Sapper Albert Richard Wells (Ret’d) passed away peacefully on 21 July 2019 at his home in Kamloops BC, three months shy of his 104th birthday. Albert was a veteran of the Second World War and was the last known surviving D-Day veteran of the 6th Field Company, RCE. Today 6th Field Company RCE is perpetuated by 6 Engineer Squadron of 39 Combat Engineer Regiment.
On 7 October 2019, Albert was laid to rest in a small, private Celebration of Life. The service took place at the family plot on the Rabbitt Ranch (family) which is about 3 km east of Tulameen and near where he and his wife Dorothy were born. The interment service was for both Albert and his wife, who predeceased him by 2 years.
Albert was born near Ashcroft BC in 1915 and, between the age of 8 and 15, attended school in Merritt BC. As a teenager, he began working in the construction industry and eventually moved into a career in mining. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1942 after the fall of Hong Kong where three of his close friends were killed.
Offered the opportunity to become an officer in the RCE, Albert chose to remain as an enlisted member. He completed his basic training in Vernon BC and, due to his civilian expertise in mining and construction, he was assigned to Camp Chilliwack in Vedder Crossing, BC before shipping to England. Qualified as a Driver Mechanic, he was assigned to 6th Field Company, RCE in England as a driver.
On D-Day, Albert landed with his Company at Courselles Sur-Mer. He soon ended up assisting with the setup and operation of a potable water point for the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the village of Pierrepont. Albert remained with 6th Fd Coy throughout the European Campaign through France and Belgium and on to Holland from where the unit was repatriated in October 1945.
After repatriation to Canada Albert began a very successful career in mining throughout BC and eventually retired to Mission BC in his late 60s.
In 2015 Albert was made a Knight of the National Order of the Legion d’honeur by the Republic of France, in recognition of his wartime actions to liberate France from German occupation.
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