William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

MEMORIES OF SSGT ROCKY PRENTICE

I was at the end of my 3 year hitch and I was 19
Would I continue to serve my Country and Queen?
I had been a Bren gunner for two or three years
And I wasted my BAF[1] on those wet canteen beers

I worked for Staff Sergeant Hendrick up in the BOR[2]
As a leading infantryman I would not have gone far?
Staff had a Korean War buddy up there at Brigade
Rocky gave me exams and a Group 2 Admin Clerk[3] I was made

Staff Prentice had been a sniper in the Korean War
Wounded in action he was now with the Service Corp
He was the 4CIBG[4] Chief Clerk up there at Brigade
Along with a group 2, a new Lance Corporal unpaid was made!

And that is why this young soldier at the end of my time
Talked into it by Rocky, I once again signed on the line
Rocky was a hero to the Korean War Vets I worked for
And he was a survivor of WW2 and the Korean War

I heard the wet canteen stories of Rocky Prentice’s war
Those stories got thicker – I’d check them out, I swore
When I asked him about that he said heroes were the others
The lads buried at Inchon far away from their Mothers

Staff he was AIRBORNE, inspiring young soldiers like me
I signed on again and returned to Canada back in sixty three
Sent off to Borden I obtained my crown topped group 3
Then went off to Edmonton – AIRBORNE INFANTRY!

I completed the Old Plan Army cycle and I did my twenty
SSF Ops Sgt[5] came here to Saanichton this rich land of plenty
Sgt Poet Don Urquhart, of the sloppy sniper section
Worked for Vancouver P.D. in the finger print section

They helped a vet get a guard job where I booked in the perps
Taking mug shots[6] and FP’s[7], I soon got steady work
For twenty three more years I worked at the CSPS COMCEN
Thanks to training by Rocky Prentice and host of good men!

To what do I owe these heroes from the days of my youth?
I was rough, hard drinking, obnoxious, uncouth
What did they see in this young red headed guy?
Perhaps a mirror of themselves as the years flashed on by?

I helped other soldiers when they came to the PD front desk
I wrote them letters of recommendation and I did my best
Because other old soldiers they too had helped me
Thank you Rocky Prentice – AIRBORNE INFANTRY!

Author’s Note: I knew, worked for, and worked with and admired many great old soldiers in a span of twenty years, first with 1s Bn QOR of C, then with the PPCLI and the Cdn AB Regts AIRBORNE INFANTRY – I retired as Operations Sergeant to the Special Service Force in Petawawa. I was a trained China Specialist – People like Rocky Prentice helped me along the road – Old soldiers are valued by the Police Departments in our Area – Jim Carroll and Harry Stintson (both old RSMs) worked opposite me for many years at Saanich Police Department – I spend 23 years at Central Saanich Police Department retiring on full pension. Thanks Rocky and Sam – RIP both!