Sapper Arthur D. Switzer, B108644

"A token of love and remembrance to one we will never forget" - Sapper Switzer's headstone at Beny-sur-Mer Cemetery
Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery – The Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, located at Reviers, about 4 kilometres from Juno Beach in Normandy, France. (J. Stephens)

5th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers

Sapper Arthur Douglas Switzer was born on 16 September 1923 in Binbrook ON. He was the first of four boys born to parents Barclay and Bessie Switzer. Growing up, Arthur spent a lot of time on the farm where his grandfather worked and spent lots of time with his brothers and doing things around the farm to help. He went to the Secondary School in Binbrook Township and completed one year of high school. He then started working as a truck driver for a road construction company before enlisting in the Army.

Arthur enlisted on 22 January 1943 in Simcoe ON at the Basic Training Centre. On 22 February 1943, he was transferred to the Royal Canadian Engineers Training Centre in Port Arthur ON. He completed Mortar Training on 31 March 1943 in Woodstock and qualified as a Driver/Mechanic Class 3 by the end of May 1943 and returned to his unit on 9 June 1943.

On 27 November 1943, his unit sailed for England from Halifax and arrived on 2 December 1943. In February he was taken on strength to the 5th Field Company R.C.E. as part of his final preparation for the upcoming Normandy invasion. On 3 June 1944, his unit was informed to load the ships and spend the night heading across the English Channel to Normandy Beaches in France to arrive on 6 June 1944, D-Day. He was killed in action on June 6 attempting to clear the beaches of the German obstacles.

Arthur was 21 years old at the time of his death and is buried at Beny-sur-Mer, a Canadian Military Cemetery in France.

..... Written by a student at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls, ON.