Who was Stoker Ernest Albert Leyland, V46538, RCNVR?

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Who was Stoker Ernest Albert Leyland, V46538, RCNVR?

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According to the government records, Stoker Leyland was HMCS Owen Sound’s only casualty of World War II. Born on 16 Feb 1922 he was the son of Mrs. May Leyland of Vancouver, BC.  Ernest joined the RCNVR on 18 Aug 1942 and went on active service on 16 Jun 1943. He died in hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland from peritonitis on 25 Aug 1944 and was buried in the Londonderry City Cemetery, C. of E. Plot, Sect F, Grave 43. This information is from the book “Ultimate Sacrifice” Vol 3, Part 2, by Robert P. D’Aoust

 

Is that it? Is this his story? A young sailor who died in hospital during the war – away from family – to be forgotten over time. This is what I would have thought till I received an email from Alison Allen. Her grandmother and great-grandmother both knew Stoker Ernest Albert Leyland and this is their story.

 

The Memory Project: Jim Hawley

Jim Hawley’s son who has contributed a lot to this blog sent me this link.

John never misses a post on this blog.

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It was in this message he sent Garry Weir and me.

Hi,

Please see the link below for my dad’s story (Memory Project) about his RCNVR WWII and HMCS Regina K234 experiences.

This includes some photographs, text and voice accounts.

Dad had his 88th birthday on October 26 in the Regency Manor LTCF in Port Hope Ontario.

Best Regards,

John

http://www.thememoryproject.com/stories/2240:jim-hawley/

* Note: Don McIntosh has a Memory Project article as well.

Donald McIntosh

John Hawley sent me a link about Donald McIntosh.

Donald McIntosh remembers…

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Donald McIntosh

V37067,
Engine Room Articifer (ERA),
HMCS Regina K234
– Returns to Pier 21

November is always a special month at Pier 21 full of visits from veteran’s and school programming on Second World War related topics but this year, the Year of Veteran, it was especially meaningful. Donald MacIntosh, a friend of the Pier 21 Society and story contributor was in town being filmed for an upcoming documentary on the WWII sinking of the ship he served in, HMCS Regina.

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Website about a sailor who served on HMCS Regina

Someone is paying homage to his father on the Internet.

Click here. (broken link)

Next time I will write an article about another sailor who served on that ship.

His son John wrote this comment on my blog Lest We Forget written to pay homage to the sailors of HMCS Athabaskan.

This is what John wrote about his father…

 

Our father (still alive (age 86) and living in Port Hope Ontario served on HMCS Regina K234 and survived her sinking. He lost many friends and shipmates that night.

On a recent visit to the UK (September 2011) we had the honour and priviledge to visit the graves of five of these brave men in Cornwall, UK. We paid our respects and gratitude to AB Saulnier, Rathbone at St Merryn near Padstow and PO. Cramp, AB Dawson and AB Malone at St Winwaloe Churchyard. Poundstock. UK.

I am in the process of trying to find their descendants.

Have many photographs of their graves and the church areas. Willing to send to anyone interested.
Also remember there are 25 men from Regina who are still out there.

Sincerely,

John Hawley, Cole Harbour, NS

John is in the process of trying to find their descendants. He sent me this link to someone’s Website about Bill McLeod another sailor of HMCS Regina.

This Webpage has a lot of information.

This is an excerpt…

I know you will want to read it all…

February 7, 1943 –

Sinking of Italian Submarine Avorio

 About eleven p.m. (Ed. Note: on February 7, 1943) the Radar man thought he saw something on the screen.  He went up and told the Officer on Watch.  He got out the night glasses, but couldn’t see anything. However the radar man was sure he had seen something.  He went down and woke the Captain, which took a lot of nerve.  The captain ordered the ship to turn back.  After a few minutes she was spotted on the surface.  The telegraph rang full ahead and I opened the throttle wide open.  When she saw us coming she dove.  We knew she wasn’t deep so we were dropping the charges at fifty feet.  A corvette is not fast enough to get away from the charges so we must have been sitting nearly on top of them when they blew.  The first thing to go is the lights as the shock blows the switches open.  Then you have to wait for the electrician to get down to put them back in.  (I wish to stress here that there were just the two of us in the Engine Room, the oiler and myself, and we were trying to do half a dozen jobs at once.)  The shock was so severe that it stripped the threads in some of the brass screws holding the deck plates, with the result that some of them went askew.  We had to be careful in the dark or we would slip and go down in the bilge. A large cast iron pipe back of the engine broke off and the sea water was pouring into the Engine Room.

Click here… (broken link)