Joseph Earl Cuthbertson

Lance Corporal Joseph Earl Cuthnertson, F49888
North Sydney, Nova Scotia
The North Nova Scotia Highlanders

Lance Corporal Cuthbertson is sponsored by the City of Markham.
Lance Corporal Cuthbertson 
était parrainé par City of Markham.

Joseph Earl Cuthbertson was one of the many Canadian soldiers who fought in the Second World War and died on D-Day, 6 June 1944 in Normandy, France.  Joseph was born on 24 July 1920 in Truro, Nova Scotia. His parents lived on 570 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia. His sister Helen Cuthbertson lived on Harmony Road, Truro, Nova Scotia. Both of Joseph’s parents passed away before Joseph died in the war; the date of his father Percy’s death was unknown and his mother Theresa died in 1940. Joseph’s religion was Roman Catholic. He left school when he was only 15 years old and had a painting job fairly regularly before he left for the war. Joseph also had previous training with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders from 1937-1939. He was only 19 when he enlisted with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.

Joseph got married in Amherst, Nova Scotia on 12 August 1940 to Mary Batherson who lived on 35 Pleasant Street North Sydney, Nova Scotia. They had one daughter, Theresa Cuthbertson, who was only 18 months old when Joseph died.  According to correspondence with family members, Joseph never got to meet his daughter.  Theresa is still alive today and now goes by the name of Tess. She married a gentleman with the surname of Smith.  Tess resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Joseph’s wife Mary remarried to gentleman with the surname of MacDonald who passed away in 2003.   Mary passed away on 12 February 2009.  When Joseph died he was buried in Beny-sur-mer Canadian military cemetery grave 2, row C, plot 5 and he did not leave a will.

On 2 September 1939 Joseph joined the North Nova Scotia Highlanders; he ranked as a private.  On 15 July 1940 he was transferred to the 3rd infantry Division joining the North Nova Scotia Highlanders in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Two days after formally joining the North Novas he married his bride.   On 12August he was promoted to Lance Corporal, and then from 14-17 September he was granted furlough for two weeks. Often they granted furlough when some is promoted to show their appreciation or to give them a break before they take on a bigger job. On 25 April 1941 he is promoted to an Acting-corporal. Then on 14 July  he is move to the Debert Military Camp or also known as Camp Debert. Camp Debert was the final staging area for units embarking from Halifax; here troops received training with personal weapons. 4 days later he is shipped across seas to Avonmouth, Bristol, UK and arrived on July 19th. Avonmouth was the most heavily bombed city of Second World War between November 1940 and April 1941 when there were 6 major bombing raids.  11-15 August 1941 he had a rewarding landing leave, and then Joseph was promoted to corporal. On October 1st, Joseph was confirmed to corporal, and then from the 24 – 30 he was given his first private leave with warrant. 16 November to 20 December  Joseph went on a privileged leave with pay to go on a course to learn how to train soldiers. 11-17 February 1942 he is granted another rewarded leave, and then Joseph was transferred from the NNSH to #6 district depot. He is then shipped back overseas to Halifax to train soldiers on 28 March  1942. He gets two weeks to see his family, and then back to training soldiers. Later on he was admitted to the Halifax military hospital, for reasons that are unknown.

 

On 7 May 1942 he is admitted to the #6 hospital in Charlottetown PEI remaining in the hospital until the 13th. No reasons are given in the military records concerning his hospitalization during these times.  He returned to the #6 hospital for two weeks from 30 November to 12 December 1942. He was shipped back to Halifax where the NNSH waited a month before sending him overseas to the United Kingdom and he never returned back to Canada after this. He arrived in England on 13 February 1943. On 24 March he was moved to the 7th Canadian Infantry Reserve Unit and on 4 September Joseph started training to be able to work a 3 inch mortar. He returned to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders on 3 September training to be an officer but on 30 December Joseph requested a demotion in rank wanting to revert back to Lance Corporal. On 3 June he left for Juno Beach.  The men aboard the transport ships would leave Southampton port on the early hours of 6 June.  At 8:00 am the first wave of Canadians would land along the Normandy coast between Saint Aubin and Courseulles-sur-Mer.  Then at 11:00am the orders were received for the second wave to begin their approach and landed in front of Bernieres-sur-Mer along with the 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment at 11:40am. Only one mortar crew were casualties upon landing on the beach when they hit a mine. Joseph and three other soldiers left their landing craft in a jeep and were led across an untested area of the beach and they hit a mine. The men of the Mortar Platoon were carrying more than 80 pounds on their backs when they were leaving the ship. When all the soldiers reached the beach it was complete chaos, there were crowds of people everywhere and it was hard to find your way around. By 2:00pm all men of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders had landed upon the beach but the log jam of men, equipment, armour, and vehicles crowded the beach area.  According the regimental war diary the men were able to move past the eighth infantry brigade and off the beach making their way to the objective – Villons-Les-Buissons. He is buried in Beny-sur-Mer where after the Canadians successfully push further into Normandy a cemetery was created and has become the final resting place for over 2000 Canadians.   On the first day of the invasion the NNSH regiment lost 4 men killed in action and 4 men seriously wounded.  Unfortunately, Joseph was one of the four men killed.  He has the unfortunate distinction of being the first soldier of the regiment to be killed on D-Day.

 

Written by a student at Smiths Fall District Collegiate Institute in Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Rédigé par un élève de Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, Smith 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.

CE PORTRAIT CONTIENT DES INFORMATIONS BIOGRAPHIQUES RELATIVES À L’UN DES CANADIENS QUI SONT MORTS SUR LA PLAGE JUNO, LE 6 JUIN 1944. IL PORTE ÉGALEMENT MENTION DE LA PERSONNE OU DE L’ORGANISATION QUI A GÉNÉREUSEMENT PARRAINÉ CE SOLDAT, AINSI QU’UN MESSAGE DE REMERCIEMENT EN SOUVENIR DE SON SACRIFICE. CES INFORMATIONS SONT DISPONIBLES DANS LA LANGUE MATERNELLE DU SOLDAT ET ONT ÉTÉ COMPILÉES PAR LE PROGRAMME LEST WE FORGET ET, DANS CERTAINS CAS, GRÂCE À LA GÉNÉROSITÉ DES PERSONNES LIÉES AUX SOLDATS. EN RAISON DE LA DISPARITÉ DES DOCUMENTS HISTORIQUES ET DES RARES TÉMOINS DE L’ÉPOQUE, NOUS NE DISPOSONS PAS DE LA MÊME QUANTITÉ D’INFORMATION SUR TOUS LES SOLDATS. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ COMPLÉTER NOTRE DOCUMENTATION OU NOUS AIDER DANS NOS EFFORTS POUR PRÉSENTER LES BIOGRAPHIES EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ANGLAIS, MERCI DE CONTACTER : JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.