November 11 Remembrance Day
Private William S. Bousfield
Young Bill Bousfield was born in 1917 in Oliver, B.C. and joined the Army shortly after War was declared in 1939.
Bill was in the Canadian Scottish Regiment, R.C.I.C. that stormed the beach at Juno, Normandy on June 6, 1944. This Regiment was one of the first to hit the beach and suffered heavy losses but Bill managed to survive and found himself among the living at the top of the ridge at Normandy. Of the Canadians that landed on 6th June 1944, 335 officers and men of that division were killed in action or died of wounds.
The Regiment moved up and continued towards Caen, their objective was to liberate the towns along the way and keep moving towards the Germans, pushing them back towards Germany. Young Bousfield proved himself time and again as he faced the enemy.
On the 8th of July, 1944, the Canadians were involved in heavy fighting trying to secure the town of Orne. They suffered heavy losses and it was here that Private Bousfield was killed in action.
William Sylvester Bousfield was the son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Bousfield of Oliver, British Columbia and had a brother Wilf who was also in the Army. Wilf was one of the lucky ones to come home.
My Uncle Arnold (Bill) Shaw knew both Wilf and Bill and when the troops were assembling at Dover to board their various vessels, Uncle Bill was sent back to London but not before he stood up on a jeep and found Bill Bousfield as he was boarding his landing craft. Uncle Bill madly waved goodbye and shouted to him “See you in London, Billy!” It was not to be and my Uncle felt the loss of his friend for a very long time.
Private William Sylvester Bousfield is buried at BENY-SUR-MER CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY
There are a total of 2048 burials in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. There is also one special memorial erected to a soldier of the Canadian Infantry Corps who is known to have been buried in this cemetery, but the exact site of whose grave could not be located.
Robert Christie – an Okanagan Falls lad
Robert Gunn Christie was from the well known Christie family of Okanagan Falls. When war was declared, Robert joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After his training he was sent to England where he was assigned to the 97 (R.A.F.) Sqdn as a Navigator.
Christie’s crew joined 97 Squadron on 27th March 1943, having come directly from 1661 CU. The crew: Stevenson, Brett, Christie, Bradford, Mitchell, Malaber and Pugh remained together for the many operations flown between April and September, one of the most eventful of which was that to Bochum in June.
Extract from Bomber Command Losses – 23/24.9.43
Lancaster III ED868 OF – A. Op Mannheim. T/O 1939 Bourn. Crashed at Ruchheim, 10km W of Ludwishafen. All were laid to rest at Ruchheim since when their bodies have been brought to Rheinberg War Cemetery.
In a routine bombing mission, the Lancaster Bomber was shot down over Ruchheim with all crew perishing in the crash.Flying Officer Christie was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal posthumously on April 10, 1945.
Sergeant Leckie – Osoyoos Boy’s Ultimate Sacrifice
John Campbell Leckie was born in 1913 and was the son of J. Stuart Leckie and Marguerite C. Leckie, of Osoyoos, British Columbia.
When war was declared John joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After his basic training he was sent to England where he was assigned to the British (150 R.A.F.) Squadron. Sergeant Leckie was a Pilot.
The crew and Sergeant Leckie are mentioned in the following book:
Against The Odds:Escapes & Evasions by Allied Airmen. World War II. Adams,Murray (ed.) Tuggeranong(ACT):R.A.F.E.S.(Aust. Branch),1995
On their last flight, the crew of the Wellington was heavily hit by flak. Sergeant Leckie managed to pilot his plane away from a disastrous consequence for the Allied forces on the ground and crash landed his plane some distance from fuel dumps and Allied forces camps. All aboard the Wellington were killed.
It has been said that it took super human strength to keep the plane in the air as long as he did and to put it down as he did in order to minimize the loss of life on the ground.
Sergeant Leckie, for his quick thinking and bravery in the face of certain death was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal posthumously.
The crew of the Wellington are buried in the EL ALIA CEMETERY Algeria.
For these men from our small little towns who donned the uniform of their country and went to war are to be always remembered. We owe Sergeant Leckie and all those who died in the line of duty a huge debt of gratitude