Spr Delbert Alvin Elliott - 2nd Fd Coy

Spr Delbert Alvin Elliott
St-Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Sapper Delbert Alvin Elliott was born in Sexsmith, AB to Alvin and Hazel Elliott of Edmonton in 1920. He was working as a blacksmith when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers in Beaverlodge, AB on 29 May 1940. Delbert had prior work experience as a farmer and hunter.

Sapper Elliot was assigned to 2nd Pioneer Battalion, RCE and then was posted on 5 June 1940 to Camp Petawawa, ON to start training at the Engineer Training Centre. After several months of training, he embarked for England from Halifax on 28 August 1940. After a short period with the Engineer Holding Unit in England, he was transferred to 2nd Fd Coy on 23 September 1940. The 2nd Fd Coy was working on camp construction at Aldershot and Delbert continued Blacksmith training, completing Blacksmith III on 20 February 1942. That October he married Margaret Cicely in England.

The 2nd Fd Coy continued its construction work and training in Aldershot in south-east England until mid-May 1942 when the 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve. The company then moved to Coolham and settled down to a period of more construction and training before they started an extensive training and exercise program to prepare for the Dieppe Raid.

On the Dieppe Raid, Sapper Elliott was a member of the Shack Party of 59 All Ranks whose targets were in the Dieppe rail yard. The party was organized into seven teams and Elliott was a member of the 18-man L/Sgt Brash team. This was a large operation as it was estimated that there were 30 locomotives and 200 pieces of rolling stock in the area. The targets comprised locomotives, the tunnel, a turntable, rolling stock, stores, oil tanks, engine sheds, machine shops, signal boxes, and miscellaneous buildings and switches.

L/Sgt Brash’s team was assigned to attack the rolling stock. Cars that had not been destroyed in the tunnel were to have their journal bearings destroyed by sledgehammer and the body destroyed by fire. The cars were to be destroyed according to their contents. Like the infantry, these sappers were pinned down by heavy enemy fire on the beach, the Esplanade Wall and any approaches to the town of Dieppe. They could not advance into the town to demolish their assigned targets.

Sapper Elliot was wounded and taken prisoner during the battle but died of his wounds that evening. Sapper Elliott was declared Killed in Action. He is buried in the Saint-Sever Cemetery Extension near Rouen in France.

{…with research assistance by the Canadian Military Engineer Museum….}



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