L/Cpl Thomas Richard Gage - 2nd Fd Coy

L/Cpl Thomas Richard Gage
L/Cpl Gage's headstone in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Lance Corporal Thomas Richard Gage was born in Lindsay, ON in 1902. He was married to Mary Gage and they had two children, George and Albert. He had experience as a printer but was employed as a truck driver and mechanic before enlisting. He had also served in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1918-19).

Thomas enlisted on 11 September 1939 in Toronto ON and joined 2nd Fd Coy before they concentrated at Camp Petawawa, ON for their training. During that time he qualified as a Driver on 24 April 1940. The unit embarked from Halifax on 12 Apr 1940 and Thomas followed on 11 May.

In England, Thomas was initially employed on camp construction at Aldershot and continued training in south-east England. He qualified as a Blacksmith on 6 May 1941 and was appointed Acting Lance Corporal on 23 October 1941. In mid-May 1942, the 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve and his unit moved to Coolham and settled down to a period of more construction and training before they started and extensive training and exercise program to prepare for the Dieppe Raid
On the Dieppe Raid Lance Corporal Gage was a member of the Shack Party of 59 All Ranks whose targets were in the rail yard. This was a large operation as it was estimated that there were 30 locomotives and 200 pieces of rolling stock in the area. The targets included locomotives, the tunnel, a turntable, rolling stock, stores, oil tanks, engine sheds, machine shops, signal boxes, and miscellaneous buildings and switches.

Gage was in the 18-man L/Sgt Brash team whose targets were the rolling stock. Rolling stock not destroyed in the tunnel by the Brash team was to have their journals destroyed by sledge hammer and the body destroyed by fire. Cars were to be destroyed according to their contents. Like the infantry, Sgt Brash’s team was were pinned down by heavy enemy fire on the beach, the Esplanade Wall and any approaches to the town of Dieppe. They could not advance into the town to demolish their assigned targets.

Lance Corporal Gage was originally declared MIA but it was later confirmed that he was taken Prisoner of War. While POW he died during an Allied Airstrike on 21 Apr 1945. He is buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.

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

 

 

 

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