Old 06-25-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
gedgep339
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Default RAF Brize Norton-Oxfordshire

I am a RAF Reservist taking part in the Nijmegen Marches in Holland 15-22 July 2017. On day three of the marches we pass Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.

I want to lay a wreath at the cemetery on behalf of Royal Air Force Brize Norton. Please could you tell me if these brave men were based in Oxfordshire prior to being deployed to Holland?

The United Kingdom is immensely grateful to the contribution of Canadian forces in WW2. Lying a wreath will be a moment of immense pride and gratitude.

Many thanks
Peter
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:50 PM   #2
Temujin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gedgep339 View Post
I am a RAF Reservist taking part in the Nijmegen Marches in Holland 15-22 July 2017. On day three of the marches we pass Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.

I want to lay a wreath at the cemetery on behalf of Royal Air Force Brize Norton. Please could you tell me if these brave men were based in Oxfordshire prior to being deployed to Holland?

The United Kingdom is immensely grateful to the contribution of Canadian forces in WW2. Lying a wreath will be a moment of immense pride and gratitude.

Many thanks
Peter

Peter, I couldn't tell you if they were stationed in Oxfordshire.

Most of those buried in GROESBEEK CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY are Canadians, many of whom died in the Battle of the Rhineland, when the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division took part in the drive southwards from Nijmegen to clear the territory between the Maas and the Rhine in February and March 1945. Others buried here died earlier or later in the southern part of the Netherlands and in the Rhineland.

The cemetery contains 2,610 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, and nine war graves of other nationalities.

You'd have to check if any the units from these Division's were located in Oxfordshire. I'm not sure where this is in England, but if their are military bases their (from WW2, you can also bet Canadian's may have been stationed their)......I will check further and see if I can find out anything else

Cheers

Last edited by Temujin : 06-25-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:18 PM   #3
Temujin
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History of Canadian's stationed in UK

The Canadian Active Service Force was mobilised on 1st September 1939 in anticipation of the declaration of war. The 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade was raised in Ontario. They embarked for the UK on the 17th December 1939 and arrived at Greenock, Scotland on the 25th December 1939. The 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade was raised in Western, Canada. They embarked from Halifax on the 22nd December 1939 for the UK and arrived at Greenock 30th December 1939. The 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade was raised in Quebec, they moved to Halifax and embarked 8th December 1939 for the UK and arrived at Greenock on the 17th December 1939. As with the 1st and 2nd the 3rd moved on to Aldershot on arrival. Further units followed and on the 7th November 1940 a major change took place. When the Military Forces of Canada were designated “The Canadian Army”. When you drive into Aldershot the signs say “Home of the British Army” but for the next few years it would have been more true to call it, ”Home of the Canadian Army”. Some 330,000 Canadians passed through Aldershot, doing there training before taking up the defence of the UK while most of the British soldiers were away. From the autumn of 1941 to early 1944 the defence of the UK and particularly the Sussex coast was largely in the hands of the 1st Canadian Army. This was the largest force of British Commonwealth troops ever to be quartered in the UK at one time. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions and other formations spent many months in Sussex. Together with British troops, they became involved in a series of large-scale and highly testing exercises across Southern England. As the months and years went by these exercises became less and less concerned with training for the defence of the UK against enemy invasion, but more and more with a cross-channel offensive for the liberation of Europe.

In the summer of 1942 disaster overtook the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, a formation then largely based in Sussex. They set out from Newhaven, Shoreham and the Solent ports on the 18th August for what was by far the biggest cross-channel raid of the war. They were to meet such murderous enemy fire on the beaches of Dieppe the next morning that many were mown down within a few yards of leaving the landing craft. Out of a total raiding force of some 6,000 men – including some British Commandos, no fewer than 3,367 were killed, wounded or captured.

Some units sailed from the UK on the 28th June 1943 and landed in Sicily on the 10th July 1943, but most Canadians stayed in the UK getting ready for D-Day. Most of the Canadian troops spent some time in Scotland training but returning to southern England. Although most were based in southern England some units were based in Colchester, Northampton, in fact anywhere in the UK. The R.C.A.F. was also based all over the UK as was the R.C.N.

The people of the UK were very pleased to see them as we felt safe having them around, local children loved them. Some Canadians spent five years in the UK in training, some married, many more had partners and some 22,000 children were born to Canadian fathers.

http://www.canadianrootsuk.org/historycanadiansuk.html
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