Canadian Armed Forces - Armoured Soldier

Sheldon Lawr


Sheldon Lawr considers himself a lucky guy.

He had an adventurous life before the war. As a teenager, he left his home in Brampton, Ontario early and spent years hopping on and off trains to work on farms out west. He was just 17 when the war broke out. He wanted to join like his two brothers, but at the beginning of the war, there was a height requirement, and Sheldon wasn't tall enough. He waited until the government changed that rule, and then enlisted. He went to Fredericton for basic training, and then to Camp Dundurn in Saskatchewan for light armoured training. He enjoyed the training, and wound up teaching driving to the other soldiers, having owned three cars before the age of 19.

His first overseas assignment was in the U.K., where he drove a truck. It was, in Sheldon's eyes, a great job, and he felt fortunate to get it, as he loved driving. Canada and the U.S. shipped war supplies to the north of Scotland which were assembled and loaded onto trucks. Sheldon took the train to the site, picked up the truck, and drove back to the coast where the goods were then shipped to Europe.

From England, Sheldon was sent to France as a tank driver. There was an opportunity to change jobs and drive a truck to the front with supplies, and he jumped at the chance. Tanks were a prime target for the German army, and it was more dangerous to drive a tank. Once again, Sheldon felt he was lucky.

One day, as he was driving to the front with a convoy, his truck died. He was stranded for three weeks without food, shelter or any comrades. Sheldon eventually managed to get his truck fixed and get back on the road, and made it to the front to drop off his load. He never saw the rest of the convoy again, and felt that Lady Luck was on his side to have survived that adventure.

His final stroke of luck happened when the war ended. After V-Day, soldiers were asked if they wanted to continue by fighting the Japanese. Sheldon wasn't ready to end his adventures yet, and signed up. He was granted leave prior to flying out, so he went back to Canada for a few months. He was supposed to ship out again on August 6th. But as history knows, that was the day the war ended.

Sheldon Lawr is indeed one fortunate fellow!

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