7 Days in Normandy with Scott Entwistle

| May 22, 2019

Juno Beach and Beyond
7 Days in Normandy with Scott Entwistle

Seven days, seven lives. This is a short history of Canada’s Battle of Normandy presented through the stories of seven Canadian soldiers and airmen who gave their lives.

On 6 June 1944, 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach as part of the Allied invasion of Normandy, known to history as D-Day. By the end of August, more than 90,000 Canadians participated in the fighting from Juno to closing the Falaise Pocket, the beginning of the end for Hitler’s Germany.

Nearly 5,500 Canadians were killed in Normandy and remain there today. This episode features seven of those 5,500 brave Canadians who gave their lives to end Nazi tyranny. Scott Entwistle joins us to examine both the larger events surrounding their deaths and to speak to the families and communities they left behind.

We conclude by giving listeners some tips for undertaking research on Canadian Second World War veterans. If you’re looking for even more helpful hints, check out the Canadian War Museum’s military personnel research guides.

Time Stamps

7:34 Lieutenant Joseph P. Rousseau, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, Tuesday 6 June 1944

11:40 Private Charles Doucette, North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Wednesday 7 June 1944

20:06 Flight Lieutenant Barrington F. Cleeton, 63 Squadron RAF, Sunday 25 June 1944

27:38 Flying Officer Donald Shapter, 403 Squadron RCAF, Friday 14 July 1944

36:46 Major Edwin R. Bennett, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, Saturday 5 August 1944

42:10 Guardsman David Blain, The Governor General’s Foot Guards, Friday 11 August 1944

50:28 Private James R. Demerchant, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Tuesday 29 August 1944

Guest Biography

Scott Entwistle is the Special Projects Coordinator at the Juno Beach Centre Association. He is responsible for researching and administering Canada’s Commemorative Campaign. If you’re interested in participating, you can reach Scott by email at sentwistle@junobeach.org or by phone at 1-778-872-1466 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm PST).


The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:

Canada’s Commemorative Campaign


Stopping the Panzers with Marc Milner

Too Young to Die with Dan Black

Crerar’s Lieutenants with Geoff Hayes

OSCVI’s War Dead with Dave Alexander



The Normandy Campaign

Weapons & Formations

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

Canadian Army Units in the Normandy Landings

Canadian Army Units in Normandy from July 1944

RCAF Fighter Squadrons Overseas


Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the centre’s Digital Projects Coordinator.

Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s

Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y

Garth Webb’s quote about D-Day from the Testaments of Honour Historical Archive and the Defining Moments Canada website: https://definingmomentscanada.ca/jbc75/dday/webb/

Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM

Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0

Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com

Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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 jbca@junobeach.org.

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