Identification of three soldiers, killed by German mine.

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Oldleg, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]I was wondering if anyone can help. I am investigatig a story concerning the death of soldiers (not sure if it is two or three dead) who died when their caterpillar tracked vehicle (not sure if it is a tank or other) rolled over a mine on 29th August 1944. The location where this event took place is locally known as 'La Chapel St Catherine' it is a fresh water spring which is situated smack in the middle of the Forest of Lyons in upper Normandy, it is under the commune of a little village called Lisors and is about 3 Kms away from Lyons La Forêt. and is also situated right next to the abbeye de Mortemer. Now I have two references that proved that this incident took place as I have a photocopy of a letter written in 1945 by Huguette Verhague, a celebrated member of the resistance who helped several allied airmen. There is also a reference to this incident made by a local Forester in his journal..

    As a member of the Souvenir Française and the Royal British Legion what I would like to do is to identify these men as there are plans on erecting something in memory of these gentlemen in the area where it happened. Now, we are not sure if they were British or Canadians as both were in the vacinity. I know a Canadian tank was destroyed on August 25th when they entered the villlage of Lisors but I feel that this is not the vehicle I am looking for. There were several British regiments in the area at the time including 53 RECCE, those of the 7th armoured Division, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 1st Batallion of the Manchester Regiment etc. Of the Canadians I believe there was the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.

    Please help me identify these poor unfortunates so that their names can be remebered by generations to come.

    Attached is a copy of a scan of monsieur Tabouret's entry in his log. I have also have a copy of a letter writen by a local celebrated resistant a Mrs Huguette Verhague. I am unable to sho the letter for copyright reasons.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The report refers to a 'Chenillette' which in 1940 was used specifically for the small Renault tractor. However, I'm fairly certain that I have seen British 'Carriers' referred to in this manner. In the context of 1944, this might suggest the crew of a Universal or perhaps more obviously a Loyd Carrier. The Loyd was frequently used as a tractor for the 6pdr. anti-tank gun. The anti-tank platoon of infantry battalions would have used them.
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada killed that day

    CHERVEK, LOUIS EMIL Rank: Private Service No: L/153550 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 19 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XX. D. 10. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Louis and Theresa Chervek, of Regina, Saskatchewan.

    KOSTYK, ANDREW Rank: Private Service No: H/20946 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XVII. F. 8. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY

    MANN, GEORGE W. Rank: Private Service No: H/9892 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 28 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XX. E. 5. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of James Andrew and Annie Melrose Mann; husband of Edythe Mann, of Medora, Manitoba.

    MAROIS, WILLIAM HENRY Rank: Private Service No: C/118597 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 21 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XVII. F. 4. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Levi Henry Marois and of Bertha Levada Marois (nee Haines), of Buckhorn, Ontario.

    SMITH, ELVIN G. Rank: Private Service No: K/4024 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 25 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XVIII. E. 1. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Noble and Margaret Smith, of New Westminster, British Columbia.

    VICK, WILLIAM GEORGE ALFRED Rank: Private Service No: H/7120 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 23 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XX. D. 15. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of James Alfred and Victoria M. Vick, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    WESTBERG, CARL A. Rank: Private Service No: H/43032 Date of Death: 29/08/1944 Age: 37 Regiment/Service: Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, R.C.I.C. Grave Reference: XX. D. 14. Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of John Alfred Westberg and of Kristina Westberg (nee Hackvist), of Bergland, Ontario.
     
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Glad you've brought this query here as it will be a lot easier to develop a thread on here rather than Facebook - I need to dig that one out to see where we got to...

    I concur with Rich that the account suggests a carrier, and they weren't particularly mine-proof.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Rich/Andy let me know if you narrow it down to any specific British Infantry units. I have most of the 1944 diaries now.
     
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  7. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Drew, Tricky, the FB page of which you talk about is my creation. I am hoping that by spreading my wings if you like I will endever to findd these guyys names. I know that there was a Canadian tank that was detroyed at the same time (appprox) by mine but I don't think it is the same vehicle as I seem to remember madame Verhague speaking of both incidents.
     
  8. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    In case anyone is in the area on Nove 11th we will be holding a service of remembrance in our village (Lyons La Foret) and I will be laying a wreath on behalf of the Royal British Legion in honour of all the aircrew that died here and also in honour of these men be it if they British or Canadian. At the moment when I speak to locals they all say that it was the British that liberated Lisors even though there suggstions to say they were Canadians.

    Drew or anyone for that matter if we can check out the cause of death of the members of the Cameron Highlanders of Canada that would be great. It is reassuring that I have more joining my teamm in the persuit to find the names of these lost soles. Any information that we find on the seven soles that we find, even if they are not the ones I am looking for but did die in or around Lisors thenn I will pass the information to the local authorities or to senior members of the Royal British Legion and the Souvenir Française to make sure something is done to honour them.
     
    ramacal likes this.
  9. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    This is the war diary entry of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada for the 29th August 1944. If I have got my coordinates correct, it puts them to the west of the Foret de Lyons. They are giving the Germans a pasting escaping across the River (Seine) and are getting the same in return.

    They stay here and move to Western outskirts of Rouen on the night of 31 Aug/1 Sep.

    (The war diary came from the Laurier Military History Archive - July/Aug 1944 - http://lmharchive.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Queens-Own-Cameron-Highlanders-of-Canada.pdf )

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    Here is the map from Cordinates translator:-

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The above diary states that the South Saskatchewan Regt pulled back through the position occupied by QOCHOC. They are attached as well to confirm map refs. Will look later to see where they were and if it tallys with my previous post and rules out these units from the investigation.

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  11. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Can we get any fixes on a map concerning the co-ordinates that are mentioned. Especial where the monestary is mentioned. The incident took place next to what is known as the Abbey of Mortemer or Abbaye De Mortemer. Chapel de St Catherin is just a little way west from the abbey by a couple of hundred meters.
     
  12. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Ramacal,

    The point on the Google map is miles too far east.
     
  13. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Oldleg,

    The place where the carrier of the South Saskatchewans was blown up on a German T-mine, close to a Monastery is shown below and this took place on the 28th August. This is the location of Map Reference 085045 in the war diary, which they stayed close to for a couple of days. So they and the Cameron Highlanders of Canada were not the units near the Abbaye de Mortemer on the 29th August.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    Ok, It's about 20Kms out. What about the Scottish Cameron Highlanders. Someone did say to me that they Liberated Lyons La Foret on August 30th. We celebrate the liberation every year.

    I now that there was a reconnaissance group in our area and the 7th Armoured Division ie the Desert Rats also passed through I have seen the doary of Colonel Walker of the 1st Batllion of the Manchester Regiment and he says that he arrived at Lyons La Foret only to stop and let the 7th Division go through. Anyway we can check the regiments within the division to see what we can unearth?

    Also, I havve seen a reference from a book saying that xhen the Canadians arrived in Lisors they detonated a mine but that incident is on the wrong side of the village as that happened by a railway bridge which is on the road from Ecouis the D12 The incident took place on the Rue de Coudray which is again on the D12.
     
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  16. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Explored a couple of the leads:

    5 Cameron - arrived at Bourg Achard on 28 Aug and spent their time shooting up Germans trying to cross the Seine.

    131 Bde of 7 Armd Dv was directed on Bournville and had tidied up that area by 28 Aug. It seems they moved from this area on 31 August to cross the Seine at Les Andelys. They finished the initial move at Gournay, so they would have moved through the area but too late for our purposes. This is all very brief in their history with no mention of casualties en route.

    1 Manchester: Battalion HQ reached Lyon la Foret on 30 August. It is possible that one of their companies had been there earlier (Machine Gun Battalions were usually split up between their division's brigades). Again, no casualties mentioned in the history.
     
    CL1 likes this.
  17. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I've downloaded and sorted casualties for the 29th August and eliminated any units with less than 3 men killed. Look at the attached pdf file and see if there are any possibilties.
     

    Attached Files:

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  18. Oldleg

    Oldleg Well-Known Member

    I have checked again the letter written by Mrs Verhague and she definately says that a Caterpilar tracked TRUCK was involved in the incident. I have other documents that say the Caanadians were in the nearby village of Lisors and yet she is quoted in saying that the British liberated the village of Lisors. Now in my view there was either one regiment that had the two Brits and Candians or that there were two regiments.

    If we can check out all the regoments that were in 7th armoured division that may help as well.
     
  19. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Could be a half track, then, rather than a carrier. Doesn't narrow it down much, though...
     
  20. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Good luck. Nothing more I can add to this thread.
     

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