Goodbye Bill Ross

It’s with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Second World War veteran Joseph William (Bill) Ross. Our most sincere condolences to his wife Dorothy, son Mark, daughter-in-law Sylvia, his grand-daughter Quincy, and their family. 

Bill Ross was born on February 15, 1925 in Montréal, Québec. He grew up in the Maisonneuve district of Montreal where he attended Maisonneuve High school until he joined the Queens Own Rifles of Canada in 1943.

On D-Day, Bill landed at Bernières-sur-Mer with 14 Platoon of “C” Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He then advanced to Basly and Anguerny. For the next 27 days, William’s platoon was in frontline action participating in contact patrols, fighting patrols, night patrols as a part of the Regiment’s attacks. On leaving Anguerny, they were actively involved at Brouay, Le Mesnil-Patry, Norrey-en-Bessin, Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse, spent a night in the Gold sector to help the British Guards regiments push back against counterattacks, Cairon (secondary position), Marcelet and finally the fight for Carpiquet and its airfield.

William Ross was wounded on July 4, hospitalized in England, and returned to the regiment in early September at La Cappelle on the outskirts of Boulogne. He was in Germany when the war ended.

After all that, by the time Bill returned to Canada after the war, he was not yet 21 years old. He returned to work at Canadair and finished his trade apprenticeship as a fitter machinist. He went to work in the sheet metal trade and also worked on manufacturing vending machines. He then changed careers to become a specialist in heating, cooling and air-conditioning units. After 25 years of service, he retired as a sales manager.

In 2009, Bill was featured at the Juno Beach Centre in the exhibit “Veterans’ Voices”.

“I feel very grateful for having survived the war and I think of our fallen comrades who never had a chance for a full life. I am very honoured and proud to represent them.”

To learn more about Bill’s wartime experiences, you can read his war memoirs on the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada website and hear an interview with him on the Memory Project Archive.

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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