Spr William Nichol Bisset - 2nd Fd Coy

Spr William Nichol  Bissett
Gravestone for Spr William Nichol Bisset in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, France

Sapper William Nichol Bisset was born in Toronto, ON in 1910. Before he enlisted on 29 September 1939 in Toronto, he was single and worked as a Structural Iron Worker with Dominion Bridge Company in Toronto. He was assigned to the 2nd Field Company and qualified as a Pioneer before he embarked for England on 13 May 1940 and joined his unit already in Aldershot. In England William was employed on camp construction at Aldershot and continued his training in the County of Sussex in south-east England until mid-May 1942 when the 2nd Canadian Division was placed in Corps Reserve. In May the company moved to Coolham and settled down to a period of more construction and training before they entered into a period of extensive training and exercises to prepare for the Dieppe Raid.

On the Dieppe Raid, Sapper Bissett was a member of Major Sucharov’s Beach Party of 92 All Ranks that was organized into eight teams and distributed among the Landing Craft according to their assigned beach and task. Their primary tasks were to support the landings on RED and WHITE beaches by clearing mines and other obstacles, preparing beach exit routes for tracks and wheels, breaching the Esplanade wall, and getting the engineer stores and equipment to places where they were needed.
Sapper Bissette and Sapper Ramsay plus four infantry soldiers were assigned to RED Beach to clear obstacles for the tanks and were transported in LCT 5A. Several LCTs did not make it to shore. The surviving sappers of the beach assault parties that made it ashore did the best they could to assist the tanks over the beach and the wall. The timbers that were required for ramping over the higher parts of the sea-wall never did became available and they did what they could with chespaling.

Like the infantry, the engineers were frequently pinned down and their work was greatly hampered by the enemy fire. Barnes party was to attack the oil storage tanks in town after the initial assault but they could not advance into the town do to extreme enemy fire and lack of protection. Sapper Bissett 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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