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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette

In memory of:

Lieutenant Colonel John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette

June 17, 1944

Military Service


Age:

37

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

Additional Information


Son of R. V. C. and Edith M. Bessonette. Husband of Jean MacG. Bessonette, of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lt.-Col. John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette, the commander of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, who was the first senior officer to be killed in action in France. He was 37. He was hit by an 83mm shell on June 17 while running to the assistance of a fellow officer, Capt. Harry Knight Eaton, fatally injured by a shell a moment before. The two officers were buried initially in a little Normandy churchyard. Bessonette left behind his wife and four children, as well as his parents, R.V.C. and Edith M. Bessonette of Admirals Road. Bessonette received his education in Victoria and attended Royal Military College in Kingston. He held a commission in the militia and transferred to the permanent force in 1930. He was wounded in the Coventry blitz, after which he spent eight months in hospital in Canada. After returning to England he commanded a unit that underwent commando training, and in 1942 was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and placed in command of the RCASC in the Canadian third division.

Commemorated on Page 249 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:

IV. B. 5.

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

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  • Grave Marker– Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Stone of Remembrance - Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Entrance– Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery– Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery - April 2017 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Newspaper clipping– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Group Photo– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of JOHN RUPERT WILSON TURNER BESSONETTE– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Certificate– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Grave Marker– Photo Courtesy of Bruce MacFarlane
  • Memorial– Ex-cadets are named on the Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario and in memorial stained glass windows to fallen comrades.

1888 Lt Col John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette (RMC 1926) was the son of R. V. C. and Edith M. Bessonette. Bessonette received his education in Victoria and attended Royal Military College in Kingston. He was the husband of Jean MacG. Bessonette, of Halifax, Nova Scotia and the parent of four children. Lt.-Col. John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette, the commander of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, who was the first senior officer to be killed in action in France. He was 37. He was hit by an 83mm shell on June 17 while running to the assistance of a fellow officer, Capt. Harry Knight Eaton, fatally injured by a shell a moment before. He served with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He died on June 17, 1944 at 37 years of age. He was buried in the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in
Calvados, France IV. B. 5.
  • Plaque– Ex-cadets are named on the Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario and in memorial stained glass windows to fallen comrades.

1888 Lt Col John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette (RMC 1926) was the son of R. V. C. and Edith M. Bessonette. Bessonette received his education in Victoria and attended Royal Military College in Kingston. He was the husband of Jean MacG. Bessonette, of Halifax, Nova Scotia and the parent of four children. Lt.-Col. John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette, the commander of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, who was the first senior officer to be killed in action in France. He was 37. He was hit by an 83mm shell on June 17 while running to the assistance of a fellow officer, Capt. Harry Knight Eaton, fatally injured by a shell a moment before. He served with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He died on June 17, 1944 at 37 years of age. He was buried in the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in
Calvados, France IV. B. 5.
  • Stained Glass Window– Ex-cadets are named on the Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario and in memorial stained glass windows to fallen comrades.

1888 Lt Col John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette (RMC 1926) was the son of R. V. C. and Edith M. Bessonette. Bessonette received his education in Victoria and attended Royal Military College in Kingston. He was the husband of Jean MacG. Bessonette, of Halifax, Nova Scotia and the parent of four children. Lt.-Col. John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette, the commander of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, who was the first senior officer to be killed in action in France. He was 37. He was hit by an 83mm shell on June 17 while running to the assistance of a fellow officer, Capt. Harry Knight Eaton, fatally injured by a shell a moment before. He served with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He died on June 17, 1944 at 37 years of age. He was buried in the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in
Calvados, France IV. B. 5.
  • Map– 1888 Lt Col John Rupert Wilson Turner Bessonette (RMC 1926), the commander of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, was the first senior officer to be killed in action in France. He is is commemorated by Bessonette Lake in Mackenzie, Northwest Territories. Latitude: 63° 40' 1' North Longitude: 114° 44' 5' West  http://www.pwnhc.ca/programs/commemorative_names/war_casualties.asp
  • 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)
  • Memorial– Memorial stair, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario
  • Memorial– Memorial arch, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario

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