Sapper Arthur D. Switzer, B108644
Royal Canadian Engineers
Sapper Arthur Douglas Switzer was born on 16 September 1923 in Binbrook, Ontario. He was the first of four boys; Donald, Craig, Harley, and Arthur Switzer born to parents Barclay and Bessie Switzer. Growing up, Arthur spent a lot of time on the farm where his grandfather worked and spent lots of time with his brothers and doing things around the farm to help. The Switzer’s were Irish Palatine obtaining an Irish Coat of Arms with the motto “Amor, Honor, et Justitia” or “Love, Honour and Justice.” The Switzer family was very religious with deep connections to the United Church of Canada being very active, with some members of the family working as Deacons. The Switzer’s were also very active in the local municipal government. He went to school at the SS Section School in Binbrook Township only completing one year of high school. He then started working as a truck driver for a road construction company before enlisting in the military.
Arthur was taken on strength (T.O.S.) for all purposes on having enlisted to the Canadian Army (C.A.(A)) on 22 January 1943 in Simcoe, Ontario at the Basic Training Centre. On 22 February 1943 he was transferred to the Royal Canadian Engineers (R.C.E.) training centre in Port Arthurs, Ontario. A month later he was taken on strength to the Canadian Mortar Training on 31 March 1943 in Woodstock, Ontario. On 1 April 1943 he went back to school to for Drivers and Mechanics (D. & M.) for phase III Driver Mechanics. On 28 May 1943 he completed his course and qualified on his tests. He qualified for his driver mechanics class 3 on 29 May 1943, returning to the Royal Canadian Engineers on 9 June 1943.
On 1 September 1943 he was transferred to Windsor, Nova Scotia and re-qualified his driver mechanics. On 27 November 1943 he left Halifax and arrived in England on 2 December 1943. In February he was taken on strength to the 5th Field Company R.C.E. as part of his final preparation for the upcoming Normandy invasion. On 3 June 1944 the military was informed to load the ships and spend the night heading across the English Channel to Normandy Beaches in France to arrive on 6 June 1944, D-Day. He was killed in action on June 6 attempting to clear the beaches of the German obstacles.
Arthur is buried at Beny-sur-Mer, a Canadian Military Cemetery located in Beny-sur-Mer France. The cemetery now contains 2048 Second World War burials. He was 21 years at the date of his death. His mother Bessie Isabel Switzer received his medals he had been awarded: The 1939-1945 Star, France-Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1935-1945, and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp. For his efforts and sacrifice rest in peace Arthur .
Written by: A student at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Rédigé par: un élève de Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.
REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.
THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS. DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.
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