World War II and Korean War soldiers
whose names are inscribed on the Port Hope Cenotaph

Poppy  Lest we forget...
The following biographies and photographs are of the WWII and Korean War soldiers whose names are inscribed on the Port Hope cenotaph. If you know of a photograph of one of these soldiers, please share it with us.

Sources:
Ancestry; Canadian Virtual War Memorial; Service Files of the Second World War – War Dead, 1939-1947; Canada War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948

To enlarge a picture, hover your mouse over it.

No photograph available James Baillie
Little has been found about James. While his name is inscribed as "Bailey" on the cenotaph, all records found use "Baillie", including his inscription on the Halifax Memorial.

While uncertain if this is "our" James, the Port Hope 1921 census returns show a James Baillie, born Scotland c1909, son of 39-year-old widower, James. He had an older brother, William, and younger sister, Janet. They emigrated to Canada in 1912.

He was serving as quartermaster in the Canadian Merchant Navy aboard the American ship SS Naeco when she was torpedoed by U-124 23 March 1942 while on route from Houston to New York, carrying heating oil and kerosene. From a total crew of 38, 24 were missing, including James.

His name is inscribed on Panel 20 of the Halifax Memorial.

Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


No photograph available William J. Ball, M.N.
Nothing has been found to conclusively identify William. A William J. Ball, donkeyman/greaser, a man with responsibilities in a ship's engine room, is listed in the Merchant Navy War Dead Registry as having died 28 June 1941 while serving on the Nereus, of Montreal registry. No cause of death has been found, and the Nereus is reported to have been torpedoed after 10 December 1941.
Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Alfred Brett Pilot Officer Alfred George Brett (J/94957)
"Alfred G. Breit" is inscribed on the cenotaph, but no records for that surname has been found.

What we have found:
Alfred Brett, son of Charles Alfred and Clara Harriett (Ford), was born 14 April 1915 in Barton Mills, Suffolk, England.

His 15 November 1943 (Kingston) attestation papers, RCAF, list him as a file-grinder, married to Geraldine Bertha ?, with step-son Ronald Page Brett.

A sergeant with the 357 (RAF) Squadron, he was killed on takeoff 01 April 1945 at Jessore, India, while on a secret supply-dropping mission. He is buried in Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh.

A letter of 06 August 1945 informed his widow that Alfred had been "...commissioned with the rank of Pilot Officer with effect from March 31st, 1945. His officer's number is J94957".

Accident report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


No photograph available Ellwood Donald Bristow (C/120143), son of Thomas Alexander and Ida (McMahon), was born 03 March 1922 in Millbrook.

An unmarried carpenter by trade, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps 02 September 1942 in Kingston.

On 13 July 1943, Ellwood requested an extension of his leave for a further three months to assist his only brother, Nyle, to cover the harvest season on his farm. The leave was to expire 03 October.

According to the proceedings of a Court of Inquiry, Nyle testified that his brother had gone to a dance in Bewdley with a friend on the evening of 30 September. On his way home, after dropping his friend off at 3AM, he was fatally injured when he overshot a corner near Perrytown and overturned his vehicle.

He was buried in Millbrook's St. Paul's Cemetery 03 October.

Accident report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Harry Brott Sergeant Harry Clarke Brott (C/65423), eldest child of Henry Alonzo and Sarah Ann (Clark), was born 26 September 1918 in Trout Creek, Ontario. He had two brothers (John Edward was overseas) and a sister.

An enameller's helper at Port Hope Sanitary, he enlisted in the Midland Regiment 02 August 1940 in Port Hope. He planned to engage in farming after the war.

Harry was granted permission to marry Ruth Eileen Quick 07 May 1942 in Commanda, Ontario.

Harry served in Canada, the UK, Italy, and northwestern Europe. He disembarked in France 12 March 1945, having been promoted to sergeant two days earlier, and was killed in action 15 April 1945 while attached to the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.

He is buried in the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.



No photograph available Lance Bombardier William James Nelson Bruce (P/6665), son of Walter Herbert Irwin and Irene (Mercer), was born 17 April 1916 in Port Hope. He had one brother, Robert John Horatio, serving with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Kingston.

He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Artillery 04 September 1939 in Kingston. Prior to this, he had served seven years with the 14th Field Battery, RCA (NP).

He married Delta Marian Freed, from Wooster, Ohio, 10 September 1939 in Kingston.

Tragically, William's military career was brief. He was killed, with his wife, who survived him by three hours, in a motor vehicle accident at 1:30AM in Kingston 15 October 1939 and is buried, with his wife and parents, in Port Hope's St. John's Anglican Cemetery.

Newspaper death report
Weekly Guide: 20 Oct 1939


Ernest Davis Ernest John Davis (C/65458), the third of nine children of Franklin Albert and Annie Rebecca (Thomas), was born 26 October 1918 in Bewdley. Three brothers - Thomas, Franklin, and Charles - also served.

An unmarried truck driver with Smith & Mitchell, coal and wood dealers, he enlisted in the Midland Regiment 07 August 1940 in Port Hope.

Ernest served in:

  • Canada, 07 August 1940 - 13 May 1943;
  • UK, 14 May 1943 - 05 June 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 06 June 1944 - 05 July 1944, when, attached to the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders, he was killed in action in France.
He is buried in Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France.
Historical note:
Buried here are those who died during the later stages of the battle of Normandy, the capture of Caen and the thrust southwards (led initially by the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions), to close the Falaise Gap, and thus seal off the German divisions fighting desperately to escape being trapped west of the Seine. Almost every unit of Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the Cemetery. There are about 3,000 allied forces casualties of the Second World War commemorated in this site.


No photograph available L.A.C. Lloyd Anson Gray Dunbar (R/277972), son of James and Mary Laura Mabel (Gray), was born 26 October 1912 in Bewdley. He was the brother of Lawrence James - also in the service - and Mary Elizabeth. He married Lorraine Muriel Beighton.

A military file for Lloyd has not been found. The following biography appears in the RCAF Association website:
"DUNBAR, Lloyd Anson Gray LAC(BA) R277972 – under training. From Port Hope, Ontario. Died Aug 28/44. #4 Air Observer School, London, Ontario. Death by natural causes [polio] while in the Riverdale Isolation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Leading AirCraftman Bomb Aimer Dunbar is buried in the United Church Cemetery, Welcome, Ontario."



Stan Fayle Sergeant John Stanley Fayle (R/93202), son of William Henry and Emily (Shimmin), was born 04 April 1922 in Cobourg.

From 1939 to 1940, he was apprenticed as a chrome-plater at Port Hope Sanitary.

Prior to his enlistment in the RCAF 14 February 1941 in Toronto, he spent seven months with the Midland Regiment. He had previously applied to join the RCAF a year earlier, but was "Accepted except for age".

In his role as wireless air gunner in a Lancaster ED536 with the 207 Squadron on a mission to Nurnberg, he was shot down over Ludwigshafen. He was presumed dead 26 February 1943.
He and the crew are buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.

Newspaper death report
Image courtesy of The Canadian Virtual War Memorial


No photograph available Corporal Elwood Fenton (C/4773), sixth of eight children of Frederick and Mary (Taylor), was born 27 February 1921 in Port Hope. His twin brother, Garwood, survived his overseas service.

From 1937 to 1939, he was employed as a gardening labourer at Black's Florist Shop in Port Hope. He hoped to take up farming after the war.

He enlisted in Picton 24 September 1939. His military file, signature, and grave marker use the surname "Finton".

Elwood served in:

  • Canada, 24 September 1939 - 27 January 1940;
  • UK, 28 January 1940 - 13 June 1943;
  • Italy, 14 June 1943 - 10 March 1945; and
  • Northwest Europe, 11 March 1945 - 17 April 1945, when, attached to the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment, he was killed in action.
He was first buried in a temporary military cemetery at Teuge, near Deventer, Holland, before being reinteered in Holten Canadian War Cemetery.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.


No photograph available William Foley (C/40550), son of Alexander and Christina (MacPherson), was born 16 August 1910 in Nairn, Scotland. He married Jane Elizabeth Johnston 30 June 1936 in Port Hope. At the time of his death, they had two children: Irene Elizabeth and William Alexander.

A steward at Trinity College School, William enlisted 08 July 1937 with the Midland Militia at Barriefield.

A 5'7", 145-pound machine operator, he enlisted with the 1st Midland Regiment 14 October 1939 at the RCAF Station, Trenton.

William served in:

  • Canada, 16 October 1939 - 22 March 1943;
  • UK, 23 March 1943 - 04 July 1944; and
  • Italy, 05 July 1944 - 22 September 1944, when, attached to the Toronto Scottish Regiment, he died accidentally in a grenade explosion.

He was interred in the Holten Candian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.

William Foley's inquiry report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Arthur Friar L.A.C. Arthur Stanley Friar (R/165776), son of Stanley Canfield and Mary (Arnott), was born 08 October 1920 in Port Hope. He was the husband of Floris Marguerite Tinney.

A maintenance worker with the Department of Highways, he enlisted with the RCAF 22 May 1942 in Galt.

On 22 May 1945, Arthur succumbed to serious injuries resulting from a road accident two days earlier between Gilze and Rijen in Holland, involving a motorcycle (he was a passenger) and a 3-ton lorry. Sadly, his personal effects - including his Grenfell jacket, a ring, wallet, and wrist watch - were lost in transit "between the Continent and the RAF Central Depository, Colnbrook, England".

He is buried in Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.

Arthur Friar's accident report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Roy Grainger P.O. Roy James Grainger, R.C.N. (V/17877), the fourth of five children of James Francis and Edith Mary (Ford) of Port Hope, was born 04 December 1916 in Kingston.

As an unmarried meat manager at the Sarnia Loblaws, Roy enrolled 27 November 1941 as a member of the London Division of the RCN Volunteer Reserve.

He served on a number of ships, the last being the destroyer HMSC Athabaskan:
"On 29 April 1944 at about 0300 hours Athabaskan was patrolling with her sister Tribal-class destroyer Haida in support of a British mine laying operation off the coast of France near the mouth of the Morlaix River. She received the first of a series of Admiralty orders to intercept German warships near Ile de Bas as spotted by coastal radar in southern England.
"During the subsequent engagement with German naval vessels, Athabaskan was torpedoed [by the German torpedo boat T24]. 128 men were lost, 44 were rescued by Haida, and 83 were taken prisoner by three German minesweepers sortied from the coast after the departure of Haida. [Roy was not among those rescued.]"
Source: Schull, Joseph (1961). The Far Distant Ships. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, Canada. pp. 253–257.

His name is inscribed on Panel 43 at the Halifax Memorial.

Roy Grainger's obit
Image courtesy of The Canadian Virtual War Menmorial


Jasper Grieves Captain Jasper Grieves (C/406007), only son of John and Margaret, was born 01 December 1919 in Bridlington, Yorkshire, England. The widowed Margaret Grieves emigrated to Canada with Jasper 27 August 1926.

Before his 1941 enlistment, Jasper served four years with the Midland Regiment and one year with the 14th Field Battery, RCA.

As a student at the General Motors Institute of Technology, Jasper enlisted 03 June 1941 in Ottawa with the 6th Infantry Brigade Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He stated that, after the war, he wanted to be a mechanical engineer.

He married Doris Joyce John at Twickenham, England, 23 December 1943.

Jasper served in:

  • Canada, 03 June 1941 - 10 December 1941;
  • UK, 11 December 1941 - 06 July 1944; and
  • France, 07 July 1944 - 21 July 1945, when he accidentally drowned in Holland.
He is buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.
Newspaper death notice
Evening Guide: 03 Aug 1945


No photograph available Leslie Griffin (B/33232), of Garden Hill, was born in London, England, 27 May 1910, the son of Charles Sidney and Christina Nellie (Roder). A Barnardo boy, he came to Canada in 1920, where John B. Mercer, of Garden Hill, became his foster father. His next-of-kin was his brother, John S. Griffin, of Inglewood, Ontario.
A notation on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial site claims that he was the common-law spouse of Betty Catherine Lewey and father of Barry Andrew Griffin of Sussex, England. A wartime liason?

He stated that he was an unmarried Bell Telephone linesman and carpenter on his enlistment with the "A" Corps Signals, CASF, in Toronto 18 September 1939.

Leslie served in:

  • Canada, 18 September 1939 - 07 December 1939;
  • UK, 08 December 1939 - 15 June 1943; and
  • Italy, 16 June 1943 - 12 December 1943, when he died of wounds received in action with the 1st Division Signals, RCCS.
He is buried in the Moro River Cemetery in Ortona, Italy.
John Mercer's statement
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


No photograph available Clifton William Herbert Hammill (C/38378), youngest of three chldren of William H. and Eliza Mary Ann (Argue), was born 10 May 1916 in Garden Hill. He married Jean Victoria ? 02 August 1941 in Welcome, Ontario.

A truck driver for a Port Hope fruit grower, Clifton enlisted 12 March 1942 in Peterborough.

He served in:

  • Canada, 01 April 1942 - 23 July 1943;
  • UK, 24 July 1943 - 05 June 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 06 June 1944 - 09 July 1944.
Attached as a gunner to the 14th Field Regiment, RCA, he was killed in action 09 July 1944 and is buried in Beny-sur-Mare Canadian Military Cemetery, Normandy, France.


Harold Hancock Flt. Lieut. Harold Alton Hancock (J/20963), sixth of seven children of George Thomas (d1938) and Clara Lucinda (Irwin), was born 28 November 1909 in Port Hope.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University in 1932, he was a co-manager with his brother of Hancock's Hardware before enlisting with the RCAF 02 January 1942 in Toronto.

Harold served overseas from 29 December 1942 - 20 February 1944, when, on a bombing mission to Leipzig 20 February 1944, his Lancaster was shot down over Holland.

He is buried with his crew in Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Netherlands.

Air crash report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Morgan Hawkins Captain Morgan Charles Hawkins (5938), son of Dr. Morgan Stanfield and Anne Maude (Bickle), was born 07 July 1915 in Port Hope. He had an older sister, Ruth. Morgan married Helen Margaret Jex 02 November 1935 in Toronto. They had one daughter, Sandra Carol, born 27 April 1939 in Cobourg.

Prior to his 1939 enlistment, Morgan had joined the University of Toronto COTC, Regiment 5938 (Non-Permanent Active Militia) 04 October 1932.

A dental surgeon, he enlisted 27 November 1939 in Kingston as a lieutenant with No. 3 Company, Canadian Dental Corps. He was promoted to Captain 27 February 1940. He embarked for overseas at Halifax 28 August 1940, arriving at Greenock, Scotland, 05 September.

Morgan served in:

  • Canada, 27 November 1939 - 28 August 1940; and
  • UK, 29 August 1940 - 08 February 1942, when he was killed in a flying accident near Basingstoke, England.
He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England.


William Holland Craftsman William Maurice Holland (SC/7104), one of six children of Russell Morton and Myrtle Christina (Stone), was born 27 February 1930 in Grand Lake, Nova Scotia. He was the husband of Leona Kathleen Smith and father of Judy Christine.

He enlisted 14 May 1951 with the Royal Canadian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
"Canada's commitment to NATO, since its inception in 1949, resulted in the stationing of the Canadian 27 Army Brigade group in Hannover, Germany.
"The Canadian Brigade, serving with NATO, was garrisoned in the British-occupied zone of Germany, thus coming under the command of the British Army of the Rhine. And so the British Military Cemetery in Hanover became the last resting place for 85 post war Canadian military who died while living in Hanover.
"Craftsman William Maurice Holland is commemorated on Page 25 of the 'In the Service of Canada' Book of Remembrance."
Source: www.findagrave.com



No photograph available Kenneth Herbert Jones (C/34524), only living child of Thomas Herbert and Annie Elizabeth (Neville), was born 13 February 1920 in Port Hope. A sister, Jean Elizabeth, died 25 July 1929 at 16.

An unmarried file-grander with Nicholson File, he enlisted 02 October 1941 in Peterborough. At 5'9" and 149 pounds, he was described in his Personnel Selection Record as "rather lanky and awkward with a shock of red hair."

Kenneth served in Canada, the UK, and Italy, attached to the Lanark & Renfrew Scottish Regiment. He was killed in action 14 December 1944 and was buried in Villanova Canadian War Cemetery, Ravenna, Italy. His stone is marked with: "Not forgotten, Kenneth dear as long as life and memory last. Sadly missed. Mother and Dad".



No photograph available Lloyd Stephen Kostoff (C/1693), the eldest of four children of Stephen and Amey Lavinia (Maller), was born 26 February 1922 in Port Hope. Lloyd was an unmarried labourer when enlisted 22 April 1941 in Kingston.

As a gunner with the 3rd Field Regiment, RCA, Lloyd served in:

  • Canada, 22 April 1942 - 14 March 1942; and
  • UK, 15 March 1942 - 09 April 1943, when he died as the result of a "misadventure...due to swallowing a mixture of antifreeze liquid, essence of lemon, and shaving lotion during a drinking bout".
He was buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England.
Newspaper death notice
Evening Guide: 15 Aug 1949


No photograph available Melville Charles Lawrence (C/65172), one of five children of Charles William and Matilda Jane (Atchison), was born 28 June 1914, in Fraserville, Ontario.

An unmarried chicken hatcher and carpenter's apprentice, he enlisted with the 1st Midland Regiment in Cobourg 23 September 1940.

Melville served in:

  • Canada, 23 September 1940 - 13 May 1943;
  • England, 14 May 1943 - 05 June 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 06 June 1944 - 09 July 1944, when, attached to the Canadian Scottish Regiment, he was wounded during the battle of Cussy.
He was evacuated to a hospital in Gosport, England, where he died 12 July. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, UK.


No photograph available Reginald Lawrence (C/65472) was born 09 July 1913 in Stroud, England, the son of R.E. and Elsie.

A 5'3", 129-pound labourer on the Westington farm near Bewdley (military file states that he had "...no desire to engage in farming after the war"), he enlisted with the 1st Midland Regiment 07 August 1940 in Port Hope.

Reginald served in:

  • Canada, 07 August 1940 - 23 September 1942;
  • UK, 24 September 1942 - 13 June 1943; and
  • Northwest Europe, 14 June 1943 - 25 July 1943, when he died of wounds received in action, attached to the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.
A card in his file states: "Remains buried in right side of road in basin towards Nissora, Sicily." He was reinterred in the Canadian Military Cemetery, Agira, Sicily.


Keith Long's family Alfred Keith Long (C/65184), eldest son of insurance agent Alfred Henry Clark and Edna Alice (Gibson), was born 25 September 1913 in Port Hope.

As a 6’1” unmarried assistant accountant with the Department of Highways in Port Hope, Keith enlisted 25 September 1940 in Cobourg with the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment. He had spent five years with the Port Hope High School Cadet Corps and had previous service with the 2nd Battalion, Midland Regiment (non-permanent) in 1940.

His army file states that he was “…not interested in clerical work in the army. Just interested in soldiering. Seems a very fine chap. Superior learning ability.” Despite this praise, he had a number of infractions on his record, mostly AWOL charges. He listed reading as a hobby as well a number of sports: badminton, horseback riding, hockey, softball, and rugby.

Keith served in:

  • Canada, 26 September 1940 - 23 September 1942;
  • England, 24 September 1942 - 13 June 1943; and
  • Italy, 14 June 1943 - 28 July 1943, when he died of wounds received in action in Sicily.
In a letter dated 10 Jan 1944, his mother wrote to Col. C.L. Lauren, Director of Records for the Adjutant-General, responding to a request for news about her son. When he was wounded, she wrote, his friends offered aid, but, as the Germans were closing in, Keith refused to let them risk their lives. He requested he be left with ammunition, as he could still use his arm.

When his brother Herbert learned of the circumstances, he went looking for him without any success.

On 19 October 1944, Herbert received a letter from Port Hope:
"This to certify that I, 04406 Pte Duffy, J., repatriated recently from Germany, was left on the scene of battle with C65184 Pte Long A.K., on 25 July. Pte Long was picked up by German Stretcher Bearers two hours before myself, in good spirits, and taken back.
"I next saw him in a German Hospital across the Straits of Messina in Italy. He had all limbs, but had one arm and chest in cast. He was quite normal when I left by Hospital train for Germany, and I have had no word of him since.
"Joseph Duffy"

His name is inscribed on Panel 14 at the Cassino Memorial Cemetery in Lazio, Italy.



No photograph available Lance Corporal Frederick Arthur James Lord (C/65465), one of five children of Herbert Edward and Clara Agnes (Hull), was born in Cambridge, England, 12 September 1909. He graduated from Grade 8 at 14, stating he "...never liked school". He married Vashti Flora Fisher 08 November 1930 in Toronto.

A 5'8" bakery truck driver with Eldorado Gold Mines and father of four, Frederick enlisted with the 1st Midland Regiment in Port Hope 07 August 1940. Prior to his 01 May 1942 embarkation to England, he forfeited a number of days pay for being AWOL. In spite of these events, he was described in his file as "...a good steady man. Pleasing personality and I would say very reliable."

Frederick served in:

  • Canada, 07 August 1940 - 01 May 1942;
  • UK, 02 May 1942 - 05 June 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 06 June 1944 - 17 October 1944, when he was killed in action following the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France.
As a Lance Corporal with the Stormont, Dundas &Glengarry Highlanders, Frederick died in Holland and buried three days later in the orchard of a farm house by Dyke Thomaes, before being moved to Adegem Canadian War Cemetery at Adegem, Belgium, in December of 1945.
Fred's death notice
Evening Guide: 27 Oct 1944


Herbert McPherson Herbert Alexander Leith McPherson (C/5869), son of John and Jane (Atkins), was born 02 April 1914 in Gateshead, England. His military file incorrectly lists him as "Hubert".

Prior to his Army enlistment, Herbert had previous military experience with the Brockville Rifles (Non-Permanent Active Militia).
As a single, 5'6", 144-pound labourer, Herbert enlisted with the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment 22 July 1940 in Picton. He married Thelma Irene Bennett of Port Hope after his enlistment.

Herbert served in:

  • Canada, 22 July 1940 - 22 March 1943;
  • UK, 23 March 1943 - 22 October 1943; and
  • Italy, 23 October 1943 - 13 September 1944, when he was killed in action, attached to the Irish Regiment of Canada.
Herbert is buried in Gradara War Cemetery, Italy.
Historical note:
The site for the cemetery was chosen in November 1944 and contains the graves of casualties incurred during the advance from Ancona to Rimini (which broke the Gothic Line) and in the heavy fighting around Rimini, which was taken by the Allies 21st September 1944.
Herbert's death notice
Evening Guide: 22 Sep 1944


No photograph available Margaret Laing Medler, CWAC, daughter of John and Alice (Morrison) Davidson, was born 05 April 1908 in Scotland. The 1911 Whitby census returns claim an immigration year of 1909. She married Arthur Samuel Medler 19 September 1934 in Cobourg.

Margaret was a member of the Canadian Women's Army Corps, created by the Canadian government 13 August 1941 to enlist several thousand women in support roles for the armed forces, but not formally part of the army. Women trained as drivers, cooks, clerks, typists, stenographers, telephone operators, messengers, and quartermasters.

We have been unsuccessful in finding her role specifically.

Margaret died 19 November 1945 in Peterborough of a cerebral tumour. She is buried with her parents in Port Hope's Union Cemetery.



No photograph available Flying Officer William Ernest Mittay (J/45809), only child of Anton and Frances Eleanor (Venman), was born 27 January 1922 in Toronto. Anton died 18 October 1939, leaving William his mother's sole support.

After attaining his senior matriculation from Port Hope High School, he worked for three years as a shipping clerk at Nicholson File before enlisting with the RCAF 22 October 1942 in Toronto. His reviewing medical officer concluded with: "Physically fit. Alert mentally, keen. Well motivated, stable. Sincere. Wants nav. good a/c material." William expressed a desire to take up engineering after the war.

Aboard a Liberator with the 99th (RAF) Squadron, William was shot down into the Andaman Sea while attacking Japanese cruisers off the Andaman Islands 05 June 1945.

He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, Singapore, and on Panel 252 at the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.

Air crash report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


No photograph available Donald Edward Moore (C/121417), third child of six of William Herbert and Violet, was born 26 March 1920 in Garden Hill.

As a single, 5'6", 123-pound labourer, Donald enlisted in Kingston 07 June 1943. He was described in a pyschiatric consultant's report as "...a quiet, undernourished male, who is stable and not neurotic. He has had poor home training but should adjust to Army life".

Donald served in:

  • Canada, 07 June 1943 - 26 March 1944;
  • UK, 27 March 1944 - 11 June 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 12 June 1944 - 11 October 1944, when he died, while attached to the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders, as the result of a high-explosive shell fragment wound to the abdomen.
He is interred in the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Belgium.
Donald's medical report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Milton Morton Flying Officer Milton Robert Morton (J/95445), one of seven children of Robert John and Ellen Dorcas (Macklin), was born 06 March 1924 in Hamilton Township.

After three years farming and then employed for two years as an engine lathe operator making guns at Genelco in Peterborough, he enlisted with the RCAF 22 June 1943 in Toronto.

Milton was declared missing in action 02 November 1944 when, on a bombing mission to Dusseldorf, Germany, with the 415 Squadron, his Halifax was shot down. As only two crew members were able to be identified, Milton is commemorated on Panel 252 at the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.

Air crash report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


No photograph available Sergeant Robert George Pearce (B/41057), third child of four of Samuel John and Harriet (Lovegrove), was born 20 September 1917 in Toronto. Both brothers, John and Charles, served overseas. His sister, Irene, lived in Port Hope.

Prior to his 17 July 1940 enlistment with the Lincoln & Welland Regiment in Toronto, Robert had been a baker's assistant (McManus Bakery: Port Hope, 1931-'33), a truck driver (Paeden Cartage: Port Hope, 1933-'37), and an electroplater (Standard Platers: Toronto, 1937-'40).

Robert served in:

  • Canada, 19 January 1940 - 16 July 1943;
  • UK, 17 July 1943 - 19 July 1944; and
  • Northwest Europe, 20 July 1944 - 29 October 1944, when he died of a shell fragment head wound received in battle.
On 12 July 1948, Hattie received notification that her son had been awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palme for his contribution towards the liberation of Belgium.

He is buried in Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.

Newspaper death notice
Evening Guide: 09 Nov 1944


Thomas Pemberton Lance Corporal Thomas Pemberton (C/65437), one of five children of William and Jessie (Oliver), was born 29 March 1920 in Port Hope. His brother, Gordon, served in Italy.

Prior to his 04 August 1940 enlistment with the Midland Regiment in Port Hope, he had served for a month in the Midland Regiment Active Militia in 1940. His given reason for joining the Canadian Army was: "Followed the gang".
He had been a baker's helper (Broadbent's Bakery: Port Hope, 1937-'38), a restaurant worker (J. Taylor: Port Hope, 1938-'39), and a truck driver (Paeden Cartage: Port Hope, 1939-'40).

Thomas served in:

  • Canada, 04 August 1940 - 23 September 1942;
  • UK, 24 September 1942 - 13 June 1943; and
  • Italy, 14 June 1943 - 30 January 1944, when he received a fatal mortar wound to his head while attached to the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.
He is buried with 1,375 of his comrades in Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Ortona, Italy.
Report on Thomas' MIA
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


John Potts John Elvin Potts (C/40620), one of five children of Walter Wilfred and Eva Maud (Jewell), was born 24 February 1918 in Campbellford. His younger brother, William, was killed in action while serving with the Royal Rifles of Canada in Hong Kong in 1941. Two other boys died in infancy in 1924.

Prior to his 11 October 1939 enlistment in Lindsay with the Midland Regiment, John, an unmarried butcher at Greenaway's Grocery (1936-'39) in Port Hope, had served with the Midland Regiment in 1933. His stated reason for enlisting: "Tried a job, wanted a change - adventure!"

"On the night of April 3, 1945, the Canadian infantry regiment Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders arrived in Vierakker via Toldijk, Baak, Wichmond and Hackfort. They set up headquarters in Huize Vierakker and divided the regiment into four companies.
Company B was taken by truck in the early hours of April 4 and dropped off at the corner of Leestenseweg and Hekklerdijk. Company C was dropped off a bit further eastwards at the driveway of the farm Het Hekkeler. Company B set off towards the farms Bosman and Graffel via Holtmaatweg, where the enemy lay ensconced in trenches. By nine o'clock on the same morning the enemy positions were in Canadian hands.
"As soon as the artillery support arrived the patrols advanced across the fields and along Lansinkweg to the farms Uitkomst and Klein Have. The German emplacement was taken over at around five in the afternoon in a combined effort with an English regiment aided by massive flame-throwers.
"Meanwhile C Company had arrived at the farm Het Loo via Blekdijk and Looër Enkweg. The patrol began the attack in Looër Enkweg with two armoured cars in the lead. Most of the enemy machine gun fire came from Het Groot Graffel. Then help arrived when the artillery rode up via Dennendijk, after which C was able to reach the garden of Het Groot Graffel in a tank. This is how the Glens finally managed to silence the German machine guns.
"A total of eleven soldiers from the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders fell in the hamlet of Leesten. They were temporarily buried in a church graveyard in Vierakker and later moved to the Holten Canadian War Cemetery.
Source: Virtual Canadian War Memorial site

John was killed in action 04 April 1945 and is buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945.
After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.



William Potts William George Potts C/57528), one of five children of Walter Wilfred and Eva Maud (Jewell), was born 24 July 1921 in Campbellford. His younger brother, John, was killed in action while serving with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders in Belgium in 1945. Two other boys died in infancy in 1924.

Prior to his 22 April 1941 enlistment in Kingston, William, a labourer with Toronto Hydro Electric Power Company in Toronto, had served with the 2nd Midland Regiment (RF) for ten days in 1939.

William, attached to the Royal Rifles of Canada, was reported missing in action and presumed dead on or about 21 December 1941. His name is inscribed on the Sai Wan Memorial, Victoria, Hong Kong.
"The officers and men whose memory is honoured here died in the defence of Hong Kong in December 1941 and in the ensuing years of captivity and have no known grave."

Telegram reporting KIA

MIA report
Images courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Elwin Quantrill Flying Officer Elwin Stanbury Quantrill (J/26480), third child of four of Cecil Adelbert and Cora Susan (White), was born 11 July 1921 in Elizabethville, Ontario.

Prior to his 16 April 1942 enlistment with the RCAF in Hamilton, he was a five-year employee as a teller with the Royal Bank in Wallaceburg. Following the war, he intended to return to the bank and to continue flying.

He married Vivian Maude Jennings 17 May 1943 in Port Hope.

As a flying istructor attached to #12, SFTS, RCAF, Brandon, Manitoba, Elwin was killed in a mid-air collison southwest of the main aerodrome 16 May 1944. He is buried, with his parents, in Port Hope's Union Cemetery.



Keith Raby Flying Officer William Keith Raby (J/25514), son of William Gladstone and Mary Ann (Peck), was born 04 January 1913 in Hope Township. He had two brothers - Wilbert with Canadian Army overseas - and two sisters, one who died several hours after birth.

A driver with Martin Transport, he enlisted in the RCAF 11 May 1942 in Toronto. His interviewing officer, Squadron Leader C. McNicholl, noted: "Medium build, neat, clean, good appearance, pleasant personality, confident, sincere, keen, mature, 2 yrs. H.S. employed as Transport Driver for past 6 yrs. has done considerable amount of small and large game hunting. Average family background, cool, collected, courageous, good material."

He married Annie Irene Lucy May Baldock 19 May 1943 in Port Hope.

Air gunner Raby was declared missing from 78 Squadron and presumed dead in an operation over Villeneuve, France, 27 April 1944, when his Halifax crashed at Choisy-le-Roi.

He and his crew members are buried in Paris City Cemetery Clichy.

Accident report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Douglas Ruttan
Douglas Ruttan
Acting Corporal Douglas Canniff Ruttan (C/5215), eldest of three children of Canniff Algernon and Ina (Buchanan), was born 19 November 1914 in Belleville. He married Ruby Irene (Micks) 23 December 1937 in Belleville and was the father of Dale Terrance (b1938).

A baker with the Harris Bread Company in Belleville, he enlisted with the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment 25 January 1940 in Picton. While having experience in tobacco farming, he had no wish to engage in that trade after the war, preferring to go into construction work.

Douglas served in:

  • Canada, 25 January 1940 - 12 May 1940;
  • UK, 13 May 1940 - 13 June 1943; and
  • Italy, 14 June 1943 - 17 December 1943, when he was killed in action at Abruzzo, Italy.
While serving in Canada and the UK, he chalked up seventeen minor infractions, mostly AWL: "AWL from 0800 hrs. 1-11-40 to 1150 hrs. 3-11-40 forfeits 3 day's pay and is awarded 160 hrs. detention."

He is buried in Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Ortona, Italy.
Historical note:
By the winter of 1943, the German armies in Italy were defending a line stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, to the Adriatic Sea south of Ortona. The Allies prepared to break through this line to capture Rome. For its part, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was to cross the Moro River and take Ortona. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it. Today, there are 1,615 graves in the cemetery, of which over 50 are unidentified and 1,375 are Canadian.



Sea Cadet Vernon with friend, Helen Taylor Vernon Kenneth Shortreed (SB/10429), son of Harold James and Lottie Emily (Hugh), was born 17 February 1931 in Port Hope. He had three brothers: William Harold, Ronald Walter, and Douglas Harry. He married Barbara Georgina Tackaberry 12 January 1952 in Cobourg.

A former Sea Cadet, Vernon enlisted with the Royal Canadian Regiment 28 August 1951 in Toronto.

He was killed in action 15 October 1952, and is buried in the United Nations Cemetery, Busan, South Korea.
Historical note:
The United Nations Cemetery is located in Tanggok, a suburb of Busan. The land for the cemetery was granted to the United Nations by the Republic of Korea as a tribute to all those who had laid down their lives in combatting aggression and in upholding peace and freedom. There are 2,267 servicemen buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery. Of these 1,538 were Commonwealth soldiers, including 376 Canadians.

Newspaper death report
Evening Guide: 23 Oct 1952


Norman Snelgrove Pilot Officer Norman Hugh George Snelgrove (J/15478), eldest of fours sons of Arthur Hubert Norman and Ethel Minnie (Palmer), was born 15 February 1919 in Catalina, Newfoundland. His brother, Howard, served in the RCAF.

He enlisted in the RCAF 09 January 1941 in Toronto.

Norman was killed in a flying accident 07 October 1942 at night when his Hurricane crashed. The report reads: "Pilot killed. Called on R.T. for Vector to base, but did not specify his trouble. Crashed into high ground five miles from base." The cause was unknown, with the suggestion of a "strip examination of engine for possible sign of failure."

He was buried 13 October at 3PM in Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire, England, with full service honours.

Accident report
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Francis Southby Major Francis Edward Southby, MC, son of Richard and Agnes Louise (Stewart), was born 25 December 1913 in Port Hope. He had an older sister, Alice Teresa.

He married Elizabeth Liane Forgie c1940. They had two children: Susan Elizabeth (b 1941) and James Edward (b1943).

Prior to his 1940 enlistment, He served five years with the Port Hope High School Cadet Corps (1926-1931) and ten months with the Midland Regiment (NPAM).

An assistant shipper at Nicholson File, he enlisted with the Midland Regiment 30 July 1940. Francis served in Canada, England, and Italy.

While with the Irish Regiment of Canada, he died 07 October 1944 of high-explosive shrapnel wounds received while leading an attack on Coriano 12 September. He was awarded the Military Cross posthumously 07 February 1945.

He is buried in Ancona War Cemetery, Italy.

Francis' nwespaper obit
Evening Guide: 16 Oct 1944


No photograph available Lance Sergeant John Stechyshyn H/20124), son of John and Katherine, was born 22 June 1918 in Medika, Manitoba.

On 15 May 1940, the 5'11", 162-pound farm labourer enlisted in Winnipeg with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. His papers stated that he had matriculated from the Chicago Vocational Trade Schools, spoke English, and understood Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish.

In England, he was granted permission to marry Margaret Graham Dey 24 February 1943 in Glasgow. Their one son, Colin, was born at Balornock, Glasgow, 25 February 1944.

John disembarked in France 07 July 1944 as a motor vehicle mechanic and was killed in action 14 August 1944. He was buried 18 August near Le-Pot in an orchard and later reinterred in Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian Military Cemetery.
Historical note:
Bretteville-sur-Laize was created as a permanent resting place for the 2,782 Canadian soldiers who had been temporarily buried in smaller plots close to where they fell.
A large number of dead in the cemetery were killed late July 1944 around Saint-André-sur-Orne and in the battle for the Falaise Pocket in August 1944. Soldiers from nearly every unit within the II Canadian Corps are represented in the cemetery. Source: Wikipedia

Marriage permission

KIA telegram
Image courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


Harold Thompson Warrant Officer Class II Harold Bruce Thompson (R/60308), son of Edward and Charlotte Ann (Walford), was born 18 January 1922 in Port Hope.

He attended Central Public School and Port Hope High and then worked as a grocery delivery boy for Sidney Brickell (1936-'37) and as an assistant electroplater at Port Hope Sanitary (1937-'40) before leaving to join Galt Aircraft School.

At 6', 157 pounds, Harold enlisted with the RCAF 28 August 1940 in Galt, listing his interests as short wave radio, basketball, softball, and soccer. His interviewing officer described him as keen, intelligent, neat, and clean cut.

His military file shows that he married Violet M. ? in Middlesex, England, sometime during the war. She remained there and was remarried by March 1950.

On a bombing mission with 51 Squadron, RAF, Harold's Halifax was hit by flak over Stuttgart, Germany and he was presumed dead 15 March 1944.

He is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany, and commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta.



George Wakely George Sidney Wakely (C/123972), son of Sidney and Mabel Lillian (Yeo), was born 02 November 1913 in Port Hope. On 08 April 1932, he married Ida Elizabeth (Ryan) in Port Hope. They had one son, Harold George.

A file-stripper at Nicholson File, George enlisted with the Infantry Rifles 26 April 1944 in Kingston. He is described in his common training report as: "A fairly intelligent chap but just lacks enthusiasm."

George died of wounds 28 April 1945, attached to the Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry Highlanders. The cause of death was listed as a shrapnel wound to the left flank.

He is buried in the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Historical note:
The Netherlands fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was not re-entered by Allied forces until September 1944. The great majority of those buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery died during the last stages of the war in Holland, during the advance of the Canadian 2nd Corps into northern Germany, and across the Ems in April and the first days of May 1945. After the end of hostilities the remains of over 1,300 Canadian soldiers were brought together into this cemetery.



Thomas Watt Thomas Watt (A/57067), one of 8 children of John Whiteford and Margaret, was born 19 September 1923 in Carnwath, Scotland.

A 5'8" 121-pound labourer, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Artillery 25 June 1941 in London, Ontario. His interests included playing pool, movies, hockey, softball, and football.
Prior to enlisting, he sewed bags for the Agricultural Chemical Company, buffed brass for Port Hope Sanitary, and did odd jobs at the file factory.

After three months of training at London, Ontario, and Sussex, New Brunswick, he was returned to the Wolseley Barracks as a general duty man for eight months as he was under age. His record shows an ongoing series of infractions, including a District Court Martial for desertion.

Thomas served in:

  • Canada, 25 June 1941 - 20 July 1943;
  • UK, 21 July 1943 - 14 November 1943; and
  • Italy, 15 November 1943 - 12 November 1944, when he was killed accidentally, attached as a gunner with the 1st Canadian Lanark & Renfrew Scottish Regiment.
He is buried in the Gradara British Empire Cemetery, Italy.
Historical note:
The site for the cemetery was chosen in November 1944 and contains the graves of casualties incurred during the advance from Ancona to Rimini (which broke the Gothic Line) and in the heavy fighting around Rimini, which was taken by the Allies 21st September 1944.



Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario
www.alivingpast.ca