Service number before becoming an Officer: M/50401.
Promoted to the rank Lieutenant on September 18, 1943.
Assigned to the South Saskatchewan Regiment on September 15, 1944.
The South Saskatchewan Regiment war diary reports on September 17, 1944:
Bray Dunes Plage, France.
All patrols had returned by 0300 hrs with report on enemy positions. During the morning patrols were sent out and contacted enemy at road from 342863 (Rue des Marins, Bray Dunes, France) to 346848 (Rue des Anciens Combattants, Gijvelde, France), with well dug in positions. On this information the Arty and Mortar platoons fired on them. At 1340 hrs H.Q. 2nd Canadian Infantry Division sent word to the Battalion to send out fighting patrols to see strong the enemy were as it is believed that the enemy are withdrawing from Dunkerque, France by a sea route.
At 1545 hrs "C" and "D" Coys sent out fighting patrols. "C" Coy patrol consisted of Lieutenant L.A. Mitchell and 21 other ranks from 14 Platoon with one Mortar NCO. They advanced under cover of fire from 13 and 15 Platoons. Fire was drawn from buildings on right and the high features. The Platoon attempted to do a right flanking but the movement drew heavy S.A. fire and the Platoon was forced to withdraw under cover of fire from 13 and 15 Platoons. One enemy M.G. position was silenced by the 2" Mortars. Lieutenant Mitchell reported all approaches to the sanatorium were covered by M.G.'s and Snipers with outpost position at 326875 (Rue d'avesnes, Bray Dunes) and 329872 (Rue des Cypres, Bray Dunes). "D" Coy patrol of one Platoon reported they advanced but were pinned down by fire from M.G. positions at 332877, 333875 and 335876 (East side Reserve Naturelle Nationale de la Dune Marchand, Bray Dunes), and fire from 8cm Mortars and 88mm guns. The Platoon got into a sticky position and had to call for smoke from Mortars and smoke and H.E. from Arty. The Platoon got back but suffered 15 casualties included one Officer killed who was directing the covering fire.
At 2010 hrs the Mortar Platoon laid down smoke bombs on the sanatorium with the intention of setting it on fire. Many direct hits were scored but no fires were started. At 2215 hrs two RECCE Patrols left to check on enemy. At 2220 hrs "D" Coy reported possible Snipers between "D" and "C" Coys areas. A patrol from "B" Coy of one Officer and 20 other ranks left to RECCE between "C", "D" and "B" Coys to try and locate the Snipers. They returned without contacting any enemy. At 2300 hrs noises, believed to be boat engines were heard on the channel out from Dunkerque, France.
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!