Spr Harry Ford, 10th Fd Sqn

Gradara Cemetery

Harry Ford was the son of Campbell and Grace Ford of Strathmiglo in the county of Fife in Scotland.

Harry was working as a carpenter and living in Medicine Hat when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers in Calgary in July 1940.  Harry was immediately posted to the 10th Field Company and was in Petawawa for training the following month.  Harry was with the company when it was re-roled as a field squadron and assigned to the 1st Canadian Armoured Division (Later re-named the 5th Canadian Armoured Division) in February 1941.

By the time the 10th Field Squadron arrived in Italy from England in November 1943, Sapper Ford qualified as Group C Pioneer and Group B carpenter. The Squadron advanced across Italy building and repairing bridges and roads, clearing mines and bobby traps and training hard whenever they were out of action.  By early September, 1944, they were fully engaged in the Gothic Line battle advancing, conducting route reconnaissance and clearing obstacles. 

Tragedy struck while they were preparing for the assault on Coriano Ridge on the morning of 11 September.  Harry with other members of the Squadron were having breakfast in shifts near a kitchen truck.  A stray shell hit the kitchen tent causing 28 casualties – six killed outright, three seriously wounded who later died of wounds, and 11 seriously injured.  Harry was among the seriously wounded and died later that day. 

Sapper Harry Ford is buried in Gradara War Cemetery where his grave is marked with a cross, his details, and the inscription "We Will Remember Thee". He was 38 years old.

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