Bacon, Al

Al Bacon was born Dec 27, 1919 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, attending Danforth Tech before the Great Depression forced him to quit school and go to work.  Al found a job at the Simpson’s Department Store, where he was an elevator operator.  When the war came, he and a few friends joined up, and once in the service they opted for the Canadian Scottish.  Early training took place at Camps Borden and Debert, and Al and his fellow soldiers were then sent overseas, landing in Scotland before heading to England.  Al and a few friends managed to smuggle their regimental mascot, a St Bernard named Wallace, aboard the ship, but he was discovered midway, and the dog spent the war years in Scotland.  Much of Al’s next few years were spent marching the English countryside, and preparing for the invasion that was on the way.  The men boarded the ships for D-Day and spent 24 difficult hours on them before the invasion was delayed because of weather.  Once underway on June 6, Al landed on Juno Beach between the first and second waves as weather had driven them off course.  The resistance was light in their area, and they advanced inland towards Beny-sur-Mer.  The men took German prisoners while on patrol, and they slept because of the Calvados left for them by local farmers.  11 short days after his arrival in France, Al was grievously wounded, losing his arm when a grenade exploded unexpectedly.  Al’s arm was amputated in a field hospital, and he was sent back to England, where he did rehab at Lady Astor’s Estate, which continued back at the Christie Street Hospital In Toronto.  Back on the home front, Al married and went to work for the City of Toronto, falling into the rhythms of postwar Canadian life.  Al was interviewed at the Sunnybrook veterans’ Wing in June 2019, by Arielle Meyer, Matthew Laslop, and Kian Torabi.


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