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In recent years I have been able to conduct many battlefield tours for various private groups. In September 2024 I was allowed to provide a tour for the son of private Floyd McCulloch, who served with the Canadian regiment the Cape Breton Highlanders during the Second World War.
He only arrived on the battlefield in Delfzijl on April 29, 1945, and experienced in three days fierce fighting and hellish artillery bombardments. According to Charles, his father talked little about the war, only comical anecdotes were discussed. Together with his family we followed in the footsteps of the regiment. We visited Bierum, Holwierde, Nansum and finally Delfzijl where McCulloch was involved in the capture of the German coastal battery. His father was in D Company, which came under heavy fire during the advance from Uitwierde.Lieutenant Reg Roy, platoon commander of D Company, wrote in his diary: ‘As soon as we got underway, flares were fired by the enemy. We advanced along the sea wall and made direct contact with the enemy… We were pinned down by German snipers and that damned mechanized cannon… My God, it was horrible to see our guys being torn to pieces, I hope I never experience a battle like this again. It was pure murder…it was for me the bitterest battle of the war.”
To conclude the tour, we visited the train station of Delfzijl, which was captured by the B Company of the CBH on May 1, 1945. Hundreds of Germans were taken prisoner during these battles. I read an initial from Floyd McCulloch from the regimental book of the Cape Breton Highlanders: ‘The last battle I remember most was the capture of Delfzijl. I think for us it was the toughest battle we’ve ever been in. Sometimes I think I can still smell the burning buildings, but we have captured the city. After the fierce fighting, I fell asleep in an old building that we had as headquarters. Sergeant MacGregor woke me up and said, “It’s over, we’ve won!” He said he couldn’t have sent me into battle again. I told him that I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle the fighting anymore.”
This was the closest I could get to my father. This was amazing!’