By Barney Danson
Barney Danson begun 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 evidence approximately this awesome top minister, and he offers an insider’s view of Canadian politicians and international leaders. Danson’s personal tale, instructed in a touching and infrequently funny tone, is additionally 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 resources for Not Bad for a Sergeant: The Memoirs of Barney Danson
33 Not Bad for a Sergeant It was Sunday, 3 September 1939, when Britain declared war on Germany and Freddy and I expected that the Queen’s Own would be mobilized within a few days. I couldn’t wait until Monday so I could buy a supply of jockey shorts and socks, certain that the army would not provide us with such clothing in sufficient quantity. But something went wrong at National Defence Headquarters, for the First and Second Canadian Divisions were raised without the Queen’s Own. We were devastated but knew that the military brass would have to call on us within a few days or so.
Not only that, but I doubt whether he passed a single pub without stopping for a pint, leaving us helplessly parked outside. I swore that I was going to have him court-martialled. Courts martial were forgotten, however, when the corporal’s sick and battered charges were delivered to the 1st Canadian Neurological Hospital at Basingstoke (otherwise affectionately known as #1 Canadian Nut House). Colonel Kenneth Bottrell, the senior Canadian neurosurgeon, examined me in this haven of cleanliness and order.
Where, we did not know. There were rumours galore, but our destination turned out to be Newfoundland, a British colony not yet part of Canada and thus qualifying us for the maple-leaf clasp on our not-yet-issued Canadian Volunteer Service Medal. It was the first decoration for most of us; the exceptions were the fairly numerous First World War veterans still young enough, or able to look young enough, to enlist, but few of these lasted through the training prior to D-Day. Our mission was to protect the transatlantic sea-plane base in Botwood and the huge new airbase at Gander, which was the major staging area for flights to the United Kingdom and boasted the world’s longest runway (it was also the home of a pig farmer named Joey Smallwood).
Not Bad for a Sergeant: The Memoirs of Barney Danson by Barney Danson