Rifleman Thomas Vivian Bird, L105169
Red Deer Hill, Saskatchewan
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Thomas Vivian Bird was 23 years old when he joined #12 District Depot CAA of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on 18 February 1943. Thomas was born and raised in Red Deer Hill, a small town in Saskatchewan. This was a farming community at the time and his whole life before the war was spent on his family’s farm. Thomas had plans on becoming a carpenter when he finished school as carpentry was just one of Thomas’s hobbies. According to his military record, he loved to swim and play softball. He would often go to dances and shows with his wife, although he never described himself as musical.
On 1 September 1939 Canada became involved in Second World War. Four years later Thomas joined the fight with his country becoming a soldier of the Royal Winnipeg. After joining the army, Thomas left to begin his basic training in Regina, Saskatchewan, leaving his family back in Red Deer Hill. Thomas was leaving not only his parents, brothers and sisters but his wife Marie Lylvia Bird. The two married on 21 September 1937. Over the course of seven years they had five children together; Rose Marie born 13 December 1938, Lena Joyce born 21 March 1939, Christina May born 7 April 1940. His last two children, Thomas Collin was born in 1941 and Raymond Ernest was born in1942.
Thomas also came from a large family. His father, Thomas Bird Sr., and mother, Charlet Bird had eight children; Thomas Vivian, Ernest, George, Steven and Collin and Hazel and Isabel. Thomas’ brother Collin was in the army overseas while Ernest worked for the C.N.R in Poke Lake, Saskatchewan. While Thomas was in the Canadian army his brother George, Steven, and Hazel still lived on the farm. Isabel was married (Isabel Batting) and lived in Prince Albert Saskatchewan.
After a month of training in Regina Saskatchewan, Thomas was transferred to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on 11 March 1943 for further training. A day later Thomas got transferred from #12 District Depot CAA to unit 122 Basic Training Camp (BTC). After two months of training in Prince Albert Thomas was transferred to A-16 training centre for infantry located in Calgary on 12 May 1943. On 13 May 1943 Thomas made his way to Calgary and was transferred from unit 122 BTC and received an increase in pay to $1.40 per diem. Thomas was issued a special transport warrant A463561 on 10 July 1943 as part of his leave from base and on 17 July he was away from camp only to return on 30 July 1943.
With training complete he was transferred to On 12 August 1943 Thomas got transferred to Windsor, Nova Scotia on 12 August 1943 and a week later was moved to Halifax. After being in Halifax for a week of training, Thomas and his unit 2 Canadian Infantry Recruitment Unit (CIRU) were sent to the United Kingdom on 1 September 1943. While in the UK, Thomas continued to train with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles until he boarded the troop ships on 3 June1944 on his way to France as part of the Normandy invasion. On 6 June 1944, shortly after landing on the beaches of Normandy, Thomas was severely wounded and would die of wounds shortly afterwards.
Written by: A student at the 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.
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.