The Young WW2 Soldier Who Lost His Life On The Operating Table

May 23, 2020.  In uncovering the stories of the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, it’s been an eye-opener on how being based in Canada during wartime was no guarantee of safety! Accidents and illnesses took their share of lives, a fate that befell WW2 soldier Harold “Lloyd” LEFURGEY, who was born on June 9, 1926 in North Bedeque.

037 - Harold Lloyd Lefurgey, Saint John, Nov 1944

Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey in November 1944. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

The son of Harold Lefurgey and Mary Todd, Lloyd lived in North Bedeque with his family until 1942, when the family moved to Saint John, New Brunswick.

Lefurgey Family, Behind Their House, Saint John NB, Harold, Mary, Alex, Muriel, Bill & Lloyd

The Lefurgey family behind their house in Saint John, NB.  Standing top, Harold and Mary Lefurgey.  Children, middle row: Alex and Muriel.  Children, front row: Bill and Lloyd. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

Employed as a marine coppersmith’s helper at the St. John Drydocks in Saint John, he enlisted in the Canadian Army on February 16, 1945 in Fredericton.  A note on his enlistment record noted that he was “underage for overseas until June 9, 1945.”

Mildred Allen & Lloyd Lefurgey, Saint John

Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey with Mildred Allen at a time when Mildred’s brother was dating Lloyd’s sister. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

A few weeks later, while undergoing basic infantry training at No 70 Canadian Infantry (Basic) Training Centre in Fredericton, he fell ill. He was taken to Fredericton Military Hospital, New Brunswick and was about to be operated on for acute appendicitis.

The Casualty Report records that “On the night of the 16th March 1945 Pte Lefurgey was quite sick in bed, but seemed to recover the next morning.  When asked to go on sick parade, he replied that he preferred to go on Physical Training Parade.  He took sick again at about 0900 hours 17th March 1945 and was immediately taken to the Medical Inspection Room, from where he was at once taken by ambulance to Fredericton Military Hospital.  He was about to be operated on for acute appendicitis, and he died before the operation could actually be started, while under anesthetic.  Cause of death:  cardiac syncope.”  He was only 18 years old. (Note: Syncope is the medical term for ‘fainting’.  “Cardiac syncope occurs when the source of one’s loss of consciousness stems from a problem in the heart that prevents it from supplying enough nutrients and oxygen to the brain.”…. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526027/)

Anna Lefurgey Cornish wrote that “His parents were living in St. John. A member of the armed forces came to the house to inform them of their son’s passing.  His remains were taken home to Cape Traverse and a funeral held in The Free Church of Scotland and then interred in the cemetery there.

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Grave of Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey at Cape Traverse Free Church of Scotland Cemetery.  (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

Thank you to Johnson Duplessis and Anna Lefurgey Cornish for providing photos and information on Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey.  If you have an anecdote or photo to share, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

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