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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Steenson

In memory of:

Warrant Officer Class II William Steenson

July 24, 1943

Military Service

Service Number:





The Royal Canadian Regiment

Additional Information

Commemorated on Page 216 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:

A, H, 120.


Agira Canadian War Cemetery lies in the Commune of Agira, Province of Enna, in the centre of Sicily. From the autostrada A19, Catania-Palermo, take the exit to Catenanuova. Follow signposts to Regalbuto, then pass Regalbuto, going in the direction of Agira. The Cemetery is then signposted about 12 kilometres from Regalbuto. On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Agira was taken by the 1st Canadian Division of 28 July and the site for the war cemetery was chosen in September for the burial of all Canadians who had been killed in the Sicily campaign. Agira Canadian War Cemetery contains 491 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Circumstances of death register– Bill Steenson's Ontario death register. Born on 19 October 1913 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • Newspaper clipping– Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of William Steenson– WO 2 Steenson was commanding a patrol of Canadian soldiers which was trapped in a village in Sicily when an enemy tank suddenly appeared.  Bill Steenson calmy gave orders that extracted the soldiers from the village under heavy enemy fire. When all of his soldiers had reached safety Steenson attempted to leave the village but the surprise appearance of a second enemy tank led to him being killed in action.  Steenson received no decoration or commandation for his action.  WO 2  Steenson was a member of the pre-war regular army, the Permanent Force, and the photo was taken at Niagara-on-the-Lake camp in 1938.
  • Entrance
  • Cemetery– Entrance - Agira Canadian War Cemetery - 2013
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Agira Canadian War Cemetery
  • Agira Canadian War Cemetery
  • View of Mt. Enna
  • Cemetery– Agira Canadian War Cemetery - 2013
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Cross of Sacrifice - Agira Canadian War Cemetery - 2013
  • Grave Marker– Grave marker - Agira Canadian War Cemetery - 2013
Photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

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