Bisson Lawrence Joseph

    Date of birth

    25-02-1923
    Geboorteplaats: Three Hills, Alberta, Canada (map)

    Degree obtained (school / education)

    8

    Age end of school

    14

    Job

    Butcher

    Occupation soldier

    Butcher

    Occupation father

    Butcher

    Description soldier appearance

    Lawrence is 1.70m. tall and weighs 55 kg. He has blue eyes and brown hair. His teeth need maintenance. In 1931 he was successfully operated in his ears because of deafness. He has scars from burns, which he got at a young age, on his tongue and his lower right abdomen. He is further described as a nice guy with a low intelligence. He means well and is reliable.

    Rank

    Private

    Date service

    29-10-1942

    Travel to Europe / date

    24-07-1944

    Travel to Europe / explanation

    He embarks on July 18, 1944 and is in England on July 24, 1944. There, on July 28, 1944, he was assigned to 3 CIRU, a reserve unit of the infantry. On August 12, 1944, he was assigned to France, and on August 14, 1944, he was assigned to the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada.

    Place of taking service

    Elkins Barracks

    Registration number

    M/104548

    Date of death

    17-10-1944

    Graveyard

    Bergen op Zoom

    Grave site (plot, row, number)

    12 H 5

    Probable place of death

    Woensdrecht

    In which conflict / at which battle died?

    Slag om de Schelde

    Cause of death

    Killed in action

    Additional information

    Lawrence was born on February 25, 1923, in Three Hills, Alberta. His father is Joseph Norman (49), his mother is Adrienne Marie. They were married in Wainwright, Alberta. The family moved to Drumheller, Alberta around 1934. Father was a butcher. Lawrence is the eldest of 4 children: Lawrence Joseph (21), Lorraine Mary (21), Joseph Norman (18) and Estelle Doreen (12). There is another child, Gordon Joseph, who died on March 31, 1926, at the age of 3 weeks. Lorraine is probably a twin sister. Lawrence goes to school in Drumheller. He leaves school at age 14, grade 8. He felt that he was not making any progress in school and his parents could not afford to continue going to school. He has had several professions: farmhand, working at the grain elevator, handyman at a grocer, railway worker. Before his military service he worked for 3½ to 4 years with his father at John Olson, a butcher. Father was a butcher there for 22 years and took Lawrence for a job. Lawrence helped with the slaughter but was mostly in the shop, cutting and boning. He made sausages, burgers, etc. On October 28, 1942 he enrols in the Canadian army in Calgary. Lawrence is 1.70m. tall and weighs 55 kg. He has blue eyes and brown hair. His teeth need maintenance. In 1931 he was successfully operated on his ears because of deafness. He has scars from burns, which he got at a young age, on his tongue and his lower right abdomen. He is further described as a nice guy with a low intelligence. He means well and is reliable. Lawrence plays ice hockey and a little bit of baseball. On November 26, 1942, Lawrence arrives in Elkins Barracks, British Columbia, at a training center. From there he goes to Aldershot on April 1, 1943, where he receives a cookery training at the infantry training center. He moves to Bedford, Nova Scotia, where he reports on April 30, 1943 as a butcher, Group B, trade II. He is then with unit A-23. In Bedford he was attached to the artillery reinforcement camp at the ration & quarters department on 5 May 1943.

    On June 24, 1943, Lawrence arrives in England where he is successively assigned to 3 CACRU and 1 CASCRU, reserve units. On March 11, 1944 he became butcher C. On August 26, he joins the Rocky Mountain Rangers. Not long, on October 5, he was added to the Canadian Infantry Corps list and a day later, on October 6, 1944, he arrived in France. On October 13, 1944, Lawrence is transferred to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI), part of the 4th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, which was again part of the 1st Canadian Army. In early October 1944, the army marched from Antwerp towards Korteven and South Beveland, to the Woensdrecht / Hoogerheide area. The Canadian army then faces a number of problems. - War supplies still went to Montgomery's troops. - How could they get enough troops in the area in a short time? There was a great shortage of infantry, 2 artillery units were disbanded and deployed as infantry and anti-tank units. Tanks and armored vehicles had to move back and forth along the right flank as much as possible to give the impression that a strong Canadian force was ready. Although Canada had conscription in World War II, no conscripts were sent to Europe against their will. It was not until the end of 1944, when there were too few volunteers to replace the fallen or retired soldiers, that the Canadian government decided to send conscripts to Europe, despite heavy political opposition, without their voluntary reporting. The war diary of the RHLI states on October 17, 1944 that most of the men in the battalion had not had much infantry training at this time, but had been converted from other branches of the service. On October 16, 1944, the attack started near Woensdrecht. Presumably Lawrence was in A company (Lawrence's # 9 platoon is one of them) which reached an advanced position at the intersection Bossestraat / Steenstraat. At 10:00 am. the Germans launched a counter-offensive. The 6th Parachute Division, specially trained infantrymen with the reputation of a hard-fighting elite, is attacking the A Company position.

          Pte Costello explains on December 6, 1944: Bisson is a courier between the platoon and the regimental headquarters. Costello saw him around 10 a.m. Lawrence had to help defend the position of the # 9 platoon. In the counterattack, the platoon was overrun and cut off from the others. Captain Armstrong declares on August 19, 1945: Bisson was with me on the morning of October 16, together in an advanced position. He had a machine gun, I a PIAT (infantry anti-tank weapon). It was the 1st attack he experienced. He was unsure what to do after I fired my PIAT. I asked him to give cover fire forward but we were also attacked from both sides. I stood with my back to him and when I turned around he fell down and said he was paralyzed. When I looked at him I figured he was disabled. I called for a stretcher bear. Then I also knew that he would die within 5 minutes. After I shot the ammunition I went to the house to get help but when I got there I saw that we were surrounded and cut off from the rest. After the Germans took over I said my comrade needed medical attention. Then they left and when they returned they said he was kaput. That was after about 4 minutes. When I left him blood came out of his mouth and I saw blood in his eyes. He was silent. I did not see the Germans bury him. On August 8, 1945 J. Campbell declares: Bisson joined my platoon on the 14th or 15th. On October 16, during an enemy attack, Bisson was with Sgt. Strong's section and was seriously injured or killed by gunfire. Maybe that pte. Burgess or pte. Newton to know more. I haven't seen him since. At first, Lawrence is reported missing. On October 1, 1945, it is officially changed to killed in action. Lawrence was found on September 8 in the courtyard of a farm at Hooghuis in Woensdrecht. There is a reburial on November 13, 1945 at the Canadian cemetery in Bergen op Zoom. Lawrence is buried in Plot 5, Row H, Grave 12. Lawrence Bisson has been awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the French-German Star, the Defense Medal, the War Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp.