|TRIBUTE TO A
VERY GOOD FRIEND
Eastbourne became our next home and there we prepared for the next big ocean cruise to Italy. Very early one morning Slatts awakened me with the statement, “I’ve got a big problem”. When I asked the nature of the problem Slatts told me when on his way to barracks, travelling at a very “moderate” rate of speed the Harley didn’t get around a very sharp corner, and was slightly damaged. When I asked how he felt he said his knee had a few scrapes. We then proceeded to go down and examine the Harley, and found the front fork badly warped, and it was not difficult to find several dents and scrapes. We moved the motor cycle to the MT garage, and with the aid of a good jack and chain, a sturdy crow bar and hammer the damage slowly disappeared. As dawn was breaking I left Slatts with a can of khaki paint and paint brush.
Except for a few dive bombers we enjoyed our Mediterranean cruise, and were shortly involved in active combat. Slatts was a very cool and dependable soldier in action, and very capably carried out his duties as a dispatch rider, or signaller, as the task demanded.
Early in l944 Slatts was badly wounded and spent sometime in hospital. While at the holding unit regaining his
In January 1945 we boarded LST’s at Pisa, Italy and joined the Northwest Europe campaign. When this task was completed we returned home to become civilians. With the outbreak of the Korean War in the early 1950’s, Slatts again answered the call to Arms, when he joined the Royal Canadian Artillery, and continued to serve until he retired as a career soldier.
At the end of July 2001, I received a phone call from George Burke, and was told that Slatts was very sick and had been admitted to hospital. The next morning I was very surprised and saddened to receive a call from Susan, telling me that her dad had passed away.
I guess our next meeting will take place at the Big Human Roundup, Ol’ Buddy; until then God bless.
A young Gilbert Slattery (2nd left on top row).
I first met Gilbert L. Slattery at Camp Borden,
A short time later the Highlanders were transferred to Debert, Nova Scotia, where we prepared for our “Government-paid ocean cruise” to England.
Maida barracks at Aldershot, became our new home for the next few months, where we were kept very busy.
Sheffield Park was our next place of residence in the
While stationed at Sheffield Park the battalion added a few brand-new Harley motorcycles to the transport list, and the two musketeers volunteered to take a short course, riding the Harleys. We successfully completed the course, and I was promoted shortly afterwards.