Spr George L. Fortnum (Ret'd)

    • RCE Badge circa 1937-52
    • Sapper George Fortnum

    We regret to advise of the death of Sapper George L. Fortnum (Ret'd), peacefully on 16 October 2013 at the Parkwood Hospital in London, ON in his 94th year.

    George was born in London, ON.  He was a veteran of the Second World War serving with the Royal Canadian Engineers. After training in Canada he shipped to England in September 1940 and served as a driver and engineer with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, Headquarters Royal Canadian Engineers until 19 August 1942 where he was involved in Operation JUBILEE, the Dieppe Raid on the French Coast.

    During the Dieppe Raid, he drove a jeep full of high explosives onto the beach to breach the defences and allow the tanks to proceed.  By the time he landed, the tanks were already stuck and the attack had been stopped.  George was taken prisoner and was marched from camp to camp in France, Germany and Poland remaining a POW until the end of the war in 1945.  After the war, he was quarantined with tuberculosis for another year before returning to Canada.

    George was a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion Byron-Springbank Branch #533 in London, ON.  He was very active in educating the youth on the war effort.  He was also quite involved with his Retired Veterans sapper associations and the Military Engineers Association of Canada. George was the Royal Canadian Engineer representative in the Official Party for the 2002 Pilgrimage to France to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Operation JUBILEE.  

    Prior to the war, George had worked as a butcher.  After the war, he went to work for the service department of Soft Water Supply Limited where he spent the rest of his working days in the soft water conditioning industry.

    Visitation will be held on 18 October from 2:00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 PM at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, London.  A funeral service and Royal Canadian Legion service will be conducted on 19 October 2:00 PM at the chapel. Cremation will follow and a private family interment of ashes will take place at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London at a later date.  Donations may be made to the Royal Canadian Legion (Elevator Fund), Branch 533, Byron Springbank, or the Veteran’s Care and Comfort Fund (St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation).  Online condolences may be made at www.westviewfuneralchapel.com. {dc/gdJan2017kh} [zpp]