Following in the footsteps of Spr Ralph Spencer

| March 21, 2016

We always enjoy when younger generations visit the Juno Beach Centre to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors. This past weekend we were honoured to welcome Sheila Mills of Vancouver, the daughter of Sapper Ralph Spencer, a Canadian soldier who landed on Juno Beach on D-Day with the 2nd Canadian Division.

Sapper Spencer of 6th Field Company, Regina Rifles, is featured on a panel in Juno Park, which describes his experience landing on Nan Green on June 6, 1944:

My job was to place any explosive GW charge on any gun position giving us trouble. I felt a bullet strike in my left leg and I stumbled for a second almost waist deep in the water. This moment of hesitation saved my life. Another burst of MG fire took the foreshock off my rifle and passed through the front of my battledress blouse, at the same time letting the air out of my lifebelt. My ammo pouch was chewed up, destroying some chocolate bars and cigarettes. The hand grenades remained intact. Thankfully my explosives were not hit!

Sheila was joined by her own daughters Jessica and Laura of Toronto, pictured here with our student guide Anna.

Thank you for your visit!

Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at

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