On The War Memorial Trail….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 5

January 27, 2021. Responses to the news clips on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 on January 4 and 13 continue to come in.  As mentioned in the previous 4 parts, Pieter is ensuring that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

William Herbert Bellamy

William Herbert Bellamy.  (Photo courtesy of the Bellamy Family)

On behalf of the Bellamy Family, Linda Fury submitted a photo of her uncle, William Herbert “Billy’ BELLAMY, explaining that ….There are about 150 members of our family now.  We hold reunions often and all know the story of our Uncle Bill.  He belonged to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and died in January 1945 while a prisoner in Germany.  Thanks so much for all you have done and are continuing to do.  Your work is very much appreciated by all of us….

William Herbert ‘Billy’ was born on May 2, 1921 in Hereford, England, the son of Percy and Frances Bellamy.  In 1927 he immigrated to Canada with his family and settled in Midgic Station (now Midgic), New Brunswick.  Following his 18th birthday, he enlisted with the West Nova Scotia Highlanders on August 2, 1940 in Aldershot, Nova Scotia. On April 30, 1941 he transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, and was on his way to England in July 1941.

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders were among the troops to land in Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944.  Unfortunately, on June 7, 1944 he was captured by the Germans in Normandy and became a prisoner of war (POW).  On August 13, 1944 he arrived at Stalag XII A [Limburg an der Lahn, Hessen, a POW transit camp] and then, on August 26, 1944 was transferred to Stalag Camp VIII B [Lamsdorf, Oberschlesien] near the German-Polish border.  On November 2, 1944 he was sent to the work camp E 902 Delbrückschächte Hindenburg where, along with other POWs, he worked in a nearby coal mine.

According to an account that a former POW sent after the war to Billy’s father, Billy was seriously injured on January 1, 1945 when the mine ceiling collapsed.  He was taken to hospital in Hindenburg (now Zabrze and part of Poland).  However, according to the POW record kept by his captors, he was seriously injured on November 23, 1944 and sent to a military hospital in Knurow (now Knurów, Poland). Curiously, the same injuries described as happening on January 1, 1945 were reported on the POW record as having occurred on November 23, 1944.

In January 1945 he died of his injuries. Records of the exact circumstances have not been found, likely due to advancing Russian troops.  His military service file lists his official date of death as January 28, 1945. On February 6, 1945, Billy was buried in the Municipal Cemetery of Teupitz (in the state of Brandenburg, Germany).  After the war ended he was reburied in the Heerstrasse British Cemetery in Berlin, and then in 1949 reburied for the final time in Holten.

Robert Cole

Robert Theodore Cole. (Photo courtesy of Emily Gilbert)

Ervin Ellis submitted a photo of Robert Theodore COLE, explaining that “I was told by Kent Caldwell that you were looking for a picture of Robert Cole, WWII Veteran from Coles Island. A woman that I knew had close ties to that area.  She said the whole family was deceased but her first husband was part of that family, if anyone had any pictures it would be her.  She looked through her old pictures and by some sort of miracle she had pictures…”  This was Emily Gilbert.  Robert Cole was the nephew of her husband.

Born in Coles Island, New Brunswick, the son of Fred and Maria Cole, Robert enlisted in March 1940 and served in Canada and Labrador before going overseas in September 1943. He was in France by 1944, and also was with his regiment in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany.  He lost his life on April 21, 1945 during the Battle of Friesoythe in Germany while serving with the Lorne Scots – Ground Defence Platoon.

Ervin’s assistance was invaluable in putting a face to this soldier’s name! He went on to write Pieter that “….This is a great project you are working on, saw you on TV a couple of times. I am the Zone Commander for the legions in this area so I know them pretty good and their Cenotaphs. If I can help you any let me know…”  Needless to say, Pieter has taken Ervin up on his offer and is grateful for the help that he and Kent Caldwell have provided.

Joseph Gerald Fougere

Joseph Gerald Fougere. (Photo submitted by Doug Landry)

Gerald Douglas ‘Doug’ Landry submitted a photo of his uncle, Joseph ‘Gerald’ FOUGERE, explaining that he was “….born in Poulamon, Nova Scotia, the only son of Felix and Josephine (Marchand) Fougere. Gerald had three sisters: Evelyn, married to Thomas Sampson; Anita, married to Val Poirier; and Theresa, married to James W. Landry….

Doug went on to write that “…Gerald was with the Perth Regiment.  He was dangerously wounded in action on April 24th, 1945 and died of wounds on April 26th, 1945 at the age of 28 years, 11 months….” He lost his life during the Battle of the Delfzijl Pocket.

Soldiers Buried In Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium

Arthur Jack Taylor

Arthur ‘Jack’ Taylor.  (Photo courtesy of the Taylor Family)

On behalf of the Taylor family, Art Taylor submitted a photo of his uncle, Arthur Brambel ‘Jack’ TAYLOR, explaining that “…My father and his four brothers, from the small town of Woodstock, New Brunswick, all served in WWII.  Three saw action.  My father (John Taylor) was in the Royal Canadian Navy and escorted convoys to Europe.  His two brothers were in the army.  Russell Taylor fought into Holland and survived.  His other brother Arthur ‘Jack’ Taylor was with the Winnipeg Rifles.  He was killed at the Leopold Canal on October 12, 1944.  He is buried at the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium.  He was 26 years old…

Jack was a rifleman, killed during Operation Switchback, part of the Battle of the Scheldt.  A Wikipedia article explains that “….October 10, 11, and 12 were days of intense struggle while the men of the 7th Brigade with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles took, lost and then retook a group of houses known as Graaf Jan and the Regina Rifles found themselves pinned down by a group of well dug-in pillboxes that seemed to be resilient to artillery…(For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Scheldt#Operation_Switchback) Jack was initially buried in Madelgem before being reburied in Adegem.

Thank you to Ervin Ellis, Emily Gilbert, Doug Landy, Linda Fury, and Art Taylor for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Kudos to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.  Pieter and I extend our condolences to Ervin Ellis, who sadly lost his wife on January 20.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 6! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Missed the previous postings in this series? See:

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 4

January 20, 2021. Responses to the news clips on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 on January 4 and 13 continue to come in.  As mentioned in Parts 1, 2, and 3, Pieter is ensuring that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives. 

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..      

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

Nelson DesRoches Army

Nelson Desroches. (Photo courtesy of The Desroches Family)

Leo Gaudet submitted a photo of Nelson DESROCHES, on behalf of the Desroches family, and wrote that “We have a vet buried at Holten from Tignish, whom my wife and I visited in 2014…

Born May 23, 1915 in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, the son of John Desroches and Elizabeth Doucette, Nelson followed his older brother Merrick into military service.  He was serving with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry when he was killed in action on April 14, 1945.

Ernest Robert Haynes

Ernest Robert Haynes.  (Photo courtesy of the Haynes Family)

On behalf of the Haynes family, Teri Haynes submitted a photo of her father-in-law, Ernest Robert HAYNES, and explained that “…my Ernie visited the grave many years ago when he was in his teens with his Mother…

Ernest Robert, born March 17, 1919 in St. John, New Brunswick, was the son of James Edward and Alice Beatrice Haynes.  A dyer in a laundromat before enlisting in 1939, he was married to Opal Bailey and the father of Teri’s late husband, Ernest David.

While serving with the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment, he was sent overseas to the United Kingdom in July 1944, and on June 1, 1945 to North West Europe. Unfortunately, due to a fatal accident with a passing Canadian Army truck near Soestdijk, he lost his life on July 5, 1945, age 26.  He was temporarily buried in the town of Hilversum before being reburied on March 29, 1946 in Holten.

Daniel Pearo

Daniel Pearo.  (Photo courtesy of the Pearo Family)

On behalf of the Pearo family, Colleen Hartling submitted a photo of her uncle, Daniel PEARO, and wrote that “Daniel was my mother’s brother. She looked up to him as a child and loved him dearly. She said that he was full of fun and you can see the twinkle in his kind eyes. I was born in the 60s so I did not know Daniel…

Daniel Pearo, son of Samuel and Dasie Pearo, served with the Cape Breton Highlanders and lost his life on May 1, 1945.  (A tribute to him can be found here: http://faculty.uccb.ca/highlanders/DANIEL%20PEARO.htm?fbclid=IwAR1ijEE5uz9tppYwN4dPcHA24DAGhDSAtVfQJUtRAEa21ZIY-zqRZwiUG9I)

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands

Gordon Brewer 2

Gordon Thomas Brewer.  (Photo submitted by Stephen and Hazel Albert)

Stephen Albert submitted a photo of Gordon Thomas BREWER on behalf of himself and his mother Hazel, explaining that his uncle “… was 17 when he enlisted to serve his country.  Killed in action on his 21st birthday on October 25, 1944.  School children at that time adopted a grave. Willamina Proost, a young girl, adopted Gordon’s grave, corresponded with his parents for many years until she married, then stopped writing, so lost contact with her. Gordon’s medals and all letters to his parents were burned in a house fire several years ago, only few photos taken before going overseas still remain. Thank you for taking time to honour the men and women who gave their lives to protect others…

Hazel Albert, Gordon’s sister, wrote that she was the “…last remaining member of Gordon’s family….”  Gordon was born in Halifax on October 25, 1923, the son of Alonzo Wallace and Mary Ellen (nee Dean) Brewer.  

Gordon served with the Essex Scottish Regiment and lost his life during the Battle of the Scheldt.  (See https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/scheldt)

Soldiers buried at the Montecchio War Cemetery in Italy

Felix Gaudet

Felix Gaudet.  (Photo submitted by Leo Gaudet)

Leo Gaudet submitted a photo of his uncle, Felix GAUDET, born May 30, 1923, son of Joseph J. and Mary Gaudet of Tignish, Prince Edward Island. After enlistment, he left Halifax for the United Kingdom in July 1943 and was transferred to the Canadian Infantry Reserve Unit a few days after his arrival.  On March 26, 1944 he was sent to Italy, and on May 13 transferred to the Cape Breton Highlanders.

On August 30, 1944 he lost his life during the battle to take a knoll on the Gothic Defence Line.  Another soldier from PEI, Albert Eugene Arsenault, also with the Cape Breton Highlanders, lost his life the same day.  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/the-ww2-soldier-killed-in-action-while-crossing-the-foglia-river-in-italy/)

The Allies began the day of August 30th with an air bombardment against German positions at dawn. At 5.30 p.m., the Perth Regiment attacked the end of a ridge northeast of Montecchio, while a knoll at the west end of the town and the high ground beyond were the objectives of the Cape Breton Highlanders. Both units faced incessant fire from the heights as well as minefields along the flat lands. The Perths managed to break through the line first, reaching and passing their objective. The Cape Breton troops had the support of tanks from the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars, which helped three of their companies make it to the base of the knoll. After each attempt, however, they were driven back to the Foglia, with casualties totalling 19 members killed and 46 wounded. The Irish Regiment, which had been in reserve, was moved through the path of the Perths. Tanks and artillery guns were not yet available here and as a result the regiment lost 19 killed and 31 wounded.” (Source: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/overseas/second-world-war/italy/montecchio)

The Gaudet family made a tribute to Felix last year, on what would have been his 97th birthday.  It was so special that it’s shared here:

Felix Gaudet tribute by Aunt Cathy

Tribute to Felix Gaudet submitted by Leo Gaudet.

Thank you to Hazel Albert, Stephen Albert, Kent Caldwell, Colleen Hartling, Teri Haynes, and Leo Gaudet for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Kudos to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 5! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

Missed the previous postings in this series? See:

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. The Continued Search For A Photo Of John Clifford Rogers

January 18, 2021.  Last fall, a posting featured Pieter’s search for 5 soldiers from WW1 and WW2:

  • WW1 soldier Bazil CORMIER
  • WW1 soldier James CAIRNS
  • WW2 soldier John Clifford ROGERS
  • WW2 soldier Vernon James NIXON
  • WW2 soldier Philip Hubert LONG

Family subsequently came forward with photos for Vernon James Nixon and Philip Hubert Long, but the rest are still ‘faceless’.

Numerous attempts have been made to find family of the three others, with no success.  I would have given up, but not Pieter.  On Friday, January 15, 2021, he was interviewed by Angela Walker on CBC Radio’s Mainstreet PEI about WW2 soldier Pte John Clifford Rogers, who is buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek in The Netherlands, after losing his life on March 3, 1945 in Germany. Here are the key facts known about him:

  • He was born 19 August 1925 in Hope River, Prince Edward Island, the son of Andrew Rogers and Phoebe Gallant.
  • He had three other siblings: The oldest, Ferdinand Joseph, was born in 1921 and served with The North Nova Scotia Highlanders. He landed on D-Day in France and was killed in action on July 25, 1944.  His body was never found and he is commemorated on a monument at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, France.
  • The younger siblings were Walter Angus, born around 1930, and Marie Gladys, born around 1934.
  • The family lived at No. 7 Young Street in Charlottetown when John Clifford and Ferdinand Joseph were killed.

You can listen to the radio interview here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-130-mainstreet-pei/clip/15819180-pieter-valkenburg-searching-john-clifford-rogers-information

In addition to the radio interview, an appeal has gone out on YouTube, which you can watch here: 

Let’s hope someone will see one of these appeals for a photo and help put a face to the name of John Clifford Rogers! If you can help with a photo or information, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.  Photos and stories are still being collected for the Atlantic Canada Remembers series. 

Thank you to Angela Walker and the team at CBC’s Mainstreet PEI and to Wendy Nattress, our post-production editor for the YouTube videos. 

To read the original posting about the 5 soldiers, and a profile on Philip Hubert Long:

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 3

‘No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten’ …. Pieter Valkenburg

January 16, 2021.  “No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten.” This statement by Pieter in a news clip on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 touched many people who watched it, and many photos and stories continue to be emailed to him.  As mentioned in Parts 1 and 2, Pieter has been working to ensure every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives. 

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..      

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

William Broome restored

William Harold Broome. (Photo submitted by the Fleet Family)

On behalf of the Fleet Family, Diane Russo submitted a photo of her uncle, William Harold BROOME of Galt, Ontario, was born in 1913, the son of Simeon and Charlotte (nee Gilbert) Broome.  In 1937 he married Edith Cavel Gillies, and they had a son Billy.  A machine operator before enlisting in the war, he died of wounds received in action on April 25, 1945 during the Battle of Friesoythe in NW Germany, while serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. He was buried there temporarily, before being reburied on March 9, 1946 in Holten.

Lt. Percy Dexter Higgins

Percy Dexter Higgins.  (Photo courtesy of the Higgins Family)

On behalf of the Higgins Family, Donald Higgins submitted a photo of his uncle, Percy Dexter HIGGINS, and wrote that “…My father’s brother, Lt. Percy Dexter Higgins, is buried in Holten Cemetery. He served with North Nova Scotia Highlanders R.C.I.C. (from N.S.)…

Lt Higgins lost his life during the Battle of Warnsveld which began late in the day on April 4, 1945. An account of the events is in Will R. Bird’s ‘No Retreating Footsteps… the story of the North Novas’: “…. April 4th was bright and sunny…The Brigadier arrived and the Novas’ next objective was the town of Warnsveld…. The troops were carried in vehicles to a debussing point in the woods…… there was a delay as a huge crater in the road had to be filled by the Sappers before the ‘Wasps’ could get over. Then the tanks had not arrived and the company could not get forward until 1730 hours. A Company started to hit snipers in concealed positions and progress was slow as each house had to be searched in turn….

Bird’s account mentions what happened next…. “….There was considerable shooting going on in various spots and B Company sent a platoon to make sure of an area between them and A Company.  Lt Higgins was in command. There was open ground to be crossed with a fence running at an angle. Three attempts to get over were driven back by machine gun fire.  Lt Higgins then tried to lead a rush up by the cover of the fence and was killed as he jumped over on the other side….”   

Like John James MURRAY, whose story was told in Atlantic Canada Remembers –Part 2, he is listed on a monument in Warnsveld. (See https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/57960/Memorial-Canadian-Soldiers.htm).

An error might have been made in recording the date of his death as April 7, 1945 on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and on his gravestone.  The family has been provided with the service file records should they wish to ask the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for a correction to be made on his gravestone, and for a correction to be made on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

IMG_7900 James King

James King. (Photo courtesy of Terry McCormick)

Aaron Bouma submitted a photo of James Gordon KING on behalf of Terry McCormick. Born July 3, 1910 in Woodstock, New Brunswick, the son of Harris Weston and May King, James was a salesman and radio technician in a music store before enlisting on September 1939.

While serving with the Royal Canadian Artillery, he died in a road accident on August 5, 1945, and was temporarily buried in Ostercheps (north west Germany) before being reburied on March 7, 1946 in Holten.

Pte Richard J Raney - 1

Richard Joseph Raney. (Photo courtesy of The Raney Family)

On behalf of the Raney family, Michelle Sutherland submitted a photo of Richard Joseph RANEY, explaining that “…My great uncle (my grandmother’s brother) was killed in action on April 8, 1945 and is buried at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery.  He was born April 12, 1926 in Point Michaud, Richmond County, Nova Scotia.  I was able to get a copy of his World War II Records & Service Files. As I was reading through his file, I realized that he actually lied about his age at the time of his enlistment. He enlisted in Sydney, Nova Scotia on August 31, 1942. He gave his birthday as February 8, 1924. Immediately I knew that could not be correct because my grandmother was born in September 1923. As it turns out, Richard was actually born on April 12, 1926 and was only 16 years old when he enlisted. He was killed a few days before his 19th birthday….

Following the successful liberation of Warnsveld, the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, which Richard Joseph was serving with, continued their advance. Will R. Bird’s ‘No Retreating Footsteps… the story of the North Novas’ explains that: “…. April 8th was clear and sunny and an O-group was held at noon.  The general plan was to seize a bridgehead over the Schipbeek Canal and penetrate into the village of Bathmen.  The bridgehead was to be taken quickly to allow Sappers to set up a Bailey bridge and open the road to traffic….” Richard Joseph lost his life at some point during the ensuing sortie.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands

Ernie Thornton

Arnold Ernest “Ernie” Thornton.  (Photo courtesy of Susan Hudson)

Susan Hudson submitted a photo of her uncle, Arnold Ernest “Ernie” THORNTON.  “…He was born in Amherst on September 30th, 1921 and was killed September 22, 1944, eight days before he turned 23….” she explained. “… He was the son of Edward Arnold and Doris Maude (MacDonald) Thornton.  He served with the Calgary Highlanders….” 

Ernie was killed in Belgium during the Battle of the Scheldt and initially buried near Wommelgem, Belgium, before being reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen op Zoom.

Thank you to Aaron Bouma, Donald Higgins, Susan Hudson, Terry McCormick, Diane Russo, and Michelle Sutherland for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Thank you again to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 4! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

Missed the previous postings in this series? See:

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

 

On The War Memorial Trail….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 2

January 13, 2021.  “No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten.” This statement by Pieter in a news clip on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 touched many people who watched it, and many photos and stories continue to be emailed to him.  As mentioned in Part 1, Pieter is working to ensure that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.

(See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/07/on-the-war-memorial-trail-atlantic-canada-remembers-part-1/ and https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-search-for-ww2-soldiers-buried-in-the-netherlands-featured-on-ctvs-atlantic-live-at-5/)

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

Francis Ivan Dougan

Francis ‘Frank’ Ivan Dougan. (Photo courtesy of Helen O’Connell)

Helen O’Connell submitted a photo of her uncle, Francis ‘Frank’ Ivan DOUGAN.  She wrote that he “….was born in November 12, 1919 to Florence and John Dougan from Donaldson, Prince Edward Island.  He was the 2nd of 12 boys born in that family – no girls.  Frank left school at age of 15 and went to work to help his family.  He worked in Debert, Nova Scotia as a labourer and mechanic.  In 1941, he and 3 of his brothers enlisted to go to war.  He took his training in Quebec and Vancouver and went overseas June 1, 1942….

While overseas, Helen explained that Frank “…. worked as a driver in the war, mainly in the UK.  After the war Frank decided to work in peacekeeping as a Canadian soldier in Oldenburg, Germany.  On May 16, 1946, he was involved in road accident and was killed.  He was buried in Holland and was awarded the France and Germany Star 1939-1945….

Frank served as a driver with the 48 Canadian General Transport Company RCASC (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps).  The RCASC was an administrative and transport corps of the Canadian Army. (For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Canadian_Army_Service_Corps)

According to his service file, Frank died in a hospital in Nijmegen following a road accident during very bad weather in Nijmegen, while he was on his way from Grave, The Netherlands to Oldenburg, Germany. Mechanical failure in the steering mechanism led to the accident.  Frank was a passenger in the rear of the vehicle along with 2 others, plus the driver.  There were two fatalities: Frank Dougan and another soldier who was also in the rear.

Frank was temporarily buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Groesbeek and later reburied, on July 16 1946, in Holten.  His grave was adopted by a family from Delden.

Helen was able to visit The Netherlands and the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.  “…My husband and I were very fortunate to visit his grave in 2016.  I was so proud and honoured to be there.  I will not forget.  This graveyard seemed almost like a sacred place for these solders who gave their life for us and since my visit I really appreciate that….

James Murrary

John ‘James’ Murray.  (Photo submitted by Florence MacLachlan)

Florence MacLachlan submitted a photo of her uncle, John ‘James’ MURRAY, who was born in Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia and lived in West Bay Road before serving with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  She wrote that “Josie was my mother and was the youngest of the siblings. James was the oldest and could have stayed farming and not joined the army because he was the only one who could look after the farm. He wanted to join and help out the war movement. He didn’t tell his parents/family of his interest in joining until after he signed up…

He was killed in action in The Netherlands on April 5, 1945 during the Battle of Warnsveld, at the age of 28. His name is listed on a monument in Warnsveld (See https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/57960/Memorial-Canadian-Soldiers.htm).

James was temporarily buried in Warnsveld, before being reburied, on January 30, 1946, at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. His grave was adopted after the war by a family from Holten.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands

Bobby Nickerson

Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) Nickerson. (Photo submitted by Darlene Roberts)

Darlene Roberts submitted a photo of Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) NICKERSON, and wrote that “…My husband’s uncle was killed in the Rhineland Forest just two months before the war ended. His name was Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) Nickerson. We were stationed in Germany from 1968-1971. We were able to visit the grave in 1969. We live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My husband’s family is from Halifax…” A paratrooper in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, he was killed on his first jump from a plane over the Rhineland Forest.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands

Russell Soble in Bergen Op Zoom

Russell Soble. (Photo courtesy of Janet Latchford)

Jack Soble submitted a photo of his uncle, Russell Richard SOBLE, which had been provided by Russell’s sister, Janet Latchford.  Jack wrote that “…My father, Russell’s brother, was also fighting in Europe. During that time, if you had a younger brother fighting in Europe, you could claim him and he could go to where you were fighting so you could be together.  My father didn’t want to claim him as where my Dad was there was heavy fighting and he was afraid if he claimed him then he might get killed. Unfortunately he was killed.…

Born in Ameliasburg, Ontario, Russell served in the Essex Scottish Regiment after arriving in Europe, and died on October 6, 1944.  He was one of 12 members of the regiment killed in action in Putte, a town on the Dutch-Belgian border, in a fight on October 5, 1944 that marked the beginning of the Battle of the Scheldt.  (For more information see Eternal Memorial for Canadian Heroes)

All of the Canadian soldiers were initially buried in Putte’s churchyard.  Putte is south of Bergen Op Zoom, where Russell was subsequently reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery.  Putte recognized the sacrifices made by soldiers and Russell’s name is listed on a war memorial in the Dutch part of the town. (See https://www.tracesofwar.nl/sights/541/Oorlogsmonument-Putte.htm)

Soldiers Buried In Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium

Alexander Fraser MacDonald

Alexander Fraser MacDonald. (Photo submitted by Sandy Burgess)

Sandra Burgess submitted a photo of her father, Alexander Fraser MACDONALD, explaining that “he served with The Regina Rifles, and was killed on October 31, 1944 in Breskens during the Battle of the Scheldt.  He was from Trenton, Nova Scotia, the son of George and Annie MacDonald. He was married to Aileen Hoganson and they were expecting a baby (me) when he was killed. I was on a river cruise in 2012 and was blessed to be able to visit his grave at Adegem

Thank you to Sandra Burgess, Janet Latchford, Florence MacLachlan, Helen O’Connell, Darlene Roberts, and Russell Soble for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Thank you again to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 3! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 1

No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten.

January 7, 2021.  “No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten.” This statement by Pieter in a news clip on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 touched many people who watched it, and many photos and stories were subsequently emailed to him.   Since the broadcast, Pieter has been working to ensure every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-search-for-ww2-soldiers-buried-in-the-netherlands-featured-on-ctvs-atlantic-live-at-5/)

This posting will feature some of the photos submitted. There were too many submissions for one posting so more will be featured in subsequent postings.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

James Grant Anningson

James Grant Anningson. (Photo submitted by Brenda Budd)

Brenda Budd submitted a photo of James Grant ANNINGSON, saying “My husband’s uncle is buried there.  His name was James Grant Anningson but the family called him Grant.  He was the only one in the family that didn’t return…”  Sgt Anningson was with the New Brunswick Rangers and lost his life on April 27, 1945, at the age of 23.

image002 John Angus Beaton

John Angus Beaton. (Photo submitted by Alexander Beaton)

Alexander Beaton submitted a photo of his uncle John Angus BEATON from Mabou Ridge, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Alexander’s brother Daniel wrote that his uncle  made it through the war but due to the amount of soldiers that had to return to Canada, he and other soldiers were waiting their turn to be flown home.  While waiting one Sunday morning in January 1946, He was fatally shot by a Canadian soldier suffering from a mental illness. This soldier was later charged with his murder…

The shooting occurred in Oldenburg, Germany, where there was a large Canadian base.  Daniel continued by telling us that “…I was told that John Angus’s parents, my grandparents, were happy and waiting for John Angus to return home, but were informed later that he would never return. He was 32 years old when he died, and was the son of Mary and Alex Tailor Beaton…

Melvin Collins

Melvin Collins.  (Photo courtesy of Phyllis Kelly)

Phyllis Kelly submitted a photo of her uncle, Melvin COLLINS, from South Kouchibouguac, New Brunswick.  He served with the New Brunswick Rangers and died on April 12, 1945 in Papenburg, Germany, age 26, when he accidentally tripped a hidden high-incendiary booby trap. 

Goldwin Marven Pollick

Goldwin Marven Pollick pushing his brother Ralph on a bike. (Photo courtesy of Gary Pollick and Family of Goldwin Pollick)

On behalf of the Goldwin Pollick family, Gary Pollick submitted a photo of his uncle, Goldwin Marven POLLICK, and explained that “We remember him as always being referred to as Goldy.  I don’t know a lot about him as I was not born yet and no one in my family spoke much about the war.  My father was in The Netherlands at the same time, and he was able to view his brother’s body before it was taken away for burial…

Goldwin Pollick was born in Minto, New Brunswick, and served with the Carleton and York Regiment.  He lost his life on April 13, 1945 in Wilp-Achterhoek. This date was familiar to us as in 2017 we visited a windmill in the nearby village of Posterenk, in which 6 members of the Carlton and York Regiment are listed as having died between April 13 and 15.  Unfortunately, this listing does not include every soldier who was killed in the area.

Ford Hilton Spidle

Ford Hilton Spidle (Photo submitted by Dawn (Spidle) Coldwell)

Dawn (Spidle) Coldwell submitted a photo of her uncle, Ford Hilton SPIDLE, explaining that “…He was a member of the Cape Breton Highlanders. I’ve been told that he was killed by a sniper bullet the day the war was declared over. He was the young age of 32.  Apparently, the information hadn’t been received that the war was over….” The war in The Netherlands ended on May 5 and Ford Hilton died on May 1, 1945 during the Battle of the Delfzijl Pocket, which lasted from April 23 to May 2.  20 soldiers from the Cape Breton Highlanders were killed in action during that battle.

Dawn went on to share a personal experience.  “…I was fortunate enough to have attended the Memorial Day Service in Holten, in 2009. While I was there the Dutch people treated me like I was royalty. I have stayed in close contact with the people over there who made my trip possible. Uncle Ford was my Dad’s only brother. I have a brother who was named after Uncle Ford.  I wasn’t even born when Uncle Ford was killed but my Dad always kept his memory alive.…

Charles Borden Tuplin

Charles Borden Tuplin. (Photo submitted by Gary Richard Perry)

Gary Richard Perry of Nova Scotia submitted a photo of Charles Borden TUPLIN of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), and explained that “…My maternal grandfather Charles Borden Tuplin of Indian River, PEI is buried at Holten. He was shot on December 7, 1944, was taken as a POW but died the next day…

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands

William Francis Stewart

William Francis Stewart.  (Photo courtesy of the Stewart Family)

Phyllis Kelly submitted a photo of William Francis STEWART on behalf of the Stewart family, and explained that “…He was born in Claire Fontaine, New Brunswick (this community doesn’t exist now, it was expropriated and became part of Kouchibouguac National Park.) He was the son of John and Katherine (Butler) Stewart. He was married to Audrey Savoie and they had three daughters, Gloria, Bernetta, and Margaret. …”  He lost his life on July 8, 1945 when he fell out of a window in Amersfoort, The Netherlands in the early morning. 

Benjamin James Witherall

Benjamin James Witherall (Photo submitted by Jacqueline Inder)

Jacqueline Inder submitted a photo of Benjamin James WITHERALL of Nova Scotia, and wrote that “I would like to share with you the only picture my mother’s family had of their brother in uniform.  His name is Benjamin James Witherall who was a private with the Highland Light Infantry in WW2.  He was killed in action on December 27th, 1944 at the age of 20…

The Highland Light Infantry was based on the front line on a ridge between Nijmegen and Arnhem during that time. (See https://pipesforfreedom.com/webtxt/0502THE_HIGHLAND_LIGHT_INFANTRY_OF_CANADA.htm)

Soldiers Buried In Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium

Edison Reynolds Smith

Edison Reynolds Smith.  (Photo courtesy of Angela Leighton)

Angela Leighton submitted a photo of Edison Reynolds SMITH, explaining that “…I wish to advise that my uncle, Private Edison Reynolds Smith of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Service #F/57514 (date of birth May 11, 1924) was killed in action in Holland on October 16, 1944, at the age of 20…” He lost his life during the Battle of the Scheldt and was initially buried in the province of Zeeland, The Netherlands.  (See https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/scheldt) Angela ended her email with the statement: “None of these heroes should ever be forgotten….”  She is correct!

Thank you to Alexander and Daniel Beaton, Brenda Budd, Dawn (Spidle) Coldwell, Jacqueline Inder, Phyllis Kelly, Angela Leighton, Gary Richard Perry, and Gary Pollick for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Thank you again to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 2! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

 

 

On The War Memorial Trail….. The Search For WW2 Soldiers Buried In The Netherlands Featured On CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5

CIMG5045 Jan 4 2021 Pieter interviewed via Skype by Bruce Frisko of CTV Live At 5

Pieter being interviewed via Skype by Bruce Frisko of CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 program. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

January 5, 2021.  There was a bit of excitement in the Valkenburg household yesterday. Pieter was interviewed by Bruce Frisko of CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 broadcast about research he is doing in trying to find photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands, with a particular emphasis at this time on names from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from lists provided by the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.

You can watch the clip here: https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2111996&jwsource=em

Thank you to Judy Parks for snapping a photo from the TV broadcast and sending it to us!

20210104_175725Photo from Judy Parks

Excerpt from the TV clip submitted by Judy Parks.

CIMG3190 Oct 3 2019 Pieter by sign at Holten Cdn War Cemetery

Pieter at the entrance to the Holten Canadian War Cemetery. As soon as we took this photo, it started to rain! (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

For a list of the current wish list for photos from the Canadian War Cemetery for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, please email us.

Thank you to Bruce Frisko and CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. If you can help with a photo or information, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. The WW2 Soldier Killed In Action While Trying To Break The Gothic Line In Italy

4452150 Happy New Year

This first posting for 2021 tells the last of the stories of the WW1 and WW2 servicemen listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  This blog will continue to provide updates on their stories, and will also continue to tell stories of soldiers from the South Shore area of Prince Edward Island who returned home, and those who lost their lives in war but are not on the Cenotaph.  It will also feature more stories of WW2 soldiers from Atlantic Canada who are buried in The Netherlands, a research project that Pieter is currently involved in.  Pieter and I thank you for your support as these stories have been researched, and hope that you continue with us on this expanded journey of remembrance along the war memorial trail….

January 2, 2021.  Four WW2 soldiers on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion lost their lives in Italy…. George Alfred DUNN of the Carleton & York Regiment, Albert Eugene ARSENAULT of the Cape Breton Highlanders, Ernest Murray NORTON of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, and Arnold Dudley TAYLOR, also of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, the subject of this posting.

Arnold Taylor photo from Barbara Simester

Arnold Dudley Taylor.  (Photo courtesy of Barbara Simester)

Arnold Dudley Taylor was born on July 13, 1913 in Charlottetown, the son of Wilfred F. Taylor and Beatrice Holbrook.  His father was a pharmacist and owned a pharmacy in Kensington, and Arnold Dudley followed in his footsteps, after graduating from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. 

He was also an avid golfer, winner of Island Golf Championship at the age of 19. His daughter, Barbara Simester, noted that “… The Taylors were very athletic. Father won a lot of trophies and played at the Belvedere Club in Charlottetown….”  In addition to sports, Barbara explained that he was a member of the church choir. “… Father was a baritone in the United Church …

Beginning July 3, 1928 he was a member of the PEI Light Horse Militia, re-engaging every 3 years until his enlistment in Halifax with the West Nova Scotia Regiment for active duty service on July 13, 1940, with the rank of Lieutenant.  On May 3, 1941 he married Annalea MacDonald, a teacher in the North Tryon school.

In February 1942 daughter Barbara was born, and shortly afterwards Arnold Dudley was sent to the Debert Military Camp in Nova Scotia and transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  By May 1942 he was in the United Kingdom.  In January 1943 he was transferred back to the West Nova Scotia Highlanders, while still in the United Kingdom.

Arnold Dudley was sent to Italy on October 27, 1943, part of the contingent of reinforcement troops.  The Regiment had landed in Sicily in June 1943, and had been in mainland Italy since September 3, 1943, as part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division. 

Like Albert Eugene Arsenault of the Cape Breton Highlanders, he was killed in action on August 30, 1944, during the Battle of the Gothic Line. The Gothic Line was a German defence line in Northern Italy. 

An article by Mark Zuelke in the Canadian Encyclopedia explains what happened that day…. “…on 30 August, two regiments of the 1st Infantry Division — the West Nova Scotias and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) — attacked on the right, while 5th Division’s Perth Regiment and Cape Breton Highlanders struck to the left. The West Novas were caught in a minefield and suffered heavy casualties…”  (See https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/battle-of-the-gothic-line)

Arnold Dudley was buried in the Montecchio War Cemetery in Italy, as was Arsenault.

Grave of Arnold Taylor from Barbara Simester

Grave of Arnold Dudley Taylor in Montecchio War Cemetery.  (Photo courtesy of Barbara Simester)

When we met with Arnold Dudley’s daughter Barbara a few years ago, she explained that after her father’s death, she and her mother moved from Kensington to Crapaud, and later to Hampton. Barbara attended Grade 1 in Hampton and recalled that they lived next to the school with a family named Cameron.

Barbara and her mother later moved to Kingston, Ontario, where Barbara studied to be a nurse, and where she met her husband. 

In 1956 the pharmacy in Kensington had been sold to the Champion family and Arnold Dudley’s parents moved to Calgary. 

CIMG9464 Barbara Taylor with Pieter and Photo Arnold Taylor

Pieter with Barbara Simester in Ottawa. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Thank you to Barbara Simester for sharing photos and anecdotes.  If you have recollections of Lt Arnold Dudley Taylor, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

To read the previous postings on George Alfred Dunn, Ernest Murray Norton, and Albert Eugene Arsenault, see:

George Alfred Dunn:

Ernest Murray Norton:

Albert Eugene Arsenault:

© Daria Valkenburg