February 9, 2021. We continue to feature more of the photos submitted by Atlantic Canadians of soldiers buried overseas. Pieter is ensuring that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands will be forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.
Currently, only the volunteers at the Canadian War Cemeteries in Holten and Groesbeek are active. Submissions for Bergen Op Zoom and for any soldiers buried in municipal cemeteries are being held until Pieter gets the go-ahead that volunteers are active again.
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands
Marion Fryday-Cook, President of The Royal Canadian Legion, Nova Scotia/Nunavat Command, submitted a photo of Howard W. ARMSTRONG of Chester, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, explaining that “…This is the information gathered by Branch 44 in Chester, NS for our Command’s Veterans Recognition Service Book. Howard’s family still reside in Chester…”
Howard was with the Fort Garry Horse – 10th Armoured Regiment, and lost his life on September 5, 1945 due to an accidental death after a misstep on a dark and unlit street in Amsterdam led to him falling into a canal and drowning.
On behalf of the Jury family, Dara Legere of Branch 4 of The Royal Canadian Legion in Joggins, Nova Scotia, submitted a photo of Douglas JURY, writing “…I have attached a photo of Sapper Douglas Jury of Joggins, NS who is buried in Holten Cemetery, Holland. Douglas Jury was related to my family. My mom’s sister Mary was married to Douglas’s brother Roy. There were three Jury brothers who served in WW2, Douglas, Roy, and William. William was taken prisoner by the Germans shortly after D-Day and was forced to work in the coal mines in Germany…”
Douglas was with the Royal Canadian Engineers, 18th Field Company, and lost his life on August 17, 1945. Dara explained that “…Douglas remained in Holland after the war ended, repairing dykes and bridges, etc with the Canadian Engineers. The vehicle he was travelling in rolled off one of the dykes and he was trapped under it and drowned. Such a sad story….”
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands
On behalf of the Doucette family, Cyrille LeBlanc and Andre Boudreau of Legion Branch 155 in Wedgeport, Nova Scotia submitted a photo of Harry William DOUCETTE. Cyrille wrote that he “….was a private in the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps. He was born May 25, 1925 in Bell Neck, Sainte-Anne Catholic Parish, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.
Private Doucette was the son of John and Celina Mary Doucette. He had eight brothers and one sister. Two brothers served in the RCAF during World War II. He completed Grade 8 at the age of fourteen and left school to work as a lumber-man in the woods. He enjoyed reading western and veteran stories.
He enlisted in Halifax at age 18 October 6, 1943, and served in Canada from October 4, 1943 to October 13, 1944; in the United Kingdom from October 14, 1944 to November 23, 1944 and in France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany from November 24, 1944 to March 25, 1945. He was killed in action against the enemy in Germany March 25, 1945 at age 19….”
Harry William lost his life during the Battle of Bienen in Germany, in which 44 members of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders lost their lives and 68 were wounded. In 2000 a memorial plaque was placed in Bienen to honour those who lost their lives in this battle. (See http://wikimapia.org/17003812/Commemorative-plaque-of-Battle-of-Bienen)
Cyrille went on to explain that “…Private Doucette was remembered and honoured May 5, 2020, September 12, 2020 and November 11, 2020 – the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of The Netherlands….” He also was kind enough to include a link to a YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR3SowfKA_E
Marilyn Hupman sent a photo and information on her grandfather, Flying Officer Arnold F. HUPMAN, writing that “… He was the only boy of 7 children, born and raised in East Side of Ragged Island, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia.
Margaret Nickerson and he married and had 3 sons, Arnold, Robert and Arthur. Arthur is the only surviving child. My father, Arthur, was 7 years old when he last saw his father, just before he went overseas.
From the stories I heard as a child he was asked to stay in Canada and teach pilots, but being a true Canadian he said no that he signed up to fight and he was going over.
Our family is very proud of our Grandfather and the rest of the family that fought. The only loss was F.O. A.F. Hupman….”
Arnold lost his life when the Lancaster bomber he was in crashed on the outskirts of Arnhem on the night of June 16 to 17, 1944, after being shot down by a German nightfighter. All 7 members of the crew of Lancaster VR-V lost their lives. They were temporarily buried in the Netherlands Reformed Church Cemetery in Huissensedijk on June 29, and later reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.
In addition to Arnold Hupman, the other crew members were: Donald MORISSEN, Gerald QUINN, Harold FLETCHER, Clifford JOHNSTON, Philip MCMANUS, and Edward FAHY. (More information can be found in this English translation of an article by the late Willem Tiemans: https://airbornearnhem.nl/WillemTiemens/Elden%20bomber%20crash.htm)
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands
Judy MacKenzie submitted a photo of her great-uncle, Austin Ephraim BOUTILIER, who was killed in action in Belgium during the Battle of the Scheldt on September 29, 1944, aged 26, while serving with the Black Watch Regiment. (See https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/scheldt)
Judy MacKenzie explained that “…He was gone long before I was born. His father was Ansil Boutilier. He was married to Hannah Hershman. They lived in Tantallon, Nova Scotia. They would have been my great grandparents. I remember stories that he joined the military before he was old enough. However, if he was 26 when he died, that would appear to be untrue. All of Austin’s siblings are gone. Several of Austin’s siblings fought in the war, including my grandfather, who married Austin’s sister. Everyone else made it home, some with shrapnel in them….”
Judy’s uncle, Ernest ‘Ernie’ MacKenzie, wrote that “…our Uncle Austin is buried at Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. We did visit Austin’s grave in 2011….”
According to the Field Service record, Austin was initially buried in Belgium on September 30, 1944 “…on the south side of the road between Ryckevorsel towards St. Leonard...” before being reburied in Bergen Op Zoom in The Netherlands.
Thank you to André Boudreau, Marion Fryday-Cook, the Doucette family, Marilym Hupman, Cyrille LeBlanc, Dara Legere, Ernie MacKenzie, and Judy MacKenzie for sharing photos and anecdotes. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.
More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 7! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.
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