Leopold Canal

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by canuck, May 18, 2016.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The remains of a soldier found in a farmer’s field near Molentje, Damme, Belgium, now identified as those of Private Kenneth Donald Duncanson from Dutton, Ontario. Private Duncanson was a member of The Algonquin Regiment, which served in 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Armoured Division in Northwest Europe. His body was found less than 200 yards from the current memorial site.

    Duncanson was 29 when was killed on Sept. 14, 1944, during an attempt by the Algonquin Regiment to establish a bridgehead crossing of the Derivation de la Lys and the Leopold Canal in Belgium.

    7 members of the Algonquins remain MIA as a result of this action.29 were killed on September 13-14, 1944.

    "Moncel Force, or more exactly its infantry battalion the Algonquin Regt., was now required to attack across a double canal line near Moerkerke, Belgium. Here, the Leopold and Lys canals run side by side separated by a 60-foot-wide dike. Today, the road beside the canals carries the name Algonquinstraat. In 1944, this quiet country lane was the start-line for a battle that was to reveal just how committed the enemy was to the defence of the approaches to Antwerp. Shortly before midnight on Sept. 13, all four Algonquin rifle companies were ferried across the two canals despite heavy harassing fire. Able Company occupied the hamlet of Molentje, but increasing direct and indirect fire prevented the other companies from linking up. The Algonquins, with less than 250 men, were too thin on the ground and were forced on the defensive in three isolated pockets."
    legion magazine.com



    IMG_0946.JPG IMG_0947.JPG IMG_0948.JPG moerkerke2map (1).gif
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  2. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account


    The remains of a Southwestern Ontario soldier struck down by a German sniper’s bullet during a key battle in the wake of D-Day have been located in a farmer’s field in Belgium.
    The discovery of Pte. Kenneth Donald Duncanson’s remains was made, fittingly, on Remembrance Day in 2014 by a hobbyist with a metal detector.
    “Pte. Duncanson gave his life in service to Canada during the Second World War. Now, finally, he may be solemnly laid to rest with the honour and dignity he deserves,” Kent Hehr, Veterans Affairs minister and associate minister of National Defence, said in a statement issued Monday by the Department of National Defence.
    Duncanson was killed Sept. 14, 1944. His death came during an attempt by his unit, the Algonquin Regiment, to establish a bridgehead crossing of the Derivation de la Lys and the Leopold Canal, in the small Belgian town of Molentje.
    “The Algonquins was a fighting regiment. They had an excellent record,” said retired major Michael Boire, a history professor at Royal Military College in Kingston.
    According to a wartime newspaper report, likely from the Dutton Advance, two hours after Duncanson was killed, the rest of his company were taken prisoner by the Germans. “It was not until these prisoners were liberated by the Americans that (his) story was learned,” the newspaper noted.
    His comrades likely did not have time before they were captured to give him a battlefield burial. “This guy got killed, and if no record was taken, it was lost in the fog of war,” Boire said.
    “This was part of the preliminary battles leading up to the Battle of the Scheldt,” the DND said. Boire said the brutal Scheldt battle tipped the balance, helping to trigger conscription back home in Canada.
    Duncanson was 29 years old when he died. “That’s old,” said Boire.
    His remains could have set off the detector by pinging off bits of metal remaining from his identification tags, ammunition he was carrying, unused grenades or even shrapnel in his body, Boire theorizes. He notes that if Duncanson had dentures, those would have played a part in identifying him.
    Duncanson, who was from Dutton, enlisted in Listowel on Aug. 24, 1942. He was transferred to headquarters staff at Camp Ipperwash and was shipped overseas in September 1944. He took part in battles at Caen, Falais and the Leopold Canal.
    “It was a big battle,” Boire said of the action during which Duncanson was claimed.
    As a civilian, he worked at the Strathcona Creamery. He was survived by his widow, Glencoe’s Lillian Haggerty, and his sister, Iyla, of London. This fall his regiment will inter his remains at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium. “Next-of-kin have been invited to attend,” the DND said.

  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

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  5. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Veteran accounts and video of the Leopold


  6. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron


    Brings back memories of our recent tour.
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