Albert Wells

Mission veteran Albert Wells was among Canadian invasion force on D-Day

With Remembrance Day a week away, the 101-year-old veteran of the Second World War spoke to The Record about his experience.

Sitting in his motorized chair, Albert Wells wheels his way through the lobby of Mission’s Chartwell Cedarbrooke retirement residence on his way to the bistro.

With Remembrance Day a week away, the 101-year-old veteran of the Second World War spoke to The Record about his experience.

Wells was in his mid-20s when he enlisted in 1942.

“What happened was three of my friends had joined the army and they sent them overseas to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the Japanese took over and they were all killed,” he said.

“When they got killed, I got so upset about it that I went right out and signed up. That was my main reason for joining.”

Because of his experience in mining, Wells became a member of the 6th Field Company of Royal Canadian Engineers.

He said they wanted him to go to officers’ training, but he declined and remained a private.

“I knew the basics of war is based on people who go to the front line all the time. So I was afraid if I got to be an officer I might get put into headquarters or something like that and I wouldn’t be up there with my buddies.”

Wells was serving with the 6th when they landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944.

From there they moved through France, along the coast and made steady progress until they reached Holland.

He said they had to stay in Holland for some time before they managed to carry on – at a slow pace of fighting – until they reached Germany on May 8.

“We were immediately sent back to Holland,” he said, as the Germans had surrendered.

Because of the huge number of soldiers being sent home, Wells said he had to wait in Holland for six months before he could find transport.

“We fell in love with the Dutch people. For quite a while I corresponded with people there who were so nice and helpful. We had a nice connection there.”

Last year, Wells became a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour. He received this title from the Government of the Republic of France for his service during the war.

During last year’s ceremony, held in Mission, Wells said he wasn’t sure why he was receiving this highly esteemed award. He joked that they may have “pulled his name from a hat.”

But the truth is, his service is still remembered.

Remembrance Day is Nov.11.

 

Just Posted

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: 24-year-old Lovepreet Dhaliwal ID’d as victim in targeted Abbotsford shooting

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

VIDEO: AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Mission Chamber announces Business Excellence Awards winners

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read