DEVREKER, ANTHONY M.M.

Birthdate
Birthplace
Eernegem, West Flanders, Belgium
Age
21
Parents
Son of Gaston and Margaret Devreker of Harrow, Ontario, Canada
Religion
Roman Catholic
Occupation
Machine operator
Service number
A/105460
Engagement
1942-12-02, London, Ontario, Canada
Disembarked
1944-07-22, France
Date of death
1945-03-30
Died
Netherlands, Died of wounds
Force
Rank
Regiment (Fallen buddies)
Awards
South Alberta Regiment, R.C.A.C.
Plot 11 | Row H | Grave 3

"GREATER LOVE THAN THIS NO MAN HATH, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS"

Military grave
Additional info

Re-allocated from Infantry to Canadian Armoured Corps (Recce) on February 12, 1943.

Qualified Driver Class 3 on May 28, 1943.

Qualified Driver Class 3 (wheeled) on June 6, 1943.

Overseas on September 13, 1943.

Assigned to 29 Armd. Recce (South Alberta Regiment) on October 3, 1943.

Wounded on September 10, 1944. Burns face. (Moerbrugge, Belgium) Here Anthony earned the Military Medal.

Awarded the Military Medal on December, 1944.

On 10 September 1944 a reconnoitering party was assigned the job of creating a bridgehead across the canal at Moerbrugge. Trooper Devreker was part of the crew of a tank that was put out of action by a German Anti-Tank gun.

The men of the tank were badly burned but they managed to get out of the tank, all but one who was too badly wounded. Without thinking of his own self or the pain of his own burns he freed his comrade from the tank and carried him through the ditches back to his regiment.

But there is more: on his way he came under Infantry fire and the enemy came so close that he shot down two Germans with his revolver and took five more prisoner. The courage, the will power and the self sacrifice of Trooper Devreker have without a doubt saved the life of a tank man and served as a refreshing example for all the men of his regiment. Source: Hugo Notteboom.

Wounded on March 28, 1945.

Died of wounds on March 30, 1945. Traumatic amputation both hands, blast burns face, multiple penetration wounds abdomen en legs.

Anthony's father was with the Belgium Cavalry during the Great War. He survived and died in 1935.

I, A/105460, Tpr A. Devreker M.M. of 29 Cdn Armd Recce Regt (South Alberta Regiment) at approx 0700 hrs on the 26 Jan '45. The shell jammed, as I was forcing it into the breech of the gun, the barrel being hot, discharged the round and my hand was caught by recoil. I sustained a possible fracture of right hand index finger.

Major H.H. Clarke, 29 Cdn Armd Recce Regt (South Alberta Regiment) having been duly sworn states:
On 28 March 1945 I was in command "B" Squadron, SAR. The Squadron was engaged in an indirect shoot across the Rhine river, Netherlands. At approximately 1500 hrs I was in the Command Post directing the fire. A request came over the air from one of the out stations for an ambulance as quickly as possible. I had one sent. Later when I was relieved I went to find out what had happend. I was told that there had been a premature explosion while Trooper Devreker was attempting to clear a round. He was wounded and evacuated.

Captain J.H. Maloney, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, att 29 Cdn Armd Recce Regt:
Trooper Devreker was brought to me on 28 March 1945 suffering from traumatic amputation of right hand, partial traumatic amputation of left hand, burns of face and both eyes. At this time he was unfit to make any statement as to cause of injury.

M/45059 Corporal S.T. Rose, 29 Cdn Armd Recce Regt (South Alberta Regiment):
On March 28, 1945 I was acting as Gunner in a tank engaged in an indirect shoot across the Rhine river. Cpl Dick was standing on the back deck of the tank, crew commanding and Tpr Devreker was the loader. At about 1500 hrs we had been firing at the rate of approximately two and one-half rounds per minute for about twenty minutes when one of the rounds did not go all the way into the breech. Tpr Devreker picked up an empty casing to drive home the round. When he struck the round in the breech it exploded wounding himself, Cpl Dick and myself. I climbed out of the tank and members of another crew removed Tpr Devreker and we were evacuated along with Cpl Dick to the RAP.

DEVREKER, ANTHONY