May 18, 2021. When we visited the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten in October 2019, we laid flags down at the graves of five soldiers from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders who drowned in a tragic accident in Germany on April 28, 1945.
Recap: In Part 1, the 5 soldiers were identified and the circumstances leading up to the accident were summarized. In Part 2, more information on the accident was discussed, as well as a brief story on Lloyd William Murray, one of the 5 soldiers. In Part 3, Joseph ‘Ambroise’ Comeau was remembered by his family.
This time, the rest of North Nova Scotia Highlanders who lost their lives that day are remembered.
…. Ruel Kitchener Matheson Remembered….
Ruel Kitchener MATHESON was born July 6, 1916 in Dundas, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the son of Angus George and Catharina Matheson. Ruel was a farm labourer before enlisting on January 24, 1944 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He began basic training in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) at Camp Borden in Ontario, then took parachutist training with the Canadian Parachute Training Centre (CPTC) at Camp Shilo in Manitoba. On September 16, 1944 he was transferred to the Canadian Infantry Training Centre and on November 20, 1944, sent overseas. Upon arrival in the United Kingdom he was transferred to the Canadian Infantry Training Regiment (CITR). On March 27, 1945 he was transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.
He was temporarily buried in Bingum, Germany before being reburied at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands.
…. Lewis Wilkieson Marsh Remembered….
Born on November 14, 1925 in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, Lewis Wilkieson MARSH was the son of Edward L. and Millicent M. Marsh. He was an electrician and worked at the Princess Coal Mine in Sydney Mines before enlistment on May 25, 1944 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
After receiving basic training in Canada, he arrived in the United Kingdom on December 25, 1944 and was transferred to the Canadian Infantry Training Regiment (CITR). By February 24, 1945 he was in North West Europe, and transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders on March 27, 1945.
He was temporarily buried on May 12, 1945 in Bingum, Germany, before being reburied at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands.
…. Howard Milo Nicholls Remembered….
Born March 21, 1924 in Mattawa, Ontario, Howard Milo NICHOLLS was the son of Albert and Frances Nicholls. He was employed by the Dominion Bridge Company in Toronto from January 1941 until his enlistment with the Queen’s Own Rifles on March 31, 1943 in Toronto. From March to May 1942, he was a member of the Reserve, in the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC).
After training in Canada, Howard was sent overseas in December 1943. Shortly after D-Day on June 6, 1944 he was transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.
He was temporarily buried on May 1, 1945 in Bingum, Germany before being reburied at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands.
This concludes the series on the 5 soldiers from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders who tragically drowned on April 28, 1945 when the storm boat they were in capsized while crossing the Leda River in Germany.
Missed the previous postings in this series? See:
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Unfortunately, we were unable to find a photo of Howard Milo Nicholls. If you have photos or information to share about these or any Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.
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© Daria Valkenburg