William Bruce Smith

William Bruce Smith

Pte. William Bruce Smith, second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. McKay Smith, 55 Victoria St., lost his life in Normandy on July 1, 1944, when he stepped on a land mine. With the Canadian Scottish Regiment, Pte. Smith participated in the tremendous job of cracking the Caen defenses, and part of the task was holding towns like Villeneuve and Rots and patrolling to bring in information for further attacking. He was buried at Beny-sur-Mer. Enlisting from Trail, B.C., in a reserve unit, in March, 1942, Pte. Smith trained at Vernon and Prince Rupert and went overseas with volunteer reinforcements in August, 1943. He took part in the D-Day invasion. One of his most touching letters, received by his parents after his death, and one which showed a very different side of battle action, was Bruce's description of the Sunday prayer service held by the unit's padre on the shell-torn battlefield, with the praying soldiers wearing their steel helmets and carrying their rifles. It was, he wrote, a sincere demonstration of man's deep unquestioning faith in God. Born at Nanton, Alta., on October 6, 1920, Bruce came to Brantford with his parents in 1937, and was employed at the Slingsby Manufacturing Company. He left for Trail in 1940 and, until his enlistment, was in the laboratories at the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company.

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