Spr Peter Charbotte - 2nd Fd Coy

Gravestone for Spr Peter Charbotte in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France
Gravestone for Spr Peter Charbotte in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France

Sapper Peter Charbotte was born in 1916 in Golden Lake, ON. After attending one year of High School he had been working in the mines near Timmins, ON as a Transport Driver and Machinist Helper. He enlisted in 2nd Field Company in Toronto on 13 September 1939 and commenced training with them. Peter was qualified as a Driver when he embarked from Halifax for England on 12 May 1940.

Sapper Charbotte arrived in the UK in May 1940 and joined the main body of 2nd Field Company who had only arrived in Aldershot in the previous month. In England, his company had been working on camp construction at Aldershot but was preparing to move to Coolham. In mid-May 1942 the 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve and 2nd Fd Coy moved to Coolham in south-east England for more construction work and training. They had just settled in when they started an extensive training and exercise program to prepare for the Dieppe Raid.

For the Dieppe Raid, Sapper Charbotte was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal and was a team-leader in the Shack Party of 59 All Ranks. That party’s targets were in the rail yard in Dieppe. This was a large operation as there were estimated to be 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.

Shack’s party was organized into seven teams and Charbotte was in charge of a three-man team that was to locate and destroy the Signal Boxes associated with the rail network. 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 and Lance Corporal Charbotte was Killed in Action. He is buried in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France.

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



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