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 8 Canadian Forestry District
HQ, No 5, 15, 16, 28 & 30 Companies
Canadian Forestry Corps
With the British – 21st Army Group

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

HQ No 8 CFD War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

HQ No 8 Canadian Forestry District CFC

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

HQ No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group
Canadian Forestry Corps
Northwest Europe
1944 Jun 29 – mobilized with effect from this date – most of the soldiers from HQ No 2 District
1944 Jul 1 – Aboyne, Aberdeen, Scotland – destination after closing up HQ No 2 District
1944 Jul 3 – unit arrived in Carronbridge Camp, Thornhill, Dumfries to commence extensive military training
1944 Aug 3 – arrived at Duncraig House, Nairn, Nairnshire having completed a months training
1944 Aug 14 – the last 11 days – soldiers getting their leave and packing ready for France
1944 Aug 15 – departed for Wood Dale Camp, Billinghurst, Sussex
1944 Aug 17 – arrived at the camp
1944 Aug 20 – departed in convoy from this camp in through London, England to Wanstead Camp
1944 Aug 22 – their first buzz bomb experience – many more to come – went to Albert Docks and boarded a ship called Sammont
1944 Aug 23 – sailed at 0630hrs
1944 Aug 24 – anchored off coast of France 1700hrs
1944 Aug 26 – disembarked – saw their first dead body
1944 Aug 27 – arrived at their headquarters – Ferme de la Voe House near Castillon – the first of many that were quite damaged from bombing - etc
1944 Sep 1 – received first mail
1944 Sep – always lots of officers visiting headquarters from the CFC companies and other administration units of Canada, England and USA
- Medical, dental, paymaster and chaplain personnel, all attached to this headquarters
- Getting stores was a regular routine as films and shows for the soldiers
- Other CFC companies 5, 15, 16, 28 and 30 as HQ No 1 CFG CFC all located near by
- As was a common lumberyard where all lumber was stored
- Every day there is a weather report
- Church services were held regularly on Sunday’s
- When weather was good – sports was enjoyed outdoors - volleyball
1944 Sep 11 – first batch of CFC reinforcements arrived
- Most times baths were provided by mobile units
- Cigarettes and chocolate were made available from time to time
1944 Sep 22 – first soldiers requiring hospitalizing at nearest military hospitals
1944 Oct 1 – Lt Col C.A., Williams commander of HQ No 8 CFD was always on the road visting the camps of the 5 companies he was in charge of plus other headquarters of other units in the field
1944 Oct 3 – Capt P.,Hoglin as quite often off to N.A.A.F.I. to get supplies for the camp for resale
1944 Oct 4 – received their weekly ration of rum
1944 Oct 8 – sometimes soldiers of other Canadian units that were from Fredericton, NB would stop in for a visit – probably friends from back home
1944 Oct 11 – No. 30 Coy CFC left this area for Belgium
1944 Oct 12 – No. 28 Coy CFC left the area for Belgium
1944 Oct 18 – Sgt Gilmore’s birthday – cake made
1944 Oct 21 – No 129 Coy Forestry Company Royal Engineers – was under the control of HQ No 8 CFD CFC – left today for Belgium
1944 Oct 23 – No. 5 and No. 15 Companies left this area as well for Belgium
1944 Oct 24 – first leaves issued in France – to Deauville-sur –mer – all leave personnel enjoyed it – but could have used more money
1944 Nov 1 – Holy day for France – church bells ringing all over the place
1944 Nov 5 – memorial service held for the soldiers who died taking Caen
1944 Nov 11 – Armistice Day celebrations in all the towns and villages
1944 Nov 16 – first leaves allowed to Paris
1944 Nov 17 – stomach flu in camp
1944 Nov 21 – enroute from France to Belgium – stopping at Brussels
1944 Nov 22 – new location – temporary - Waterloo Castle, Waterloo, Belgium
1944 Nov 23 – the start of the buzz bombs – a sound that they would have to get use to for quite awhile along with the Ack Ack guns shooting them down
1944 Dec 6 – new camp for the headquarters – Hasselt, Belgium - Ambachschollstraat
1944 Dec 9 – snow flurries
1944 Dec 22 – warmed of German hostilities – Ardennes
1944 Dec 25 – Christmas dinner
1944 Dec 26 – first air raid sirens – no bombs – but streets strafed with machine gun fire
1944 Dec 31 – starting to see Allied bombers heading for Germany
1945 Jan 1– the companies that under the command of HQ No 8 CFD ARE:
- No. 9 Coy (now) at Tilburg, Holland
- No. 15 Coy near Heeswyk, Holland
- No. 16 Coy Milheeze, Holland
- No. 27 Coy Excel, Belgium
- No. 28 Coy Zonhoven, Belgium
- No. 129 Forestry Company, Royal Engineers
1945 Jan 3 – HQ No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group still at Westerloo, Belgium
1945 Jan 9 – 22 buzz bombs overhead today
- Not many movies etc these days – lots of work – the war is still on
1945 Feb 1 – all but No. 16 company at the same locations except No. 16 Coy which is at Spa, Belgium
1945 Feb 16 – Canadian Legion War Services called around so the men could buy cigarettes and chocolate etc
1945 Feb 18 – clothing parade – exchange of old worn out uniforms for new ones
- Still a lot of officers from the CFC companies and other units still dropping in and Lt Col Williams still making his daily rounds to the CFC companies under his command
1945 Mar 1 – No 9 Coy and No 30 Coy now at Reichswald, Germany
1945 Mar 7 – HQ moving to Gemert, Holland
1945 Mar 13 – payday – paid in Dutch guilders
1945 Mar 15 – getting first hand views of the destruction in Germany – moved camp to Twisteden, Germany
1945 Mar 19 – lots of civilians in this area – but no problems – so far
1945 Mar 21 – word of caution from CO while on parade – non fraternization with the German people
1945 Mar 25 – lots of warplanes and gliders being towed to the other side of the Rhine
1945 Mar 31 – H/Capt McQuire – RC chaplain held services this morning
1945 Apr 1 – Strength 2 officers & 16 other ranks – 1 officer attached from X-4A List CFC, 2 other ranks attached from HQ No 1 CFG, 1 other rank from No 28 Coy, 1 other rank from No 30 Coy
1945 Apr 5 – H/Capt Rowland the Protestant Chaplain was in camp for the night
1945 Apr 15 – cigarettes and chocolate available for purchase – movie was shown tonite
1945 Apr 19 – HQ No 1 CFG CFC moved into new camp at Walbeck, Germany
1945 Apr 24 – working with a German sawmill
1945 May 5 – A lot more movies being shown now – a whole lot of movement of officers visiting from one camp to another – soldiers going on leave
1945 May 7 – soldiers coming down sick or injured every once in awhile – dental work also be required from time to time
1945 May 17 – HQ No 1 CFG CFC moving camp to Minden, Germany – all work in Germany now across the Rhine
1945 May 19 – HQ No 8 CFD CFC moved camp to Walbeck, Germany
1945 May 23 – quite a routine getting mail picked up and delivering of mail
- Soldiers always looked forward to mail from home as well as families back in Canada looked forward to hear from their family members in the war
1945 May 29 – men starting to go home – repatriation – it has been a long haul – they are eager to go back home
1945 Jun 3 – a large draft of CFC reinforcements arrived to bolster up the strength of the CFC companies in Germany - 4 officers and 122 other ranks
– replacing the soldiers that are going home – some of the reinforcements were taken on strength by HQ No 8 CFD CFC
1945 Jun 13 – more lectures on rehabilitation to Canada
1945 Jun 25 – many more men going home
1945 Jun 28 – cigarettes, chocolate and 2 bottles of beer made available to each man
1945 Jun 30 – a lot of cleaning ends up
1945 Jul – companies are starting to be disbanded and most men going home but a few are going to the CFC units remaining
1945 Jul 21 – Major Doheny to become commanding officer of HQ No 8 CFD CFC
1945 Jul – medicals of personnel going home – paydays – reorganization – movement of officers – things are winding down
1945 Aug 16 – HQ No 8 CFD CFC is disbanded – all get to go home

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

Source: Ref: CFC Report 117
50. On 11 Oct 43, approval had been granted by the Cdn Govt for the retention in the UK of five Forestry companies for operational requirements in 21 Army Group (see para 42). At a conference at CMHQ on 25 Jan 44, recommendations were put forward that these five companies should include a Group HQ and Companies 5, 15, 16, 28 and 30. Cross-posting within all companies would be made to ensure that personnel selected for inclusion in this group would be suitable by age, category and training for employment in a Theatre of War. This was to be completed by 31 Mar 44 (1/For/1/4 Brig Weeks to Brig Beament, 26 Jan 44). As of 10 Mar 44, the strength of the Group, including reinforcements, totalled 49 officers and 1146 ORs. (ibid, Brig Penhale to Gen Montague, 10 Mar 44).
51. With respect to eqpt, the general understanding seems to be that Canada will be responsible for the full cost of the initial provision of personnel and equipment, including unit equipment. In addition, the Cdn Govt: will bear a proportionate share of the maintenance of such personnel and equipment according to the cost of a combined operation in any theatre where Cdn troops might be engaged. Financial adjustments will be based upon a complete army per capita rate to be established for every theatre and the Canadian share will be proportionate to the number of troops engaged. (6/CFC/1/2, Brig Penhale to Gen Montague, 31 Mar 44) This policy, it will be noted, does not apply to those companies engaged in completing lumbering operations in Scotland. The latter continue under the financial arrangements described in report no. 29.
52. Early in Mar 1944, the CE 21 army Group, approached CMHQ with an "unofficial enquiry" regarding the possibility of adding another five Forestry companies to the existing commitment. This proposal was taken up with Col Jones who was of the opinion that no difficulty would be experienced in finding the necessary personnel. He expressed the belief that one Group HQ would function satisfactorily for ten companies, although the provision of two would greatly facilitate control and administration. He suggested that a second Headquarters could be made available by utilizing one of the district headquarters presently operating in Scotland. Since the personnel involved in this increased commitment (38 officers and 1049 other ranks) had not yet returned to Canada, their transfer to 21 Army Group would not involve any actual increase in manpower is so far as the CFC was concerned. Additional reinforcements required were negligible in number, totalling on 39 all ranks (1/For/1/4, Brig Penhale to Gen Montague, 10 Mar 44).
53. CMHQ forwarded the British proposal to the Canadian Govt for their consideration on 13 Mar 44 (ibid, Tel GS 13, CANMILITRY to DEFENSOR). On 24 Mar 44, NDHQ replied that the matter would receive their favourable consideration on receipt of an official request from the War Office and a recommendation of approval from Gen Stuart (ibid. Tel GS 191, DEFENSOR to CANMILITRY). Three days later, Gen Stuart suggested to Lt Gen HDG Crerar, who on 20 Mar 44 was appointed GOC-in-C, First Canadian Army, that he ask 21 Army Group for an official request (ibid, Gen Stuart to Gen Crerar, 27 Mar 44). On 3 Apr 44, the GOC-in-C advised HQ 21 Army Group that an official approach to OTTAWA would receive favourable consideration and suggested that a request to the Cdn Govt be initiated by the War Office (ibid, Gen Crerar to HQ, 21 Army Group). On the assumption that this course will be adopted, mobilization plans continue, although at the date of writing (30 Apr 44) the official request has not yet emanated from the War Office.
54. In the meantime, the original five companies plus 10% reinforcements are undergoing a month's refresher basic training course at CARRONBRIDGE CAMP, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. In the near future, these five companies will join 21 Army Group for employment in rear areas of operations in Europe.

21st army group badge large Sleeve patch of the British 21st Army Group - Wikipedia
By Hawkeye7 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The 21st Army Group was a British headquarters formation consisting primarily of British and Canadian forces. The Army Group was an important Allied force in the European Theatre of World War II. It was established in London during July 1943 under the command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) and was assigned to Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. The 21st Army Group operated in Northern France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany from June 1944 till the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

Advance into the Netherlands
After the successful landings in the south of France by the U.S. 6th Army Group, the 21st Army Group formed the left flank of the three Allied army groups arrayed against German forces in the West. It was therefore responsible for securing the ports upon which Allied supply depended, and also with overrunning German V-1 and V-2 launching sites along the coasts of western France and Belgium.
By 29 August, the Germans had largely withdrawn across the Seine River without their heavy equipment. The campaign through Northern France and Belgium was largely a pursuit, with the ports - formally designated "Fortress Towns" by the Germans - offering only limited opposition to the First Canadian Army. The advance was so rapid, 250 miles in four days, that Antwerp, Belgium was captured on 4 September 1944, undefended, and with its port facilities intact.
On 1 September 1944, the 21st Army Group was relieved of operational control of the American armies, and those armies formed the 12th Army Group.
By mid-September, elements of 21st Army Group had reached the Dutch border, but were halted due to lack of supplies, and by flooding caused by the widespread German demolition of Dutch dikes. German control of some of the channel ports, and previous Allied bombing of the French and Belgian railways, resulted in a long supply line from Normandy served mainly by trucks.

HQ No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group

Soldiers of HQ No. 8 Canadian Forestry District
Audet, Georges J. Cpl E36032 cook 'B' - att RCASC - transf from No.3 Coy & No.24 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist & RCASC transf to No.27 Coy
Chevalier, L.P. Pte
Crowe, Albert F. LCpl F77641 driver for Lt Col C.A. Williams - transf from HQ No 2 Dist & No.13 Coy
Doheny, Hugh John Major Transf from No.14 Coy
Drake, Budd Cyril LCpl G45555 Transf from No.4 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Eselmont, J. Pte K74298 pay clerk - transf from HQ No 6 Dist & HQ No 2 Dist & HQ No 7 CFD
Fitzpatrick, John Kenneth Pte G48112 clerk class C - transf from No.15 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Foy, Gordon S. Pte A38049 orderly room clerk - transf from No.24 Coy
Gilmore, Gerald Frederick Sgt G48243 sawdoctor - transf from No.10 Coy & No.4 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Hart, Phil H.H. Cpl K71388 driver for for Lt Col G.A. Williams - transf from Gen Workshop & HQ No 2 Dist
Hoglin, Paul Capt Adj & QM - transf from No 8 CRS Battn & HQ CFC & No.9 Coy & HQ No 1 Dist & HQ No 2 Dist
Ingraham, Ronald Llewelyn Pte G45577 Transf from No.4 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Keegan, C.J. Pte C75094 clerk ‘B’ pay office - transf from HQ No 3 Dist & HQ No 5 Dist
Kennedy, Charles James Cpl C63005 Transf from No.1 Coy & HQ CFC & HQ No 1 Dist
Lafleur, Wilfred Joseph LCpl C70004 Transf from HQ CFC & HQ No 1 CFG
Legault, E. LCpl D109759 clerk - transf from No.27 Coy & HQ No 7 CFD transf to No.1 Coy & No.9 Coy - See No 7 CFD
Lewis, Arnold Llewellyn Cpl G45649 clerk - transf from No.4 Coy
MacNaughton, James Robert Pte G45672 Transf from No.4 Coy
Makepeace, Robert Herron Pte D110173 driver - transf from No.2 Coy & No.9 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Mathison, A.A. Pte
Mercer, Lionel Vernon Eyre Lt K99534 Transf from No.10 Coy & OCTU & HQ CFC & No 1 CSFS & HQ No 7 CFD & HQ No 1 CFG & No.16 Coy
Prevost, Pte
Purvis, Frank Maxwell LCpl F85529 driver mech 'C' - transf from No.13 Coy & No.3 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Radstaak, Johnny R. Cpl M60043 Transf from No 13 DD & No.16 Coy & HQ No 2 Dist
Rattray, John Pte B61850 Transf from No.22 Coy
Smith, Donald Maxwell Sgt E62662 clerk - transf from No.27 Coy
Trevors, Hazen Melvin Sgt G48117 clerk - transf from No.15 Coy & No.4 Coy
Wetmore, Edwin Herman Pte G45643 Transf from No.4 Coy
Williams, Charles Archie Lt Col E.D. O.B.E. CO - transf from No.15 Coy & HQ No 3 Dist & HQ No 2 Dist

Pte John Kenneth Fitzpatrick It was taken about 1944-45 by a photographer in Holland or Belgium in exchange for cigarettes
Courtesy of Lenise Fitzpatrick - granddaughter of Pte John Kenneth Fitzpatrick

HQ No. 8 Cdn Forestry District
Lieut.-Colonel Charles Archie Williams E.D.
Medal awarded O.B.E. 18 February 1945
During Nov. 44, when in command of Forestry units remaining in Normandy, this officer performed outstanding services in directing the efficient completion of operations in the shortest possible time to enable units to move to forward areas.
During Dec. 44-Jan. 45, he has been in command of Forestry units working in the forward areas of 1 Cdn Army and 2 Br Army. Working in close liaison with Army Headquarters, his energy, initiative and skillful direction of operations has resulted in all demands for urgently needed timber being completed on scheduled dates.
He has carried responsibility of an exceptionally heavy nature and has commanded his District with outstanding distinction.

No. 5 Company
No 8 Canadian Forestry District,
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group

No. 5 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

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
War Diaries courtesy of Jean-Francois Chicoine

3. On 11 Oct 43 the Canadian Government officially approved the allocation of five Forestry companies to carry out Forestry work for 21 Army Group in the operations which were pending in North-West Europe. As the result of a number of conferences held at C.M.H.Q., with senior officers of the Canadian Forestry Corps in attendance, Nos. 5, 15, 16, 28 and 30 Companies were selected for this task in January 1944 and instructions were issued to mobilize Headquarters, No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group with a strength of 15 officers and 110 other ranks. This re-organization took effect from 10 Mar 44 but the new Headquarters and these five Companies remained under C.M.H.Q. command and administration until they moved south to join 21 Army Group.

28. Later in February 1945 two Forestry Companies, Nos. 5 and 9, were sent to the Reichswald and afterwards to the Hochwald to prepare lumber and timber for the Rhine crossings. These companies also did considerable work preparing wood for the repair of corduroy roads which had been badly catered by enemy shelling.

30. Following the end of the war in Europe The several companies were allotted to formation areas as follows: First Cdn Army - No. 9 Coy C.F.C. 1 Brit Corps - Nos. 5, 15, 16, 25 and 30 Corps C.F.C.

49. Five of the companies (Nos. 30, 15, 25, 27 and 14) were disbanded in July, one in August (No. 5) and one in September (No. 1) but it did not prove possible to carry out further disbandments until November.

TABLE "B" showing details of locations of Companies in Europe No. 5 Coy - Cerisy Balleroy (Fran.); Soignes Brussels (Bel.); Reichswald Goch, Diersfordter Wesel, Wesel Wesel (Ger.)

Port Arthur’s Foresters Best in Army
Port Arthur News Chronicle Tues May 15, 1945 pg 1 & 12
Ref: Thunder Bay Public Library Courtesy of JFLH

Cdn Forestry Corps
No. 5 Coy CFC
Major Hilbert Styffe

Awarded M.B.E. November 1944
This officer commands the Cdn Forestry Corps Coy that was the first to produce lumber in France, and during the months of Aug – Sep – Oct its production of this urgently needed material was the highest of any CFC Coys. The very successful operation of this unit has been due in large measure to the ability and enthusiasm of this CO.
He has demonstrated outstanding qualities of initiative and leadership, and has maintained the efficiency and morale of his unit at a very high level.

Sgt. William John Taylor of No.5 Coy CFC is awarded the MID while in North West Europe

No.5 Company Sawdust Fusilers by William C. Wonders

Pte Charles Frederick Neale
Photo courtesy of Al Neale son of Pte Charles Frederick Neale

Diary of Charles Edward Neale No. 5 Coy
Date Entry
Sep 20 (1943) Started to work in the garage on cats
Mar 1944 In the year of our Lord
Mar 21st Was transferred into 5 Coy as B. Class mechanic on draft. Cleaned and checked cats for to be turned in.
Mar 29th Drew new rifle
April 10 Went to Carron Bridge to start training
May 12 Won 1st prize on Brengun. IOS
May 28 Returnes to Kincraig
June 5 Went to Farnbrough on waterproofing Course & returned on 10th
June 12 Moved to Nairn. One Hell of a dump
June 6th Second front Started
June 15 Got my Good Conduct Stripe
June 17 Had weekend home. All were fine.
June 19 Arrived back at camp O.K. Started servicing F.W.D.
June 29-44 Left Nairn for south. Stopped at Perth, Carlyle, Preston, Butterworth then on to Lancing.
July 12 Started waterproofing trucks & jeeps then de-waterproofing (all nonsense)
July 23rd Left Lancing for docks transport alone 1:30-3:30 A.M. arrived in Tillisbury at 1:30 P.M.
Sunday 23 Loaded trucks & cats on board. Went aboard 9:00 A.M. Monday 24th. Slept in hammock on main deck. Saw plenty of doodle bugs and also darn near froze.
July 25 Reveille 6:30. Weather very nice; we are now in convoy anchored at mouth of the Thames. Left Tillbury or Tillisbury. Had good trip across except for grub which was dam poor all stew and hard tack.
July 28 Disembarked off boat to Landing barge anchored off shore from 3:30 until 8:30 p.m. Landed on beach at 9:00 PM. Drove 28 miles, arrived in camp 1:30 A.M. July 29. 1 ½ miles behind lines, plenty of action at night. Made dugouts and dam well used them too, plenty of stiffs laying around
Aug 10 Nothing more in August but honest to God work and plenty of it
Sept 3rd Received Cigs
Sept 20 Went on convoy to Vermelles moving bridges for R.E.
Oct Plenty of rain and twice that much mud
Oct 20 Went on convoy to Spa. Spent 2 days in Brussels on pass. Arrived back in Camp Oct 28th in that dam mud hole, sorry to be back.
Oct 25 Went on convoy to Spa. 8 kilometers from Germany. Moved 16 Coy. Stayed in Brussels 2 days. Met Jim Cameron there.
Nov 9th Ceased operations at Crisy Forest to move north
Nov 12 Went to Mont St Michel
Nov 15 Took men to Paris on 48 hour leave, arrived back Nov 18th 12:00 P.M. into the mud again
Nov 23/24 Moved from Cerisy Forest in France to Grand Espanade, Belguim
Dec 18/44 Big push by Jerries on the American 1st Army front. C.F.C. retreat at the high part
Dec24/44 Push checked Everything going smooth.
Dec 25 Big feast at X-Mas dinner
Dec 26 Jerry planes overhead, machine gunned trains, plenty of Buzz bombs.
Mar 12 Buzz bug hit close
Mar 6 Leave strarted to Blightly
Mar 18 Another close one also Jerries gunning our roads, one man cut in ½
Mar 24 Went into Germany and back next day with Convoy
Mar 27 Went into Germany again and back same day
Mar 30 Went to Germany again Returned April 2nd
April 5th Another trip
April 8th Crossed the Rhine 5:30 A.M. Dad's birthday 1st camp 20 m before the Rhine 2nd " 6m across Rhine 3rd " 20m across Rhine
April 28th Names drawn for May leave for Blighty. I was lucky for the 7th
April 6 Left Germany for Nijmegan in truck at 8:30, arrived there 1100 hrs. Left Nij. for Calais at 3:30 got there 5:30 April 7th (Suggest the month should be May)
April 7th Left Calais for Dover at 2:30 arr. 4:00 (Suggest the month should be May)
Thursday 10th Went to Dingwall Returned on Friday 11th
Thursday 15th Left for London. I got 72 hr extension so left Sat 7 P.M. for Dover Arr in Dover at 11:00 went to barracks at top of Mt. Went on board ship next morning at 9:00 arr Calais 1 o'clock had dinner, got on train for Nijmegan arr there at 8:30 21st May. We all got soaked marching from train to transit camp 11:30 A.M. Truck came, we had to back over that dam bullet shattered road. We landed in Camp at 2:30. Back in Boschland again, it is real hell, still raining.
July 16 Went to Brussels on 72 hour leave.
July 17 Went to circus and seen fat lady and other things.
July 24 Ceased operations in Germany and started packing
July 26 My name came through for draft to Canada. Exactly one year from day we landed in France.
Aug 2/45 Went to Nijmegan from Germany, arr there 10:30. Our draft no.265 C.D.M.D. 10 We are to leave here Mon night at 7 o'clock. It is dusty as hell here

Groenendael Station Belgium
No. 5 Company – Camp Soignes Forest, Belgium
25 Feb 1945 – Lt. English and Lt Burgess went down to Groenendaal Station and to the piling sites on business this morning
From: david hutse
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:25 AM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: Grœnendael station
It's even a protected monument; the renovation has not yet started...
Hi Bob, That's a great find in the War Diaries,
Groenendael Station still exists today and is almost in the same condition as in 1944/45,
Hi Bob, look where I am :)
Have a great Sunday !
Best regards,

Toronto Daily Star – Jul 21, 1945
Special Cable to The Star

No. 15 Company, No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group, CFC

No. 15 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Jan 1945 Feb 1945 Mar 1945
Apr 1945 May 1945
War Diaries courtesy of Melynda Jarratt

No 15 Coy was part of part of No. 1 CFG and info can be found in the following: from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage - War Diary No 5 Coy CFC CFG England to France

Timeline No 15 Coy CFC Northwest Europe: Courtesy of Melynda Jarratt

No. 16 Company, No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No 1 Canadian Forestry Group, CFC

No. 16 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries - from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

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
War Diaries courtesy of Jean-Francois Chicoine

Reinf Sect & No.29 & No.15 & No.16 Coy's CFC
who died on Sep 7, 1945

The above courtesy of Christine Kowbuz - Grandaughter of Mike Kowbuz Pte H62556 No.16 Coy

No.16 Company Sawdust Fusilers by William C. Wonders

Personnel of No.16 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps, cutting timber, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium, 6 November 1944.
from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Canadian Forestry Corps Operates Under The Very ... - Google News The Maple Leaf Newspaper
Friday, November 24th 1944 Page 3

Demean, Frederick John Pte K99087
Photos courtesy Shirley May (Montgomery) Larsen

Also has shoulder patch of the British 21st Army Group

No. 28 Company, No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group, CFC

No. 28 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 1944 May 1945 June 1945
July 1945 Aug 1945 Sept 1945 Oct 1945
Nov 1945
Courtesy of Jean Francois Chicoine

Cpl Joseph M. Williamson Organizer and Instructor of Prisoner labour in lumbering in Germany – 7 months
Courtesy of Normand Gaudet - Step grandson of Cpl Joseph M. Williamson

Toronto Daily Star – Jul 21, 1945
Special Cable to The Star

Pte Bill Brough - Kenora, Ontario
Pte Doug Thain - Portage La Prairie
Pte Arthur Kenneth Gawley - Fort Francis, Ontario
Pte Edward 'Ted' James Bish - RR#1, Elm Creek, Manitoba
Photo courtesy Linda Bish – daughter

Note the berets, the shoulder badge British 21th Army
These soldiers were now on the mainland
Also chevron upside down, good conduct
Also motor transport patch

Sgt John James (Jack) Price H94401
Photo courtesy of Mike Price, son

These next photos courtesy of Linda Bish
This gives one an idea what the men of the other companies would have seen.


German fighter plane

German Bomber

V-2 Runways in

Mainland Europe
WW2 field Belgium

Mainland Europe

The Rhine

From: Linda & Eric
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2016 11:47 AM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: Re: CFC
Anyhow my dad only told me one story about the war - now this was after 3-4 strokes and his speech was OK but there was some interpretation of what he was saying to me going on.
So his corps was asked to clear a road somewhere and the Americans were there he asked if the area was clear of Germans the answer Yes. Well it wasn’t and he lost some men. He never visited the states afterward even we had a picnic by the peace arch he walked to the arch but never crossed the border. Only a story never paid it much attention I was like 16 at the time but.....................

Photos courtesy of Eric Johnson son of Capt George Johnson

Officers of No.28 Coy CFC in France

Courtesy of Eric Johnson son of Capt George Johnson
Lt George Johnson – top left

From: Linda & Eric
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2016 6:53 PM
Subject: Photo's
The next picture has written on the back menuere which is in France there is another name but hard to read my father is on the left leaning against the tree.

Crozier, David Sgt. C34314
Mainland Europe
Photo's courtesy of grandson Steven Andreyechen

Ottawa Citizen – Mar 9, 1946
Restoring Operations of Lumber in Germany
By William Boss

No. 30 Coy, No 8 Canadian Forestry District
No. 1 Canadian Forestry Group, CFC

No. 30 Coy No 8 Canadian Forestry District War Diaries from Library And Archives Canada Military Heritage

Apr 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 May 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 June 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3
July 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 Aug 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 Sept 1944 Oct 1944
Nov 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 Dec 1944 Part 1 & Part 2 Jan 1945 Feb 1945
Mar 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 Apr 1945 May 1945 June 1945
July 1945 Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 War Diaries Courtesy of Jean-Francois Chicoine

30th Coy Canadian Forestry Corps S.E. of NIEMAGEN HOLLAND 1944
Courtesy of Wayne Johnson son of LCpl William Keith Johnson

No 30 Coy CFC
somewhere in
North West Europe
Large Photos & Notes
Photos Courtesy of
Wayne Johnson
son of
LCpl William Keith Johnson

No. 30 Coy
Major Percy William Belson
Medal – M.B.E. 24 June 1945

This officer has commanded No. 30 Coy C.F.C. since arrival in N.W.E. in July 1944. Largely due to his skill, energy and leadership, the production and efficiency of his unit has been maintained at a high standard. For considerable periods his Company was employed in forward areas in support of Corps and it was necessary for him to make decisions and take action without reference to senior authority. He has been employed as Acting District Commander for extended periods and has successfully carried responsibility considerably in excess of his normal duties.

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

Reference - Watkinson, Thomas Pte K41338
Repatriation to the UK and then to Canada
From: Tom Watkinson
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2021 6:48 PM
To: Bob Briggs
Subject: Found these
Hi Bob,
When my mother passed over 5 years ago I received a couple of tubs full of clipping and odds and ends. Yesterday I went through the number of bags and look what I found. Such a treasure trove of things. I have a rough draft of dad’s ww2 experiences and I was stumped for the repatriation to the UK and then to Canada. These items are the pieces of the puzzle I needed. Now I believe dad was on the Queen Elizabeth to New York and then he must have trained to Montreal and then to VAncouver. He arrived in Vancouver on January 9, 1946 and he was discharged on January 24, 1946. I now have to figure out where 9 Cdn Repat transfer station was located in southern England. I wonder if it was near Aldershot or closer to Southampton where he sailed from.
I am getting closer!
Thanks for all your suggestions.

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