Corporal Lambert Whitfield Wiggins, G18379
Centreville, New Brunswick
The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
Lambert Whitfield Wiggins was born in Muniac, New Brunswick on 29 April 1915. He was born to Lambert W. Wiggins and the late Florence Alberta. He was the oldest of three brothers and had an older sister Geraldine. His brother Chauncey J. Wiggins was killed overseas on 4 September 1944. Lambert was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 150 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. When he was 15 years old he moved to Maine to be a lumberman. He enlisted for the army on 4 April 1940 in Woodstock, New Brunswick when he was 19 years of age. He went in as a member of the North Shore Regiment.
On 17 May 1940 Lambert was taken on strength (TOS) in Aldershot, New Brunswick. On 2 December he was admitted to the camp hospital for reasons unknown and was discharged on 6 may 1940. On 9December 1940 he got a combinedfurlough and Christmas furlough and returned to the camp on 28December. He was tested and qualified as driver I.C class 3 on 5 March1941. He was sentenced to forfeit two days of ordinary pay for neglecting to obey camp standings on 17 May. On 21 June he was struck off strength (SOS) and transferred to Nova Scotia. Lambert Wiggins was sent on leave 5 times between 8 August 1941 and the 21 July 1943. He was promoted to corporal on the 11 August 1943. Also on the 11 August he was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) and clasp. Lambert Wiggins was wounded in action on the 6June 1944 and died of his wounds that same day.
On 6 June 1944 Lambert landed on Juno Beach in the Nan Red Sector with the North Shore Regiment alongside with the tanks of the Fort Garry Horse at about 8:10 am. As Lambert’s boat came to shore, slightly west of the St. Aubin-sur-Mer village, the beach was hot with German machine gun fire and deadly German rounds from a 50 mm beach gun encasement. As the boat arrived in France all the solders ran into the water with about 1000 meters to the shore. The tanks planned to arrive closer to shore but because the weather was bad they couldn’t get as close as they wanted to and launched several thousand meters from shore. There where shots being fired everywhere and it was like trying to not get hit by a rain drop in a storm.
As Lambert got to shore he had to get to the sea wall. He looked back and saw tanks sinking in the water; they were losing half their tanks, not because of the enemy fire but just from the rough waves. The men in the tanks that weren’t sinking were trying to swim to shore but their uniform and equipment was too heavy and many were drowning, lambert saw men being shot before they even got off their boat. He saw the water turning a dark red. He then knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy battle and he was only a few minutes into action. There were soldiers being killed everywhere. According to the war diary of the NSR “…crossing the beach for A and B Company only a few casualties occurred” but 24 men were lost due to heavy sniping from the houses fronting the beach. For the men of B Company their task was challenging because they had to take out the large 50 mm coastal gun encased in concrete. This gun was only silenced four hours after B Company landed on the beach. The bullets being shot and hitting the sand this made a shower of debris. As the Fort Garry tanks came onto shore and made their way up the beach, he could see them running over some of the wounded soldiers. While the Fort Garry horse DD tanks were supposed to wait for the armored Vehicles ,Royal Engineers but gave up and went ahead to clear the beach and push through a minefield without them. They lost three tanks in the process. This meant that the Fort Garry’s only had 13 more tanks to go in to St. Aubin. Unfortunately Lambert was wounded in action and later died from his wounds.
Lambert’s father wrote to military headquarters on 22 December 1944 and said:
I hold in my name, war saving Certificates having a matured value of 730.00. My object in doing this was in order to save administration costs, in case of death. If my son left a will, I will see to it that his personal wishes are carried out. There is calm outstanding he held against Addison E. Reid of Centerville N.B for wages, which amounted to $74.00 at the time he left for overseas. We went to Reid for a settlement at that time. He agreed to pay me the amount as soon as soon as he could get it. However he has disregarded my re-quest for a settlement. He was agreeable to paying interest on the amount until paid. This Reid may capable of telling the truth; but from my personal experience, and what I have been able to learn from his neighbors, it’s a subject that he has devoted vary little time, if any, to studying.
Lambert’s death certificate went to his father Lambert Wiggins Sr. on 5 February 1944. Lambert’s father received all his medals. His father also received his burial of state information that stated he was buried in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian military cemetery in Beny-sur-Mer, France.
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.