Canada in the Second World War

People

Emanuel Bishoff

Biography from Val Bishop about her uncle Emanuel Bishoff:

Emanuel was the youngest son of Emanuel and Katherine Bishoff. Born in Kendall, Saskatchewan on March 31, 1926. One of 7 siblings (4 sisters and 2 brothers), the family moved to Winnipeg in the early 1930’s.

Emanuel loved to play pranks on his family, friends and teachers in his early years.

He was a sociable teenager and enjoyed hockey and football as well as dancing and occasional parties. He played Hawaiian guitar in his pastime. He also was a member of the Winnipeg Light Infantry Cadets for 2 and a half years from 1936 – 1939.

His older brothers, August and Andrew, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Armed Service and both were serving overseas by 1941, August in Italy and Andrew in England.

By 1943, the war in Europe had intensified and Emanuel’s sense of adventure urged him to follow in his brothers’ footsteps in serving his country. However, he would not reach the age of 18 until March of 1944 so on January 14, 1943, the day that he applied to enlist, Emanuel was still more than 2 months short of his 17th birthday. He altered the year of his birth to 1925 thereby making him 2 months short of his 18th birthday instead.

He was anxious to go overseas and was assigned to the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and shipped overseas as Operation Overlord preparations took form. Emanuel was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Division, Royal Winnipeg Rifles A Company 9th Platoon that assaulted Juno Beach on June 6, 1944.

On June 7 his platoon, along with the 8th, had broken out of the encirclement of Putot, only to be captured while trying to cross a railway bridge west of the village. The prisoners were under escort to Cristot by troops of the 3rd Battalion of Wilhelm Mohnke’s regiment.

The truth of how the prisoners ended up in the custody of SS Major Gerhard Bremer’s battalion is unknown, but whatever the case, they never got to Cristot but rather, were marched on to Pavie and taken to the orchard at Chateau d’Audrieu. The group faced a firing squad and were executed by the 12th SS Panzer. Emanuel met his untimely death just 2 months following his 18th birthday.

He was buried at the Beny-sur-Mer Temporary Cemetery and later reburied on October 11, 1946 at Beny sur Mer Canadian Military Cemetery, Beny sur Mer, France; Grave 13, Row B, Plot.

 

Top row left to right: oldest brother August (Gus), Emanuel (infant), oldest sister Margaret (holding Emanuel), brother Andrew (Andy). Front row left to right: sister Edith, cousin, Frieda.

Top row left to right: oldest brother August (Gus), Emanuel (infant), oldest sister Margaret (holding Emanuel), brother Andrew (Andy). Front row left to right: sister Edith, cousin, Frieda.