Spr William Henry McCaslin - 1st Fd Park Coy

Spr William Henry McCaslin
Hometown War Memorial
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Sapper William Henry McCaslin was born in 1919 in Durham, ON to Mr. Joseph Henry and Ava Allen McCaslin. Prior to his enlistment on 13 March 1940 in London, ON, William had served in the Grey and Simcoe Foresters of the Non-Permanent Active Militia and was a Truck Driver by trade. On enlistment, McCaslin was assigned to the 1st Field Park Company in London.

After a short period of local training, he was sent to the Engineer Training Centre in Camp Petawawa, ON to complete his sapper training. Upon completion, Sapper McCaslin embarked at St John, NB for England on 30 November 1940. The advance elements of the 1st Fd Park Coy had embarked earlier, so with this draft, the 2nd Canadian Division was now complete in England. Like the rest of the 2nd Division engineer units, the 1st Field Park Company was busy in south-east England with construction projects, preparing defensive works and training. William achieved his Driver qualification on 27 April 1942 and underwent special training with 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment) from 20 May to 19 July prior to the Dieppe Raid.

For the Dieppe Rai, Sapper McCaslin and his 1st Field Park Company mate Sapper Jones travelled with the dozers in Tank Landing Craft 159 and 163. They were there primarily to help remove damaged tanks off the LCTs by winch from shore. Later duties would be to help prepare exits over the Esplanade Wall and to help clear routes into the town. The bulldozers were the first to trundle down the ramp. With no armour protection for the operator, they quickly became casualties. Sapper McCashin was Killed in Action. He is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, United Kingdom

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











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