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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in Normandy

dfuller52

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I am trying to locate a good source for details on this unit's activities prior to Aug. 11/44. I have read accounts of Operation Totalize and Hill 195 but the casualty I am looking for apparently died on Aug. 10, the day before the ASH captured Hill 195. It is possible that he was simply listed as the 10th as the action happened overnight but the accounts seem clear that the main action with casualties was on the 11th. Can anyone point me to information on their activities prior to this? The Regimental history seems to start with this battle with nothing prior listed.
The soldier's name is Pvt. George Martin of Toronto. He is buried in Bretteville-sur-Laize Cemetery.
thanks
 

Niteshade

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I've found at http://www.cwgc.org/search/SearchResults.aspx?surname=martin&initials=g&war=2&yearfrom=1944&yearto=1944&force=&nationality=2&send.x=41&send.y=10


Name:  MARTIN, GEORGE M.
Initials: G M
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's), R.C.I.C.
Age: 20
Date of Death: 10/08/1944
Service No: B/46529
Additional information: Son of Evan S. and Martha Peiser Martin, of Toronto, Ontario.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: XII. G. 13.
Cemetery: BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY

But I am sure you had this stuff. Maybe going to the toronto Library and checking the obituaries around that time would help?

I am guessing you have, but have you gone to the Argyl's in Hamilton and checked their docs?

Nites
 

Old Sweat

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Robert L Fraser's Black Yesterdays (Hamilton, 1996) ISBN 0-9681380-0-4 mentions Private Martin in two places:

p. 227. War Diary. 11 August 1944. Hill 195 [C.T.B.] (sic)

The following appears to be a comment on the detail in the war diary. [The Argyll advance on Hill 195 started late on 10 August. There were no casualties until first light on the 11th. The Roll of Honour and casualty lists incorrectly place all the killed and wounded on the 10th rather than the 11th. KIA/DW: Lt Milton H. Boyd, L/Cpl Robert J. Ferguson, Pte Jeffrey H. Cox (12 August), Pte Alfred E. Hamilton, Pte Donald McMaster, Pte Georg M. Martin, and Pte Richard McDonald. Wounded: 24)

p. 230.  Interview. Pte Anonymous. 18 Platoon, D Coy

. . . We had a fair number of casualties at 195 ... We lost our piper [Pte Richard McDonald, and a fellow by the name of [Pte Donald] McMaster were killed. A fellow by the name of [Pte George M.] Martin was killed. They were killed next to me and an 88 had landed in the slit trench and killed both of them.

Hope this helps.
 

dapaterson

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You may also want to read Chapter IX of volume 3 of Stacey's history of WWII, online at http://www.forces.gc.ca/dhh/collections/books/files/books/Victory_e.pdf

It will provide soem context for the operations, and may give you more questions to ask and investigate.
 

dfuller52

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Perfect! I wasn't expecting an eye-witness account of his death but there it is. Thanks very much. He was a graduate of Malvern Collegiate in Toronto and my son's class is going to visit Normandy in March to commemorate some members of the school's honour roll - specifically three who are buried in Beny-sur-Mers, one RCAF (Sgt. Morris Campbell Murray, 76Sqn) and two Highland Light Infantry RCIC (Howard Kidd and John Reeve 'Jack' Taylor). Pvt. Martin and one other fellow, an intelligence sergeant named William McCarthy, are also Malvernites and buried in Bretteville-sur-Laize.

Thanks to all for the excellent references.

Old Sweat said:
Robert L Fraser's Black Yesterdays (Hamilton, 1996) ISBN 0-9681380-0-4 mentions Private Martin in two places:

p. 230.  Interview. Pte Anonymous. 18 Platoon, D Coy

. . . We had a fair number of casualties at 195 ... We lost our piper [Pte Richard McDonald, and a fellow by the name of [Pte Donald] McMaster were killed. A fellow by the name of [Pte George M.] Martin was killed. They were killed next to me and an 88 had landed in the slit trench and killed both of them.

Hope this helps.
 

Old Sweat

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In the class gets to Bretteville-sur-Laize cemetary, it stands on ground that the Argylls advanced over on 8 August to capture the area around Hautmesnil.

Shameless self promoter that I are, a good account of Totalize can be found in No Holding Back, Operation Totalize, Normandy 1944. Your local library should be able to get a copy or you may be able to purchase a copy from Amazon. I say 'may' as the original printing is sold out.
 

dfuller52

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Thanks Brian, I placed a hold on it at my local library a couple of hours ago!

The students can't get to Bretteville since they are on a strict timetable, but they are going to the museum at Arromanches.

Old Sweat said:
In the class gets to Bretteville-sur-Laize cemetary, it stands on ground that the Argylls advanced over on 8 August to capture the area around Hautmesnil.

Shameless self promoter that I are, a good account of Totalize can be found in No Holding Back, Operation Totalize, Normandy 1944. Your local library should be able to get a copy or you may be able to purchase a copy from Amazon. I say 'may' as the original printing is sold out.
 

Steel Badger

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dfuller....

It may take a bit of time, but I will try to get you in touch with our Regimental Historian, Dr Robert ( Mad Rob) Fraser. I am presently in the sandbox but will forward details as soon as I can.


Cheers


SB

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Bruce Monkhouse

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MODERATOR INTERUPTION

I know I'm speaking on behalf of Mike and the rest of the Staff here at milnet, as I wish to thank all those who come here and contribute to make this such a wonderful site. I'm sure there is no way Mr. Fuller thought he would have all the info he could possibly use within hours at his fingertips.

There has been a few days lately were I was growing weary of the internet clowns we must deal with but reading threads like this make them all blow away like the tumbleweeds that they are.


Alright, back on topic, :)
Bruce
 

dfuller52

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For the record...In an offline discussion I had with Brian, it appears the regimental diary for the A&SH is off by 24 hours compared to all the other relevant unit diaries and that the action on Hill 195 did indeed take place on Aug. 10. I guess the fog of war affects diarists too.

Old Sweat said:
Robert L Fraser's Black Yesterdays (Hamilton, 1996) ISBN 0-9681380-0-4 mentions Private Martin in two places:

p. 227. War Diary. 11 August 1944. Hill 195 [C.T.B.] (sic)

The following appears to be a comment on the detail in the war diary. [The Argyll advance on Hill 195 started late on 10 August. There were no casualties until first light on the 11th. The Roll of Honour and casualty lists incorrectly place all the killed and wounded on the 10th rather than the 11th. KIA/DW: Lt Milton H. Boyd, L/Cpl Robert J. Ferguson, Pte Jeffrey H. Cox (12 August), Pte Alfred E. Hamilton, Pte Donald McMaster, Pte Georg M. Martin, and Pte Richard McDonald. Wounded: 24)
 

qualicumwind

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My father was on Hill 195, with C Company of the AHSofC.  Here's an extract from an interview of him that was published about ten years ago:

Northwest Historical Association (NWHA) - WW2 Reenacting Society

Interview of Arthur Bridge by the NWHA

"Hill 195 was the first real action that I was involved in. We sneaked up that hill in the middle of the night [August 10/11, 1944] and were dug in before the enemy knew we were there. It was quite an exciting occasion. The ground was so hard that digging in was almost impossible. I remember that my slit trench was about 10 inches deep despite all efforts to enlarge it. That was barely enough to protect the crown jewels. And there was plenty of metal flying around once they realized we were there."

"We watched with awe as the tanks of the Canadian Grenadier Guards tried to advance, only to be knocked off one by one. Typhoons were very active trying to knockout the enemy tanks in Quesnay Woods, just off to our left, and they got at least one of them as we saw the cloud of black smoke rising after their attack. We couldn't (or didn't) do much but sit and take it all in and try to avoid their moaning minnies. It was a long day."
 
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