167 pages

Through the Hitler Line


Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus


Laurence Wilmot’s Second World War memoir is a rare thing: a first-hand account of front-line battle by an army officer who is a resolute non-combatant. And it is paradoxes such as this that also make Wilmot’s book a unique and compelling document. Wilmot, as an Anglican chaplain, is a priest dressed as a warrior, a man of peace in battle fatigues. He is an incongruous figure in a theatre of war, always vigilant for opportunities to partake of silent meditation and prayer, never failing to lose sight of the larger moral issues of the war. His compassion is boundless, his sensitivity acute, and one senses his mounting emotional and spiritual enervation as the death toll of his fellow serving men steadily mounts. At the centre of the book is Wilmot’s witness of the murderous battle at the Arielli.

Wilmot’s compassion for the fighting men compels him to leave the safety of his ministry and join them at the front, at great personal risk. There, as an unarmed stretcher-bearer, he is kept busy transporting the wounded under enemy fire. In this crucible of battle we see the qualities that attest to Wilmot’s character and contribute to his memoir’s importance: an indefatigable devotion to his duty to save and comfort the wounded, and a resolve to resist despair in spite of the terrible carnage all around. In short, a singular triumph of the decency of one man in the midst of total war.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780889205543
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0027€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Through the Hitler Line Memoirs of an Infantry Chaplain
Italy,10July1943 – 9June1944
Through the Hitler Line
Memoirs of an Infantry Chaplain Laurence F. Wilmot
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Wilmot, Laurence F.,1907Through the Hitler line: memoirs of an infantry chaplain / Laurence F. Wilmot. (Life writing series) ISBN0889204268
1.Canada. Canadian Army — Chaplains — Biography.2.Chaplains, Military— Canada — Biography.3.World War,1939 – 1945Campaigns — Italy.4.Canada. Canadian Army. West Nova Scotia Regiment — History.5.World War,1939– 1945Personal narratives, Canadian.i.Title.ii.Series
D810.C36C39 2003
©2003Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canadan2l 3c5 www.wlupress.wlu.ca
Cover and text design by P.J. Woodland.
The maps on pages15,23, 43, 71, 79, 93and109are reproduced fromThe Canadians in Italy1943 – 1945,volume2of theOfficial History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War,by Lt.-Col. G.W.L. Nicolson. Maps drawn by Capt. C.C.J. Bond. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer,1956. Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire permission for copyright material used in this text, and to acknowledge all such indebtedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher’s attention will be corrected in future printings.
Printed in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or trans-mitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll free to18008935777.
To the glory of God at work in a world in chaos
to the memory of those gallant men of the West Nova Scotia Regiment with whom it was my privilege to serve during World Warii. Many of them gave their lives to rescue from oblivion such civilization as we had been able to achieve.
This page intentionally left blank
Contents List of Photographsix
List of Mapsx
Chapter 1Treading Cautiously into the Unknown1
Chapter 2Ministry on the Arielli Front13
Chapter 3Taking Up God’s Armour27
Chapter 4Breaking the Hitler Line41
Chapter 5A Tourist in Wartime59
Chapter 6Preparing for the Attack69
Chapter 7Tragedy at Foglia River77
Chapter 8Fierce Fighting and Close Calls91
Chapter 9A Time of Stress and a Moment of Rest101
Chapter 10Roman Holiday, Russi Road107
Chapter 11Prayers for the Fallen117
Chapter 12Liberating Holland
Chapter 13The Guns Fall Silent
This page intentionally left blank
List of Photographs page5 Laurence Wilmot, Swan River, Manitoba, June1942
page57 Lt.Col. R.S.E. (Ronnie) Waterman A Bren gunner at the Hitler Line Lt. Col. Frank Hiltz Padre Wilmot with Medical Officer Dr. Hyman Mendelson Three chaplains examine the steel helmet worn by Padre Wilmot during the battle of the Hitler Line
page99 Padre Wilmot seated high up in the Colosseum At a campsite in a vineyard West Nova men who were confirmed by the Bishop of Lichfield at All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Rome West Nova officers and a casualty A tank concealed in a ruined house The Mortar Platoon of thewnsrat a front-line open-air shower stall West Nova Scotia Regiment cemetery, near San Lorenzo
page100 A German tank taken by the West Novas in the Lamone Advance Lt. Col. A.L. Saunders Padre Wilmot with his truck