Spr Douglas Cribb Lewis, 10th Fd Sqn

Sapper Douglas Lewis
Sapper Douglas Lewis, Gradara Cemetery, Italy

Sapper Douglas Lewis was the son of William George and Mary Gabell of New Waterford, NS.

On 2 September 1944, General E.L.M. Burns ordered the 5th Canadian Armoured Division to cross the Conca River and then angle northeast toward the town of Cattolica on the Adriatic. Major-General Chris Vokes and 1st Canadian Division were to parallel this move to trap the Germans defending Pesaro. The Canadians were successful and unlike their British comrades to their west, easily overcame the terrain and met with minimal German resistance. Meanwhile, V (British Corps sought to exploit Canadian success and strike towards Coriano. They met with elements of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division on 4 September who were maintaining their hold on the area around the Besanigo Ridge. Despite the advice they received from the Canadians concerning German dispositions and strength, they launched a failed attack that night but made no significant advance on Coriano.

Among the Canadian units in the front lines was the 10th Field Squadron was supporting the advance of 5th Armoured Division units crossing the Conca River in the area of the Besanigo Ridge with the British to their left.  According to the personal diary of Lt. Douglas Graham. MC, the 10th  Field Squadron suffered ‘4 killed and 7 wounded’ that night. 

Sapper Douglas Lewis was among those killed.  He was 26 years old and left behind a wife, Greta Adelaide Lewis, in Westmount North, NS.  He is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Gradara, Italy.

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