Sgt. Charles May, Royal Canadian Engineer

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Temujin
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Re: Sgt. Charles May, Royal Canadian Engineer

Post by Temujin » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:03 pm

Lorraine Campbell wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:21 pm
I'm am a bit late, but I just wanted to thank you for all your help. Last September, my husband and I flew from Vancouver to London and followed my grandfather's journey from Portsmouth, through Juno Beach, Dieppe, Antwerp, Nijmegen, Kleve and all points in between. With the help of this site as well as a few others, we found the sites (or close to the original sites) of several bridges the 5th were involved in. Churchill and Winston Bridges in Caen, the Stalker Bridge in Troan, France, named after a lieutenant who was killed on Juno Beach and was an admired man of the 5th, the Hilliard Bridge in Tilburg, Holland, the Venlo Bridge over the Meuse River, Holland, the Martin Bridge over the Albert Canal near Herentals, Holland, a Bailey bridge over the Rhine near Arnhem, the Waal Bridge in Nijmegen, the Wessel Bridge in Germany, the Walsh Bridge near Mook, Holland and the MacLean Bridge over the Rhine in Emmerich, Germany. We visited many war cemeteries along the way, as well as anything we could find related to Canadians. Juno Beach, Vimy Ridge and The Abbey Ardenne were especially moving. To stand where my grandfather stood is a feeling I can never explain. We live in Chilliwack, BC and before we left, I gathered small stones from the former CFB location and home of the Engineers and painted Maple Leafs on them and left them at important places on our travels, bride sites and headstones. I carried his Sapper Crest, his photo, a locket with the Engineer insignia on it that he gave me as a child and his French English dictionary that was issued to the men before they left England. It was the most incredible journey and the fitting end to my many years of research. I was always in awe of Gramps. He collected and saved everything and could build something out of anything. Now I know why.. because that is what Engineers do. Thank you for your service and all the help. This is a great site, and as November 11th approaches, we will remember them.
Your welcome Lorraine, and I’m glad you had such a memorable trip. As you know (I think I’ve told you before) that I’m also an “Engineer” (I retired as a Lieutenant) and I also live in Chilliwack, so if you ever need any other research help just let me know, I’m sure we can get together if you want or just to say hello

Cheers

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Phil
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Re: Sgt. Charles May, Royal Canadian Engineer

Post by Phil » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:53 pm

Lorraine Campbell wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:21 pm
It was the most incredible journey and the fitting end to my many years of research. I was always in awe of Gramps. He collected and saved everything and could build something out of anything. Now I know why.. because that is what Engineers do. Thank you for your service and all the help. This is a great site, and as November 11th approaches, we will remember them.
Glad you hear you had a meaningful trip. Research and results like your pilgrimage are why I started this site so it's wonderful to hear stories like this.
Phil

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Lorraine Campbell
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Re: Sgt. Charles May, Royal Canadian Engineer

Post by Lorraine Campbell » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:35 pm

Thank you . When I first started researching, I thought the war ran much like a movie, quick and the good guys winning, I have learned so much. I am now able to put pictures he had to dates and places. I am writing a history for my family and it really is just amazing what went on. I never thought about how they got the bridging supplies, in all that chaos, to where they had to be, how much paperwork and planning went into it all. I never thought about laundry crews and mobile bath crews. Fortunately, the writers of the war diary were very informative and even humourous . This site is so full of information and any question I have asked has been answered. I still have a lot of questions and I hope to take Barry up on his offer to meet with me.
The trip to Europe was made so much better by the help I have gotten here. We found bridge sites and I stood right there, where Gramps and his men stood. The 5th stayed close after the war and as a kid, we had a few reunions on our farm as well as ones in Kingston. They were the tightest bunch of men and I learned respect and the love of my country from them. I will not let the sacrifices of him and his men be forgotten.
We will remember them.
These users commended the author Lorraine Campbell for the post (total 3):
Phil (Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:31 pm) • Temujin (Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:26 am) • BFBSM (Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:19 pm)

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