Spr Oliver Loraine Bergey - 2nd Fd Coy

Spr Oliver Loraine Bergey
RCE Memorial at Newhaven

Sapper Oliver Loraine Bergey was born in 1915 in Toronto, ON to Allan and Hellen Bergey. He enlisted in Toronto on 13 Sep 1939 and was assigned to the General Holding Unit. Before enlisting, Oliver had experience as a Transport Driver and had Militia service with the Queens Own Rangers.

When Oliver joined the 2nd Field Company in November 1940, he was already qualified as a Driver and a Pioneer. He embarked for England in Summer 1941 and joined the remainder of his unit that was already there. The 2nd Fd Coy was employed on camp construction at Aldershot at that time and Oliver also continued training in Sussex until mid-May 1942 when the 2nd Division was placed in Corps Reserve. By then Sapper Bergey has qualified to Driver III level. In May the company 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.

During the Dieppe Raid Sapper Bergey was a member of the Shack Party of 59 All Ranks whose demolition targets were in the large Dieppe rail yard. It was estimated that there were 30 locomotives and 200 pieces of rolling stock in the area. The targets included locomotives, the tunnel, a turntable, rolling stock, stores, oil tanks, engine sheds, machine shops, signal boxes, and miscellaneous buildings and switches. The party was organized into seven teams and Bergey was a member of the 18-man L/Sgt Brash team that was to attack the rolling stock. Rail cars that had not been destroyed in the tunnel were to have their journal bearings destroyed by sledge hammer, the body destroyed by fire and the stocks 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. Sapper Bergey was Killed in Action as the result of mortar fire as he was exiting his landing craft. He is commemorated on the memorial panels at the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, United Kingdom.

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

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