Rifleman Thomas Henry Davie, H41536
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Rifleman Davie is sponsored by the City of Toronto
Making the decision to join the army is a life-altering decision that takes planning, maturity, and the notion that if you go into battle, you might never return home. When the Second World War broke out in Europe in 1939, thousands of young men left their everyday jobs to serve their country.
Thomas Henry Davie was born on 29 November 1916 to parents John and Jean (Jane) Davie in Mather, Manitoba, Canada. He was of Scottish descent, and one of six chiuldren. Having dropped out of school in grade eight, Thomas became a labourer and was working as a barber in Eagle River, Ontario at the time of his enlistment. Once the war broke out and Thomas made the life-changing decision to enlist, he trained for the next thirty days as a candidate at the 102nd Canadian Army Training Centre. On 8 April 1941, Thomas enlisted into the Army with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Records shoe he had basic first-aid training. His regimental number was H-41536. After serving in the Army for two years, Thomas submitted an application for permission to marry Miss Alice Campbell Gourlay from Glasgow, Scotland. Two two were married on 2 August 1943.
Thomas’ niece Linda wrote on Ancestry.com, “Uncle Tommy was with the Royal Winnipeg Riflemen [sic] during WWII as a sharpshooter. He landed in France on D-Day where he died.” Like so many others, Thomas landed in Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. Thomas died as a result of wounds received in action. He was one of 12,000 casualties.
His wife Alice received notice of Thomas’ death on 25 June 1944. For his contributions and efforts in the Second World War, Thomas was posthumously awarded the 1939-45 star, the France-Germany star, a defense medal, a war medal, and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. His mother and his widow both received memorial crosses as a momento of the loss and sacrifice Thomas made; this medal is presented to all of the widows and mothers of Canadian military.
At the time of Thomas’ death, Alice had been living in Glasgow, Scotland with her parents. On 1 October 1945, Thomas’ widow sent a persuasive letter to the director of Canadian immigration ttatuting that she was determined to move in with her mother-in-law Jean Davie in Eagle River, Ontario: “I would like to state that I intend to go to Eagle River, and, after a short stay there with my husband’s people, I will go on to Fort William to get work as a typist as I have no desire to eat the bread of idleness.” Having Alice move on to Canada was another way of keeping their son’s memory alive during this time of grieving for John and Jean Davie.
Thomas Henry Davie now rests in Beny-Sur-Mer Military Cemetery in Normandy, France. His plot is located in grave one, row D, and plot number two.
Great sacrifices were made in both World Wars; in hope that the thousands of other soldiers who gave up their lives for our freedom did not die in vain.
Remember today, remember always.
Written by: Katie Hope, a student at the Oakville Trafalgar High School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Rédigé par : Katie Hope, un élève de Oakville Trafalgar High School, Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
This Tribute Profile contains available biographical information on one of the Canadians who died on Juno Beach on 6 June 1944. The profile also recognizes the individual or organization who generously sponsored this soldier, and includes a message of thanks and remembrance for their sacrifice. This information is available in the soldier’s native tongue and has been compiled by the Lest We Forget program and, in some cases, through the generosity of individuals connected with the soldiers. Due to the inconsistency of historical records and the sparse availability of first-hand witnesses, we know more about some than others. If you would like to contribute any material or help in our efforts to present the biographies in both French and English, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.