Spr Stuart Williams - 7th Fd Coy

Spr Stuart Williams
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Sapper Stuart Williams was born in 1906, in London, ON, the son of John and Mary Williams. He was married to Margaret Williams and had teenage children John and Donis. Stuart was working in London as a bricklayer when he enlisted in 7th Field Company on 25 September 1939. His Attesting Officer was Major G.H. McTavish, Commanding Officer of 7th Field Company - the same officer that was to command the Dieppe Raid Engineer force.

When Sapper Williams joined 7th Field Company, it had been mobilized for less than a month. After a short period of local training the unit concentrated for training at Camp Petawawa ON, Stuart embarked for England from Halifax on 22 August 1940 with the main body of his unit. He was initially employed in England on camp construction at Aldershot with more training also taking place. He qualified as a Bricklayer on 15 July 1941. The unit moved to Battle, County of Sussex in November 1941 as part of operational defence plan for the south-east area of England. In May 1942, when the 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve, the 7th Field Company moved to Eastborne, Sussex and settled down to a period of more construction and routine training until serious training was underway in preparation for the Dieppe Raid.

During the Dieppe Raid, Sapper Williams was a member of the Millar Party of 55 All Ranks responsible for a number of demolition targets in the town of Dieppe. The Party was organized into four teams and Williams belonged to the Holland Group “D” team of seven sappers who had the task to demolish a number of warehouses in the dock area. The team landed on RED Beach under heavy under fire and took serious casualties. The surviving team members assisted the advance up the beach and some attempted to advance to their demolition targets in town. As with many of the landed troops, they had difficulty advancing from the beach because of the intense fire from the full range of German weapons. Their numbers were reduced as many had drowned in the surf, had been killed outright, or were suffering extreme wounds. Despite the best efforts to rally the team, they were unable to continue to advance towards their assigned demolition targets. Sapper Williams 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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Spr Stuart Williams

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