Sunday, November 13, 2016

Photographs: LST, LCM, Beaver Club, Bell Tents, Gharry

From The Memory Project

British units arriving in Avola, Sicily, 1943. Charles Raymond Priddle
Photo of LCT, LCM, Rhino Bridge - found at The Memory Project

As I peruse information posted at The Memory Project I often find authentic stories and photographs that have some connection to Canadians who served in Combined Operations in WW2. For example, my father piloted LCMs during Operation HUSKY in July and early August, 1943 (Sicily), so the above photo of an LCM (right) caught my eye.

Ray Priddle's story suggests he and my father were in the same area as Dad mentioned landing at Avola during D-Day, July 10 '43. Many Canadians in Combined Ops lived in a cave for 3 - 4 weeks near Avola, and called it 'The Savoy'. After settling in they grew proficient at throwing tomatoes at anti-personnel mines the Germans had used to seed the beach.

Priddle says:

We had two people killed in Sicily on the beach [in 1943]. But, other than that – they got killed by anti-personnel mines. And, then we went on, after that I landed in the toe of Sicily in a place called Avola, and then after a few weeks we went up to – Augusta. There was a naval barracks there, Italian naval barracks we took over, and we were there for quite a few weeks. More at The Memory Project.

I was also interested in photos related to The Beaver Club (see below), a home away from home for Canadians who visited London, England, e.g., as my father often did while on leave in the area.

Guide book for London, 1940. Doug Steeves

Guide book for London. Doug Steeves

Doug Steeve's membership card for The Beaver Club, 1940. 
Photo Credit - Doug Steeves, found at The Memory Project

Canadians in Combined Ops were housed in bell tents in some locations during training periods, e.g., at Camp Auchengate (below), south of Irvine, Scotland, circa 1942. 

Don Westbrook (Hamilton Ont.)

A better photo of a bell tent is seen below:

Robert Burvill in the field on exercise in Sussex, England, 1942.
Photo Credit - Robert Burvill, found at The Memory Project

During my father's trip around Africa, on his way to D-Day Sicily, his ship stopped in Durban and Cape Town for repairs. He had time to sight-see and it became common to take trips around the cities on a gharry.

Doug Harrison (back right) aboard a gharry

Laurence Morgan (in middle) in Durban, South Africa, 1943.
Photo Credit - Laurence Morgan, found at The Memory Project

I encourage readers in pursuit of information about Canadians and their various roles in WW2 (not just Combined Operations) to visit The Memory Project.

Please link to Photographs: "The Spit" at Comox, Vancouver Island, BC

Unattributed Photos GH

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