Old 05-13-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
Bradley P
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Default Lt. William S Ferguson, Royal Winnipeg Rifles, RCIC


I’m am currently doing research on a WWII man who died on June 8th, 1944

His name is William S Ferguson – Royal Winnipeg Rifles. A search, much to my surprise, on the Canadian Virtual Memorial ( http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collec...photos/2059058 ) indicates that his body was found in a mass grave and a detailed letter/ description of his possible murder at the hands of the Germans. The plot and grave maker location match the records on the CWCG sites so it is the right man.

I then tried to link this back to the details of the Murders at the Adreen Abby at the hands of Kurt Meyer and his Regiment however it does not list his name or his regiment. One of several articles I found - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardenne_Abbey

So my question (s) is I’m assuming the events at the Adreen Abby and the men murdered are correct so is there another event that I am not aware of that his body was found in a mass grave from.

Confused – anyone able to offer any insight?

Many Thanks,

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Old 05-13-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
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In June 1944, over 100 Canadian prisoners of war were murdered by their captors of the 12th SS "Hitlerjugend" Panzergrenadier Division. Their murders, and the consequent search for justice, is well documented in the book Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy by Howard Margolian (ISBN 0802083609) (University of Toronto Press, 1998). Two British soldiers were also murdered during the killings of Canadian POWs, Private E. Hayton and Private W. Barlow. Margolian does not identify all the victims in the book



`Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder
of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy.

BY: Howard Margolian

Copyright: University of Toronto Press Incorporated 1998.

Adams, William C.
Anderson, H. E.
Angel, Harold S.
Arsenault, Joseph F.
Arsenault, Joseph R.
Bailey, Harold W.
Barker, Reginald D.
Baskerville, Ernest C.
Beaudoin, Oscar J.
Bebee, Charles W.
Bellefontaine, Oswald J.
Benner, George A.
Beresford, William
Birston, Hilliard J. H.
Bishoff, Emmanuel
Bolt, James E.
Booth, Walter J.
Borne, Cecil M.
Bowes, Arnold D.
Bradley, Ernest W.
Brown, George Andrew
Brown, Lorne
Brown, Walter Leslie
Bullock, Paul
Burnett, Donald J.
Campbell, John R.
Charron, Albert A.
Chartrand, Lawrence
Chartrand, Louis
Cook, Etsel J.
Cranfield, Ernest W.
Cresswell, Sidney J.
Crowe, Ivan L.
Culleton, Stewart
Daniels, Walter
Davidson, Thomas R.
Doucette, Charles
Doherty, Walter M.
Dumont, John D.
Fagnan, Anthony A.
Ferguson, William S.
Findlay, Robert M.
Firman, Roger J.
Fleet, Lambert A.
Fontaine, George
Forbes, J.
Freeman, Lant
Fuller, Austen R.
Gilbank, Ernest N.
Gill, George V.
Gold, David S.
Gosse, Silby
Grant, Thomas J. D.
Guiboche, Lawrence R.
Gurney, Robert J.
Hancock, Arthur R. H.
Hargreaves, Jeffrey D.
Harkness, Alvin J. J.
Harper, Robert J.
Harrison, Francis D.
Henry, Thomas H.
Hill, John W.
Hodge, Frederick E.
Holness, Frederick W. G.
Horton, Charles A.
Ionel, John
Izzard, William L.
Jones, Henry C.
Julian, Anthony
Keeping, Reginald
Kines, Clare D.
Kyle, James F.
Labrecque, Herve A.
Lawrence, Kenneth S.
Leclaire, Joseph A. M.
Lefort, Elmer J.
Lewis, Gordon J.
Lockhead, Roger
Louks, William D. C.
Lychowich, John L.
Macdonald, Charles J.
MacDonald, Hugh A.
MacIntyre, Joseph F.
MacKinnon, James W.
MacLeod, Angus M.
MacRae, Roderick R.
Marych, Frederick
McGinnis, William J.
McIntosh, James D.
McKeil, Hollis L.
McKinnon, William L.
McLaughlan, Thomas C.
McNaughton, George R.
Meakin, Frank V.
Meakin, George E.
Metcalfe, John
Millar, George E.
Moloney, David T.
Mont, Thomas E.
Moore, Raymond
Morin, Norman J.
Morrison, Wesley K.
Moss, James A.
Muntion, George
Murray, John B.
Mutch, Robert
Nichol, William
O’Leary, Gerard J.
Orford, Douglas S.
Ostir, Frank
Owens, Allan R.
Parisian, Percy
Perry, Clayton G.
Peterson, Alfred M.
Philip, Harold G.
Poho, William
Pollard, George G.
Povol, Ervin
Preston, Lee I.
Reid, James A.
Reynolds, Henry E.
Riggs, Cecil
Rodgers, Henry
Ryckman, Frank
Sawatsky, John
Scott, Robert
Scriven, Gilbert H.
Sigurdson, Kjartan
Silverberg, Frank
Simmons, William E.
Smith, Edward
Smith, Frederick
Smith, Richard G.
Smuck, Harry L.
Slywchuk, Steve
Sutton, Lawrence F.
Taylor, James A.
Thomas, William D.
Thompson, John A.
Tobin, Douglas V.
Vickery, Nelson J.
Webster, James S.
Willet, Gerald L.
Williams, Fred
Williams, James P.
Windsor, Thomas A. L.
and ten but known to God

Conduct Unbecoming, by Howard Margolian
copyright 1998:

...page 90:
...a smaller group, totalling forty prisoners -

Lieutenant William Ferguson

Sargeant James Reid

George Brown
Roger Firman
Clare Kines
James Kyle
Hector McLean and
Robert Scott
Lance Corporals,
Stewart Culleton and
John Hill and

Walter Booth
Ernest Bradley
Walter Daniels
Arthur Desjarlais
Gordon Ferris
Robert Findlay
Lant Freeman
Lawrence Guiboche
Charles Horton
Henry Jones
Elmer Lefort
Gordon Lewis
John MacDougal
Angus MacLeod
Frederick Marych
Wesley Morrison
Percy Parisian
Alfred Peterson
Frank Ryckman
Kjartan Sigurdson
Edward Smith and
John Thompson
all of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and

Richard Smith of the Queens Own Rifles
Reginald Barker,
William Beresford, and
Hilliard Birston
Weldon Clark
Thomas Grant, and
Alvin Harkness
of the 3rd Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment, and

Donald Burnett of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa

PAGE 93:

...of the forty prisoners who found themselves in the Germans’
gunsights on that fateful night of 8 June, only five-

Corporal MacLean, and
Privates Ferris, MacDougal, and
Desjarlais of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles,
along with
Gunner Clark of the 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment -

lived to tell about it

Last edited by Temujin : 05-13-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
Bradley P
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Thank you for the insight and additional information.

I had not realized that many Canadian's had fell at the hands of their captors.


Last edited by Bradley P : 05-14-2013 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Chateau d'Audrieu is probably the incident you are looking for.
Kevin Lambie
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
Bradley P
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Indeed - - thank you very much

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Old 06-07-2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bradley P View Post

Im am currently doing research on a WWII man who died on June 8th, 1944

His name is William S Ferguson Royal Winnipeg Rifles. BPJ
Hi. Bill Ferguson was my father's cousin. He was one af around 40 Canadian soldiers being marched back through German lines as POWs when they were herded into a field south of Chateau D'Audrieu, and mown down by German machine gun fire. I believe that 5 escaped. This happened on June 8th, 1944. Bill was born in Scotland, and emigrated to Canada with his family as a young child.

Colin Ferguson
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:30 AM   #7
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William Ferguson went to school at Shawnigan Lake School where I teach. I am taking a group of students this year to Vimy and Normandy and we will be stopping by his grave to pay our respects. We pay our respects to him and the other Shawnigan alumni who were killed in the Second World War every year. Thank you for this information, and any other information you have about him would be of great interest to our archivist.
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