Edmonton Regiment

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by JimmyC1983, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. JimmyC1983

    JimmyC1983 Member


    I was going through a tin of old coins etc with my Mother’s cousin the other day, and we same across this collar? badge. His father was Canadian, coming over to the UK during the war and marrying his mother. He subsequently went back to Canada.

    His name was Frederick Gaschnitz, so quite an unusual name.

    Could anyone shed any light on what either Frederick, or this regiment, would have been up to?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



    Attached Files:

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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    The Loyal Edmontons were part of 2 Cdn Inf Bde for attack on the Hitler Line on 23 May 44 in Italy just north of Cassino.

    They suffered horribly.


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  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member


    Canadian military service records are opened after the member has been deceased 20 years.

    You would apply here: Requests for Military Service Files - Library and Archives Canada

    But as Mr. Gaschnitz passed on 17 December 2001, his file won't be available until 17 December 2021.

    If you do decide to apply you will need to prove his death. Obituary attached.



    gaschnitz obituary.png
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  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  6. JimmyC1983

    JimmyC1983 Member

    Thank you everyone for your responses. Plenty to get stuck into
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is some information on the Edmonton Regiment's time in Canada before being sent to the UK:

    The Edmonton Regiment, CASF

    1 September 1939 – Authorized – Serial 38(GO 135/39)
    1 September 1939 – Mobilised at Prince of Wales Armouries, Edmonton, Alberta (War Diary)

    HQ Military District No. 13 1/9/39 - 15/12/39
    NDHQ 15/12/39- 19/12/39

    Edmonton, Alberta 1/9/39 - 15/12/39- Prince of Wales Armouries
    In transit 15/12/39- 19/12/39 – TS-29 & TS-30
    [Embarked at Halifax on Batory (E-12) on 19 December 1939. Sailed on 22 December 1939 for the United Kingdom.]

    As mentioned above, the Edmonton regiment served in 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade of 1st Canadian Infantry Division during the rest of the war. Here is a summary for the entire war:

    The Edmonton Regiment, CASF

    1 September 1939 (GO 135/1939) – Serial 38

    15 October 1945 (GO 85/1945)

    Title Changes
    1st Battalion, The Edmonton Regiment – 7 November 1940 (GO 273/1940)
    1st Battalion, The Edmonton Regiment, CIC – 3 September 1942 (GO 485/1942)
    1st Battalion, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, CIC– 7 July 1943 (GO 295/1943)

    2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade – 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945

    The Edmonton Regiment was mobilized on September 1st, 1939 at Edmonton and began recruiting up to strength. It was notified on September 22nd that it would form part of 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade. A week later it was up to full strength. The Advance Party left on November 13th for England. A farewell parade was held on December 3rd and the battalion departed Edmonton by train on December 15th. It arrived in Halifax four days later and embarked directly on the Polish linerBatory, which sailed for England on December 22nd, 1939. It arrived in Scotland on December 30th, 1939. ‘D’ Company along with some specialists was involved in the Spitzbergen Raid from August 25th to September 3rd, 1941. The battalion landed in Sicily on July 10th, 1943 and fought hard in the brief campaign.

    After a short rest in August the battalion crossed the Straits of Messina into Italy on September 4th. In spite of opposition the men pushed on, quickly capturing the towns of San Bartolomeo, Baselice, Ceremaggiore and Vinchiatura and finally taking Colle d’Anchise after a bitter three day battle on October 23rd. Early in December the 1st Canadian Division was on the move again. On December 5th the Loyal Edmontons with other units of 1st Division, pushed across the Moro River to break the line, which Hitler had ordered held at all costs. This was the beginning of the bloodiest month in the history of the 1st Canadian Division and by the end of the month more than 5000 replacements had gone forward to units from the replacement depots. The Loyal Edmontons had suffered nearly 500 casualties and of these 92 were killed. Battling against Hitler's crack 1st Paratroop Divisionthe Loyal Edmontons helped take ‘Vino Ridge’ on the approach to Ortona after nine days of fighting under the worst possible conditions. In spite of the fanatical resistance put up by the enemy the Canadians pushed on to take the ridge two days later, on December 20th, 1943, and the first elements of ‘D’ Company pushed into the outskirts of Ortona. The battle for Ortona continued for eight days. On the morning of the 28th the Loyal Edmonton Regiment was in command of the wrecked town. The battalion spent the next three months holding the winter line on the Ariele River, a few miles north of Ortona in static warfare. On May 23rd, 1944, climaxing one of the cleverest moves of the war, the entire Eighth Army was moved from the Adriatic front and concentrated in front of the Hitler Line at Cassino, and the 1st Canadian Division broke through the Hitler Line and opened the road to Rome. That day was a costly one for 2nd Brigade. The Seaforth Highlanders lost nearly 225 men, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry lost 200, and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment lost nearly 175 of whom 50 were killed. The Eighth Army thrust through the hole and the Germans didn’t stop backing up until they had been driven back into the outer defenses of the Gothic Line holding the approaches to the Lombardy Plain. The battalion, for the next weeks, thrust up Highway 6 towards Rome. Frosinone, second last big city on the road to Rome, fell to the Loyals. In the blistering May heat the brigade was pulled back to absorb its reinforcements and train and rest east of Naples.

    It was to be early August before the regiment was again committed to action and by then the Germans had retreated far to the north of Rome and were holding another line of hills, mountain and rivers. At midnight on August 24th, following one of the most heaviest barrages of the war while 1000 guns of the Eighth Army poured every kind of shell from 25 pounders to the great 256 lb. shells from 7.2 inch guns onto the German positions, the battalion crossed the Metauro river and the battle for the Gothic Line was on. From hilltop to hilltop, through valley after valley, into Monteccicardo (taken after a day long battle when three attacks were thrown back) ‘B’ Company of the battalion finally battled its way into the town, and the battalion pushed on toward Monte Luro and Fanamo. The final hill feature barring the path of the 2nd Infantry Brigade was the steep tree dotted mass of San Fortunato Ridge behind which lay the flats of the Po River valley. It was thick with Germans and a tough fight was the prospect, but surprise won that forbidding barrier with only twelve casualties in the unit. The Loyal Edmonton Regiment was sent forward to attack San Fortunato with two companies leading in a night attack with just enough artillery fire on the hill to cover the noise of our advancing troops. In the black Italian night the companies worked cautiously to the top scrapping with startled Germans as they went. Dawn found the demoralized enemy pulling back from the ridge in disorder. Numerous prisoners were taken and, as the Germans streamed out on to the flats behind the feature, ‘C’ Company called the artillery down on the enemy thus giving them the treatment that they had expected to hand out to our next attacking force.

    The next battle was the crossing of the Pisciatello River on the night of October 18th, followed by the crossing of the Savio River two days later. Heavy, concentrated fire from enemy mortars and artillery took a heavy toll but by October 22nd the river had been crossed and positions on the north of it consolidated. Early in December the Edmontons moved north again into the flat plains of the Lombardy Valley. The battalion pushed across the Naviglio canal right up to the dyked banks of the Senio River where it remained holding a winter line, with all its discomforts and inconveniences, in some places only ten yards away from the enemy, until the end of February. On March 15th, 1945, after a brief rest, the battalion with other units of the I Canadian Corps left Italy for France to join the First Canadian Army. Moving by army trucks, right across France from Marseilles the unit spent two weeks resting and learning about Belgian hospitality at the village of Nijlen. On April 12th, the Edmontons were in action again, this time crossing the Ijssel River to fight the German troops occupying Holland. After a brief battle for Voorst the following day the regiment pushed on into the Grebbe Line against dwindling opposition, until on May 8th, peace came to Europe.

    After the war in Europe was over, it sent two companies to the Canadian Composite Battalion serving in Berlin. These companies returned to the battalion at Bilthaven, Holland on July 21st, 1945. It sailed from Ostend for England on September 7th, 1945 and re-embarked at Southampton on September 26th. The battalion arrived at Halifax on October 1st, 1945 and returned to Edmonton on October 6th, 1945.
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