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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Wilbert Russell Airhart

In memory of:

Corporal Wilbert Russell Airhart

August 14, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

M/27284

Age:

35

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

Division:

H.Q. 4th Cdn. Armd. Bde.

Additional Information


Son of Melvin and Bertha Airhart. Husband of Alice Louisa Airhart of Nanton, Alberta.

Commemorated on Page 235 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

VIII. F. 1.

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

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  • The Nanton Cenotaph– In 1926 Albert J. Hart was commissioned to create a memorial to honour the memory of those Nanton and District citizens who were killed in action during World War I. The 6.5¿¿ high statue is of Carara Italian marble and features a soldier at rest, with arms reversed in the position that would have been assumed at the burial of a comrade. It rests on a pedestal of B.C. granite. Plaques list the names of those who did not return from both wars. As well, there is a plaque honouring those who served in the Korean War. The location originally chosen for the cenotaph was next to the sidewalk that linked Shaw Street, Nanton's main street, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Station. This was most appropriate as the railway was well used at the time and hundreds of residents and visitors alike would pass the silent soldier during a day. The cenotaph was unveiled August 13, 1927 by the Earl of Haddington. Mayor J.T. Cooper presided over the ceremonies and R.B. Bennett, who would go on to become the Prime Minister of Canada, gave the principal address. Annual Remembrance Day Services have been held at the cenotaph ever since. With the closure of the railway station and the transformation of Railway Avenue into a major highway, the cenotaph's location became less and less appropriate during the latter half of the twentieth century. With the co-operation of Nanton's No. 80 Branch, Royal Canadian Legion, the Town of Nanton, and the Nanton Lancaster Society the cenotaph was carefully dismantled and the statue cleaned. It was then re-erected in Centennial Park at the entrance to the air museum in time for the 2001 Remembrance Day Service. 
www.lancastermuseum.ca

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