Spr Ethan Charles Hudson (Ret'd)

    • dchipman@telus.net
    • RCE Badge GVIR

    We regret to advise of the death of Sapper Ethan Charles Hudson (Ret'd), 93, of East Branch, NB, on 23 March 2014 at the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont University Hospital in Moncton.

    Born in South Branch, NB, Ethan enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers in April 1942 and trained in Canada with 23rd Field Company. His unit embarked for England in July 1943 where they continued their training and employment in England leading up to their participation in the invasion of Europe. Sapper Hudson was a driver and, later, a Motorcycle Dispatch Rider.

    Ethan landed in Normandy on 11 July 1944 where his Company was initially tasked with clearing the obstacle created by the city of Caen that had been reduced to rubble. They cleared the way of mines and rubble and then upgraded the roads to support the main British Army route out of Caen. The company then moved through France and on to Belgium, continuing to clear mines, build and maintain roads and provide river crossings.

    The Company constructed their first Bailey Bridge over the Orne River then built other bridges in the Caen area as well as providing Stormboat crossings of the Seine River under enemy fire. They then conducted rafting operations to ferry the tanks and infantry personnel across the Seine River before they constructed the Floating Bailey Bridge at Ponte de l' Arche. After the Liberation of France the 23rd Field Company continued to support the Allied advance into Belgium and Holland. His Company was to achieve noteworthy success on the night of 25/26 September 1944 during Operation BERLIN - the evacuation of Allied Airborne forces by Stormboat from Arnhem after Operation MARKET GARDEN. During this nightime operation they rescued more than 2000 of the encircled force while under heavy enemy fire.

    After war's end, Ethan was demobilized and returned to East Branch to follow a career as a farmer and a woodsman. He was a past member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 30, Richibucto.

    A Funeral Service will be held on 27 March 2014 at 11:00 am, St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, South Branch. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to any charity would be appreciated by the family.{kh2016Feb}