Posts Tagged ‘Lansdown Park recruiting station’

David Ward: Tiger

In September 1939, Mr. David Ward joined the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps at the age of 18. “We were the first Canadian Peacekeeping Force that was formed. That was the start of it all.”

It was right at the beginning that Dave and his buddies picked up a little terrier mix they called Tiger wandering around in Lansdown Park in Ottawa where soldiers were signing up for service. “They mobililized us pretty fast, just a quick medical to weed out the sick, the lame and the lazy. Pretty much everybody was signed on.” Those were the days, Dave said, when everybody had a nickname. The bald soldier answered to Curly, the British were called Limeys. “There were lots of ethnic jokes too.” Dave was named Froggy because his mother was French.

Tiger went with the boys to Camp Borden for basic training and then on to Debert, Nova Scotia which was the embarkation location before being shipped overseas. The camp was surrounded by bushland where the lumber camps were serviced by loggers and their horses. Tiget met his end when he was kicked by one of these horses while nipping at its hooves. The regiment was heart broken. Tiger was given a proper army funeral; David Ward was one of his pallbearers. Last Post was played. Through his untimely death, Tiger missed a trip to England on the Empress of Canada and ultimately landing in Normandy on D-Day where Dave, on ammunition detail, was one of the first batch that landed. Read the rest of this entry »