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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Beresford

In memory of:

Lance Sergeant William Beresford

June 8, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

E/21962

Age:

26

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Canadian Artillery

Division:

3 Anti-Tank Regt.

Additional Information


Son of Walter Boyd and Margaret McKillop Beresford, of Arvida, Quebec. Brother of 4th Engineer James Beresford, who served with the Canadian Merchant Navy, and who died on December 10, 1941.

Commemorated on Page 248 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

XIII. F. 4.

Location:

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
  • Grave Marker– 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)
  • Letter– This letter was sent by the Director of Records in Ottawa to the Head of the Chaplain Service and then through to the District Chaplains.  Most families knwe absolutely nothing about how their loved one died.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– This letter by a Royal Canadian Artillery gunner explains exactly what happened to L/Sgt Beresford and the other 31 men with him on 8 June 1944.  They had been captured by the SS and were POWs at the time.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– L/Sgt Beresford is opposite the name of 20 year old Robert Munro Findlay on this list.  They were found in a common grave after the Allies had driven the Germans from the area.  The Canadian Army HQ did not allow anyone to find out about these murders until after the war.  They were worried that there would be retaliations.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Letter– L/Sgt Beresford lies in the grave next to that of Pte. Robert Munro Findlay of Toronto.  Pte. findlay was a student of Lawrence Park Collegiate in Toronto and it was during the research into his death that the information on L/Sgt Beresford was found.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • 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)
  • Sculpture– An aluminium sculpture and granite base were erected at 2890 Davis Place, Jonquière, Quebec. This memorial consists of two parts, a granite base erected by local citizens in June 1952 to the local war dead of the Second World War, and, an aluminium sculpture wheel unveiled by Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 209 (Arvida) in June 1969.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[base] 
A NOS MORTS GLORIEUX DE LA GUERRE 1939-45 
TO OUR GLORIOUS DEAD WORLD WAR 1939-45 

RENALD ALLAIRE
JAMES BERESFORD
HARRY GORDON BLACK
WILLIAM BERESFORD
JEAN-CHARLES MERCIER
ERNEST VEILLEUX
LOUIS-PHILIPPE VEILLEUX 

POUR PERPÉTUELLE MÉMOIRE 
LES CITOYENS 
JUIN 1952 
IN PERPETUAL MEMORY 
THE CITIZENS 
JUNE 1952 
JE ME SOUVIENS 

[plaque/plaque] 

UN HOMMAGE DE LA LEGION ROYALE CANADIENNE FILIALE 209 - ARVIDA 
JUIN 1969
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/nic-inm/sm-rm/mdsr-rdr-eng.asp?PID=4086

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