Lt-Col William Alexander “Bill” Ewener, MC, ED, OStJ, BA, MD, (Ret’d)

    • Lt Bill Ewener, MC
    • RCE EIIR Badge
    • Bill Ewener UWO Wrestling Tm Capt 1935-36

    We regret to advise of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel William Alexander “Bill” Ewener, MC, ED, BA, MD, OStJ  (Ret’d) on 7 August 2001 at the age of 96 years.

    Bill was born in London in 1905 and in 1908 immigrated with his family to Canada, where they settled in Sarnia ON. At the age of only 12, Bill became an apprentice machinist for the Grand Trunk Railroad while in high school. He later worked in Peru for a number of years in the 1920s and '30s as an engineer for Imperial Oil before returning to London to finish his education. He had played football for the Sarnia Collegiate junior and senior teams, the intermediate Wanderers, the Sarnia Imperials (lineman) and the University of Western Ontario Mustangs (centre). He graduated with a B.A. in his early 30s. While at university, Bill also wrested and was an undefeated champion.

    When the Second World War broke out, Bill volunteered for active service in the 11th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers at the age of 34 years. He was later transferred to the 7th Field Company and selected to take part in the Dieppe Raid.

    Bill was seriously wounded at Dieppe and despite his injuries, he continued to lead his men. For his gallantry, he was awarded the Military Cross. (See: Lt William Alexander Ewener, MC).

    On release from hospital, Bill returned to active duty with the 30th Field Company, 2nd Canadian Corps Engineers. He landed in Normandy in early July 1944 and stayed with the Canadian Army’s advance through France, Belgium and Holland. He was wounded a second time in Holland when a munitions truck in his convoy was hit by a shell and caught fire. After recovering from these wounds, he was promoted to Acting Major and took command of the 30th Field Company until the war ended.

    After VE Day, he volunteered for duty in the Pacific as a company commander in Lt-Col Malcolm Sutherland-Brown’s 6th Combat Engineer Battalion and returned to Canada to help organize and train the unit. Fortunately, the war there ended before he could be deployed.

    On returning to Canada, Bill completed his medical training at the University of Western Ontario, married and had three children. He practised family medicine in the London area into his 80s.  He was active in many activities throughout his life including the Military Engineer Association of Canada, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and the University of Western Ontario Alumni. Lt Bill Ewener is buried in the Medway Cemetery in London ON. {dcJul17kh}