Spr John "Jack" Gray (Ret’d)
We regret to advise of the death of Sapper John “Jack” Gray (Ret’d), peacefully, on 30 January 2014, in London, ON, in his 93rd year.
A WW II Royal Canadian Engineer veteran, Jack served with the 2nd Battalion R.C.E. in the liberation of France, Belgium and Holland. He was an architectural draughtsman when he enlisted in June 1940 with “B” Coy of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Engineers and was on his way overseas in two months. Until they embarked for France on 26 July 1944, his unit worked In England on a large number of construction and accommodation projects for the Canadian Army.
Upon landing in France the battalion was involved in the reconstruction of the devastated Carpiquet Airport and the building of the by-pass road around the city of Caen. Their final challenge in France was the construction of the bridge over the Seine at Rouen. When this was completed by the end of September, the Battalion moved rapidly into Antwerp, Belgium.
After the war Jack was a founding partner of the land surveying company, Archibald, Gray and MacKay (AGM) of London. Upon retirement, he devoted much of his time in support of Canadian veterans and in travelling to England, France and Holland to celebrate the major national anniversaries of Liberation in 1994-95 and 2004-05.
Jack was a leader in holding together the veterans of the 2nd Battalion RCE. He travelled across the country to visit members of the group individually, often when they were too ill or financially unable to attend group events. Despite ailing health, he celebrated the 60th anniversary of D-Day in France in 1944 on Juno Beach with three generations of his family.
Friends will be received by the family from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 8pm on Sunday, 2 February 2014 at the A. Millard George Funeral Home, 60 Ridout Street South, London. The funeral service will be conducted at Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church, 111 Elmwood Avenue, London, on 3 February 2014 at 2pm. Cremation. A legion service under the auspices of Pooley Legion Branch No. 167, Exeter will take place at the funeral home at 6:30pm on 2 February 2014. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson Society, 4500 Blakie Road, Unit 117, London, N6L 1G5 or the Memorial Fund of Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church, 111 Elmwood Avenue, London, N6C 1J4.