IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

BRETTEVILLE Sur LAIZE Canadian War Cemetery (Calvados France)


Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualties

Photo Courtesy Shirley Stone (Can.)
Photo Courtesy Regis Biaux (Fr)
F/O David Webster Goodwin aged 23 F/O Joseph Hong aged 23 W/O Cl. I Joseph Gaston Jacques aged 23
Sgt Wilfred Gordon Harris aged 22 Sgt Jack Hopper aged 21 F/O Charles Beverly Wickoff aged 28
The crew of the Whitley AD701, 24 OTU, shot down by an enemy flak battery located at Madeleine Meadows, near Sées, Orne, France, on the night of 22/05/1944.
Airborne Long Marston to drop leaflets in the Alencon region of France.
Monument erected in their honour 08/05/2005 at La Potence, near Sées, Calvados.
for Shirley Stone, Picton, Ontario, Can.
Joseph Hong's brother, Pte George Hong was Kia 08/09/1944 aged 18.
He was in the 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance of the Canadian Army serving in the North African Campaign.
He transferred on 21/05/1944 to The West Nova Scotia Regiment (as a rifleman) in the Italian Campaign.
He was killed in Italy and is buried at Ancona War Cem. Grave 1.F.20.
for Joseph and George's nephew James D. Hong
Part of the crew of the Halifax bomber from 298 Sqn, departed from RAF Tarrant-Rushton on the night of 15/07/1944, on S.O.E. Mission, "Stationer", to drop medical supplies and ammunition in the area around Chatellerault - LeBlanc, France. Shot down by German flak battery near the Normandy town of Larré.
Standing J. F. Crossley & D. W. Smith buried with two others members of the crew in Le Mans West Cem.
Kneeling W. E. Linning & J. W. R. Fournier.
F/O William Edward Linning aged 24
W/O Cl. I Joseph Wilfred Romeo Fournier aged 27
Memorial Monument erected in 2004 in Larré on the crash site.
for Shirley Stone, Picton, Ontario, Can.
The Tragedy of St Georges des Groseillers around 6PM 11/06/1944.
About 250 Canadian POW's who were captured 7 - 8/06/1944.
When on a forced march, guarded by Feldgendarmerie, the column was strafed by American Mustang pilots who mistook the column for German troops.
Ten POW's were killed and 39 wounded and, of the wounded, five soon after died from their wounds.
Here are the men, compiled by Shirley Stone, Picton, Ontario, Can.
Pte Clarence Miller Byrne 11/06/1944 aged 33
Sgt John Victory Davie 13/06/1944 aged 24
Pte Joseph Albert Edward Deveau 07/06/1944
L/Cpl Douglas Albert Evans 06/11/1924 - 08/06/1944
Sgt Wilmer Alexander Foster 07/06/1944
Pte Martin Gallant 07/04/1921 - 07/06/1944
Rfm James Anderson Keir 11/06/1944 aged 23
Rfm Gordon Leroy Kimmel 08/06/1944 aged 28
Gordon's brothers, Cpl Richard Kenneth Kimmel 18/06/1944
is buried in Beny sur Mer Canadian War Cem,
& Cpl Clifford Howard Kimmel 05/12/1944 aged 26 is buried
at Ravenna War Cemetery, Italy - Grave: III.C.4.
They were sons of Harry Ellsworth Kimtnel and Sylvia Jane
Kimmel, of Milner, British Columbia.
Mrs. Harry Kimmel, was Canada's Silver Cross Mother in 1961.
Rfm Thomas Marshall 26/12/1912 - 08/06/1944
his name appears on a memorial plaque in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
Rfm Napoleon Morin 11/06/1944
Napoleon is sitting left.
Rfm Clarence Warren Peck 11/06/1944
Pte Donald Murray Ritchie 11/06/1944 aged 28
Donald left a widow, Elizabeth C. Ritchie
Rfm David Hamilton Sabiston 12/06/1944
Rfm John Ray Mitchell Stewart 08/06/1944 aged 21
Pte Mark John Sampson 10/06/1944 aged 32
On the two far rights photos, are his brother, Pte Edmund Sampson KiA 24/04/1945 aged 30,
North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment is buried at Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Overijssel,
Netherlands, Grave: XII.E.1.
Also honoured by Don Pottie and the people of River Bourgeois, Nova Scotia.
The memorial plaque erected on 01/07/2012 in St-Georges-des-Groseillers theater of the tragedy
Additional information:
Pte Byrne - Pte Deveau - Sgt Foster - Rfm Keir - Rfm Mashall - Rfm Peck - Pte Ritchie - Rfm Sabiston - Pte Sampson & Rfm Stewart:
Died and were buried in Saint Georges-des-Groseillers Com. Cem., exhumed and re-interred here in 04/1946
Sgt Davie - Rfm Kimmel & Rfm Morin
Died in infirmary and were buried at La Chapelle-au-Moine, exhumed and re-interred here in 08/1945
L/Cpl Evans & Pte Gallant
Died in infirmary and buried in Flers, exhumed and re-interred here on 06/07/1945
The CWGC has wrong information for some of the dates of deaths in the strafing.
All information about these men have been provided with regard to their true dates of death.
Original burial records from SGdG, La Chapelle-au-Moine, and Flers, have been verified by Shirley Stone.
BrettevilleSurLaize AlbrechtO2
Signalman Oscar Albrecht 24/01/1919 - 17/07/1944
Oscar was born in Leader Saskatchewan.
for Ralph and his niece, Beula Woods
Pte Billy Elwyn Speiran 05/11/1923 - 30/07/1944
Billy was the second son of Wesley and Mabel (Ainsworth) Speiran born and raised on a farm on the Eighth Concession of Mara Township. He attended school in Udney. One of his greatest accomplishments was winning the big silver cup at the Plowing Match.
He enjoyed the outdoors, especially fields and trees so when he decided to come to the city, he found employment with Cedarvale Tree Surgeons in Toronto and surrounding area.
He worked there until he enlisted in the Army.
Billy was killed by a sniper .
for the Ramara Historical Society
Pte James Palardy 08/08/1944 aged 28
F/O Ronald Garland Blamires 28/07/1921 - 02/08/1942
for Jean Marc Trehiou
F/Sgt John Moore Hart 19/08/1944 aged 28
for Jean Marc Trehiou
Lt Rupert Edward Clarkson McCaul 28/08/1918 - 24/08/1944
Born at Aldershot, England, he received his education in Montreal at the "Shield" and Westmount High Schools and entered the Bank at Point St Charles branch in that city in 07/1935.
After serving at several other branches in Montreal he was employed at Mount Royal Avenue & St Lawrence Boulevard office when he enlisted in 08/1940, in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Four months later he was discharged but at once re-enlisted, joining the Canadian Forestry Corps, with wich he proceeded to England in 06/1941.
About a year later he returned to Canada to take an Officers Training Course at Brockville, ont. where, on graduating, he was granted a commission before being posted to Headquarters Staff at Camp Borden.
In 09/1943, he again proceeded overseas and with The Royal Rgt of Canada served in the U.K. until 18/07/1944, when he landed in France to take part in the bitter fighting that followed in Normandy.
On 24/08/1944 - only five weeks later - while serving as Intelligence Officer with his Rgt, it is reported that when moving at night with a column of troops he went to investigate unauthorized lights which proved to be those of German forces that had joined the column unseen.
He was killed by the enemy fire that answered his challenge.
for his nephew Rupert N.Walsh
F/O R. A. Porritt 19/08/1944 aged 21
for Jean Marc Trehiou
F/O John Fraser Dewar 12/08/1944 aged 20
He was the son of Roderick Donald and Mary Barbara Dewar, London, Ontario.
Typhoon MPO122, was shot down by German flak.
Left, his temporary grave marker cross.
for Shirley Stone (Can.)
Pte George Rosta 06/08/1944 aged 32
He was the son of Joseph and Julia Rosta, Birch Grove, Nova Scotia.
The CWGC has the date of his death as 06/06/1944 but this is not correct, George was one of the tragedy of St Georges des Groseillers (see above).
George was captured on 07/06/1944 and was one of the POW's with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders who were taken to L'Abbaye d'Ardenne, where Kurt Meyer's men murdered Canadian soldiers.
He and the other men with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders POW's were taken from the Abbaye d' Ardenne, to a schoolhouse in Bretteville-sur-Oden on the night of 07/06/1944 and were there until the morning of 09/06/1944, when they were marched toward a German prison in Rennes, along with POW's from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and the Sherbrooke Fusiliers.
On 11/06/1944, the column was marching through the town of Saint Georges-des-Groseillers, Normandy, when Mustang pilots mistook the column for German troops and strafed the column.
Ten of the POW's were killed instantly and 38 were wounded.
Of the wounded who were taken to two infirmaries (Pont Raymond and Flers) five died from their injuries.
George was wounded in the strafing - shrapnel in his right knee, and stayed at the infirmary until 23/06/1944, when he was moved to Rennes.
On 30/07/1944, he was loaded into a rail car with many other POW's, destined to a POW camp.
The train was strafed at Langeais, France, on 06/08/1944 and Pte Rosta was killed.
He was buried in Langeais and his body was exhumed and re-interred at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery.
for Shirley Stone (Can.)
Pte Daniel Norman Dorigo 12/08/1944
for his niece Kathy Thomas and family
Daniel's death telegram
Sgt Raoul Prieur 14/08/1944
for his nephew Michel Grégoire
L/Cpl Wilfred Mathew Bruce Cook MM 29/08/1944 aged 20
He came from northern Manitoba from Cree parents.
for his niece Ellen Cook and family
Pte Harry Albert Blakey 01/08/1944 aged 21
Son of Thomas and Bertha Mildred Blakey, of Maxwell, Ontario.
He is also remembered on his family headstone located at Maxwell Union Cemetery, Maxwell, Ontario, Canada.
for Mark Dinan
Pte Hugh Alfred Laughlin 25/07/1944 aged 27
Son of Robert and Mary Laughlin, of Feversham, Ontario.
His brother Archie Ivan Laughlin also fell on 14/12/1944 aged 23 and is buried in Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.

They are also remembered on their family headstone located at Maxwell Union Cemetery, Maxwell, Ontario, Canada.
for Mark Dinan
Pte Stanley Lintick 14/08/1944 aged 21
Tpr Paul Krowchuk 14/08/1944 aged 25
Lt Harvey Simion Burnard 25/07/1944 aged 25

2871 casualties

IF You have a casualty picture, please send me a copy, I'll be glad to show it on this page.

IF You want a king size copy of this picture (300/900 ko - 2592/1944 pixels) please e-mail me.

Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium