Second World War veterans Augustine Rimmer

Saanich veterans remember D-Day

70 years after D-Day, three residents of Saanich's Broadmead Lodge recall their memories of the historic day

Veterans living at Saanich’s Broadmead Lodge, which is home to 47 per cent of veterans on Vancouver Island living in care facilities, recall their memories of June 6, 1944.

••••

“Our offices and barracks were in a hospital. We didn’t know about D-Day until after it happened. We got wind of it and immediately a parade was arranged. It was a long parade, about three miles. We marched a long way, and afterwards, we were driven back to the barracks. We sat around with our feet in tubs of water. At night, we had a mixed party – it meant we had the Navy men join us. There was some dancing … it was a celebration for our victory.”

– Albertine Rimmer, Women’s Royal Naval Service, stationed in Greenrock, Scotland

••••

“I’ll never forget D-Day. I close my eyes and I can be back there in an instant. When the landing barges hit the beaches, you had to race like crazy, if you didn’t you might get mowed down. I remember the planes coming in and spraying us with machine gun fire. I’ll tell you it was hell. … Dead and dying all over the place.  You couldn’t sleep … you had to be on the alert.”

– Earl Clark, D-Day Veteran, Canadian Scottish Regiment 1st Battalion

••••

“I was stationed here in Victoria back then. One of my postings was the Tyee Camp which was just across the Bay Street Bridge. … Six gun crews were stationed around there, too. They were protecting the base because earlier the Japanese had knocked down the Estevan Lighthouse by submarine. … I remember seeing Hitler in the newsreels. There was no television back then – you had to go to the movie theatre to get up-to-date on things. It all seemed so far away on the other side of the world. It certainly was lonely here in Victoria. I didn’t see anybody I knew on the streets because they were all overseas.”

– Maurice “Maury” Hundleby, Army clerk stationed at CFB Esquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read