles to the Dover area.

The Germans at the Cap were a mixed bunch. Some were naval personnel, the rest army. They had all the comforts of home, concrete stairs led down to sleeping quarters and kitchen facilities. They were well supplied with the best food - some very good canned vegetables and fruit. My B squadron were positioned right up by the big guns at Cap Gris Nez. We spend most of a day looking around. There was a lot of see in and out of the fortress.

My main order here was to keep wireless communications open by receiving messages from other tanks and relaying them to headquarters several miles away. The only souvenir I took was the field glasses that were used by the fort commandant, a Colonel Schilling, who was also a prisoner. His fort staff were not really prepared to fight it out with skilled troops from our brigades.

We moved on later to Belgium, to Brussels, and then, in October, north into Holland.  

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Mr Evans was a gunner, wireless operator, and tank commander. He was 20/21 when he took part in the actions above. He had met his future wife, Kathleen, just weeks before, in April 1944. She lived on the south coast of England, near Gosport.

Bruce and Kathleen were married on 4th September 1945. They now have a daughter and son-in-law, and a granddaughter. They returned many times to Europe in the 1980s and 1990s, as tour guides escorting Canadian veterans of the Second World War back to Normandy and Holland. In 2004 Bruce was presented with the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award. Bruce is a lifelong member of the Royal Canadian Legion and of the united Church of Canada, and their daughter is a minister. 

There is more of his story here, on The Memory Project

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