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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Poho

In memory of:

Lance Corporal William Poho

June 8, 1944

Military Service

Service Number:







Royal Winnipeg Rifles


7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division


1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp, Memorial Cross (Mrs. Emma Poho)

Additional Information


February 1, 1923
Scotch Bay, Manitoba


April 20, 1943
Fort William, Ontario

He was the son of Emma (Multanen) and Peter Poho. His parents and two year old Hilya emigrated to Port Arthur, Ontario from the Port of Hanko, Finland.

He had ten siblings: Hilya, Lyyli, Johny (served in Canada 1942, England, Holland, Germany); Armas (served in Canada army from 1941-discharged 1943); Matt (served in army Canada 1945); Peter (army medical corps 1939, Canada, overseas); other siblings were Aina, Saimi, and Elmer. Elmore Everett died in Cranbrook, BC in 1924 (infant).

William enlisted with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on April 20, 1943. The unit embarked for the England on September 2, 1943. William was in England from September 1943 to early June 1944. At this time his unit, the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division was engaged in an anti-invasion training during the German threat to England. The men were trained in sophisticated assault training as they prepared to spearhead the invasion force at the beaches of Normandy.

On the morning of June 6th 1944, the unit came under heavy fire before landing. It seemed like the fire support did not strike its targets. The units had to wade ashore and storm their positions cold. The next day these soldiers fought forward between the defenses and the enemy mobile reserve, the 21st Panzer Division and the XII SS Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) headed by General Kurt Meyer encircled the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Putot-en-Bassin. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles withdrew from Putot-en-Bassin, and were forced to leave some of their wounded men behind. In the early evening on June 8th 1944, wounded Canadians were taken out and were excuted at Château d'Audrieu.

Matt, William's brother was at home when Emma Poho received the news that her son had been killed. They knew of the torture and it deeply affected the family.

Narrative provided by Mrs. Shirley Emma Leclair, niece of William Poho.

Commemorated on Page 418 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

XIV. B. 9.


Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery is about 1 kilometre east of the village of Reviers, on the Creully-Tailleville-Ouistreham road (D.35). Reviers is a village and commune in the Department of the Calvados. It is located 15 kilometres north-west of Caen and 18 kilometres east of Bayeux and 3.5 kilometres south of Courseulles, a village on the sea coast. The village of Beny-sur-Mer is some 2 kilometres south-east of the cemetery. The bus service between Caen and Arromanches (via Reviers and Ver-sur-Mer) passes the cemetery.

It was on the coast just to the north that the 3rd Canadian Division landed on 6th June 1944; on that day, 335 officers and men of that division were killed in action or died of wounds. In this cemetery are the graves of Canadians who gave their lives in the landings in Normandy and in the earlier stages of the subsequent campaign. Canadians who died during the final stages of the fighting in Normandy are buried in Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery.

There are a total of 2,048 burials in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. There is also one special memorial erected to a soldier of the Canadian Infantry Corps who is known to have been buried in this cemetery, but the exact site of whose grave could not be located.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images

  • Photo of WILLIAM POHO– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Memorial– Lance Corporal William Poho is also commemorated on the Memorial at Putot-en-Bessin, FR … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens … May 2022
  • Memorial– This monument is dedicated to the memory of the Canadian soldiers of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and to all other Canadian combatants who played a part in the Liberation of Putot-en-Bessin on 7 June 1944. Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens … May 2022.
  • Photo of William's brother, Peter Poho– Peter Poho (left), unknown soldier (right)
  • Photo of William Poho and his comrades– Photo of William Poho and his comrades
  • Photo 2 of William Poho and his comrades– S. Frank, G. Meakin, William Poho and two other buddies.
  • Photo of William Poho– Cecil Pittman travelled with the Royal Winnipeg Riffles Association
when they participated in the 40th Anniversary of the D day
tour to the Normandy beaches (Juno Beach) in 1984, the Royal
Winnipeg Riffles "pilgrimage" tour in 1989, the year the memorial
was unveiled in the little village of Audrieu and the Royal Winnipeg
Riffles 50th Anniversary tour in 1994. He also attended the unveiling
ceremonies of the Juno Beach Memorial located in Normandy,
France in June of 2003.

Mr. Pittman has researched information through the National
Archives, military histories, former veterans and from any other
materials he can locate. In 2002, he completed 104 stories for the
Manitoba Geographical Names Program (Lakes, Rivers, Islands,
etc are named after Manitoba's world War II and the Korean
Conflict casualties) Several soldier's photo from his collection
were included with these stories in the Map Branch's publication
"A Place of Honour".

(Notes taken from the Cecil Pittman's photo collection)
  • Grave Marker
  • Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery– The Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, located at Reviers, about 4  kilometres from Juno Beach in Normandy, France. (J. Stephens)

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