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I am doing genealogical research on my family including half relatives of which I have an uncle who served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. I am looking for more information on his military service. Might you be able to help me or point me in the right direction? Here is a link to his burial site to confirm his service in the regiment. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Gonyer&GSfn=samuel&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GScntry=10&GSob=n&GRid=25435841&df=all&
I might be able to help you in your search, though I don’t know the aforementioned soldier. I know that if he was a member of the Winnipeg Rifles during World War Two he would have spent a lot of his time preparing for the DDay assault of the European mainland in our small Hampshire village Headley. The Winnipeg Rifles took over many large houses and associate land to billet the troops and their equipment.
I intend going over to the D Day assault areas next June 2018, this will be my final pilgrimage to this area as I will be eighty five.
I visited France about two years ago to find the grave of a soldier who we knew of that regiment who’d landed, was captured and murdered by the Nazi SS. If you give me more details I will visit the grave of your relative. Kenny Sharman
My uncle served with the Rifles in WW 2 and was killed at Cain .
I was named after him and just want to lean more about who he fought with.
Hello Barbara, so your uncle was part of the Winnipeg Rifles assault on the Caen beaches in France. So too was a friend of mine, a Walter James Booth. Sadly I learned that Walter and some other men had been captured by the fanatical Nazi SS and were summaly executed in batches. I visited a beautifully maintained Canadian war grave site during my pilgrimage to the DDay landings and without many problem I found Walters grave, I put a small wreath on it and retuned to the UK. That’s when I found the sad story of his capture, torture and subsequent murder, it really upset me. Their were thousands killed on the Caen beaches assault, but happily for us, they went on until they’d won back all the countries Hitler had overrun.
If you have a computer you can trace the names of those killed on that fateful first day of the landings. Further to that their are a number of interesting books written and published by a John Smith of Headley in Hampshire. You’d find these very informative, I would think that you could easily find his web site and follow through. If you do have problems, get in touch with me via my email contact and I’ll see if I can help you. I intend going over to the DDay beaches in June of next year 2018 and could look up your uncles name on the Canadian grave register . I you could let me have his full name and his home address and if possible his regimental number. I will take that along with me and do a search, we are over there for five days, my son is taking me and doing the driving, it will probably be my final visit as I will be almost eight five, though reasonably fit.
If you find the Caen/ Winnipeg Rifled landings web site you will find it easy to follow and maybe find details of your Uncle. The W/Rifles were billeted in a small northeast Hampshire village called Headley and lots of them took over a large house called Windridge and all of the associate land. They had their own prison compound for Canadian delinquents, this was fenced in by high barbed wire fencing. All of the big house in the large village were commandeered for accommodation, their were huge tenting sites and a cookhouse and dining area attached. I suppose they were with us for about eighteen months training all the time for the eventual assault on the European mainland. We used to walk through the camp on our way to school, I was about 12/13 at the time and they always filled our pockets with goodies,sweets and chewing gum. They were so very generous and helpful, they arranged Christmas parties, with food that we hadn’t seen for years, entertainment and transport to and from ones house. It was so often said that in Headley during the war, every bush had a Canadian soldier sleeping under it. I have nothing but good memories of those men who came from a far off country and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could be free from Hitlers oppression. My name is Kenneth Sharman, 25, Barentin Way, Ramshill, Petersfield, Hampshire GU314QN
I hope that this letter helps you in your search, should you need any more, just email me. All my best wishes to you and your family. Yours in friendship Kenny Sharman xx
My uncle was part of your regiment in WWII. Would there be anywhere on this site that might have pictures of the Riflemen from back then?
WWII in Aurich Ostfriesland…
Just read that a Bataillon of yours end of June 1945 was in my hometown Aurich. My mother (12 years old these days) often told me about the friendly Canadian soldiers. She often got choclate and sweets. Lets stand together. Thanks from Germany!
Thank you, from the Canadian soldiers, it sounds like something they would do. Always giving out their treats. My dad was still doing that in the 60’s when he was in the middle east with the UN peace keeping. Giving out candies to the children.
Sincere thanks for your reply, it’s over sixty five years since the Winnipeg Rifles came to our then small village. Their kindness and support has never been forgotten by the few remaining folk in the village. Various books have been published about their stay by a local author and they make interesting reading. A lot of our young then girls married Canadians and at the end of hostilities left England to join their repatriated husbands in their Canadian homeland never to be seen in Headley again.
During my army service in the early fifties I spent over three years in Germany mostly in the Bielefeld and Bad Oeynhausen area, though on manouveres I travelled extensively over the then British Sector and some of the American. I visited Poland last year to see the Auswhich camps, but we won’t talk of that
now! Every best wishes and let’s keep in touch albeit I am now 84. God bless Kenny xxx
Thanks Kenny,wishing you well.
We have a postcard in our archives that is labelled 222 Regimental band, 1914-1918. Is there a way to find out the members of the band?
Any relation to Rev. Littlejohn?
I’m still trying to find relatives or associatships Rifleman Walter James Booth a member of the Winnipeg Rifles regiment who were stationed in Headley Hampshire during the build up for the invasion onto the European mainland during World War Two . I have learned sadly of his tragic end at the hands of the gestapo on D Day and am anxious to trace as I said, family or associates.
Dear Mr Sharman, I went on ancestry. CA under the military records. I found information on a Walter James Booth who was with the Wpg rifles. Birthday April 11 1921 Glasnevin Saskatchewan, residence Ritchie Saskatchewan. His father’s name was Robert. They were farmers. Walter James Booth died June 8th 1944. I am pretty sure this is him. Maybe there are still family members living around that area. Wishing you the best of luck. Hope this helps you alittle.
Thank you for your reply, sadly after all the time that has passed I doubt if I will find any relatives or regimental associates. But if someone out in Canada remembers him please reply
Kenneth I regret to advise that it was my father, not I, who was in the military. He died in 1989. So sorry I can not be of any use in your inquiries.
Hello my friend as a member of the Winipeg Rifles you would have been billeted in Windridge, Headley, Bordon Hants.
My reason for contacting you is, did you know a rifleman Walter James Booth about twenty years of age. He crossed over on DDay and unfortunately he was captured and murdered by the fanatical Nazis. I visited his grave about five years ago and left a message and intend going over again next year 2018 for what will be my final visit. He became friendly with our family and often came to our house for meals. I would dearly love to know, does he have any surviving relatives? Kenneth
My father was in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on D-Day and he later went on to be the CO of the QOR 2nd Regiment. I have come across a few pins that the museum may wish to receive if they are worth donating. Can someone contact me please? I can send pictures…. my father was Daniel N. Osborne
I regret that I made a mistake with Rifleman Booths Christian names they should read Walter James Booth and not William as I wrote earlier, so sorry for any confusion I might have made. Kenny
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