March 16, 2021. More of the photos submitted by Atlantic Canadians of soldiers buried overseas are featured in this posting. 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. Thank you to the members of Royal Canadian Legions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for their help.
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands
Marion Fryday-Cook, President of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Nova Scotia/Nunavat Command, submitted a photo of George Albert FRYDAY, explaining that “…I am a relative of Rifleman George A. Fryday, Service Number B/136751, who is buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands. He was born in Toronto, Ontario. Thank you for honouring our fallen….”
At the age of 15, George joined the Merchant Marine, and later the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. However, once it was established that he was under age, he was discharged. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Canadian Army and was sent overseas in December 1944. He was serving in the Queen’s Own Rifles Regiment when he lost his life on May 4, 1945, aged 19.
Patrick Côté of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 21 in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, submitted a photo of Frederick Joseph TAIT, born April 26, 1921 in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, the son of Herbert Henry Tait and Louise Emeline Leclair.
Patrick referenced a book, ‘Military Heritage – The Greater Grand Falls Region’, by Jean-Guy Plourde, which explained that “…. Prior to the war, he worked in a grocery store…” Before enlistment on February 1, 1943 in Fredericton, he served in the New Brunswick Cadet Corps, and had been an Instructor in Infantry Training with the 2nd Carleton & York Regiment since 1940.
According to the Personnel Selection Record of his service file, he was fluent in both French and English and was assessed as “…good NCO instructor material…” (NCO refers to Non-Commissioned Officer.) He had a “…confident bearing…” and “…stability above average….” Unfortunately, his educational background was “…not high enough for commissioned rank…”
After being deployed overseas in December 1943 he served in Sicily, where he fell ill and was hospitalized for 8 months. After being released from hospital, he “…went on leave to England….” Over Christmas 1944 he was able to meet his brother Clair, also with the Canadian Army.
Clair survived WW2 but Frederick didn’t. While serving with the Carleton & York Regiment as the unit advanced to the Apeldoorn Canal in The Netherlands on April 15, 1945, he lost his life and was temporarily buried in Posterenk, near Zutphen.
In September 2017, Pieter and I visited the village of Posterenk with Edwin van der Wolf, one of the research volunteers at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. Edwin explained that “… the Carleton & York Regiment came from Italy to Marseilles, and then into The Netherlands where, on April 13, 1945, the village of Posterenk was liberated. Six soldiers from the Regiment were buried here temporarily….”
Edwin gave us a list of the 6 soldiers from the Carleton & York Regiment who were temporarily buried in the village. Frederick Joseph Tait was one of these men!
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands
Everett Dalton submitted a photo of Burgess Allison PORTER, writing that Burgess was “…the son of Annie ‘Laura’ (nee Porter) McCall…” Born October 2, 1922 in Grafton, Nova Scotia, his mother died when he was 2 years old. Although his biological father, Reg McCall was still alive, it was his mother’s wish that her son be raised by “…Frank Oscar and Lennie Alma (nee Pineo) Porter….”
While not formally adopted, he was raised by them and was known by the surname Porter. His service file identifies Frank and Lennie Porter as his grandparents.
Born October 2, 1922, Burgess was from Grafton, Nova Scotia, and a store clerk before he enlisted in Halifax on April 14, 1941. On January 20, 1942 he arrived in the United Kingdom as part of the Artillery Holding Unit, and in April 1942 was attached to the 4th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery as a bombardier.
On July 7, 1944 his unit landed in France, and unfortunately Burgess was killed on February 21, 1945 in Germany and was temporarily buried in Bedburg, Germany.
Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands
Patrick Côté of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 21 in Grand Falls, New Brunswick sent the link to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial page for Clayton Wilfred SHANNON, who had served with the Calgary Highlanders and lost his life on September 22, 1944.
Patrick referenced a book, ‘Military Heritage – The Greater Grand Falls Region’, by Jean-Guy Plourde, which explained that Clayton, born August 2, 1920 in Grand Falls, the son of Frederick Herman Shannon and Bertha Mulherin, “…was musically inclined… playing guitar and singing. Before his army service, he had even made a couple of records….”
In 1940 “…with his cousin, Adrien Mulherin, he left home to enlist in the Carleton & York Regiment….” After serving 4 years in Canada, he went overseas “…in July 1944, with the Calgary Highlanders…. While in combat near the border of Holland and Belgium, Clayton was killed, only a few weeks after arriving in Europe…”
Clayton lost his life in Belgium during the Battle of the Scheldt, and was initially buried in Wommelgem, on the outskirts of Antwerp, one of 11 members of the Calgary Highlanders buried there before being reburied in Bergen Op Zoom. (For more information on what happened in Wommelgem, see https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/02/13/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-search-for-soldiers-who-died-in-wommelgem-belgium-in-fall-1944/)
Patrick Côté of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 21 in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, submitted a photo of Gregory Philip Anthony MCCARTHY, born February 28, 1922 on a farm in California Settlement in Grand Falls, son of Thomas and Agnes McCarthy.
Patrick referenced a book, ‘Military Heritage – The Greater Grand Falls Region’, by Jean-Guy Plourde, which explained that Gregory “…was the youngest of 11 children….He had …. helped on the farm for 8 years and also worked in lumbering prior to his enlistment…. On 26 March 1941 Gregory enlisted in the Canadian Army at Woodstock, NB…”
After completing his basic training, he was “… transferred to the 1st Battalion New Brunswick Rangers….on 19 May 1941….” After a promotion to Lance Corporal on December 1, 1941 he went to Labrador as a Driver Mechanic.
On September 10, 1943 he left for the United Kingdom “… where he completed a mortar course and remained until his deployment to France with the 10th Independent Machine Gun Company, NB Rangers, arriving on 22 July 1944….”
His commanding officers described him as “…dependable, reliable, and well-thought of in his unit….” While serving in Germany and The Netherlands, he was a member of a mortar detachment responsible for engaging the enemy. On January 19, 1945, near Waalwijk in The Netherlands, their own mortar misfired and exploded, causing 3 members of the team to be seriously wounded, with fatal consequences for Gregory. He was initially buried in Tilburg.
Thank you to Patrick Côté, Everett Dalton, and Marion Fryday-Cook for sharing photos and anecdotes. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.
More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 9! To share photos or information, please email Pieter at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.
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