ANDERSON, JOHN ALBERT

Birthdate
Birthplace
Haliburton Country, Ontario, Canada
Age
32
Parents
Son of Ross and Edith Anderson of Tory Hill, Ontario, Canada
Religion
United Church of Canada
Occupation
Truck Driver
Service number
C/78217
Engagement
1942-05-07, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Overseas
1943-05-13, United Kingdom
Disembarked
1944-07-23, France
Date of death
1944-09-14
Died
Belgium, Killed in action
Force
Rank
Awards
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's), R.C.I.C.
Plot 2 | Row C | Grave 6

"BUT THEY THAT FIGHT FOR FREEDOM UNDERTAKE THE NOBLEST CAUSE MANKIND CAN HAVE AT STAKE"

Military grave
Additional info

Served in Canada with the Prince of Wales Rangers since May 7, 1942.

A bright lad whose father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the last war. He aspires to follow in his father footsteps. Has no special trade in mind. Prefers to stay with Prince of Wales Rangers. Is now taking N.C.O. course. Married.

Qualified Driver Op Group "C" on November 25, 1943.

Assigned to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on May 11, 1944.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's) war diary reports on September 14, 1944: 
Belgium -- Around 0200 hrs we received a message from the Algonquin that they were having great difficulties: two Companies were across (Leopold Canal, Moerkerke, Molentje) but the town (Molentje) and canal were being heavily shelled and mortared (canons stationed in Cadzand, Netherlands did great damage) by the enemy, who had opened up as soon as our barrage ceased. The usual reports came back of enemy infiltrating back to this side of the canal. The canal was a particularly tough obstacle: it was really two canals with an island in the middle, and it was quite possible that some enemy had crossed at several points on the canal. The Algonquin Command Post in the town (Moerkerke) near the crossing site had been twice bombed out, and their R.A.P. hit directly, resulting in several casualties among them Father Mooney MID, the R.C. Padre for the Brigade. The Commanding Officer decided to investigate the situation carefully before committing the Battalion. At 0400 hrs "A" Company was sent forward to provide covering fire from their side of the canal, the remaining Companies to remain in the present area until called for. At 0530 hrs the following message was sent back by Major Harper: "Situation is as follows: Two Companies of Algonquins across directly opposite bridge. Two Companies pinned along canal. I have two sections forward, protecting left flank of bridging party and they are finding out details about the progress of bridging. Remainder held back near road junction, as Sunray of friends claims he has enough bodies over the canal. There is some shelling and a bit of enemy small arms fire in village, but do not bother us as yet." At 0900 hrs the following message was received from the Algonquins: "All our children are approximately at objectives. They are very low in ammunition and so far we cannot get any over to them. We think there have been numbers of enemy infiltrate onto the island. We are trying to find out but have not enough bodies to assault." Because of heavy mortaring and shelling the Engineers had abandoned their attempt to put a bridge across the canal. At 0930 hrs "A" Company reported that the two Platoons held up were now moving to the bridge. Around 1000 hrs, 63 Command Post was established in the town and the three remaining Companies were brought up to a position just South of the town. Enemy shell-fire and mortaring continued to be very heavy, and it was obvious that the situation was very serious. Around 1200 hrs, Lieutenant Lloyd Johnson, O.C. Scout Platoon (ASHofC), was killed just outside the Command Post by enemy shell. Our Command Post, which was obviously drawing heavy enemy fire because of its proximity to the town church was abandoned and C.P. personnel went to the 62-C.P. 100 yards or so nearer the canal. About 1300 hrs it was decided to withdraw all Troops from the other side of the canal, "A" Company remaining in position until 62 had effected their withdrawal, then withdrawing on their turn. Under over of smoke, 62 withdrew, although they were forced to leave some wounded on the other side. Subsequently, "A" Company withdrew to where "B", "C" and "D" Companies were taking up defensive positions around the outskirts of the town, "A" and "C" on the left side of the road entering town from the South, "B" and "D" on the right. New Command Post was established along main road, slightly South of Company position at MR 934015 (Nieuwstraat, Damme, Belgium - 100m South of Sloverhoek). The role of the Companies was to contain the enemy and by means of patrol and listening posts to find out as much as possible about enemy activities and his intentions. The enemy made no attempt to cross the canal, although patrols reported he had crossed in small numbers to island at MR 953027 (Leopoldsvaart-Oost, 100 metres of crossing with Waterpolder), and civilians reported that three of four Jerries (Germans), among them an SS Officer, had crossed over into the town and had set up a transmitter.

ANDERSON, JOHN ALBERT