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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering WWII Nova Scotia Casualties Robert Grant Howlett
Name: Robert Grant Howlett Rank: Lieutenant Service No: F4265 Service: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) Date of Birth: July 1, 1920 Place of Birth: Bath, New Brunswick Date of Enlistment: September 11, 1939 Place of Enlistment: Bridgewater, NS Address At Enlistment: Middleton, NS Trade: Student Marital Status: Single Religion: Baptist Next of Kin: Rev. Caius Orington Howlett, Sable River, Shelburne Co., NS Date of Death: December 23, 1944 Age At Death: 24 Cemetery: Springfield West United Baptist Church Cemetery, Prince Edward Island Commemorated on Page 339 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on July 22 Lieutenant Howlett was the son of the Revd. Caius Orington and Mrs. Lillian Howlett. In 1939 the family was living in Sable River, Shelburne Co., NS. Previously, the family had lived in various places in Nova Scotia. Robert, “Bob” was educated at Lawrencetown School where he completed grade XI, finishing his education at the age of 17. He had two sisters and a brother who served as a pilot officer in the RCAF overseas. He played hockey in high school and overseas, baseball and tennis. He was Captain of the hockey team in high school. He enjoyed fishing and woodworking. He enlisted with the West Nova Scotia Regiment and was assigned to Company “C” as a Lance Corporal on October 31, 1943. He embarked at Halifax for the United Kingdom on December 21, 1939 and arrived there on December 31, 1939. He continued his training in England and was promoted to Lance Sergeant. While in England he participated in rescue work in the London Blitz. He returned to Canada in December 1942 and was stationed at Halifax, Brockville, Ontario and Three Rivers. On November 19, 1943 he qualified as Lieutenant and was posted to Aldershot, NS. He returned to England on April 23, 1944 and volunteered to serve in the British Army. He was as assigned as a CanLoan Officer to the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) as an instructor and Platoon Commander. He was considered as a ‘good all round soldier with good military background and as a fine leader’. On June 10, 1944 the Regiment arrived in Normandy. At 8:45am, on July 29, 1944 Lieutenant Howlett was admitted to a field ambulance hospital with shrapnel wounds to the head and back. From there he was moved to No. 6 Mobile Surgical Unit and to hospital in Basingstoke, England where he remained for a month before transfer to the Canadian hospital at Leavesden. From there he was returned to Canada where he continued medical treatment at Camp Hill hospital n Halifax, St. Ann’s Hospital in Prince Edward Island where the family now lived and in November 1944 at the Montreal Neuro Institute in Quebec. He died in Montreal, just before Christmas 1944, as the result of the wounds sustained in the Battle of Normandy. Upon receiving the news of his death, the family took down their Christmas tree. Then a few days later, presents from him, which had been purchased by a volunteer, arrived in the mail. One of his last acts was to tell his family how much he loved them. 1944 was a very sad Christmas for the family.
Sources and Information: Veterans Affairs Canada