Cpl William Haslett

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Phil
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Cpl William Haslett

Post by Phil » Wed Feb 16, 2022 6:42 pm

An inquiry via email from Dawn.
My grandfather served with the 14th Canadian Field Ambulance during WW2, his name was Cpl William Haslett from Saint John New Brunswick passed away in 1944 in England. I’m trying to find out any information on him and his service and how he died leaving behind a wife and four children.
You should be able to request his full service file from Library and Archives Canada with ease as he passed away while in service, and over 20 years ago. I have found cursory information though the notice of his death has no detail.

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/ ... ber=41951&
Surname: HASLETT
Given Name(s): WILLIAM JOSEPH
Age: 42
Date of Birth: 1902
Date of Death: 1944-08-27
Rank: Corporal
Unit: Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
Force: Army
Service Number: G42660
Reference: R112
Volume: 29373
Extra Information: Son of William Joseph and Sarah Jane Haslett, of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; husband of Ethel Mae Haslett, of Saint John.
Item Number: 41951
https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembra ... %20Haslett
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Re: Cpl William Haslett

Post by Phil » Wed Feb 16, 2022 7:02 pm

From a collection of letters from a doctor attached to No. 14 Field Ambulance, giving some indication of where the unit was on August 27th, 1944.

https://www.warmuseum.ca/wp-content/upl ... latt_e.pdf
22 August 1944.
Only has 15 minutes to write this letter. Recaptured an American Infantry Private from Ohio that had been captured by the “Jerrys”, a “scruffy looking lot, with morale all shot to hell”.

25 August 1944.
On the move again. Because he is with the artillery, he is fully mechanized, but the distance is still great and tiring. Wandered into a farmhouse at 3:00am, and for all he knew, it could have been 10 miles behind enemy lines. Has heard reports from the Falaise Gap that 40,000 prisoners were taken, and 6,000 dead. “Jerry” is in full retreat, and they find it difficult to keep up with him.

28 August 1944.
Still on the move, trying to make contact with the Germans, who are definitely on a complete rout. Letter from General Montgomery stated that victory in the west of France was complete and they must chase the Germans back to Germany. As long as the Germans are retreating, defenses are disorganized and it is only a matter of time before victory. Staying at a hunting lodge, and it is not the trophies or sporting photographs that impressed him – it was a modern washbasin with running water and a flush toilet, the first that he has seen in France. They call it a heaven sent. In the past few days, has experienced the thrill of liberating towns. Has received many gifts such as cider and eggs from the grateful citizens. Carries extra cigarettes and chocolates for the kids because they have not experienced such luxuries in over four years.
The Official History of the Canadian Medical Services has more information on what was happening around that point in time with No. 14 Field Ambulance.

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/theme ... s-1-en.pdf
THE ADVANCE RESUMED, 14-16 AUGUST
At noon on 14 August the columns of tanks moved forward and, despite fierce opposition, were well established within three miles of Falaise by nightfall — an advance of about five miles. On 15 August the advance was resumed, though at reduced speed, and by the afternoon of the 16th troops of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division were in Falaise.

Medical arrangements were on much the same basis as for "Totalize". The 2nd Division had one field ambulance (No. 11) operating an advanced dressing station and two (Nos. 10 and 18) on wheels ready to advance with the attacking force. The 3rd Division had an advanced dressing station operated by No. 14 Canadian Field Ambulance and No. 7 Canadian Field Dressing Station at Rocquancourt. The 4th Canadian Armoured Division had an advanced dressing station operated by No. 15 Canadian Field Ambulance at Gaumesnil, with No. 12 Canadian Light Field Ambulance ready to move forward as the battle progressed.
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Re: Cpl William Haslett

Post by Phil » Wed Feb 16, 2022 11:12 pm

The local legion lists him as a driver in the unit.

http://peninsulabranch62.ca/Photo_Album ... r/woh.html
Corporal William Joseph Haslett

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corp.

1944-08-27

Born in 1902 to William Joseph and Sarah Jane Haslett, of White Mills, in Clifton Royal, New Brunswick.

Enlisted in 1939. Served in the Royal Canadian Medical Corps, 14th Field Ambulance as a driver.

Dies August 27, 1944
Listed as Commonwealth War Dead.

Buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England

Survived by his wife Ethel Mae Haslett and four children, James, William Jr. , Gordon And Wanda
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Re: Cpl William Haslett

Post by Temujin » Thu Feb 17, 2022 9:35 am

Actually, when he passed away, he was with No 1 Canadian Kit Storage Depot, and he died in No 4 General Hospital which was in Farnbourgh England. He did serve in the 14th Field Ambulance, but it was only ONE of the many many units he was posted to. Information on death below:
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Re: Cpl William Haslett

Post by Phil » Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:33 am

Great work, as always, Temujin. So it looks as if he was not with No. 14 Field Ambulance for D-Day and their time in France (so disregard those accounts previously posted). He was with that unit earlier in 1944 and then transferred to Canadian Army Service Corps Reinforcement Unit (C.A.S.C.R.U.) and then No. 1 Canadian Kit Storage Depot in March of 1944, promoted to Acting Corporal (if I understand that correctly) on June 9, 1944 and then transferred to No. 4 Canadian General Hospital on August 5, 1944 where he passed away at 0700 Hours on August 27, 1944.
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Re: Cpl William Haslett

Post by Phil » Thu Feb 17, 2022 2:33 pm

From Dawn,
Thank you so much for the information on my grandfather, it was much appreciated.
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