Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Gordon Leroy Kimmel

In memory of
Rifleman
Gordon Leroy Kimmel
June 8, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number:
K/53748
Age:
28
Force:
Army
Unit:
Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Citation(s):
1939-45 Star, France-Germany Star, Defence Medal, 1939-1945 War Medal and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information:

Born:
March 19, 1916 Lancaster, Illinois
Enlistment:
June 20, 1940 Vancouver, British Columbia

Son of Harry Ellsworth and Sylvia Janet Kimmel (1961 National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother), of Milner, British Columbia. Husband of Audrey Irene Kimmel, of Gosport, Hampshire, England.

Brother of Harry Leonard Kimmel of Grand Forks, British Columbia, Richard Kenneth Kimmel deceased June 18, 1944 and Clifford Howard Kimmel deceased December 5, 1944.

Both the Langley and Mission Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion supplied her with a cloth coat, however, when Mrs. Kimmel arrived in Ottawa, the weather was very cold and Harry, her husband, knew he would have to get Mrs. Kimmel a warmer coat, so off they went to Timothy Eatons.

As they were shopping for a coat, they got to talking with the clerk, and the story came out about the Silver Cross Mother without an appropriate coat, for the ceremony at the War Memorial, which lead the clerk to excuse himself. Soon he was back and he told the Kimmels that the store manager said that Eatons would buy Mrs. Kimmel any coat that she wanted. Mrs. Kimmel continued looking at the wool coats. The clerk said that there were some in another area that she might like better and he took her to the fur department where Mrs. Kimmel picked a lovely black mink coat.

Commemorated on Page 352 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information:

Cemetery:
BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY ; Calvados, France
Grave Reference:
XXIII. A. 4.
Location:
This cemetery lies on the west side of the main road from Caen to Falaise (route N158) and just north of the village of Cintheaux. Bretteville-sur-Laize is a village and commune in the department of the Calvados, some 16 kilometres south of Caen. The village of Bretteville lies 3 kilometres south-west of the Cemetery. Buried here are those who died during the later stages of the battle of Normandy, the capture of Caen and the thrust southwards (led initially by the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions), to close the Falaise Gap, and thus seal off the German divisions fighting desperately to escape being trapped west of the Seine. Almost every unit of Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the Cemetery. There are about 3,000 allied forces casualties of the Second World War commemorated in this site.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of Gordon Kimmel – Rifleman Gordon Leroy Kimmel
Enlisted with Royal Winnepeg Rifles on June 20, 1940.
  • Photo 2 of Gordon Kimmel – Photo of Gordon Leroy Kimmel, Royal Winnipeg Rifles.
  • Photo belonging to G. Kimmel – This photo was carried by Gordon Kimmel in his paybook.
  • Service Book – The Service Book was carried by all Canadian Soldiers. This book belonged to Rifleman Kimmel and was repatriated to Canada in December 2000.
  • Equipment Book – The Clothing and Equipment Book was carried by all Canadian Soldiers in their Service Book. This one belonged to Rifleman Kimmel and was repatriated to Canada in December 2000.
  • Photo of Sylvia Janet Kimmel (Mother) – Sylvia Janet Kimmel
Silver cross Mother of 1961. She is shown with the three silver crosses.
  • Photo of Richard Kenneth Kimmel (Brother) – Corporal Richard Kenneth Kimmel
Enlisted with Regina Rifle Regiment on July 4, 1940.
  • Photo of Clifford Howard Kimmel (Brother) – Corporal Clifford Howard Kimmel
Enlisted with Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, R.C.I.C. on July 4, 1940.
  • Photo of Harry and Sylvia Kimmel (Father and Mother) – Harry and Sylvia Kimmel looking at the Book of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber located in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.  Photo from The Legionary Magazine December 1961.
  • A page from The Legionary Magazine – Page from The Legionary Magazine December 1961.  Mr. and Mrs. Kimmel attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa.
  • Newspaper clipping – Newspaper clipping from the Lanley Advance.
  • Memorial – G.L. Kimmel is commemorated on this memorial tablet in Fort Langley, British Columbia.
  • Aerial View of Cemetery – Aerial view of Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Cintheaux, Calvados, France, showing location of the grave of Rifleman Gordon Leroy Kimmel. Gordon died after the POW column in which he was marching was strafed by Mustang aircraft, at 1700 hrs on June 11, 1944, in St. Georges des-Groseiller, Normandy. He was taken to an infirmary in La Chapelle-au-Moine, where he died at 11:00 pm the night of June 11, 1944. He was buried initially at La Chapelle-au-Moine and re-interred at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery in August 1945.
  • Document – Scan of official death and burial record - from La Chapelle-au-Moine Cemetery, France. 
Although his death was recorded as being on June 8, 1944 that was the day he was reported as missing in action, NOT the date of his death.

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