John Thomas Gunson

Rifleman John Thomas Gunson, H6981
Mulvilhill, Manitoba
The Regina Rifle Regiment

Born on 23 April 1919 in Mulvihill, Manitoba, John Thomas Gunson was part of a farming family. His mother, Annie Gunson and father Thomas Gunson were parents of 7 children.  John was the second oldest of a strong family. He had worked on a neighboring farm along with his family for eight years before enlisting in the nearby city of Winnipeg.   After four years of schooling John left school at age 14 and he continued on with the family tradition of farming. After finally telling his boss Phillip Guard he was done working, he went to enlist as a young jobless man. He seemed determined to enlist as his older and younger brothers both served for Canada. When he entered the army he was of average height at 5 feet 7 inches and was in good physical shape. He enlisted in Winnipeg Manitoba in November 1941 and stayed there until he was transferred to Terrace, British Columbia.   He was in Terrace for 3 months but things weren’t always easy for John, the constant stress would build up and in return he was constantly absent without leave (AWOL). Also for unknown reasons John had been in and out of the hospital multiple times and would stay in the hospitals for a week at a time. It seemed that he had an illness that kept him out of action.  After a challenging stay in Terrace, he was ordered to travel with his unit to Halifax, Nova Scotia where he was then shipped overseas to England. Once there, he continued his training but while granted time off, he met a girl, Kay Wolsley. John and Kay were married but it was never officially confirmed.  The unit he joined was at first was the Royal Winnipeg Grenadiers but he was later transferred to the Royal Winnipeg Rifles where he would serve until he died.

John Thomas Gunson enlisted in the Canadian army on 28 November 1941 when he was 22 years old. He drove 2 hours from his home town of Mulvihill, Manitoba to enlist in Winnipeg. He was then transferred 8 days later to Portage La Prairie Manitoba where was Taken on Strength (TOS) and thrown into the Winnipeg Grenadiers Units. John then started his intense training at the Infantry Advanced Training Center ( I.A.T.C.) (r)  where he would remain for well over 2 months. His time here was long but by the end he was well on his way to becoming a trained riflemen. After training for a few months with his unit The Winnipeg Grenadiers John decided to leave the grounds as he was absent without leave 1 day and 15 hours. Since he was absent he was Force to forfeited 2 days’ pay. Not even two days later on 20May 1941 he was admitted to the Fort Osborne Military hospital. After remaining in the hospital for 15+ days he was transferred to Terrace, British Columbia. Then for a month and one day no records were recorded and it seems as if he continued with his rifleman training.  He was then Taken off Strength and transferred to the Number 10 distract depot on 8 July 1942. Then again he was absent for four more days without consent. As a result he forfeited 4 days’ pay.  After finally returning he was attached to H.Q. 14th Canadian Infantry Brigade for duty and discipline. Having been on Furlough 1-7-42 to 17-7-42 and authorized to draw 50 cents per diem in lieu of rations he reported for duty.  John was struck off strength of the Winnipeg Grenadiers and taken on strength to the Canadian army overseas and attached to No. 10 district depot on 11 September 1942 and because of this he was shipped to Halifax to get ready to travel overseas.   John was struck off strength from the Canadian army Canada and on the 7 October 1942 was taken on strength to the Canadian army overseas. One day later on the 8th his journey to the U.K was underway.  John was struck off strength to the Cameron Highlanders  of Canada. Then he was taken on strength to the 2nd depot recruitment center and stay there for 15 days until the 30 October 1942. After his privilege leave John returned to the Cameron’s of Canada but was admitted to the 10 field ambulance where he would stay for 4 days until 3 December 1942. After 2 more months of recruitment training John went AWOL[1] and was gone for 7 days. He returned on time and continued on until 8 March 1943 when he was admitted to the No. 10 field ambulance again at the field dressing station where he would stay for one day. After he was moved to the casualty clearing station and was discharged 3 days later. For 7 days John was confined to barracks and forfeit one day pay. He was then paid 9 days allowance for a 9 day leave. After he returned he was admitted to the 10th field ambulance on March 8th 2013 and a day later was transferred from the 5th casualty clearing station the 3rd casualty clearing station and was discharged 3 days later. John was then struck on strength to the 7th education wing on 31 May 1943. Then on the first of June he was taken on strength from the Cameron’s of Canada.  After that John changed his next of kin to his mother to his mom Mary Gunson of Ericsdale Manitoba, Canada.  Then on the 14 September 1943 he was stuck on strength to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Recruitment Unit. Then four days later on the 18September 1943 he was taken on strength to the 7th education wing to start combat training. After 6 days of training John was transferred to his final regiment the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on 23September 1943. He was then awarded the Canadian volunteer service medal and clasp. Then 9 months later on the 15May 1944 he forfeited 16 days’ pay.  Then on the 2June he had embarked on his journey from the United Kingdom to France. 4 days later on the 6June John was deployed on Juno Beach where he would be seriously wounded. Then later that same day he died of his wounds and was pronounced killed in action.

John served in the Canadian army from 1941 – 1944. He received the 1939- 45 Star France & Germany Star as well as the Defense medal and War Medal and C.V.S.M & Clasp. John died of his injuries while serving his country. He died honorably on 6 June 1944 and is now buried in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery, Beny-sur-Mer, France, Grave 10, row H, and plot 2. John named his mother Annie Gunson as his next of kin, since he didn’t have a will; all his belongings were left to here.  John Thomas Gunson gave his life for his country and will always be remembered.

 

Written by a student at Smiths Fall 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.

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.