Canada in the Second World War


Albert Frank Logsdaile

Albert Frank Logsdaile.

1018PO  Royal Engineers.

Served May 1940 – May 1946.

Juno Beach 2019257.

Albert was born in London, England on September 20th 1915. He worked on British Railways.

He joined the Royal Engineers in 1940 and following his training in Hampshire, he was sent to Folkestone in South East England to lay mines on the beach and Shakespeare Cliff and to dig tank ditches in preparation for the Battle of Britain.

From 1940 – 1944 he went on to serve in Egypt, Benghazi, Tobruk, and Tripoli.

He was married in April 1944 and following a short leave, his unit was sent to a camp on Wanstead Flats, London. Also here were the 51st Highland Division and Canadian units. All spent three weeks training here.

On June 4th 1944 they were ordered to the liberty ship the Sam Butt at the London Docks. With the Royal Engineers were the 51st Highland Division and Canadian units. Here they were prepared and eventually embarked for Normandy.

The Sam Butt was approaching France when six heavy calibre shells hit the ship causing great damage to the hold, there was the call to abandon ship. Following many hours in the water, Albert was rescued by a ship and returned to Dover in England.

Following a medical, he was pronounced fit for duty and sent on to Southampton, England. Here, he boarded an anti-aircraft ship and left for Normandy during the early hours of June 6th. At 6 pm, following the crossing to France, Albert boarded a landing craft and headed for Juno Beach. There, German fighters were flying low over the beach strafing Allied forces.

On reaching the beach, Albert and his comrades dug in before receiving orders to advance to the village of Gray-sur-Mer. Here Albert and another Royal Engineer were ordered to take up a defensive position with a machine gun facing towards the village as German tanks were fighting their way towards it.

Albert completed his service, returned to working on British Railways, had one daughter, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

He died in 1981.

In 2009, we came over to Juno Beach and attended a memorial there.

In memory of my dad, Albert we had a brick commemorated at the museum: K13.3.124

Tribute written by Brenda White