Sgt John Bray died August 6, 1944

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    pylon1357
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    Sgt John Bray died August 6, 1944

    Post by pylon1357 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:33 am

    I would like to highlight this soldiers life and death. One of the many non-combat related deaths to befall members of the Canadian Active Service Force during World War Two.

    Bray, John Thomas. Sgt. B/24060
    Company unknown
    Service file volume: RG24-25237

    Date of Birth: 16 February 1907
    Place of Birth: Bransford, Worcestershire England
    Age: 37
    Height: 5’ 9 ½”
    Weight: 126 lbs
    Complexion: Dark
    Eyes: Brown
    Hair: Brown
    Religion: Church of England

    Marital Status: Married
    Wife: Ester, married August 1, 1930 in Toronto Ontario.
    Children: Carol Mary (born 19-Dec-30), Jacqueline Edith (born 25-Nov-32) and Phillip
    Edwin (born 13-Dec-37)
    Family:
    Father:
    Charles Wallace
    Mother: Mary Jane
    Brothers: Charles, Walter, Philip, Hayden, and Benjamin
    Sisters: Marion and Eva
    Position in Family: 1
    Other Facts: He moved to Canada with his family when he was 21 years old.

    Education: Left school at age 13 Grade 8
    Trade or Calling: Painter and decorator

    Date of enlistment: 12 January 1940
    Place of enlistment: Toronto Ontario
    Regiment or Unit: Queens own Rifles of Canada
    Reason for enlistment: Liked army life and glad to do his share.
    Date Taken on Strength to Irish Regiment of Canada: 09 April 1944, in Italy.
    Other service Facts: He joined the Queens Own Rifles of Canada 24 January 1931 as a
    militiaman. On 15 January 1940 he was promoted to Cpl. and then to Sgt. 20 June 1940.
    He was promoted to CSM 17 November 1941 but reverted to Cpl. at his own request 26
    February 1944. He was awarded the Efficiency Medal on 18 June 1942.
    Theatres and Dates of Service: Canada 12-Jan-40 to 19-Jul-41
    U.K. 20-Jul-41 to 26-Mar-44
    Italy 27-Mar-44 to 06-Aug-44

    Notes from interviewer: Pleasant, very well mannered and spoken. Seems an excellent
    temperament. He enjoys woodworking, fishing, soccer (center or forward), Cricket
    (bowler), and singing.

    Date of Death: 06 August 1944
    Circumstances: Struck by lightning while awaiting a game of cricket.
    Location of Burial: Caserta War Cemetery, Italy.
    Grave Reference: Plot II. Row C. Grave 5.

    Eyewitness Account of John Bray’s death:
    Eyewitness account by Sgt. Peacocke, J.R. 11410143
    On Sunday 6th August 44, Bdr. Norbury organized a trial cricket match. The teams
    arrived at the CMTC PT School Ground at approx 1415 hrs. The game was about to start
    when rain commenced, and both teams took shelter beneath the trees, hoping that the rain
    might cease. About a quarter of an hour later it started to thunder and lightning, and it
    began to rain heavier. About ten minutes later we decided to pack up for the day, and
    commenced to collect the kit and run across the ground to the lorry, which was in the
    lane. I personally was the sixth or seventh out of twenty odd away from the trees and was
    running across the ground when there was a terrific flash and clap of thunder, and I was
    thrown upon my face. I was then about twenty-five yards from the trees. On getting up I
    heard shouts from people near the trees. I looked back and saw some people upon the
    ground. I ran back to see if I could help as I thought some had been hurt somehow. When
    I reached them Sgt. Wedge told me some had been ‘struck’. He was with another man
    carrying on of the injured. I asked how many had been hurt and was told five. Various
    people were being carried away and I could only see one man on the ground with another
    man bending over him. I went over to help and found Sgt. Bray on the ground and L/Cpl.
    Tedman with him. Sgt. Bray was unconscious and with L/Cpl. Tedman and another NCO
    we carried Sgt. Bray to the truck. I noticed that Sgt. Bray was discolouring in the face and
    when I felt his pulse I could not feel any beat. He was placed into the truck and turned on
    to his face; during the journey to 106 S.A. Hospital he was given artificial respiration. At
    the Hospital He and the other men given immediate attention. I asked for permission to
    return the uninjured men to their billets and having given full particulars of the injured
    men, I returned with the Lorry to Calore Camp. I there reported to the Camp
    Commandants Office, and to the i/c Canadian Dem Troops and Mechanics School S.S.M.




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    Cliff

    http://www.irishregimentofcanada.ca

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    Re: Sgt John Bray died August 6, 1944

    Post by Battalion Colours on Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:11 pm

    One forgets about the many non battlefield deaths during war. Thanks Cliff for posting this interesting piece on Sgt. John Bray.

    Have you thought about starting a thread on Memorial Crosses?

    pylon1357
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    Re: Sgt John Bray died August 6, 1944

    Post by pylon1357 on Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:24 am

    I thought about it yes, however I only have these two examples. My primary area of collecting is to the Irish Regiment of Canada. I know of two other crosses and I am working on getting one into my collection. Again, the one I am pursuing is a non-battle death.

    I have been unsuccessful thus far in acquiring my uncles Cross. I know where it is but.... enough said about this particular topic on an open forum, the words to follow would only hurt my slim chances at getting it. LOL


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    Cliff

    http://www.irishregimentofcanada.ca

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    Re: Sgt John Bray died August 6, 1944

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