Awarded One Good Conduct Badge on August 13, 1944.
Unit: First Canadian Army Troops Workshop R.C.E.M.E.
At the city of Gent, Belgium, on 28 September 1944 C/94355 Cfn MacPherson, L.J., Armourer in the 1st Cdn A Tps Wksp RCEME, at approx 1830 hrs was sitting on the foot of his bed when he decided to load his rifle. He placed a dip of 5 rounds in the magazine, shot the bolt home and was holding the rifle under his right arm pit. B/131139 Cfn Waugh, P.A. was sitting on the right side of his bed when the bolt was shot home. Cfn MacPherson pulled the trigger, the rifle discharged the bullet striking Cfn. Waugh.
Findings of the court:
Cfn Waugh died as a result of a bullet wound, caused by a bullet discharged from the rifle of C/94355 Cfn MacPherson, L.J.
Cfn MacPherson was exercising natural safety precautions in the loading of his rifle with regard to the position of the muzzle. That is to say, the rifle was pointing towards the wall and not at anyone.
The bullet discharged from Cfn MacPherson's rifle struck the steel frame of the window and ricocheted at an angle which caused it to strike Cfn Waugh.
Cfn Waugh at the time the shot was discharged was seated at the foot of his bed with his back to Cfn MacPherson, and that he was partially turned towards the wall, leaning forward and reaching for his pack on the opposite side of the bed. The locations of wounds confirm this body position.
With Cfn Waugh in this position the bullet ricocheted from the steel frame of the window and entered Cfn Waugh's body.
The entrance wound was not caused by a direct hit, but by a deformed bullet after it had struck the window frame.
No First Cdn Army Routine Orders, HQ Army Troops Area Routine Orders and mp Cdn Routine Orders, 21 Army Group or First Cdn A Tps Wksp Orders can be found specifying that rifle magazines will be charged when rifles are carried by personnel on walking out, although orders state that personal weapons will be carried on walking out.
Therefore the findings of this Court are: That Cfn Waugh died as a result of a bullet wound, caused by accidentally discharged from the rifle of C/94355 Cfn MacPherson, L.J. and that Cfn MacPherson should not be held responsible for his act.
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!