Meet veteran Walter Fidler

Remembrance day profile of local resident and veteran Walter Fidler

Walter Fidler

Walter Fidler

Walter Fidler joined the Army Service Corps in 1941.

Basic training took place at Camp Borden, and then the recruits were sent to Debert, Nova Scotia. They shipped overseas in October of 1941, arriving in Liverpool, England.

From the ship, they were taken by truck at night to Aldershot, where they lived in one big barrack, then they were moved a little farther south to Farnham for a while.

When it came time to head to Italy, the troops were loaded on the transport ship “John Ericsson”, which had been built in Hamburg in 1928.

Walter was a dispatcher for the medical corps – he rode motorcycles delivering messages from Headquarters to the Infantry in the areas of Ortano, and in Rimini.  This all had to be done while trying not to be spotted or captured by the enemy. Maps were provided, and roads had to be memorized, as during the night, lights were not used.

In 1944, Walter was injured when his motorcycle collided with a truck. They took him first to the Army dressing station, then by train to Naples, and finally sent him by ship to England for further recovery.

The others in his medical corps went on to France, and then the Netherlands to take part in the liberation.

When the war ended, he came to Halifax by ship, then by train to Winnipeg, where he spent a year and a half in Deer Lodge Hospital recovering from his injuries.

He went to a convalescent home in Portage la Prairie, where he was surprised to find one of the Corporals he had served with working as a cook. This young man had also been a dispatcher, but had gone too far on his motorcycle, and had gotten captured and spent the last part of the war as a prisoner.

Walter has called Ladysmith home for many years, and is a treasured member of RCL Branch 171.