11.7 C
Ontario
Saturday, November 27, 2021

101-year-old World War II veteran reflects and honours friends on Remembrance Day – Lethbridge


It’s been 80 years since Elden Coleman went overseas to serve in World War II.

“When the jobs ran out, a bunch of us boys went to Calgary,” Coleman said, reflecting on his time serving his country.

On July 23, 1941, at just 21 years of age, Coleman travelled by troop train to Halifax, before taking a ship to England.

He would spend more than four years in Europe.


Elden Coleman was only 21 when he went to England to serve in World War II. Courtesy: Wendy Coleman.


Courtesy: Wendy Coleman

A natural athlete, he became a physical training instructor, teaching calisthenics, running and unarmed combat, while becoming a full Sergeant.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
A 97-year-old southern Alberta man you must meet

“I loved what I was doing. Teaching phys ed to the troops and getting them in shape to go fight.”

“I got to do many things in the sport that I liked, which was track and field,” Coleman said. “I wouldn’t want to be anything else, if I had to do it all over again.”

Coleman taught unarmed combat while in the army and was a pretty accomplished boxer himself, even getting into a bout with a professional fighter. Courtesy: Wendy Coleman


Coleman taught unarmed combat while in the army and was a pretty accomplished boxer himself, even getting into a bout with a professional fighter. Courtesy: Wendy Coleman.


Courtesy: Wendy Coleman

Coleman remembers eating in London and seeing a German “buzz bomb” plane – unmanned aircraft loaded with explosives, intended to run out of gas and drop on their targets.

“We would lie in our barracks at night and hear one come over… (then) its engines would cut and we’d wait to hear it explode,” Coleman said.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Cenotaph ceremony marks Remembrance Day in Lethbridge

And while he never saw the front lines, many of his friends and the men he trained did.

When Coleman returned to Canada in 1945, it was without his brother, Duane, who was killed in combat near the end of the war.

“They were going through a minefield and the coastal guns were firing – I don’t know how many miles it was – but they were firing on… this minefield where the troops were coming through,” Coleman said.

“One of the shells landed close to the truck and the whole truckload was killed.”

After leaving the army, Coleman returned to his hometown of Magrath, Alta., working as a carpenter.

Still living there at the age of 101, he used Remembrance Day to honour those who served alongside and he hopes others take the time to appreciate the sacrifices that were made defending our freedoms.

“To have our country free, it’s not like other countries.”

 




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

Latest news

ICC calls off Women’s World Cup Qualifier after new COVID-19 variant emerges

Travel restrictions have been introduced from a number of African countries after detection of the new variant in South Africa The ICC on...

SA President Ramaphosa advances crucial Covid meeting

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has advanced an urgent meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to Saturday, amid growing global...

The Kapil Sharma Show Season 2 – Stars Of The Television – Ep 179 -Full Episode – 30th January, 2021

Click here to Subscribe to SET India: Click here to watch the full episodes of The Kapil Sharma Show: Episode 179: Classic Television And...

Duo tied to pole, assaulted for hours in Karnataka village over suspicion of affair

A 24-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were tied to an electric pole and assaulted for hours over the suspicion that they were having...
Related news

ICC calls off Women’s World Cup Qualifier after new COVID-19 variant emerges

Travel restrictions have been introduced from a number of African countries after detection of the new variant in South Africa The ICC on...

SA President Ramaphosa advances crucial Covid meeting

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has advanced an urgent meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to Saturday, amid growing global...

The Kapil Sharma Show Season 2 – Stars Of The Television – Ep 179 -Full Episode – 30th January, 2021

Click here to Subscribe to SET India: Click here to watch the full episodes of The Kapil Sharma Show: Episode 179: Classic Television And...

Duo tied to pole, assaulted for hours in Karnataka village over suspicion of affair

A 24-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were tied to an electric pole and assaulted for hours over the suspicion that they were having...