Canadian Forestry Corps
Canadian Forestry Corps in WWII
Information supplied by Robert Briggs with contributions by JFLH

I wish to thank everyone who has made contributions of photos, stories and other info of their
family members to the Canadian Forestry Corps on this website.

If anyone has additional photos or stories they would like us to add here – we would be pleased to do so

We are continuously trying to keep as up-to-date as possible regarding links that are ever changing, that photo’s are properly credited & any sourced material is also properly credited.

For Further information please contact Bob Briggs

No. 7 Canadian Forestry District
Canadian Forestry Corps

No .7 Canadian Forestry District
Comprised of the following units
HQ, No 1, 9, 14, 25 & 27 Companies

List of Abbreviations - Library and Archives Canada
ABBREVIATIONS and ACRONYMS of WW2 and service records
Calgary Military Historical Society

Soldiers Records from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

CFC Cap Badge
Courtesy of Robert J. Briggs

Extra training at Carronbridge Camp near Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Photo courtesy of Linda Bish daughter of
Pte Edward James (Ted) Bish No.28 Coy CFC

Ref: The Sawdust Fusiliers by William Wonders
Beginning in the spring of 1944 further Canadian Forestry Corps companies were withdrawn from Scottish timber operations in preparations for the Invasion of Normandy. The Companies that went to the mainland were not comprised of the same men. The men that were to go over were selected by the officers who were chosen to lead the men. The officers had to keep in mind in the selection that they needed men with certain skills and were they young enough for the job. Going to the mainland was different from working in Scotland. Companies No. 5, 15, 16, 28, and 30 made up No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group, mobilized 1 May 1944, with its headquarters located briefly at Wilderness Camp and then at Beaufort Castle.
(A further five companies joined them subsequently, which was Companies No. 1, 9, 14, 25 and 27.) The first five companies were sent to Carronbridge Camp just north of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, for further military training. The men of these first five companies thought they were the cream of the crop until they heard that the other five companies were on their way to Belgium in October 1944. The first group proceeded directly to a staging area at Lancing, Sussex, in southern England. The first companies crossed the Channel from Portsmouth to Normandy beaches in the last days in July and the first in August 1944. From there they moved with the First Canadian Army in the advance across North-West Europe.

Carronbridge Training Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3
from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage War Diaries CFC Training Carronbridge Camp Scotland
Courtesy Jean-Francois Chiccoine

The Calgary Herald – Jan 16, 1945
Canadian Foresters Help Stop Nazi Drive
FIELD MARSHALL MONTGOMERY’S HEADQUARTERS.
Jan. 16 (CP-Reuters) –

The Maple Leaf – Feb 2, 1945
With Canadian Units

The Lethbridge Herald Wednesday March 14, 1945
CANADIAN FORESTRY CORPS LUMBERING IN GERMAN WOODS

By Ross Munro Canadian Press War Correspondent
Reichwald, Germany, Mar 14.—(CP.)—Men of the Canadian Forestry Corps are lumbering in vast forest between the Maas and the Rhine cutting down German spruce and pine to provide timber for 1st Canadian Army advances.
The first company of Canadian lumbermen-soldiers moved into Reichswald in February on the heels of the infantry when only half the forest had been cleared of the enemy and went right to work cutting timber for bridges, corduroy logs for road building, telephone poles and lumber for all kinds of construction.
In the attach on the Reichwald through which ran the northern end of the Seigfried line, the Canadian army plastered the forest with a barrage from 1,400 guns and the Forestry Corps troops found that nine-tenths of the 12,000 acre forest suffered shell damage. Thousands of trees were splintered or broken and shrapnel lodges in many of them.
HELD ARDENNES
The first company into Reichwald is commanded by Maj. O.V.M. Roxby of Kelowna, BC who won the Military Cross with the Canadian infantry during the First Great War. Other company commanders include Maj. Percy Belson of Vancouver.
Maj. Roxby was timbering in the Ardennes Forest on the central Rhine front with his company when Von Rundstedt’s offensive came in December. He was given temporary command of three other companies and for 24 hours this small force held a 10-mile stretch of the menaced sector. The forestry men were relived but they had rendered valuable service that ticklish day.
From the Ardennes Maj. Roxby brought his company to the Reichswald and several lumber camps now are going full blast in the forest.
Among Maj. Roxby’s officers include Capt. Jack Westman of Vancouver, and Lieut. Keith Ferguson of Fort Francis, Ont. Nick Jossul of Fort Francis is the company-sergeant-major.

PDF File Map
Canadian Forestry Corps in the Northwest
Courtesy of Paul Keenleyside

HQ No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

HQ No 7 CFD War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

June 1944 July 1944 Part 1 & Part 2
Aug 1944 Sept 1944 Oct 1944
Nov 1944 Dec 1944 Jan 1945
Feb 1945 Mar 1945 Apr 1945
May 1945 June 1945 July 1945
Aug 1945 Sept 1945
War Diaries Courtesy of Jean-Francois Chicoine

From: Coristine, Patrick D. (Pat)
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:55 AM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: RE: re CFC
Here are the truck pictures I mentioned. From what I remember the trucks were Mack trucks, and they were modified in that the CFC guys cut the frames behind the cabs, and converted the drive axles into the rear part of "pole trailers" similar to what are still used in logging in the Grande Prairie area. The pictures show the differential casings still on the trailer axles. Dad said they had to do some fancy bookkeeping to write off the dissembled trucks--the motors and transmissions were repurposed for stationary winches and other logging equipment. I wasn't familiar with logging as I grew up in Southern Alberta around Lethbridge, but then when I moved to Grande Prairie where logging is a major part of the economy, I appreciated what Dad had told me previously.

Soldiers of HQ No 7 Canadian Forestry District

Blanchette, Peter E. Pte H62800 Transf from No.23 Coy & No.27 Coy & No.1 Coy transf to No.27 Coy - See No 7 CFD
Bolton, R.P. Pte C70306 general duty - transf from No 3 DD & No.16 Coy & No.10 Coy & No.27 Coy
Boyko, Michael Pte K72765 Transf from No.18 Coy
Broadbent, Ernest Pte M61811 Transf from No.19 Coy & HQ No 5 Dist
Bruce, James Earl LCpl K99591 clerk - transf from No.10 Coy & No.6 Coy
Bruder, H.T. Pte M58550 Transferred from RCASC
Bucholz, C.J. Pte K41014 Transf from No.21 Coy
Butler, T.H. Pte K41524 Transf from No.1 Coy
Campbell, D.G. Pte K63178 driver mech ‘C’ - transf from No.30 Coy
Coristine, Hillis O. Pte M102568
Craig, John Richmond Sgt K57409 orderly room Sgt - transf from No.10 Coy & HQ No 5 Dist
Curtis, George Edward Capt M.M. Adj - transf from No.22 Coy & No.16 Coy- See No 8 CFD transf to No.30 Coy
Doucette, A.F. Pte F86762
Eselmont, J. Pte K74298 pay clerk - transf from HQ No 6 Dist & HQ No 2 Dist transf to HQ No 8 CFD
Evans, C.V. Sgt M7712 saw doctor - transf from 1st Battn RCE & No.7 Coy & No.8 Coy & No.27 Coy
Ferguson, Neil Cameron Lt Col CO - transf from No.1 Coy & HQ No 3 Dist & HQ No 5 Dist
Firlotte, Tye L. Pte F65520 Transf from Reinf Sect transf to HQ No 1 CFG
Gilmour, A.M. Cpl K73493 Transf from No.30 Coy & HQ CFC & HQ No 1 Dist & HQ No 1 CFG
Guay, G.W. Pte D66294 Transf from No.27 Coy
Irvine, Clarence Thomas Pte C30616 att from RCASC - transf from No 3 DD & No.3 Coy & No.24 Coy & No.25 Coy
Irvine, D.J. Pte K73057 Transf from No.18 Coy & RCASC att to HQ No 1 CFG att to HQ No 7 CFD
Jackson, Edward Joseph Pte B102808 Transf from No.22 Coy & Reinf Sect transf to HQ No 1 CFD
Kay, Thomas Peter Milnes Capt Adj & QM - transf from HQ CFC & HQ No 3 Dist & HQ CFC & No.28 Coy - See No 8 CFD
Kropielnicki William Sgt M61930 cook 'B' - transf from No.19 Coy & HQ No 3 Dist & RCASC att to HQ No 1 CFG
Lagrippa, A. Pte D113004 driver mech ‘C’ - transf from No.9 Coy & No.6 Coy & HQ No 5 Dist transf to HQ No 1 CFG
Legault, E. LCpl D109759 Transf from No.27 Coy transf to HQ No 8 CFD & No.1 Coy & No.9 Coy - See No 7 CFD
Lloyd, George Edward Pte F85524 Transf from No.13 Coy
Lowe, R.O. Cpl K73560 driver mech 'C' - transf from No.10 Coy & HQ No 5 Dist
Matthews, C.A. Pte H62854 Transf from No.23 Coy
Maude-Roxby, Osborne Victor Lt Col OC - transf from No.6 Coy & No.7 Coy & CFC Training Wing MGTC & No.19 Coy & No.9 Coy transf to HQ No 1 CFG
McCormick, R.J. Pte F96501 Transf from No.27 Coy & No.28 Coy - See No 8 CFD transf to No.5 Coy
McGlade, Arthur Patrick SSgt B20503 pay Sgt - transf from No.12 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
McGuire, Joseph Austin Hon Capt Roman Catholic Chaplain - att from CCS & HQ No 1 Dist
McKay, W.J. Pte K72667 Transf from No.18 Coy
McNeill, J.P. Pte F10074 Transf from No.25 Coy
Mercer, Lionel Vernon Eyre Lt K99534 Transf from No.10 Coy & OCTU & HQ CFC & No 1 CSFS transf to HQ No 1 CFG & No.16 Coy & HQ No 8 CFD
Monnet, Jean Marie Alexis Hon Capt Roman Catholic - att from CCS transf from No 7 CIRU & HQ CFC & HQ No 2 Dist transf to No 1 CFG
Murray, Charles A. Pte F30629 Transf from Reinf Sect transf to HQ No 1 CFG
North, E. Pte H94517 H94462 driver I/C - transf from No.24 Coy & Reinf Sect
Paquette, LCpl
Perkins, Philip Pte G48063 Transf from No.15 Coy & No.9 Coy - See No 7 CFD
Perry, Frank Samuel Capt Transf from RCA & No.18 Coy
Poirier, J.A. Pte F82251
Prieston, Ernest E. Pte H62566 Transf from CFC Wing No 10 DD Port Arthur & No.16 Coy - See No 8 CFD
Reynolds, D.R. Sgt B21885
Rollins, M.J. Pte M16068 Transf from No.10 Coy & No.27 Coy transf to No 3 NETD
Seymour, Archibald Sidney CSM B17194 Att from RCAMC transf from SSM&SR & No.14 Coy & HQ No 1 Dist & HQ CFC & HQ No 1 CFG
Verrette, Albenie G. Cpl E0203 Transf from No.3 Coy & No.22 Coy & No.27 Coy & No.5 Coy
Wilkinson, G.A. ACpl D16052 Transf from HQ CFC
Wilson, Henry H. Sgt K41564 Transf from No.4 Coy & HQ No 4 Dist transf to No.1 Coy

No. 1 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

1 Apr 1945 – 1 Jun 1945
After hostilities No. 1 Coy CFC
Along with No. 27 & 28 Coy’s were attached to No 30 British Corps in Germany

No. 1 Coy War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

July 1944 Aug 1944 Sept 1944 Oct 1944
Nov 1944 Dec 1944 Jan 1945 Feb 1945
Mar 1945 Apr 1945 May 1945 Jun 1945
Jul 1945 Aug 1945 Sept 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3

The following from from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Roll Carronbridge June 1944
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Roll Brussels 30 Oct 1944
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Roll Brussels Belgium 25 Dec 1944
No 1 Coy No 7 CFD Dec 1944 Battle of the Bulge
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Call Hamburg Germany 25 July 1945
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Roll 25 July 1945
No 1 Coy CFC Nominal Call CAOS to remain Sept 1945
No 1 Coy CFC Disbanding Strength Decrease 22 Sept 1945

From: stephenbwhite
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2013 11:29 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: CFC

Mr. Bob Briggs
Dear Mr. Briggs,
I was reading an article on Sir Charles Ross (of the much maligned Ross Rifle and many other ventures) and somehow stumbled across your site. My Father Norman White was born in Manchester England in 1908, emigrated to the Ottawa Valley at 15 years in one of those ‘work on farms schemes’ and ultimately joined the Canadian Forestry Corp at the outset of the war. Sent on deck during a storm during the crossing of the Atlantic he was crushed by a ‘sea chest’ that came loose and slid across the deck resulting in compound fractures of his left leg. He was in hospital for some 6-8 months on arrival in Scotland and despite receiving a pension for his injury and being troubled by it all his life he went on to serve until hostilities ceased. I don’t know a great deal about his war time experience, he spoke little of it although I have a book my Mother gave me with the inscription from her “Stephen B White January, 1966 From your Mother, Read carefully when you are 16 years of age. Your Daddy was in the Ardennes—winter of 1944-45.” The book is ‘The High White Forrest by Ralph Allen’, I’m confident you must know it. (like any 13 year old boy I was not going to wait until 16 to read the book and read it immediately, great story)

My Father did speak of events that winter, including being lost with a small group of comrades for some time and their encounter with American soldiers who were not in fact Americans. He told me that Gen Patton once passed them and said ‘hello boys’, he seemed a great admirer of Patton who he believed a great leader although he had no patience for Patton’s attitude to shell shock (ptsd). I remember him telling me their group was ‘attached’ to Patton’s 5th Army as a result of this being lost but my memory is unclear on this.

I believe in part because of my Father’s upbringing in Manchester he did not want me to grow up in a city, I was born in 1953 and raised until I was 16 on a small farm in the Ottawa Valley. More than half woodlot it was a wonderful place to grow up, with lots of adventures to be had by a young boy. My Father loved the forest, could identify any species and he and my Mother participated in the then available program through the Ontario Government to get trees every year for planting. Little farming was done as both my parents worked in the city.

Over the years I have often wanted to learn more of my Father’s wartime service, I have his ‘medals’ and ribbons (I’m afraid with no military background I’m unsure of the nomenclature for these ) and a number of pictures, some of him and others in Scotland, a number in Belgium. These are all stored in his travel trunk, upstairs and away. Despite his having passed away in 1988 I still have difficulty looking through these items. (I have his gas mask kit, some camo netting and a number of other small items he returned with)

I found the broadcast remarks of Lord Haw Haw on the CFC arrival in Scotland quite amusing, my Father was a great motorcycle rider until the mid 1950s. My Father had spent as much time as he could as a teen hiking (rambling?) in Scotland using both a bicycle and old Indian motorcycle to get there from Manchester.

I’m 61 now, mostly retired and live in a small village, Salmo near Nelson BC in the Kootenays. Thank you for the work on your site, if there is any information I might be able to find do not hesitate to contact me. I did not find my Father’s name listed on the site as a member of the CFC, I’m not sure if it is complete. In any event, thank you again.

Regards
Stephen White

An ENSA concert party entertaining troops from the steps of a chateau in Normandy, 26 July 1944. B8050 An ENSA concert party entertaining troops from the steps of a chateau in Normandy, 26 July 1944 - Wikipedia
By Midgley (Sgt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bundesarchiv Bild 121-0396, Frankreich, Allee mit zerstörten Fahrzeugen Lille was the first night stop for No. 1 Coy - Wikipedia
Bundesarchiv, Bild 121-0396 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons

Hetherton, Gordon David Cpl K99649

From: Maria
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2021 1:26 PM
To: Bob Briggs
The portrait I believe he said was done in Belgium.
My dad loved his time in the service; his parents were from Scotland and he was thrilled to be in “the old country.”
Despite the hard times, he had an appreciation and nostalgia for his years in the CFC.
It’s wonderful all you’ve done to preserve this history. Thanks again,
Maria

No. 9 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

No. 9 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

July 1944 Aug 1944 Sept 1944 Oct 1944 Nov 1944 Dec 1944
Jan 1945 Feb 1945 Mar 1945 Apr 1945 May 1945 June 1945
July 1945 Aug 1945 Sept 1945 Oct 1945 Nov 1945
No 9 Coy War Diaries courtesy of Jean Francois Chicoine

No 9 Coy CFC Troop Movement
25 Oct 1944 – Entrained at Billingshurst – arrived at Dover
26 Oct 1944 - Loaded on the LCT’s at Dover
27 Oct 1944 – Arrived in Boulogne, France
29 Oct 1944 – Arrived in Brussels, Belgium
30 Oct 1944 – Arrived in St. Huberts, Belgium in Ardennes Forest to cut lumber
22 Dec 1944 – Brussels, Belgium – evacuated because of the Battle of the Bulge
27 Dec 1944 - Schilde, Belgium to cut lumber
5 Jan 1945 – Tilburg, Holland
19 Feb 1945 – Reichswald Forest – Germany
23 Apr 1945 – Almelo near Bentheim

No 9 Coy CFC Muster Roll 25 Nov 1944 with Trades - St. Hubert Area, Luxembourg - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

X-4 Unposted reinforcements in the theatre of war belonging to the unit or corps - CMHS.CA
Explanation - They were CFC soldiers that were attached to a Coy's rations and quarters – like the Reinf Sect. But at this time were not posted to a CFC Company,
probably if they were needed they would be attached to a coy or transferred to a coy They could be CFC soldiers before or soldiers of other units transferred to the CFC
here are other X posting as in the above link

No 9 Coy CFC Reports of Operations during Battle of the Bulge

For further Reading Battle of the Bulge

No 9 Coy CFC Muster Roll 25 Jan 1945 with Trades - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Saskatoon Star Phoenix - Mar 14, 1945 Canadian Bushmen Cut Timber in German Forest
By Ross Munro - Canadian Press War Correspondent

No. 9 Coy CFC – No. 7 Canadian Forestry District – No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group - Sawmills in Northwest Europe 1944 - 1945
Photos courtesy of Sheila Macpherson
granddaughter of Lt. Hoyes Alexander Cameron

Note the berets that the soldiers are wearing
they wore them when they went to Northwest Europe

Timber cut in Holland and Germany was cut at the mills for corduroy.
Every day truck loads of corduroy lumber was hauled to the front – which enabled heavy equipment to move forward over wet lands

Courtesy of Melanie McLennan

Prime Minister Winston Churchill Crosses the River Rhine, Germany 1945 BU2248 Churchill's crossing of the Rhine River in Germany, during Operation Plunder on 25 March 1945

Sir Winston Churchill - Wikipedia
Morris (Sgt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

re 4 Mar 1945 – Sunday No. 9 Coy CFC War Diaries
On this visit he at 1205 25 Mar 1945 passed by No. 9 Coy CFC at work giving them the Victory Salute

No. 14 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

No. 14 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District CFC War Brides

Report 14 Coy CFC 20 Dec 1944 Battle of the Bulge
No. 14 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries - Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Stevens, Thomas L/Cpl H56254 married Miss Agnes Robertson

No. 25 Coy, No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

No. 25 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District CFC War Brides
McDougall, Mark, Rene LCpl K54044 married Miss Catherine Helen McGregor

LCpl Mark MacDougall Scrapbooks

No 25 Coy - 1
No 25 Coy - 2
No 25 Coy - 3
From: Jim MacDougall
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 11:59 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: More of dads photos.
This is by far the most fascinating of the scrapbooks dad made. It’s of his time in Belgium, Germany then back to Canada.
There are many photos but I just sent you the ones most significant to the CFC. His statement on the journey home is amazing and brought tears to my eyes.

From: Jim MacDougall
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 9:54 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Dads uniform.
Hi Bob, my sister came by and brought over dads dress uniform. It’s in remarkably good condition.
The Welcome Home card and railway schedule were in the front pocket. He came home from the war,
hung it in the closet and there it stayed for us to discover.

William Barclay Simpson G56629
note in this photo his beret and shoulder patch – No 21 Group
he is in North West Europe

Photo courtesy of John Simpson, son

Simpson, William Barclay Pte Photos at a camp in Belgium
More Photos Courtesy of Melanie McLennan

Re: Looking for members of the Canadian Forestry Corp WW2 Newtouch
Posted: 5 Dec 2010 8:54AM
Classification: Query
Surnames: McLennan
Hi Rob
My father-in-law, Marvin McLennan (b. 1917, d. 1977) served with the 25th Co. CFC from Mar 1942-Aug 1944 at the Mar Lodge camp in Braemar, Scotland. We have numerous photos to share that Marvin took, and we have visited the site twice. My husband Andy has recently been contacted by someone in Scotland researching the CFC's years at Mar Lodge, and area.
After the Mar Lodge camp was closed, Marvin spent from August '44 to July '45 in NW Europe (Belgium, France & Germany) with the 25th, and then transferred to the 16th Co. from Aug '45 to Nov '45, then to the SDS Canadian Army O/S until his discharge in Dec. 1946. Marvin returned home to Dorset Ontario, where he continued as a forester, guide and trapper (and sometimes handyman )until his early death of cancer at age 59 in 1977.
We have Marvin's war records from Library and Archives Canada, and would appreciate getting a copy of the Sawdust Fusiliers.
Melanie McLennan
McLennan, Marvin C. Pte
Photos In Belgium
Courtesy of Melanie McLennan

No. 27 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps

No. 27 Coy War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Nov 1944 Dec 1944 Jan 1945
Feb 1945 Mar 1945 Apr 1945
May 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 June 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 July 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3
War Diary No.27 Coy & HQ No 1 CFG Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 & Part 4
No 27 Coy War Diaries courtesy of Jean Francois Chicoine son of Pte Emile Chicoine

No. 27 Coy No 7 Canadian Forestry District CFC War Brides

Perley, Kenneth Marsten Sgt G45640 married Miss ‘Lena’ Williamina (last name unknown)

Timeline - Northwest Europe
No. 27 Company
No. 7 Canadian Forestry District
No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group

Major Jacques Descoteaux

From: chicoine.jeanfrancois
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2019 3:14 PM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: Re : questions
I met Major Descoteaux eldest son, his name is Claude.
He showed me a dozen pictures

From: chicoine.jeanfrancois
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2014 9:27 AM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: Re : More little pieces.
Hi Bob,
My brother found a letter of a lawyer, investigating a request from Pte Loubier E.62631, to the Bureau of Pensions Advocate.
It looks like Loubier was trying to get money from Veteran's Affairs, for a wound he inflicted himself during the incident where my father was wounded by a mine.
Loubier was a witness of this incident.
It is not clear that the sappers had cleared the mines before the men started to work, if that particular mine escaped detection, or if my dad and another soldier (whose name was Commenda) started the work knowing if the grounds were secured or not.
They knew mines had been laid by the Germans, because Belgian civilians told them they were there but they could not see them of course. These were about 15 inches in diameter and needed some weight applies on to detonate.
Anyways here is the story: dad and Commenda had laid a steel wire on the ground, to tie the logs together so the pile could be moved by the tractor. They brought the first log over the cable and dropped it on the cable, that triggered the mine. The log was blown to bits but some shrapnel hit my father who laid unconscious for several minutes. He was carried away by others while Commenda (it doesn't say if he was hurt or not) was having a nervous breakdown, it took some time before he cooled down. When Loubier heard the noise of the explosion he jumped from his tractor but tripped and his knee hit the "lag".
This happened in a Belgian village named "Exel" (not sure this is the correct spelling) and they were proceeding towards the Leopold canal.
I'm going to check if a board of inquiry was set up around this incident.
I'll forward you the translation of this letter later on, it is not very cohesive and will need some re-arrangement, but it is certainly something of interest to you.
JF

Mine Incident from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage HQ No 7 CFD War Diaries

Pte Gilbert Duplessis G53908
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2017 11:56 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Gilbert Duplessis RFC
Here's photos of my Dad, Gilbert Duplessis, Regtl Nº G53908, that was in the CFC from 1942 and went to Scotland.
Really . . . Really proud of my father.
Jean-Yves Duplessis

Sgt Percy James Mitchell Photos - Courtesy of Brian Mitchell – grandson
In December 1944 No. 27 Coy CFC was chased out of the Ardennes – re Battle of the Bulge
And moved to Exel, Belgium north west of Brussels about 50 miles
These photos would have been taken in and about Exel
Re Exel Region (Maesyck map) segment
WW2 German Kreigsmarine Navy Insignia

This group of photo's courtesy of Brian Mitchell - grandson

Sgt Percy James Mitchell at Horsham, southern England
At Billinghurst, Sussex where they waited to go the mainland

Maple Leaf Scrapbook
This issue notes it was printed while the units were in Belgium.
Sgt Rome Martel
Sgt Percy James Mitchell wallet with currency from various European Countries
When getting paid they would be paid in the currency of the country they were in.
Also if they were going on leave to a different country they would be paid with the currency of that country

Townhall

Monument – Sgt Mitchell

Monument
Sgt Mitchell
While in camp at Exel he was given a weekend pass to go to
Brussels and these photos were from that weekend pass
From: david hutse
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 8:25 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Brussels 1944-45
Hi,
For your information, This picture is not the townhall (seen above) but Brussels Stock exchange
can also see it in this link Brussels Stock Exchange

Hi Bob,
Second and third picture (Monuments above) is most certainly in the Parc Royal (Warandepark) next to our Royal palace in Bruxelles, I'll check next time, I sometimes walk in that parc with nice weather..
And for your information, corona here was bad too, we're still in Lockdown in Belgium, my family & friends are OK, we respect the rules and only do what's allowed by the new rules, so we don't see eachother so often but we stay in toutch, it's necessary to stay out of harms way :)
For the next picture I have no idea, the buildings so close by should reveal something. Not sure if it's Brussels but we have many parcs and little secret gems so who knows...
Best regards,
David

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Bob Briggs