COCRHANE, LEO JOHN

Birthdate
Birthplace
Belle Isle, Newfoundland, Canada
Age
27
Parents
Son of Peter and Maria Cochrane of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
Religion
Roman Catholic
Occupation
Dry-cleaner
Service number
F/2832
Engagement
1942-05-01, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada
Overseas
1942-08-22, United Kingdom
Disembarked
1944-07-18, France
Date of death
1944-11-06
Died
Belgium, Died of wounds (accident)
Force
Rank
Regiment (Fallen buddies)
Awards
Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, 2nd Corps
Plot 10 | Row F | Grave 7

"OF ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA. HE DIED IN DEFENCE OF HIS COUNTRY. FATHER"

Military grave
Additional info

Qualified Driver I/C Class 3 on July 31, 1942.

Assigned to II Corps Sigs., Royal Canadian Corps of Signals on August 7, 1944.

2 Brothers in the Army. Peter (Navy) and Francis served in Italy. 

Maurice Platinck, owner of the cafe, sworn states:
I am Maurice of the cafe Rumba, Destelbergen, Hearweg 293, Belgium. I am a farmer and the owner of the cafe. I returned to my home approx 1125 hrs in the evening on Monday, November 6, 1944. The cafe was full of soldiers and the first thing my wife told me was that there were three soldiers on the bench who were NOT behaving themselves. After I came, my wife served the three soldiers with strong beer at 12,5 Francs (Belgium money) a glass and the smallest of the three threw ten Francs on the counter to pay for the beer. They then asked for three more glasses which were payed for by the soldier who is now dead. He paid the full price, 37,5 Francs. After this I refused to sell them anything more. The deceased man got mad, and accused me of being pro-German and a collaborator. The three soldiers were drunk, but not very drunk. I did not notice whether they were armed. The deceased man came around the end of the counter toward me and threatened me with his fist, but instead of backing away I went toward him and he quietened down. In the meantime all butt these three soldiers had left. At the time that the deceased threatened me, I happened to look into the kitchen, and I saw it was full of soliders included Sigmn Williams. One of the soldiers in the kitchen came into the cafe and said something to the three already there and he seemed to be trying to keep them quiet. The deceased pushed the newcomer against the wall, the latter then returned to the kitchen. The deceased kicked the door open and I saw that there were only 2 soldiers left in the kitchen, one being Sigmn Williams, holding a rifle in his hands. He was holding the rifle with the butt under his arm pointing in the general direction of the deceased who advanced toward him with his hands up in the air and laughing as if making fun of Williams. When the deceased was a few centimetres from the muzzle of the rifle, the gun went off. I cannot exactly how far the deceased ws from the rifle because the deceased was between me and the gun. I could not see exactly what happened. If the deceased had grabbed the rifle, I could have seen him do it. Then the deceased fell forward turning as he fell ending on his back, with his head near the table. My wife and two daughters were standing at the bottom of the stairs when the shot fired and they ran upstairs. There was one other soldier in the kitchen in addition to Williams and the deceased. After the shot, Williams put the butt of his rifle on the ground and the other soldier in the kitchen moved around behind him between Williams and the door into the yard. Sometime later the doctor came in and examined the dead man. a few minutes later the Military Police came in. I think the shot was fired between 12.30 and 1.00 o'clock on the morning of November 7, 1944. Williams has been in the cafe nearly every day for three weeks, and I considered him a friend of the family. I have never seen him drunk and on the night of the shooting he was perfectly sober.