Cpl Thomas Daniel Russell - 2nd Fd Coy

Headstone of Cpl Daniel Thomas Russell in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Corporal Daniel Thomas Russell was born in 1917 in Collingwood, ON to Mary and Daniel Russell. He had a brother Robert. Daniel had three years of schooling at Matric York Memorial Collegiate and two years at Western Tech. He had been serving with the Queen’s York Rangers since March 1939. Daniel was a bricklayer upon enlistment in Toronto on 11 March 1940 and was immediately assigned to 2nd Field Company. Within a week he was qualified as a Bricklayer and Mason.

Corporal Russell embarked for England with the second draft of the 2nd Fd Coy. In England, the unit was already employed on camp construction at Aldershot in the County of Sussex. He continued training and married Theresa Ada Suzanne in England on 4 May 1941. Later that year on 29 December he was promoted to Acting Lance/Corporal. Training and construction activities continued in Sussex until mid-May 1942 when 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve and moved to Coolham. They were settling down to a period of more construction and training when they received orders to undertake an extensive training and exercise program to prepare for the Dieppe Raid. He was promoted to Acting Corporal on 13 August 1942.

On the Dieppe Raid Corporal Russell and his 2nd Field Company mate Sapper Breau were tasked to assist the two bulldozer operators on the beach to remove damaged tanks off the Tank Landing Craft by winch from shore. They travelled with their dozers in Tank Landing Craft 159 and 163 as their work on the beach was to handle the winch cable to remove damaged tanks from the LCTs.

The bulldozers and crew presented prime targets to the Germans and they had little protection. The operators and the sapper crew quickly became casualties. Corporal Russell was Killed in Action. He is buried in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France.

{…with research assistance by the Canadian Military Engineer Museum…}
 

 

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