6th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers
Ronald Norman Brewer was born in Travis, Alberta on 1 August 1921. He left school at the age of 15 to go to work. Before he enlisted on 21 July 1941 in Cranbrook, BC, he had worked as a farm hand on a chicken farm in Fernie, BC for three years. Sapper Brewer qualified as a Blacksmith 'C' while still in Canada. He arrived in England in July 1942. In October 1942 he was posted into the 6th Field Company, RCE where he qualified as Driver and Pioneer and Blacksmith. He started receiving trades pay as a Blacksmith in June 1943.
Until the end of 1942, the Company was heavily committed to training – both in the technical Combat Engineering skills required for warfare as well as participating in a number of exercises to developing their team skills and ability to support Combat Arms units. 1943 saw the training emphasis focusing on Assault Training with its focus further sharpening in the first few months of 1944 for the preparations for the D-Day landing and assault.
Sapper Brewer was a member of L/Sgt William Stewart’s sub-section supporting the Winnipeg Rifles’ No 12 Platoon in the first wave of D-Day. Half an hour after the landing Brewer was hit in the legs by machine gun fire. About 15 minutes later he was killed when a mortar bomb hit him. Members of his section tried to recover his body but due to the heavy mortar fire, they could not and it floated out with the tide. The body was eventually recovered and he is buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in France.
On 22 January 1990, the creek that flows north-west and then north into Aiken Lake, north-west of Germansen Landing in the Cassiar Land District in British Columbia was named Brewer Creek in his memory. His name is also engraved on the cenotaph in the town of Fernie, BC.
..... Based on research conducted by the 6th Field Engineer Squadron Museum Association.