Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

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Temujin
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:25 am

Phil, tried your suggestion........first I wanted to confirm the EXACT DATE and timings that Fabius III happened.....and this was hard also (not many records on line of the exercise......but I finally found it in the Queens Owns Rifles War Diaries
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So, the Exercise happened (after a delay of 24 hours) from the 3 May to 5 May 1944.......

I then went to the CVWM and CWGC sites and looked up Canadian deaths for these dates.....and their were a LOT......mostly aircrew from Bomber Command.....so I went through a LOT looking for soldiers and to see if I could check their on line records.

Again, I must have done 20 to date and NOTHING.......no one who died on exercise.....a few “possible” but not enough info to confirm. I also found more sites that confirm their were some casualties (due to drowning) on landing......but I haven’t been able to pin those down or find the records....

In the end, what this is telling me, is that the information of Canadian’s staying at Horbury, then going on exercise and all being killed does NOT seem plausible.......it could have been other units.....like the American’s on Exercise Tiger.....but having said that, their also doesn’t seem to be any record of troops in Horbury.......except the Sigs School right next door at Ossett.....

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:57 pm

I agree, it seems unlikely that Canadians went from Horbury to Slapton. I didn't see any killed in the QOR diaries that I came across either.

What is a little concerning to me is how difficult it is to determine the names of Canadians killed in Fabius, or any training related to Tiger and yet there's a specific role of honour for US troops killed in this exercise.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:57 am

Further information and a photograph. The aim here is to identify these men as Canadians, if not personal identification, and ascertain what Canadian units were in Horbury/Wakefield, whether or not they participated in D-Day training and if any were killed in said training.
YMCA tea van - Mrs Briggs WVS.jpg
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:14 am

I'm seeing if we can get a clearer image of this soldier's shoulder.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:50 am

Phil, I tried to see if their is anything on their uniforms or equipment that would identify these men as Canadian………and what I see Phil are BRITISH soldiers……..my reasoning:

I focused on the rifle and bayonet. The rifles in this picture are Lee–Enfield No. 1 Mk V with sword bayonet. These are rifles issued and carried by the British army. The No1 Mk V had TWO bands on the foreshock of the rifle, and the front site was at the END of the rifle, with the front stock coming to the very end of the barrel……photo below…….this photo also shows the sword bayonet…….that you clearly can see on the hip of the soldiers
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The CANADIAN ARMY adopted the Lee-Enfield No 4 Mk 1 in 1943, and these were the rifles Canada used in Italy and NW Europe……..these rifles had ONE band on the fore stock, the barrel “protruded” beyond the end of the fore stock……you can see in the photo below………AND the Canadians used the “spike” bayonet (and later adopted a “knife or blade bayonet, much shorter that the “sword bayonet”)
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So I believe these are NOT Canadian troops, but are BRITISH TROOPS

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:44 am

Another clue is that these men in the “coffee truck photo” are wearing the Mark 1 helmet………Canadian Troops who were assigned to land on D Day were issued the Mark III “Turtle Helmet”……..and in fact were wearing them on Exercise Fabius III (the Juno Beach practice exersice). Photo below, and you can see the Canadian troops are wearing the Mark III Helmet and carrying the Lee Enfield No 4 rifle. This is at Fabius III
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On the soldier standing on the LAC (over the number) you can see the barrel sticking out beyond the stock, which is the No 4 rifle, and NONE of the soldiers are wearing the “sword bayonet”…..which was very long

So, I’m sticking with my premise the the “coffee truck troops” are NOT Canadian (assuming this is taken in 1944?)

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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Phil » Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:01 pm

Yes, the assumption is 1944 for the photo even though it is undated. I agree with the helmet assessment, they stood out to me initially, and it is quite obviously a sword bayonet that one of the tea car soldiers has on his hip. Great work.
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Re: Canadian Soldiers in Horbury, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Post by Temujin » Sun Aug 08, 2021 2:36 pm

I had to post this picture, it was in the CBC news yesterday……..as you can see, the photo was taken in 2017……so this is just a few years ago and the RCMP Recruits are carrying the Lee Enfield No 4 rifles………I wonder if they borrowed them from the Military (who kept a stock for use by the Canadian Rangers in the North)……or these were their own stock……..

I worked for the RCMP for 17 years and we NEVER had these in stock in the Pacific Región (Vancouver)……..and I would know, the section that stored all weapons in the Pacific Región reported to me…..and I never saw these in our Armoury

Anyway, just thought I would post this as a “side note” to our thread above
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