Saturday , January 16 2021

"It's something I will never forget": World War II veteran, 98, remembers Day D – Regina

Regina stopped reflecting this day of Memory, marking the cease-fire of November 11, 1918, which ended the First World War struggle.

For veteran Harold Hague, the memories of the First World War are those that passed from his father.

"He was in the Royal Artillery of France and suffered a lot of harm," The Hague said. "The horses took the big guns in the battle and it was so cold that they said they had to cover up and sleep under the horse to warm up at night. These are stories that will make you move."

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Born in Earl Gray, Saskatchewan of The Hague signed for active service to the Royal Canadian Navy when he was 19, at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

"There was a certain number of patriotism and similar things," said The Hague. "My father did not want me to join, but whoever listened to their father at that age?"

Following the ranking, The Hague served on the high seas and was active during the Battle of the Atlantic and Day D.

"The first part of the Atlantic battle is lost," Hague said. "If we did not win the Battle of the Atlantic, there would not be Day D because you could not get the supplies there. They drove the ships very fast.

"But we eventually had a ship that had the equipment and weapons to do the job, and the aircraft, the Canadian Air Force, had new aircraft that could move forward and this was the turning point in the war, it took the material to England. "

On June 6, 1944, the Hague was one of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, to fight the German occupation. During the invasion, he was on an enemy mine clearance ship.

"When I was on board and we were pulling some of the survivors, trying to save them, you heard them screaming and they knew they were hit," Hague said.

"They were screaming for Mom."

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Now 98, the memories of the war remain as they were yesterday.

"It's something I will never forget," Hague said. "I was on the bridge and looked out of the sea at sea and as far as I could see behind us were ships, hundreds of ships. It was a spectacle and as they come to it worse and worse.

"And the aircraft, thousands of planes flying simultaneously and parachutists," Hague added, "was just hell."

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When the war ended, The Hague returned to Regina, where it contributed to the development of the Regina Center in the late 1970s and early 80s.

He also joined the Royal Legion Channel 001 and under his leadership he served various roles over the years and was directly involved in creating services to veterans and veterans.

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In addition, he served as co-chair of the Regina Memorial Day Service and helped organize the internal service at Brandt Center, the biggest event of the Saskatchewan Memorial Day.

This year, more than 1,000 people came to pay their respects, honoring those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

"Memory is not a job, it is a privilege," said Cmdr. James Balfour, senior naval shipowner. "It is important to note those cases where we can remember the sacrifice of previous generations."

For health reasons, it is the first year that The Hague does not attend the ceremony. Instead, he will follow the comfort of the house, as the next generation continues to bring the flame.

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