Assigned to the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders on October 15, 1940.
Awarded One Good Conduct Badge on September 27, 1942.
Qualified Driver Mechanic Group "C" on November 23, 1943.
Wounded in the area of Saint-Contest just North of Cean, France on June 8, 1944 (Bullet wound forehead). Returned to England.
Back to France on October 2, 1944.
1 Brother overseas. Gunner Richard Norman (C/121429). 7 Medium Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Disembarked in France on July 9, 1944. Died of wounds (shell fragment to the head) on April 29, 1945 in Germany, age 20. He is now buried at Holten War Cemetery, The Netherlands Plot 9, Row H, Grave 10.
The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders war diary reports on October 17, 1944: MR165156 (Oesterput, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands)
0026 hrs: Occasional 88mm falling in our vicinity, presumably from the Island.
0245 hrs: "C" Coy patrol fired on my enemy near culvert at 140165 (Westlangeweg, 250m East of Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands), wounding the Corporal. They discovered mines between woods and 140165.
0420 hrs: "B" Coy patrol returning report the sound of voices at objective, but no movement,
0520 hrs: Enemy high velocity gun firing right down main street from the West.. mostly AP.
0645 hrs: A Polish soldier, deserting from the German Army arrives in the Command Post, and reports enemy cannon at 139165 (Westlangeweg, 150m East of Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands). Dykes running South from 138167 (cross road Westlangeweg/ Kruisweg) are held by enemy.
0650 hrs: 88mm Cannon aslo reported in woods 127158 (near cross road Scherpenheuvel/ Oranjedijk, IJzendijke, Netherlands). In concrete emplacements there are reported to be 3.7 Anti Aircraft guns at both sides of south of canal at Numme Een, Netherlands. Also reported is a 4 gun Battery of 88mm at the base of the tower on West wall of Breskens, Netherlands. 2 Guns are reported to be knocked out by bombing.
0727 hrs: Approximately 50 more prisoners being marched in to PW cage.
0825 hrs: HLI of C report RUM plus 700 yards on right flank. They are moving close to Mortar area 4 (woods, square 1315/ Klakbaan, Netherlands). If they enter woods they are to notify Brigadier who will stop the fire on the area.
0836 hrs: "C" and "A" Coy are notified to start regrouping now. "C" Coy is to keep some Troops on the ground until "A" Coy reaches its area.
0842 hrs: HLI of C report a patrol of planes overhead and are worried lest the planes have not been informed that the HLI of C rare past RUM.
0845 hrs: HLI of C report small arms fire opposing them on the left flank of RUM. One plane dropped a bomb.. possibly a 500 pounder. 8 Spitfires are flying around.
0855 hrs: Brigade notifies North Nova Scotia Highlanders to have a small force ready to take over from HLI of C child on RUM when, on phase 2, the HLI of C move on.
0915 hrs: SDG ask HLI of C whether on reaching objective they can engage windmill 124162 (Sasput, Netherlands. Windmill 'Molen Luteyn' heavily damaged during the liberation in '44 and out of service ever since. Demolished in 1959.) with their peashooters. HLI of C sitrep: OK on RUM, centre consolidated, on right one child RUM plus 700. A hornets nest has been struck on the left... very stiff fighting. HLI of C agree to engage windmill as soon as they get into position.
0920 hrs: All station informed 'stop firing on RUM'.
0925 hrs: Prisoners are coming out of green square 133158 (Kruisweg, 500m North of Oranjedijk) and moving South tho HLI of C. We are not to fire on them. NNSH are to be prepared to take over on RUM on left.
1015 hrs: Commanding Officer orders "C" Coy as reserve Company to move now to woods in square 1315, taking carrier section, flame and Anti Tank. They are to contact HLI of C as soon as possible. The HLI of C have bypassed the wood.. have taken a lot of prisoners. Major Clarke, comd of "C" Coy is informed of the mines reported on the axis of advance along the top of dyke.
1050 hrs: Enemy Mortars shelling dyke at 135148 (Oranjedijk, right between Klakbaan and Hogewegdijk).
1055 hrs: Targets asked for in air have been accepted, except the 3 guns across the water.
1100 hrs: "C" Coy is on its way to the woods. There is thought to be no Jerry's remaining now in the woods.
1107 hrs: "C" Coy (HLI of C) are being shelled from approximately 108132 (cross road Statendijk/ Het Molentje, IJzendijke, Netherlands).
1130 hrs: Brigade are to move where HLI of C were yesterday 148136 (Sint Pietersdijk 7, IJzendijke, Netherlands). "C" Coy report taking prisoners in the woods at which they have arrived. Little opposition. "C" Coy are to be prepared to support "A" Coy with weapons when advance starts.
1204 hrs: "C" Coy Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa are to fire target 3. Enemy are retiring to this position 135164 (cross road Westlangeweg/ Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands). Enemy guns are active, probably the ones at Vlissingen, Netherlands.
1210 hrs: Brigade requests air support immediately on Vlissingen.
1240 hrs: "B" Coy reports being shelled from guns at Vlissingen.
1338 hrs: HLI of C report to Brigade that sluice gate at Nummer Een, Netherlands is reported to have been opened by the Germans. Operator of the gate, van Wynsberghe by name, is supposed to live at 115173 (Duivelshoekseweg, Nummer Een, Netherlands). The sluice gates were opened a week ago and if left open two weeks, the area where we are will bed flooded.
1425 hrs: HLI of C have 2 Coy's on COGNAC. Opposition was light on left, but on the right the fight was by no means over. The C.O. (SDG) informs his Coy that because of the difficulties on the HLI of C right flank we may have to wait before moving.
1432 hrs: HLI of C report COGNAC Charlie.
1445 hrs: NNSH report their being strafed by Spitfire about 200 yards North of their H.Q. Only 1 out of the 6 Spitfires was engaged in strafing.
1447 hrs: Brigade reports 1x 88mm at 126164 (Westelijke Dwarsweg, between Sasput and Slijkplaat), 1x 88mm at 139164 (Westlangeweg, 250m East of Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands), 200 enemy dug in West side of road between 137167 and 134156 (Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands). 2x 50mm guns and 50 to 70 Germans at 124175 (Het gemaal, Nummer Een).
1520 hrs: Maplay has been compromised and slidex is to be used until the 18 October. "A" Coy report COGNAC.
1555 hrs: Both "D" and "A" (left and right fwd Coy's) are now on their objectives. "D" Coy have taken 50 to 60 prisoners.
1650 hrs: Poor weather doesn't permit the guns at Vlissingen to be engaged by air.
1705 hrs: O.C. reports "A" Coy up to COGNAC and passed it. Concealed gun knocked out 2 of supporting Carriers. Things not going so well at the moment.
1815 hrs: "B" Coy have passed through "D" Coy and have reached their objective.
1816 hrs: "D" Coy are consolidated.
1820 hrs: "C" Coy have passed through "D" Coy and are moving to "A" Coy axis.
1925 hrs: Locations: "A" Coy 127173 (200m North of camping Goede Hope), "B" Coy 128172 (camping Goede Hope), "C" Coy 135158 (Kruisweg, right between Oranjedijk and Westlangeweg), "D" Coy 125163 (Sasput).
2030 hrs: "A" Coy at 127173 (200m North of camping Goede Hope) is pinned down with no communications. A 18 set and operator is urgently required. The Carrier Platoon have lost a Carrier on the road at 143164 (Westlangeweg, between Hogewegdijk and Kruisweg) as a result of direct hit by an enemy gun. The set was left turned on and it is playing hell with communications. C.O. orders the set to be turned off. It is a scurvy night. Very dark and very wet.
2120 hrs: Enemy are flooding area that the HLI of C are in and the area will be completely flooded in several hours.
2150 hrs: "A" Coy blitz Driver reports that his Company is on its objective. The men are sheltering in German pillboxes for the night. They had some difficulty approaching objective due to enemy Snipers. But on reaching objective met little opposition.
2151 hrs: C.O. informs Brigade that the sluice gates are reversible and can be shut with incoming tide and opened when tide goes out.
2225 hrs: C.O. arranges meeting with Engineers at "A" Coy. The tide is out and water is flowing out.
2242 hrs: The Brigadier expresses anxiety over the sluice gate situation. The gates are of great importance as they could easily bog us down and he wants us to get the Engineers working on the problem.
2245 hrs: SDG report that the 88mm, which was firing on the Carriers, has not fired since engaged by Shelldrake. The Brigadier counsels that if the Glens fail to look after the gun before first light... well... 'you've had it'.
2255 hrs: Not brought to the Command Post from Major Braden O.C., "A" Coy: 'I am now at ref 147163 (Westlangeweg, 250m West of Hogewegdijk). We are pinned down by 88mm. The Weasel is knocked out, also FOO's and Wasp. We still have 1x sec Carriers and 1x sec Anti-Tank, but not sure if guns can still fire. I am unable to move Carriers until 88mm is taken out as he has us tapped right down. I will try to get back as soon confirmation comes through that the gun is taken out. Captain Smith (who had been in a Carrier which was wrecked by the enemy`0 I with me and has gone to B.H.Q. The only way I cam move is to go ahead as the road is blocked. Map ref where gun is firing from is 123168 (Slijkplaat, Netherlands). (Signed, Command Sergeant-Major Moran)
2315 hrs: The SDG are to push on as previously planned after having cleared the gun position before first light.
2350 hrs: Shelldrake informs C.O. that his comrade, on returning from the wrecked Carrier, reports that the 88mm was firing an hour ago.
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.