Remembering Canadian Courage

   The European part of the Second World War wound down on various fronts at different times, approximately 70 years ago. Before this, the notorious gang of German thugs had to be dislodged. Part of this was the attack on the beaches of Normandy where Canadians, the only voluntary force there, did things no one thought possible as did the assault troops on every beach.

    “Men fell all around him as Corporal W.J. Klos thrashed through the deep water. Klos was a big, powerful man whose nickname was “Bull”. A bullet tore into Corporal Klos’ stomach. A second bullet tore into his leg. The corporal’s rage was greater than his pain. He staggered to the beach and shot an enemy gunner. Klos dropped his rifle and fought another German with his bare hands. Bleeding into the sand, Corporal Klos died with his hands around the throat of the enemy. Behind him, the Winnipegs charged through the fire.”

       Phil Gower led his much-deleted company through the beach defences after knocking out many of the German strong points. Major Gower survived the war and died in an airplane crash in 1956.

      Bill Lyons of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada was knocked off the sea wall on Juno Beach  three times before his wounds stopped him trying to get inland. Given the last rites he said,  “I ain’t ready to go yet, padre.” and survived the war.

    One hundred and fourteen Canadians died between Hitler’s suicide and the official end of the war. "Those Squareheads can start wars, they just don’t know how to end them."

    Only a small percent of the population had the courage to be in the Assault Infantry. We owe them all we have today.


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