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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ernest Reginald Waldie

In memory of:

Captain Ernest Reginald Waldie

August 8, 1944

Military Service


Age:

34

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Canadian Artillery

Division:

8th Light AA Regiment

Citation(s):

1939-45 Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


Born:

October 3, 1909
Wilstead, Ontario

Enlistment:

December 21, 1940
Simcoe, Ontario

Son of Adam Joseph and Mary Hester Waldie; husband of Laura Berneita Waldie (nee Smith), of Gananoque, Ontario. Captain Waldie held a Phm. B. from the University of Toronto.

Commemorated on Page 470 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. E. 13.

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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  • Gananoque Remembers– Gananoque, Ontario is a small town situated on the St. Lawrence River in the heart of 1,000 Islands.  It is one of hundreds of communities throughout Canada with war memorials which commemorate more than 110,000 men and women who lost their lives during both world wars. Over a  thousand citizens from Gananoque and surounding areas served in the navy, army, or air force: 83 lost their lives in parts of Canada, and in the battlefields of Europe.  Among the dead of Gananoque include a 15 year old solider, a father of ten, four sets of brothers and a Victoria Cross winner. 

Today the town cenotaph lists the names of those who died and  few citizens are aware of their family backgrounds or their circumstances of their deaths. Geraldine Chase of Gannaoque and Bill Beswetherick of Kingston believed it was necessary to collect this information and perpetuate their sacrifices. 					

Gananoque Remembers book is a tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom.
  • Memorial Page– Ernest R. Waldie is honoured on page 145 and 146 of the Gananoque Remembers booklet, published on January 31, 2005.
  • Memorial Page 2
  • Grave Marker– Excerpt of letter from Capt. Waldie to his brother, Ralph, shortly before his death:
"..At last the 4th Cdn. Armoured Division has been recognized by Jerry and I can let you know we are in France.  We have been hard at it for a few days in the front line..and now for a week we have been looking into the whites of their eyes...we can look across the wheat fields and watch our shells landing and Jerries return fire.  The 88's are dropping on us and all around 24 hrs a day.  He sends a few 170 mm over which make a crater four feet across but none landed near us yet...Have averaged about 2-1/2 hrs sleep in last 24 in the last 10 days so am getting pretty weary.  Last night the enemy infantry patrol got within 300 yds of 2 of our guns but retreated again.  A Jerry tank hulled down 4 to 600 yds from our most forward gun but didn't live to find his way back.  
We've had several shells (88mm) on our H.Q. and inches from 3 guns, but no one has had a scratch.  Our own guns bother us more than Jerries - we are forward and are among hundreds of them and they fire continually.  You have to be very tired out to get any sleep at all, but once I get to sleep I hear nothing.
This battle H.Q. is 3-1/d x  6 ft. -myself, a sigs operator, a wireless set, telephone, radio, mud, water, duckboards, and mosquitos are the occupants.  My light makes less light than a candle.
Have a swim and fishing trip for me (also a dam good bath!!!!) How I hope this show is over and I can see you all by Christmas. I have a feeling the next push we make will be a real one and Paris will be our objective.   
John Harris Burk, my best friend at Petawawa was wounded 3 days ago - was blown right out of his jeep by an 88.  He has gone to England for an operation.  Can't show anything in this area to identify ourselves as officers as we are picked off by snipers.  We wear civvies in daytime and NAZI at night, but are being thinned out gradually.
All the best for now...Love, Reg."
  • Photo of Ernest Waldie– Photo of Capt. Waldie in Italy.  Excerpt of letter to his brother written Nov. 12, 1943:
"Well, Ralph, I have been living under a lucky star.  I was on the assault wave in the Sicilian show and the first five days was with front line fighting.  We were trapped twice and under direct heavy fire, also under fire for 12 days straight.  We lived through the lizards, flies, malaria, typhoid etc.  One morning we were advancing with the infantry piled on our trucks and guns...Jerry had prepared a trap and we walked right into it.  All hell broke loose just at dawn..we were on a mountain road and only one way to go.  We were mortared and 88mm from up front and machine gunned from all sides including the rear.  We put the guns into action right on the road and shot out 3 pill boxes and cleared a whole ridge of machine guns ..One day I was catching up on a little sleep when 5 FW 190s came over and threw mud in my face from their cannon fire, but two of them will never fly again.  We haven't shot many down but we've kept them high and they've only been successful in placing their bombs twice in the whole show.
We are on board ship again and this time tomorrow, if I can keep my head down, I'll be in Italy.  I'm in on the first wave again but don't have to go over the side, the guns and trucks are with us this time so we drop the ramp and drive off - our job is the beach this time so we will be first in to give them ack-ack cover while the rest are landing.  We are due to land in 7 hours - there isn't the same excitement this time - just another exercise.  
The radio is blasting away - a hot orchestra is playing - there is a poker game with very high stakes beside me and the sea breeze is very welcome - what a war!  Tomorrow morning you wouldn't recognize them as the same men.  They are sure a tough lot going into battle."
  • Newspaper clipping– From Gananoque Reporter.
  • Soldiers' Tower Memorial– The Soldiers’ Tower was built by the University of Toronto Alumni Association in 1924 as a memorial to the Great War of 1914-1918. The names of those who died in that conflict are carved on the Memorial Screen at photo left. After the Second World War, more names were carved in the Memorial Arch at the Tower’s base. In total, almost 1200 names are inscribed.  A Memorial Room inside the Tower contains mementoes and artifacts, and a 51-bell carillon serves as the audio element of the living memorial to the alumni, students, faculty and staff who died in the World Wars. The Soldiers’ Tower is the site of an annual Service of Remembrance. Photo: Kathy Parks, Alumni Relations.
  • Memorial Arch– The names of those who died in the Second World War were added to the archway beneath the Soldiers’ Tower in 1949. The name of “Capt E. R. WALDIE R.C.A.” is among the names inscribed. Photo: Cody Gagnon, courtesy of Alumni Relations.
  • Memorial Room– Soldiers’ Tower, University of Toronto. Photo: David Pike, courtesy of Alumni Relations.
  • Memorial Book– University of Toronto Memorial Book, Second World War 1939-1945. Published by the Soldiers’ Tower Committee, 1993. Entry on page 73 reads: “Capt Ernest Reginald WALDIE  8 LAA Regt RCA. College of Pharmacy, PhmB 1933. Killed on active service in North-West Europe, 8 August 1944. Buried in Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France.”
  • Photo of Ernest Waldie– Photograph of Waldie from Torontonensis, University of Toronto's Yearbook in 1933.

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