As time permits, I will add photos of the Memorial Cross and also a photo of Webster himself.
I was lucky enough last week to acquire the Memorial Cross named to John Barrowman Webster. Of interesting note, Webster is what is referred to as an "Original Irish" in that he joined the Unit straight away at the time it was mobilized as a CASF unit and no longer NPAM. Below is his story....
Webster, John Barrowman, Cpl. B/78623
Service file volume: RG24-27304
Date of Birth: 01 December 1919
Place of Birth: Kilsyth Scotland
Age: 22 years
Height: 5’ 8 ½”
Weight: 138 lbs
Religion: Church of England
Marital Status: Single
Mother; Anne (Johnstone)
Sisters; Chalmers and Anne
Position in family: 2
Other family facts: Lived in Scotland for 14 years family moved to Canada and settled
Education: 4 years High School
Trade or Calling: Clerk for Dominion Rubber Co. Ltd. Toronto (3 years)
Date of Enlistment: 12 June 1940
Place of Enlistment: Toronto Ontario
Regiment or Unit: Irish Regiment of Canada
Theatres and Dates of Service: Canada 12-Jun-40 to 23-May-42
Other service facts: Served in Queen’s York Rangers April 1937 until enlistment in
Date of Death: 23 May 1942
Circumstances: Died on Active Service, was killed in vehicle accident in Gaspe Quebec.
Location of Burial: St John Norway Cemetery, Toronto
Grave reference: Section 23. Row 11. Grave 41.
Details of Webster’s death:
No.B-78569, Pte. R. Hardy, No. 14 Platoon, “C” Coy. Irish Regiment of Canada (CA),
having been duly sworn states:
At Fort Peninsula, around 1240 hrs, May 23rd. 1942, as No. B-78623, A/Cpl. Webster
and I were getting out of our quarters to play baseball, we noticed an army truck standing
at the side of the hut. On the spur of the moment we decided to take a ride with the basic
idea of getting driving practice. I was driving on the way out, and Cpl. Webster was to
drive on the way back. We did not get permission from anyone to take the truck on May
23rd. 1942. I have had some experience driving army vehicles around various camps.
With qualified drivers with me and permission to get this driving practice. I do not have a
M.T. drivers standing Orders nor having been given a test. The road conditions on the
highway were not very good so we were not driving fast. I would estimate our speed at
30 or 35 mph but I did not see it on the speedometer as it was out of order. At
approximately 1 ½ mile from the Fort as I was keeping to the right to keep off some loose
gravel pilled in the middle of the road by the grader, I hit very soft ground and entered a
shallow ditch. I had still control of the truck and was trying to ease it out when it seem
that we hit a boulder. I was thrown around in the cab and it was then that I lost control.
The truck bounced and was headed right to the guard-rail of a small bridge. I wrenched
the wheel to the right with idea of going into the flat field at our right. The ground being
soft, I could not do it completely and we hit the end of the guard rail with the left side of
the truck where Cpl. J.B. Webster was sitting. The shock was very slight, the truck being
heavy and the guard rail being very flimsy. I did not know that Cpl. Webster had been hit
at all. We bounced and rocked down and across the creek. As the truck jolted across the
creek, Cpl. Webster was thrown past me out the right hand door. Then the truck came to a
halt against the far bank. I got out of the truck and I saw Cpl. Webster lying on his back
at the edge of the creek. He seemed in bad shape. I ran up to the nearest house to get help
and phone the Fort, but there was phone there. So I came back, and seeing no car coming
down the highway, I backed up the truck with the intention of getting help myself. I had
to use the four-wheel drive to get out of the creek. Then a civilian delivery truck came
along and I stopped him and asked him to go to the Fort for some help. I ran back and
tried to bathe Cpl. Webster’s face with water from t he creek. While doing this the
delivery truck came back with Pte. Roddy. He told me that help was coming and took me
to the other side of the bank. When help came from the Fort, I was taken back to the Fort.
They dressed my superficial injuries and later on I was driven down to the hospital.
When I left camp I was wearing P.T. dress: - Gym shorts, socks and soft shoes. Cpl.
Webster was wearing a sweatshirt and I think his battle dress trousers. Neither of us had a
pass to leave the Fort