Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

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Phil
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Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:52 pm

A query from Christine via email,
"I have been researching Horbury's part in Hitler's Downfall which will soon be published. In Horbury, Wakefield, we had Northern Command from York in our small town. Conscripts coming every fortnight for training chiefly RASC. Made Churchill Tanks, mulberry harbours, scout cars etc. Manufactured 1000 items in our Sykes Athletic building, a three storey building, which included the "newly invented grease to cover all of the vehicles", where rifle butts were made and polished, fins for air balloons and many items for the D-Day landings.

Many buildings were requisitioned to accommodate the Army personnel involved and also for the conscripts coming fortnightly for training.

One building, Calder Vale Hotel housed a number of Canadian Soldiers, which I suspect were here for training. I do have photographs of some.

However, the story has persisted for decades that they went to Slapton for a D-Day rehearsal and all were killed. Nowhere, can I find any information that Canadians were killed on that fateful day.

Northern Command with a corps in Horbury or Wakefield is not mentioned anywhere.

Do you have any information on the above at all, which could in particular, throw any light on the Canadian Soldiers billeted here?"
Phil

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:55 pm

I found some indication that Canadians were killed during D-Day training,

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... itain.html
"Several Canadians drowned as a violent undertow pulled the heavily-laden troops under water as they disembarked at Bracklesham Bay.
This exercise seemed to be called Fabius III. I also came across indication that the initial phase of Exercise Tiger, training in which Canadians participated, was called "Operation Duck" not to be confused with another Operation Duck which was a combat operation conducted later in the war.

I have not yet had any luck identifying any Canadians who stayed at Calder Vale Hotel or the names of those killed during training exercises.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:20 pm

Phil wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:55 pm
I found some indication that Canadians were killed during D-Day training,

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... itain.html
"Several Canadians drowned as a violent undertow pulled the heavily-laden troops under water as they disembarked at Bracklesham Bay.
This exercise seemed to be called Fabius III. I also came across indication that the initial phase of Exercise Tiger, training in which Canadians participated, was called "Operation Duck" not to be confused with another Operation Duck which was a combat operation conducted later in the war.

I have not yet had any luck identifying any Canadians who stayed at Calder Vale Hotel or the names of those killed during training exercises.
Sorry Phil.......I’m not positive who or what you are looking for. Are you look for names of Canadian’s killed during Fabius III? Or you may have stayed at Calder Vale Hotel??? Just trying to make sure who, what, where, when and why? So I can search for you

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:31 pm

Here’s a list of the Fabius series of exercises. You can see each was set up for EACH of the eventual Normandy Landing Beaches.....the Canadians were Fabius III.

If you need to know if any Canadian’s were killed during this exercise, I will check
645F6DA5-3397-4E39-AAF3-71091382057F.jpeg
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:34 pm

Info on the “Duck’ exercises that you mentioned

Source: https://history.army.mil/documents/wwii ... bchs-7.htm
AD343D5D-1932-4463-A746-54615B179FDD.jpeg
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:53 pm

Temujin wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:20 pm
Sorry Phil.......I’m not positive who or what you are looking for. Are you look for names of Canadian’s killed during Fabius III? Or you may have stayed at Calder Vale Hotel??? Just trying to make sure who, what, where, when and why? So I can search for you
I apologize if I was unclear. The interest is in Canadians that stayed at Calder Vale Hotel or in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire in general.

Local history suggests that Canadians that stayed in Horbury went to Slapton for a D-Day training exercise and were killed, but that is not verified information. The research task is to verify this and/or identify any Canadians that stayed in Horbury during that time period.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:00 pm

Phil wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:53 pm
Temujin wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:20 pm
Sorry Phil.......I’m not positive who or what you are looking for. Are you look for names of Canadian’s killed during Fabius III? Or you may have stayed at Calder Vale Hotel??? Just trying to make sure who, what, where, when and why? So I can search for you
I apologize if I was unclear. The interest is in Canadians that stayed at Calder Vale Hotel or in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire in general.

Local history suggests that Canadians that stayed in Horbury went to Slapton for a D-Day training exercise and were killed, but that is not verified information. The research task is to verify this and/or identify any Canadians that stayed in Horbury during that time period.
Got it.......thanks Phil......I’ll see what I can find

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:59 pm

Sorry Phil, I can’t find anything on any Canadian Unit that served, or was near Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire..........that doesn’t mean they weren’t, I just can’t find anything.

Just north from Horbury, was Ossett (I mean right next door to Horbury), and during WW2 the 3rd Depot Battalion, Royal Signals established a training site at Westfield Mill........and later in the war it housed a Mobilization Center. It’s quite possible the “maybe” Canadian troops, officer’s or Instructors from the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals may have been stationed their as well???? (Just a guess)

Sorry, that’s the best I can do for now.....I’ve tried to find if any RCCS troops were in that location, but can’t find anything.

Cheers

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:05 pm

Thanks Temujin. I wasn't able to find anything either, that's why I started looking to see if I could identify any Canadians killed in Fabius or Duck and then see if those individuals or their units were around the Horbury area at all.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:26 pm

Phil wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:05 pm
Thanks Temujin. I wasn't able to find anything either, that's why I started looking to see if I could identify any Canadians killed in Fabius or Duck and then see if those individuals or their units were around the Horbury area at all.
I didn’t try that. I do know that their were some deaths during Fabius III (I know a few died by drowning when they landed)..........so I’ll see if I can find any names and look at which Unit they were from. Like you said, if you can identify some names.....and then their Units, going to the Unit war diaries may give us their “locations” at that time period (or just before)....a lot of work, but I’ll see if I can find anything using that method also.....AND that’s assuming we can see the War diaries for that time period

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