Over 750,000 men and women served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. Canadian units were stationed not only in the UK, but also to defend Newfoundland, the Bahamas, Bermuda, British Guiana, and Jamaica.
Canadian troops were part of operations on the Norwegian coastline from 1940 to 1942. They took part in the defence of Hong Kong in December of 1941 and on August 19, 1942, the Canadian Army was a key part of the Raid on Dieppe. The 1st Canadian Army joined British and American units to invade Sicily in July of 1943, then met up with the 5th Canadian Armoured Division to fight throughout Italy.
On D-Day, June 6th 1944, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, alongside the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade landed at Juno beach on the Normandy Coastline. Along with other allied troops, the Canadians went on to liberate France, Belgium and the Netherlands. When the German Army finally fell on May 8th 1945, the Canadian Army had sustained a total of 17,682 fatal casualties.
Lance-Corporal H.G. Roseborough of No. 8 Provost Company, Canadian Provost Corps, painting signs, Boxtel, Netherlands, March 15th 1945.
Photograph by Captain Jack H. Smith.
Infantrymen of The South Saskatchewan Regiment during mopping-up operations along the Oranje Canal, Netherlands, April 12th 1945.
Photograph by Lieutenant Dan Guravich.
A three-inch (7.62 cm) mortar crew of Support Company, The Regina Rifle Regiment. Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse, France, circa June 9th 1944.
(Front, L-R): Riflemen Dan E. Corturient, A.V. “Swede” Renwick and Win R. Powell. (Rear, L-R): Rifleman George Cooper, Sergeant Tom Holt, Rifleman Ben Wilson.
Photograph by Lieutenant Donald I. Grant.
Infantrymen of The West Nova Scotia Regiment in a Universal Carrier en route to Rotterdam are surrounded by Dutch civilians celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands, May 9th 1945.
Photograph by Lieutenant G. Barry Gilroy.
Dutch women and children sitting on a Sherman VC Firefly tank of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). Harderwijk, Netherlands, April 19th 1945.
Photograph by Captain Jack H. Smith.
Personnel of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps at No. 3 CWAC (Basic) Training Centre, Kitchener, Ontario, April 6th 1944.
Tactical Headquarters of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal. Munderloh, Germany, April 29th 1945.
(L-R): Captain J.S. Hamilton, Royal Canadian Artillery; Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Dextraze, Commanding Officer of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal; Lieutenant A. Gautier and Sergeant P.P. Leduc, both of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal; Major D.W. Grant, The Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.).
Photograph by Lieutenant Dan Guravich.
Gunners of the 2nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, pushing a 3.7-inch (9.84 cm) anti-aircraft gun through mud. Dunkerque, France, February 1st 1945.
Photograph by Lieutenant Ken Bell.
Private H.E. Goddard of The Perth Regiment, carrying a Bren gun while advancing through a forest north of Arnhem, Netherlands, April 15th 1945.
Photograph by Captain Jack H. Smith.
Gunners of “B” Troop, 5th Battery, 5th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, firing a 25-pounder (11.4 kg) gun. Malden, Netherlands, February 1st 1945.
(L-R): Sergeant Jack Brown, Bombardier Joe Wilson, Gunners Lyle Ludwig, Bill Budd, George Spence and Bill “Scotty” Stewart.
Photograph by Lieutenant Michael M. Dean.
Forward Observation Post of “B” Battery, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Near Potenza, Italy, September 24th 1943.
(L-R): Gunner Chuck Drickerson (rangefinder), Gunner Jim Tulley (field telephone), Regimental Sergeant-Major G. Doug Gilpin (binoculars), Captain George E. Baxter (map board) and Gunner Hugh Graham (radio).
Photograph by Lieutenant Alex M. Stirton.
Infantrymen of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada cooking a meal and warming themselves around a fire in a barnyard near Veen, Germany, March 7th 1945.
(L-R): Privates Bob Fessay, G.J. Burt, K.L. McKenney and L.R. Young.
Photograph by Captain Jack H. Smith.
The first nursing sisters of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps to land in France after D-Day. France, July 17th 1944.
(L-R): Lieutenant M. Green, Captain H.M. Boutilier and Major Moya MacDonald.
Photograph by Lieutenant Frank L. Dubervill.
Corporal N.R.V. Chapman, a member of the first group of Canadian parachute candidates, trains with the shock harness at the U.S. Army Parachute Training School. Fort Benning, Georgia, United States, circa September 1st-6th 1943.
Photograph by Harry Rowed, National Film Board of Canada.
Personnel of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps checking the condition of a wounded Canadian soldier being evacuated to a Field Surgical Unit, Italy, January 15th 1944.
(L-R): Major P.K. Tisdale, Staff-Sergeant W.H. Brigham and Private L.P. Lemieux.
Photograph by Lieutenant Alex M. Stirton.
Personnel of the Westminster Regiment, 5th Canadian Armoured Brigade, examining a self-propelled field Howitzer "Hummel" knocked out by PIAT gun, near Pontecorvo, Italy, May 26th 1944.
Sergeant E. Owen (foreground) conducting an Orders (O) Ggroup for personnel of No.1 Protective Troop, Headquarters Squadron, 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade, Vaucelles, France, August 7th 1944.
Names in group: Troopers E.B. Dunphy and J.B. Crawford, Corporal J.A. Mead, Troopers D.J. Neal, F. Conery, H. Goldstein, R.A. Buckler, H.L. Murphy, H. McAdam, G.E. Watts, W.B. Croft, J.E. Boulet, P.A. Crawford, J.A. McDonald and A.J. Gott.
A General Motors Staghound T-17E1 armoured car of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons crossing a Bailey bridge, Elbeuf, France, August 28th 1944.
Trooper Ernie Tester of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons lying on a cot in front of a Sherman tank of a Canadian armoured regiment near Caen, France, July 19th 1944.
Troopers of a Canadian armoured brigade getting out of a new General Motors Canada fifteen-hundred weight armoured truck near Nijmegen, Netherlands, December 5th 1944.
Troopers of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons outisde the regiment’s mobile cookhouse near Vaucelles, France, July 19th 1944.
(Left To Right): Troopers George Sabados, Peter Korzack, Corporal Don English, Privates Sam Black and Ed Evans, Signalman John Blewett.
An unidentified armoured car driver of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Bramley, England, March 24th 1943.
General Motors Staghound T-17E1 armoured car of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Blankenberghe, Belgium, September 11th 1944.
A General Motors Staghound T-17E1 armoured car of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, England, December 30th 1943.
Troopers of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons with a Staghound armoured car of a Canadian armoured regiment near Caen, France, July 19th 1944.
(Left To Right): Troopers Charles Barlow, Duncan McDonald, Norman Tester, Peter Palichec and Wallace French.
Major A. D’Arcy Marks and Captain A. Brandon Conron with a Sherman tank of "C" Squadron, 1st Hussars Regiment, Colomby-sur-Thaon, France, June 28th 1944.
General Motors T17E1 Staghound armoured cars of “A” Squadron, 12th Manitoba Dragoons, in the Hochwald, Germany, March 2nd 1945.
Corporal J.R. Pelletier of the 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars, who is riding in a Universal Carrier, passing out cigarettes to French civilians, Caen, France, July 10th 1944.
Personnel of the 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars transferring from a "Seep" (waterized jeep) vehicle to the Chevrolet C15A truck which serves as the unit’s bus, Weener, Germany, February 13th 1946.
(Left To Right): Trooper Lawrence Grindle, Lance-Corporal Ken Runions, Corporal Thomas Both, Troopers Jack Sheriff and Cliff Dennings.
Personnel of the 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars in their Humber Mk. IV armoured car in Normandy, France, July 18-20th 1944.
(Left To Right): Sergeant G.B. Bradley, Trooper F.G. McKeown.
A Sherman Vc Firefly tank of the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars en route to the Zuider Zee passing through Putten, Netherlands, April 18th 1945.
A Universal Carrier of the 14th Canadian Hussars being loaded aboard a barge en route from South Beveland to North Beveland, Netherlands, November 1st 1944.
An unidentified crew commander of the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars looking into his Sherman tank’s access hatch during a predicted tank shoot, Italy, March 2nd 1944. A Bren gun is installed next to the hatch.
Sherman tanks of "C" Squadron, 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars, taking part in an indirect shoot on a German-held crossroads, Tollo, Italy, February 4th 1944.
An unidentified crew commander of the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars in the hatch of his Sherman tank giving firing orders to his gunner during a predicted mass tank firing exercise, Italy, March 2nd 1944. Two Bren machine guns are mounted directly behind the crew commander.
Unidentified personnel of the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars, Crookham, England, April 16th 1942.
Tank crews of The British Columbia Dragoons lined up in front of their Sherman tanks during a review by General H.D.G. Crerar followed by a mounted marchpast, Eelde, Netherlands, May 23rd 1945.
General H.D.G. Crerar taking the salute during a mounted marchpast of The British Columbia Dragoons, Eelde, Netherlands, May 23rd 1945.
Despatch riders of the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, Worthing, England, January 7th 1942.
Farewell dinner for The British Columbia Dragoons at British Columbia House, London, England, December 21st 1945.
Sherman tanks of Headquarters Squadron, The British Columbia Regiment, shelling a German position near Meppen, Germany, April 8th 1945.
Personnel of the British Columbia Regiment with a jeep, near Brasschaet, Belgium, October 14th 1944.
(Left To Right): Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant Harold Davies, Captain F.C. Smith, Regimental Sergeant-Major Ralph Jay.
Major-General E.W. Sansom inspecting the British Columbia Dragoons, Headley Down, England, March 12th 1942.
Major-General E.W. Sansom inspecting the Ram Mark I tanks of the British Columbia Dragoons, Headley Down, England, March 12th 1942.
Unidentified troopers of The British Columbia Regiment servicing their Ram II tank, England, July 15th 1943.
Brigadier R.A. Wyman congratulates Major D.F. Cameron of the Calgary Regiment and Captains T.R.B. Adams and W.H. Ellis, who are all returning to Canada for a staff training course. Lanciano, Italy, February 8th 1944.
Trooper Ralph Catherall of The Calgary Regiment giving food to an Italian child, Volturara, Italy, October 3rd 1943.
Troopers of The Calgary Regiment teaching infantrymen of the 8th Indian Infantry Division about tank warfare, Castel Frentano, Italy, March 30th 1944.
Trooper T.H. Baker, a despatch rider of The Calgary Regiment, near Villapiana, Italy, September 18th 1943.
Technical Quartermaster O.T. Hanson of the Calgary Regiment checking tank parts as the regiment re-equips with Sherman Vc Firefly tanks, Dottignies, Belgium, March 22nd 1945.
Captain F.M. Ritchie of The Calgary Regiment climbs out of his camouflaged Sherman tank, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, December 10th 1943.
Infantrymen of the 1/5 Mahratta Light Infantry jumping from a Sherman tank of The Calgary Regiment during a tank-infantry training course, Florence, Italy, August 28th 1944.
Infantrymen of the West Nova Scotia Regiment riding on a Sherman tank of the Calgary Regiment during the advance from Villapiano to Potenza, Italy, September 18th 1943.
A Sherman tank of The Canadian Grenadier Guards, Almelo, Netherlands, April 5th 1945.
Personnel of The Canadian Grenadier Guards stacking 75mm shells near the regiment’s positioned Sherman tanks south of Emmerich, Germany, March 28th 1945.
(Left To Right): Guardsmen W.R. Malcolm, E.L. Brown, J.B. McClain and C.H. Watson.
Unidentified crew of a Centaur Mk II anti-aircraft vehicle of The Canadian Grenadier Guards talking with three French women, Elbeuf, France, August 28th 1944.
Guardsman R.W. Ferguson of The Canadian Grenadier Guards watches two French children examining his Centaur MkII anti-aircraft vehicle, Elbeuf, France, August 28th 1944.
Canadian soldiers in the village of Holten, Netherlands, April 8th 1945.
(Left To Right): Private Ernest Bold of “D” Company, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada; Major R.G.W. Hjalmarson, Troop Leader with The Fort Garry Horse; Captain B. Lewis, Officer Commanding “D” Company, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada.
Tank crew of The Fort Garry Horse having lunch by their Sherman tank near Carpiquet, France, July 8th 1944.
(Left To Right): Sergeant A. Dunn, Trooper Eddy Bishop, Lance-Corporal Ken McLeod, Trooper Bill Wallace.
Corporal R. Young and Sergeant G.E. Murray, both of The Fort Garry Horse, repairing the track of a Sherman Vc Firefly tank, Putte, Netherlands, October 6th 1944.
Troopers of The Fort Garry Horse marching past the reviewing stand during a church parade, Breda, Netherlands, November 5th 1944.
Infantrymen of "D" Company, Royal Regiment of Canada, supported by a Sherman tank of the Fort Garry Horse, advance from Hatten to Dingstede, Germany, April 24th 1945.
Sherman tanks of The Fort Garry Horse taking part in Operation TRACTABLE moving out near Brettevile-le-Rabet, France, August 14th 1944. A Flail tank, used to clear lanes through minefields, is seen in the foreground.
Infantrymen of Support Company, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, supported by a Sherman tank of The Fort Garry Horse, advancing south of Hatten, Germany, April 22nd 1945.
Sherman tanks of "C" Squadron, The Fort Garry Horse, passing infantrymen of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Munderloh, Germany, April 29th 1945.
A Sherman Vc Firefly tank of The Fort Garry Horse near the Beveland Canal, Netherlands, ca. October 29th 1944.
Trooper J. McCallum and Corporal G.P. Patten of the Fort Garry Horse working on their armoured recovery vehicle, Putte, Netherlands, October 6th 1944.
Personnel of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry aboard a Sherman tank of "B" Squadron of the Fort Garry Horse, near Assen, Netherlands, April 13th 1945.
Infantrymen of The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry aboard a Sherman tank of “B” Squadron, The Fort Garry Horse, en route to Groningen, Netherlands, April 13th 1945.
The tug-of-war team of The Fort Garry Horse competing against Dutch police team, Doetinchem, Netherlands, November 21st 1945.
Trooper N. Russel and Corporal M. Ahlstrom of The Fort Garry Horse presenting toys to Dutch children, Doetinchem, Netherlands, November 22nd 1945.
Personnel of The Fort Garry Horse loading rubble to rebuild roads, Doetinchem, Netherlands, November 22nd 1945.
(Left To Right): Corporal E. Abramovitch, Troopers J.H. Wilson, K.A. Anderson and A.J. Prefontaine.
Trooper L.R. Stoutenberg of The Fort Garry Horse painting toys which will be given to children on St. Nicholas Day. Doetinchem, Netherlands, November 22nd 1945.
Troopers of The Fort Garry Horse reading mail on a couch in their slit trench in the Hochwald, Germany, March 5th 1945.
(Left To Right): Troopers W.J. O’Gallagher, L.R. Nicholas and L.A.C. Neville.
Sergeants R.Y. Williams, J.J. Coghill and W. Anaka, all of The Fort Garry Horse, talking with Dutch women in the newly-liberated city of Goes, Netherlands, October 30th 1944.
Sergeant H.K. Robertson briefing personnel of The Governor General’s Horse Guards, Arnhem, Netherlands, April 15th 1945.
Personnel with a Sherman tank of No.1 Squadron, The Governor General’s Foot Guards, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, November 6th 1944.
(Left-To-Right): Guardsmen J.A. Gillis, W.A. LaPierre, M.L. Smith and L.H. McKay, Lance-Corporal G.E. Dares and Lieutenant E.J. Canavan.
Personnel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards with a Sherman tank, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands, November 6th 1944.
(Left-To-Right): Guardsmen Bob Warren, Paddy Fletcher, B.M. McWhirter and W.W. King. Sergeant H.E. Dorman is on top of the tank.
Trooper Allan Hemphill, a despatch rider with Headquarters Squadron, Governor General’s Foot Guards, rides his motorcycle through a muddy field south of Udem, Germany, February 26th 1945.
Officers awaiting repatriation to Canada, No.17 Canadian General Hospital, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.), Crowthorne, England, February 1st 1945.
(Left-To-Right): Lieutenant Fred Carey, Governor General's Foot Guards; Lieutenant David Johnson, First Special Service Force; Captain B.J. Kruger, a Canloan officer serving with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (R.A.O.C.).
Infantrymen of The Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) learning to fire a two-inch mortar, Aldershot, England, November 25th 1942.
(Left-To-Right): Privates S. Folster and Dave Blellock, Sergeant B.W. Wright.
A Universal Carrier of The Lake Superior Regiment, Cintheaux, France, August 8th 1944.
Personnel of The Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) with a captured German flag, Friesoythe, Germany, April 16th 1945.
(In the group): Privates G.A. Visseau, T. Janakas, A.J.L. Poirier, E.H. Kanarr, G.A. Zeigel, G.E. Horn, Captains C.J. Crighton and E. Howe.
Majors G.A. Burton, Governor General’s Horse Guards, and R.F. Sneyd, Canadian Chaplain Service, reading General H.D.G. Crerar’s farewell message to Canadian troops, Nijmegen, Netherlands, May 31rst 1945.
PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM THE ARMY COMMANDER
Here is wishing you a satisfactory and speedy journey home, and that you find happiness at the end of it.
You go back with your share of the magnificent reputation earned by the Canadians in every operation in which they have participated in this war. A fine reputation is a possession beyond price. Maintain it - for the sake of all of us, past and present - in the days ahead.
I know that you will get a great welcome on your return. See to it that those Canadian units and drafts which follow after you get just a good a "welcome home" when they, also, get back.
Good luck to each one of you - and thanks for everything.
(H.D.G. Crerar) General.
M3A3 Stuart V light tanks of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) taking part in an inspection and marchpast of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Eelde, Netherlands, May 23rd 1945.
Dutch women and children sitting on a Sherman VC Firefly tank of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), April 19th 1945.
Dutch children riding on a Sherman tank of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), Harderwijk, Netherlands, April 19th 1945.
Unidentified troopers of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) loading shells into their tank during a training exercise, England, April 20th 1943.
Troopers of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) on horseback, Harderwijk, Netherlands, April 19th 1945.
(Left-to-Right): Corporal S.C. Pavelack, Trooper Romeo Maillet, Corporal Tom Pfliger.
H.M. Queen Elizabeth talking with personnel of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), Aldershot, England, April 24th 1942.
Major Irwin, Officer Commanding "C" Squadron, The Ontario Regiment, conferring with personnel of the squadron on the right flank of the Paterno front, Italy, August 3rd 1943.
Troopers of The Ontario Regiment moving forward, Atessa, Italy, February 21st 1944.
Trooper E.C. Taciun, Ontario Regiment, a member of the ski party that carried food and medical supplies to stranded British troops of the 36th Reconnaissance Regiment (British Army). Tornareccio, Italy, February 15th 1944.
Troopers with a Sherman tank of the Ontario Regiment on a railway flatcar en route from Italy to Northwest Europe, Mouscron, Belgium, March 24th 1945.
(Left To Right): Troopers E.D. Gyles, J.R. Simmons, A.J. Cartner, Harry Clark.
Troopers of the Ontario Regiment roasting a pig, Piucarelli, Italy, June 28th 1944.
(Left To Right): Troopers Harry Turner, F. Hoshoian, W. Kerr, Al Rice.