By Barney Danson
Barney Danson started as a twenty-one-year-old sergeant within the Canadian military and rose to the lofty heights of parliamentary secretary to Pierre Trudeau and, ultimately, Minister of nationwide Defence. In those positions, he won insights into formerly unknown proof approximately this amazing top minister, and he offers an insider’s view of Canadian politicians and global leaders. Danson’s personal tale, instructed in a touching and infrequently funny tone, can be the tale of a iteration of Canadians who confronted the hardships of the melancholy, the truth of conflict, and the various adjustments that followed.
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Additional info for Not Bad for a Sergeant: The Memoirs of Barney Danson
The greater problem was that we were not on a direct rail line to Brighton. This meant that I would have to take a train up to London, change railway stations, and then get a Brighton line train, all of which would make it virtually impossible to be on time for my audience. Determined to give it my best shot, however, I started hitchhiking in the direction of the Brighton line and was shortly picked up by a Canadian staff car with a lieutenant passenger, to whom, in my enthusiasm, I recited the critical nature and timing of my mission as well as other things that, as it turned out, I shouldn’t have.
It was rather cosy, as we curled up on ground sheets on the flearidden sand, but the accommodation and food were better than what some of my tent-mates had known in civilian life during the Depression. In short order I was elevated to the rank of corporal and sent on a small-arms course at Connaught Ranges near Ottawa. There, I was introduced to the Bren gun, a Czechoslovak-designed light34 Youth, Marriage, and War, 1921–44 machine gun that was replacing the First World War Lewis gun as the mainstay of the British, and thus Canadian, infantry.
I received a warm, patriotic letter from our commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Fraser Hunter, and a ten-dollar cash gratuity. In June 1940 the Queen’s Own finally mobilized as part of the Third Canadian Infantry Division, almost exactly four years before its D-Day assault on the Normandy beach at Bernièrs-sur-Mer, where Freddy Harris was to die. , the 91st soldier to enlist in the regiment in the Second World War. We were then off to Camp Borden, where we were put in tents with eight or ten men in each.