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
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.
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.
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
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
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:
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 email@example.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.
Missed the previous postings in this series? See:
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© Daria Valkenburg
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