Canada in the Second World War

People

John Archibald MacNaughton

John Archibald MacNaughton enlisted in the First World War in 1915. After the war, he returned home, raised a family and farmed.

In 1939, he enlisted in the Second World War at age 42. By September 1940, Archie was a Major in the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment. Despite being offered retirement he chose to remain in the army. He refused to abandon the young men he had known for so many years.
On 6 June 1944, Archie led “A” company of the regiment ashore on Juno Beach. Archie was killed by a burst of machine gun fire in Tailleville, as he led his men out of the line of fire.
He lays at rest at the Bény-sur-Mer/Reviers Canadain War Cemetery.

 

Archie (far right) with soldiers of “A” Compagny, The North Shore (New-Brunswick) Regiment. Archie was loved and respected by the men he led. He took great pride in ensuring that his beloved “A” Company always came out on top during training exercises and sports activities.

 

 

The MacNaughton Family during the late 1930s.

 

Last letter Archie sent home :
June 4th 1944
Dear Grace,
Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for some time… This has been a busy time, but I am awful glad I was in it. No matter how things go.
Grace, life has been very kind to us… I hope we can be together again…
I can’t advice you about the future, my dear, because life has too many problems…
I would love to see you all now… I am feeling rather lonely tonight and I know what is ahead… I will tell you someday where I wrote this letter.
All my love to you, and may God take care of you all.

 

Major John Archibald MacNaughton’s military medals

From left to right
First World War
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Second World War
1939-1945 Star
France-Germany Star
Defence Medal
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, with Overseas Clasp
War Medal 1939-1945, with Oak Keaf (Mentionned in Dispatches)
Canadian Efficiency Decoration

 

“Archie was the biggest and noblest character I met during the war. He was a legend within the regiment” Major Raymond M. Hickey, Chaplain of the North Shore (New-Brunswick) Regiment.

Archie’s funeral at the Bény-Reviers cemetery, Summer of 1944.

Grace visiting her husband’s grave at the Canadian military cemetery at Bény-Reviers, in 1963, wearing her Memorial Cross.

Credits and acknowledgements: MacNaughton Family