Transfer from 17 Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery to Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders on July 13, 1941.
Qualified Driver I/C M/C (Tracked and Wheeled) on October 21, 1941.
Awarded One Good Conduct Badge on November 5, 1942.
Promoted to the rank of Corporal on July 13, 1944.
A news clipping reports that Don did not suffered, but died of wounds within hours after being wounded. (Captain Reginald H. Smith, SDG.)
1 Brother overseas, John James. Also SDG and also landed on D-Day. Wounded but back in action.
The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders war diary reports on October 16, 1944: MR165156 (Oesterput, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands)
0200 hrs: The enemy is engaged in shelling the cross roads by the Command Post. One shell hits an adjoining building and set it afire.
0230 hrs: Sets are out of action. Communication is established with Brigade via the Arty channels.
0315 hrs: Communications are restored.
0400 hrs: Enemy continue to harass the village with shell fire.
0800 hrs: "C" Coy patrol reports that they reached to farm at ref 140165 (Westlangeweg, 250m East of Kruisweg, Hoofdplaat, Netherlands) and found the enemy in possession. Patrol heard movement of a horse and cart but could not detect the direction in which it was going. Patrol heard considerable talking around the perimeter of the farm buildings. Saw a man cross the road and move toward the sea dyke. They could see gun flashes from Vlissingen, Netherlands. A pile of Teller mines was left by the side of the road at ref 143164 (Westlangeweg, straight between Kruisweg and Hogewegdijk). Patrol suffered no casualties. "D" Coy patrol report moving along the right hand side of the dyke to ref 135152 (Oranjedijk, 200m East of Klakbaan). The enemy is in position at road junction 134153 (Klakbaan, Kruisdijk, Oranjedijk). Patrol heard a half-track pull into farm at ref 134155 (Kruisweg, 200m North of Klakbaan), where the vehicle remained. No mines or wire were found. Patrol observed Arty fire coming down on the farms in that vicinity and believed it to be effective. A 20mm gun opened fire on them from the area cross roads 138167 (Kruisweg/ Westlangeweg) on the road in. Patrol had no casualties.
0900 hrs: Weather cool and cloudy. Rain the night. "A" Coy patrol saw no enemy upon contacting "C" Coy. PW states that his unit, 'Sturm' (reserve) from the 1037 Grenadier Regiment, after having been in reserve on the 7th Brigade bridgehead was moved to Schoondijke, Netherlands, thence to the attack on the village of Hoofdplaat. He states his Company was repulsed and that they then retired to Hoogeweg, Hoofdplaat. He believes his Coy to be now less than 60 strong, originally it was over 100. He has seen no tanks. He Coy has no Anti-Tank guns. The Coy kitchen was destroyed by the Royal Air Force and as a result they get cold food as a steady diet. He believes it is the intention to withdraw to Breskens and then to Vlissingen.
1200 hrs: Half-track and Fech arrives from SAFFELARE. Location of SUZZY is ref 149163 (Hogeweg/ Inlaag). The FOO from the Heavy Regt is leaving us this AM.
1215 hrs: Enemy reported to be attacking on our front, 300 strong. Mortar DF task No 4 South 300 is fired. Enemy is in vicinity of 134158 (Kruisweg, between Oranjedijk and Westlangeweg).
1220 hrs: "B" Coy request the fire to stop, but to stand by.
1225 hrs: Coy's are all standing-to. The enemy now shows no sign of movement. He came out of the woods by the farm buildings at ref 134148 (Oranjedijk, 300m East of Klakbaan) but the Heavy Arty and Mortar fire put down has prevented further movement on his part.
1235 hrs: Mortar target No 5 is called for. Also Arty tasks 113, 112, 111, 201.
1630 hrs: A 75mm gun has been located at ref 14151650 (Westlangeweg, 250m East of Kruisweg). The Air Force is going to bomb Breskens, Vlissingen and Schoondijke.
1635 hrs: Brigade asks the Commanding Officer if it will be all right if they engage the 75mm gun position with Big Brothers. C.O. replies 'yes, by all means: we are also going to use our Peashooters on that target'.
1640 hrs: Air support is to be given on extreme right and C.O. informs Coy's: ' The boys in blue (color uniforms Air Force) are going to have a party'.
1723 hrs: Brigade informs us that Typhoons will be attacking Schoondijke, Netherlands in 5 minutes.
1735 hrs: HLI of C postion is now 144135 (cross road St Pietersdijk, Polderstraat, Bosdijk, 3e Zachariasweg).
1815 hrs: Patrol programme: we are to go to same area as we did last night. have Sunray come here to Brigade at 1900 hrs.
2130 hrs: "O" Group. We are to attack VIOLET tomorrow. The general situation is this: on the East of us, North East of Antwerp, Belgium, 2nd Division has eased itself up nicely into the neck of the estuary. 4th Armoured Brigade has been brought up to protect Antwerp plust 2nd and 10th Infantry Brigades. A German Panzer Division of a least 80 tanks is lined up North East of Antwerp. This situation... coping with this German Armour, leaves us without Armoured support. In our sector, 8th Brigade (Chauds, QOR, NSR) has done very well, is coming around IJzendijke, Netherlands on the South on a broad front of 5000 yards. Queen's Own Rifles of Canada are going around top side.. a pincer movement. At the moment HLI of C and NNSH run in a line South West from "B" Coy to 130130 (Groote Put) and then South on a line down to IJzendijke. HLI of C will advance on a 3-Coy front up through square formed by dykes which surround Oranjepolder (I think its mistaken with 'Klakbaan' (Klakbaan, Scherpenheuvel, Oranjedijk))... ending up just short of Sasput, Netherlands. HLI of C are to move first, then directly we will have to move off and pass through. We are committed to neutralise square wood and buildings at 134158 (Kruisweg, 600m North of Oranjedijk). We will neutralise that spot with one MF Platoon and Battalion 3" Mortars any Anti-Tank guns of our own plus everything else we can throw at them. 3" Mortars are to move 147152 (Hogewegdijk, 200m North of camping Scheldehoeve)... tonight: the HLI of C is a first light attack. H hour is tentative 0630 hrs. We will start firing at that hour. Code word for H hour is WHISKEY. The intention of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders is to capture Nummer Een, Slijkplaat, Sasput area. The attack is to be carried out with two Coy's up: on right "A" Coy, on left "D" Coy, moving behind "D" Coy will be "B" Coy. In reserve "C" Coy. At first light one Platoon "A" Coy is to move up to Hoogeweg. "C" Coy is to move down to woods which run East of where "D" Coy now is. Move is to be carried out by 0500 hrs. "A" Coy will advance along axis provided by main coast road (Westlangeweg) to Nummer Een, Netherlands. "D" Coy and "B" Coy are to move along dyke from Roodenhoek tot Sasput.. using either side of the dyke which is the better. "D" Coy moves to Sasput, Netherlands and consolidates... under command "D" Coy, 1x Wasp Carrier, 1x sec Assault Pioneers, 1x sec Carriers. "A" Coy has under command 1x Wasp Carrier, 1x sec Carriers, 1x sec Assault Pioneers, 1x sec Anti-Tank. "B" Coy under command 1x sec Anti-Tank. The remaining gun in "D" Coy area under control of "C" Coy. "A" Coy objective North of Nummer Een. "C" Coy after clearing green wood will take out buildings at Slijkplaat, Netherlands. Anti-Tank guns, the sec with "B" Coy will stay in Sasput under control of Major Stothart and will engage any targets. Command Post will move to buildings at present occupied by "D" Coy ad will move along to Sasput unless otherwise notified. 7th (RRR, RWR, CS) and 8th (Chauds, QOR, NSR) Brigades have enlarged their bridgehead advancing 1500 yards today. They have suffered very heavy casualties.
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!