West Hill High School

 

Those who served in WW2

 

1939-1945

Forever remembered by those who walked the same high school corridors

 Click here to see how WW2 was reported on the pages of the WHHS Annuals from 1938/39 to 1945/46

 Click here to see  WHHS In Memorium list form the 1946 Annual

 

ALL GRADUATES WHO SERVED 1939-1945
NAVY
ARMY
AIR FORCE
TOTAL
292m + 29f = 321
548m + 23f = 571
618m + 30f = 648
1458m+82f = 1540
Lists 1, 2
Lists 3, 4, 5
Lists 6, 7, 8
Lists from 1945 WHHS Annual

Note:

Number of females could be higher as numbers above reflect only those easily destinguished as female names on the list of those who served. Surnames with initials only could include additional female enlistees.

WHHS Alumni Who Served

West Hill alumni did their part in contributing to the defeat of Nazi Germany during WW2. A total of 1458 males and a minimum of 82 females (see note above) served in the three arms of the military forces between 1939 and 1945. The majority (42%) opted to serve in the Air Force; 37% in the Army; and,21% in the Navy. There was a mortality rate of 8.3% (128) of the toal of enlistees. The mortality rates reflected as a percentage of each force are as follows: - Air Force 13.4% (87) ; Army 6.3% (36) ; and the Navy, 1.5% (5). Although the majority of enlistees served in the Canadian Forces there were those who served in the USAF, USMC, USN, US Army, USAF, the RAF, the Fleet Air Arm:, the Merchant Marine, and Medical Corps.

Military Awarda and Distinctions

Military distinctions were awarded to: Boyd Humphrey (RCArmy) O.B.E; Thomas Lewis (RCArmy) D.S.O; James Atkins (RCAF) D.F.C; Alan Bartlett (RCAF) D.F.C; Gordon Bell (RCAF) D.F.C; James D. Bell (RCAF) D.F.C; Robert Borrowes (RCAF) D.F.C; Wilbur T. Gee (RCAF) D.F.C; J. Hollingworth (RCAF) D.F.C; Ivar Johnsson (RCAF) D.F.C; Robert Lee (RCAF) D.F.M; A. MacKenzie (RCAF) D.F.C; Ian Ormston (RCAF) D.F.C; Geral Racine (RCAF) D.F.C; Murray Ross (RCAF) D.F.M; Selby Sinclair (RCAF) D.F.C; Otto Steinberg (RCAF) D.F.C

Note: Died



 

Those from WHHS who paid the

Supreme Sacrifice 1939-1945  

5 RCN
36 RCA
87 RCAF
128
 

ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF CASUALTIES

(Names are hotlinked to photographs)

 



Those Who Paid the Supreme Sacrifice

The following observations are derived from data gathered from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) web site. At the CWGC each individual is identified by Name and Initial; Nationality; Rank and Regiment; Age and Date of Death; Service No. and Additional Information (Parents and next of kin where possible); Grave Memorial Reference and Cemetery. There are gaps in the data, and it also became evident that some individuals reversed their forenames when attending WHHS. There may be errors and/or omissions. Keeping these limitations in mind, and based upon information obtained from the CWGC, the 1945 and 1946 Annuals the following observations are made.

The First and Last to Fall

The first casualty of the war was 25 year old R.A.F. Flt. Lieut (Pilot) Wilson Hammond on November 13th. 1939 over England. The last to die before VE Day May 8th. 1945 was 22 year old R.C.A.F. Flt. Lieut Arthur Harold Nagley. Both Hammond (281) and Nagley (Panel 278) are commemorated at the Runnymede Memorial in Englnd.

The Youngest and the Oldest to Fall

The youngest and oldest of the casualties were both Army personel. The youngest was 18 year old Pvt. John David Mitchell serving with the Perth Regiment who died on Friday, 8th. of December 1944 in Italy. The oldest casualty appears to be 34 year old Army Trooper Harold Austin Evans serving with the 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars in the 7th. Recon Regiment. He died on Sunday, 23 May, 1943. Pvt. Mitchell is memorialized (VI.G.18) at the Ravenna War Cemetary in Italy, while Trooper Evans is memorialized (40.C.10) at the Brookwood Military Cemetery, England. The majority of all casulties were aged from 19 to 25 years old. There were sixteen 20 year old casulaties alone!

The Three 1938 Classmates from Room 34

Fred 'Freddie' Parker was a graduate of the Science class of 1938. He won his wings and Commission in 1940, and was reported missing on coastal patrol in May of 1941. He is memorialized at the Ottawa Memorial Cemetery. Pilot Officer George Davis was a Flight Sergeant (Air Observer) in the RCAF with the 104 RAF Sqdn. He died at the end of May 1942 and is buried at the Malta Naval Cemetary. Flt. Sergeant Robert Whytock (W.Op/Air Gunner) the third member of the 1938 class was reported missing in July 1942. He is burried in the Netherlands.

The Single Deadliest Year - 1944

There were Alumni Air Force losses in each year of the war from 1939 to 1945. Army loses did not occur until 1943 with Naval loses occurring in 1942 and 1944. The highest losses in any one year for the Air Force (33) and the Army (27) was 1944. During this year 5 RCAF alumni were lost in both August and December. Of the 27 Army casualties in 1944 eight occurred in August.

Sacrifices by the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada

Eight members of the same Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (Cpl. (David) Elliot Pow d.44-07-25; Lance Cpl. James Ferguson Brown d. 44-07-28; Pvt. Joseph Henry Harper d. 44-07-28; Pvt. Herbert Ackerley d. 44-08-02; Pvt. John Robert Stansbury d. 44-08-05; Pvt. Rolf Olsen d. 44-08-08; Lt. Kenneth William Carstairs attached to 1st. Batalion d. 44-08-23; and, Lance Cpl. Kenneth Walter Fitzpatrick d. 44-12-17) all died in the period from July 7th - December 17th. 1944.

Disaster at Dieppe August 18th. 1942

On this day 22 year old Sub-Lieutenant Clifford Davidson Wallace (Royal Canadian Navy Vol. Reserve) with H.M.C.S. Niobe died. He was killed in action during air operations at Dieppe and is buried at Dunkirk Town Cemetery. Flying overhead and taking part in the raid was Pilot Officer Eric Patterson who would die ten days later. Mistakes at Dieppe were used to meticulously plan and execute the D-Day invasion at Normandy in June 1944. 

Operation Overlord - The D-Day Invasion June 6, 1944

Canada Post is issuing a single domestic rate (49 cents) commemorative stamp on the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2004. On that day in 1944 Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of western Europe. The Canadian initial landing was at the Juno Beach sectors of the Normandy coastline. By midday, the beachhead had been won, and by nightfall, Canadians had penetrated further inland than any other Allied seaborne forces. By the end of the day , however, the human toll were over a thousand Canadian casualties, including 359 dead. One of the dead on that historic Tuesday was Lance Bombadier John Robert Birss of the Royal Canadian Artillery - 14 Field Regiment. The following day ( D-Day +1) Wednesday, June 7, 1944, 20 year old Lance Cpl. Rudolph Albert Cochius with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G), R.C.I.C died. Nine days after the invasion had started on Saturday, July 17, 1944, 22 year old Cpl. William Riddlesworth with the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin & Halton Regiment, R.C.I.C died. All three West Hill graduates remain in France forever at the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery.

Those Lost at Sea

At Peace around the World

All 128 of the WHHS casualties listed in the 1946 Annual are burried in 12 countries: Algeria (1), Belgium (6), Canada (16), Egypt (5), United Kingdom (34), France (23), Germany (9), Italy (13), Malta (2), Netherlands (12), Poland (1), and Unknown and serving in the US forces (6).

 

Alphabetical Listing of Cemeteries preceeded by the number of casualties burried and/or memorialized there