Sapper Raymond Reginald Sparkes, B25474
Royal Canadian Engineers
Raymond Reginald Sparkes was born on 3 February 1922 in Toronto, Ontario. When he enlisted in No 2 Depot, RCE in Toronto on 14 February 1941 he listed his trade as a tractor driver. He joined 6 Field Company RCE on 16 June 1941when they were in Debert, Nova Scotia awaiting embarkation for the United Kingdom. Two days later they sailed for England.
Within a year Sapper Sparkes was a qualified carpenter. For the first summer the unit was heavily involved in building the camps that were required for the accommodation of the increasing number of Canadian troops in England. Then, until the end of 1942, the Company was heavily committed to training – both in the technical Combat Engineering skills required for warfare as well as participating in a number of exercises to develop their team skills and ability to support Combat Arms units. 1943 saw the training emphasis focusing on Assault Training with its focus further sharpening in the first few months of 1944 to the preparations for the D-Day landing and assault.
Shortly before D-Day, Sparkes was engaged to Miss Doreen Daisy Mabel Middleton from London whom he had known for 18 months. On 18 May 1944 he received permission from the Army to marry her with his Commanding Officer commenting: “This man has been with the unit for over three years and is thoroughly reliable and hard working. I recommend permission be granted.”
On D-Day Sapper Sparkes was a member of Corporal P.H.Wilkinson’s sub-section supporting No 11 Platoon of the Winnipeg Rifles’ in the first wave. Corporal Wilkinson was wounded by machine gun fire during the landing. Sapper Sparkes was killed by an extended burst of machine gun fire. He is buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in France.
…. Based on Research conducted by the 6 Field Engineer Squadron Museum Association.
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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