Tuesday, 10 November 2009


People in Crowsnest Pass and across our nation will be silent for a few moments tomorrow remembering the sacrifices selflessly given by our soldiers, past and present, in order that we might live our lives in a peaceful and just society. Speeches will be made and stories will be told in remembrance and respect. Here is one story. A story that was never told to me. A story I only became aware of just a year or so ago.

Copied from the website of the Saskatoon Light Infantry

On August 3rd, 1943, the Edmonton Regiment, with under command 1 Platoon M.M.G. (2 Cdn. Inf. Sp. Gp.) (Sask.L.I.) was given the task of capturing a hill feature north of REGALBUTO.

The country to be crossed precluded the use of mechanical transport and supplies, ammunition, and heavy weapons had to be carried on mules.

At daylight, 4 Aug., the mules carrying the weapons and ammunition for the Platoon of M.M.G.'s came under enemy Mortar and M/M.G. fire; many of the mules were killed and most of the remainder dispersed.

While the platoon was being with drawn to cover to reorganize Cpl. Taje, in the face of heavy enemy fire, made his way to the guns and removed the locks, thus rendering them valueless.

Cpl. Taje was then unable to find his own Platoon and so reported to the Edmn. R. On arrival there he was informed that two enemy M.G. emplacements were holding up the advance.

Cpl. Taje returned to the location where the mules had been killed, despite the enemy fire which was being brought down, collected the two guns and some ammunition which he placed in position to engage the enemy. This undertaking required about four hours.

Cpl. Taje then engaged both enemy M.G. emplacements preventing the enemy from firing and enabling the Edmonton Regiment to advance and silence the posts.

Cpl. Taje. accomplished this feat single-handed and with complete disregard for his personal safety. His courage and determination under fire were an inspiration to all ranks taking part in this action.

Dad never talked about the war nor his role in it. Like other baby boomers, I grew up watching Audie Murphy, John Wayne and others take on the Nazis in guts and glory movies about World War II and found it strange that Dad didn't revel in the glory of all he had to have experienced. When talk turned to the latest war movie Dad would only say "don't believe that American s***t. It's not true."

Over the years I began to get a sense of why Dad wouldn't speak of the war, mostly through little snippets of events blurted out after he sampled some of the finest red wines sold by the ALCB. Tiny bits of the horrors eating at his conscience would show themselves in his wine induced, uncontrolled speech. Anything Dad could have been proud of was destroyed by what circumstance forced him to do and witness.
Well Dad and the thousands like him that sacrificed their youth and piece of mind deserve to be honoured. They are heroes. They fought and survived. They came back to raise a new generation with a standard of living they could not have dreamed possible. With all those that gave their lives for us they deserve our undying respect.