Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:41 pm

CBC has some coverage,

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/baby-aban ... -1.4991565

Of note is this,
Susan Griffin, who lives in Massachusetts, told CBC News her father, Bob Griffin, is the man on the left of the 1941 photo.
Without further detail. While we were looking at Robert Cecil Griffin I did contact relatives, I'm looking to get some confirmation from them. We still do not have an explanation for the Griffin/Griffith question, though Griffin would explain them naming the baby Regina Brandon initially.
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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Ludford 101 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:09 pm

This discrepancy can be easily solved. On page 3 of this thread, Steve posted names, service numbers and embarkation dates for our previously correct three. All three had the same embarkation date.

Presumably Steve can also tell us the date of embarkation for L/18?? Gnr Robert Cecil Griffin.

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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:27 pm

Ludford 101 wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:09 pm
This discrepancy can be easily solved. On page 3 of this thread, Steve posted names, service numbers and embarkation dates for our previously correct three. All three had the same embarkation date.

Presumably Steve can also tell us the date of embarkation for L/18?? Gnr Robert Cecil Griffin.
The same embarkation is convincing, though that may be the same for a large number of men from that area. Regimental number and embarkation date for Griffin would help. I have received further indication, that I cannot yet post publicly, that it is indeed Gunner Robert Cecil Griffin rather than Griffith. I have update first post to reflect this, pending new information.
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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by CdnHowitzer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:37 pm

It was user "reynolds12" who posted the embarkation dates on page 3, and hopefully he can look at the Griffin date too. From an originating battery perspective, I can provide the following:

61 Fd Bty activated out of Edmonton, AB
107 Fd Bty activated out of Cranbrook, BC
71 Fd Bty activated out of Brandon, MB
113 Fd Bty activated out of Regina, SK

All four batteries were to be part of 4 Army Field Regiment, RCA, but the name was changed to 8 Field Regiment in England to commemorate the 8 Fd Bde CFA of WW1.

The four batteries sailed together on 28 Jan from Halifax on the "Monarch of Bermuda".

As was normal at the time, the four batteries were consolidated in England until wartime strengths were reached:
61/107 Fd Bty and
71/113 Fd Bty

Later in the war, the Regt converted to Self-Propelled for D-Day but was re-directed to the 4th Armd Div for Italy (quite suddenly).

(As an aside, the other current battery of my Regt, 78 Fd Bty - another previous command of mine - was subsequently temporarily equipped with Priest Howitzers for the D-Day as the lead bty of 13th Fd Regt, firing Priest Howitzers from the landing craft in the first wave alongside 14th Fd Regt!)

Based on the common sailing date, and the batteries that the members 'joined' at the start of the war, I think we need to see full detail on Griffin to make further determinations.

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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:55 pm

One of the articles states that they intended to name the baby Virgina Regina Brandon. Perhaps that's a mis-report of Victoria where it seems Alonzo Brackett was from? Is there a Virgina in the area where these Fd Bty's were mustered?
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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:29 pm

Perhaps one of the strongest pieces of evidence that it is indeed Alonzo James Brackett is what reynolds12 pointed out, that Alonzo served in WWI and therefore could have earned the War & Victory medals which the soldier in the photo is wearing the ribbon pin of. There couldn't have been that many Gunner A. J. Bracketts in the R.C.A. with the same embarkation date who also served in WWI.

In actuality, if you check the LAC, there is only one A. Brackett that served Canada in WWI, and it's Alonzo.

So, logically, we know the man in the photo served in WWI because of the medal ribbon pin he's wearing and if the man in the photo is one Gunner A. J. Brackett then it must be Alonzo James Brackett because he's the only A. Brackett that served Canada in WWI -- unless the LAC is missing a record or if the original article identifying that man as A. J. Brackett is wrong.

LAC WWI Results Personnel Surname: Brackett
https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/ ... h=brackett

War and Victory Alonzo.jpg
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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Phil » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:09 pm

Doing some searches on "Victoria Regina Brandon" I found more evidence pointing to Alonzo James Brackett, also validating my suspicions that the name "Virgina" in another article was an error -- and yet another fellow, Rusty Delmage.
And Rusty Delmage recounted about how “one day we were on manoeuvres and picked up a little newborn baby girl. We took it to the hospital and they found the mother of it a couple of days later. There were a few pictures of the boys and the little baby in The Daily Mirror. Some of them wanted to call the little thing Victoria Regina Brandon, but I think the mother took care of that.”
Letters to Ernie: Correspondence from overseas paints a picture of the Second World War
https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/ ... -world-war

I've sent a note to Will Chabun of the Regina Leader-Post to see if there's any further info about Rusty.
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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by Ludford 101 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:07 pm

Rusty is no longer with us.

William Edwin Delmage was born 21 August 1911; deceased 26 August 1980.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/632 ... in-delmage

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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by klambie » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:46 pm

If RC Griffin was L18??? (which appears likely from his headstone), it will be extremely difficult to untangle him from RH Griffith who was H29140. L18??? numbers were allotted to 113 Bty (raised in Regina). H29??? numbers were allotted to 71 Bty (raised in Brandon). Both Btys were part of 8 Fd Regt and both would have sailed together. "Regina Brandon" seems to feature in all variants of the child's name, attempts to find Bty connections to other places seems unhelpful.

It no longer seems terribly relevant, but unless my administrative history is wrong, 113 Bty was long gone from 8 Fd Regt (to 7 A/Tk Regt) months before the incident. It would not be unreasonable to expect that in the 12+(?) months overseas, some men from 113 Bty (L18???s) might have moved to 71 Bty and have still been there when the child was found.

This account also indicates 71 Bty was the Q "Queen" Bty mentioned:
http://www.spiritofcanada.com/veterans/ ... ddayDodger
Kevin Lambie
www.reginarifles.ca

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Re: Grandmother Mary Crabb hoping to find World War II heroes who saved her life

Post by CdnHowitzer » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:21 am

Kevin, you are completely correct about 113 Bty - I dug into the History document to remind myself. Page 3. of the unofficial history I posted earlier has the details.

In October 1940 the 61/107 and 71/113 batteries were broken into three batteries (61, 71, 107 Btys) of two troops each and 113 Bty left the Regiment.

This reorg would have shifted troops who joined from their activation battery into the other batteries to back fill specific positions like techs, communicators and recce soldiers.

Steve

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