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Name: Gustof Evald Winsa Rank: Private Service No.: B/62667 Service: Lincoln and Welland Regiment, RCIC Date of Birth: April 6, 1917 Place of Birth: Hedenaset, Övertorneå (kommun / municipality), Norrbottens (län / county), Sweden Date of Enlistment: February 23, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Cochrane, ON Address at Enlistment: Cochrane, ON Age at Enlistment: 24 Height: 5 feet 6½ inches Complexion: Fair Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond Trade: Truck driver, labourer and lumberer Marital Status: Single (at enlistment) Married (October 19, 1943) Religion: Lutheran Next of Kin: Gustof Winsa (father), in Windsor, Ontario (at enlistment) Rita Alma Winsa (wife) 53 Hester St, Dartmouth, NS (October 19, 1943) Date of Death: April 10, 1945 Age: 28 Cemetery: Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands Grave: VIII. F. 13. Commemorated on Page 577 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on December 2 Gustof was the son of Gustof Helmer Winsa (b. 1895) and Jenny Marie (Isakson) Winsa (d. 1923). His father came to Canada expecting to bring the family later but his mother died in Sweden in 1923. Gustof then immigrated to Canada from Sweden, arriving in Halifax, NS, aboard the ocean liner MS Gripsholm of the Swedish American Line. He departed Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden on November 23, 1929 arriving at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in December. He had three brothers and one sister that remained in Sweden. His father remarried Siiri Emalia Lehtinen in The Pas in Manitoba on May 2, 1932. Private Winsa lived in Flin Flon, Manitoba (1929-1933), Shilo Camp, Manitoba (1933-1935), Fort William, Ontario (1935-1936, Timmons, Ontario (1936-1938), and settled in Cochrane, Ontario in 1938. At enlistment he indicated he could speak and read Swedish, Finish and English. He enjoyed sports, swimming and fishing. His records indicate that he was a “likeable chap who should be a first class infantryman … he has proven himself to be first class soldier; his reports are good and he shows interest”. It is unclear if it was because of his country of origin or because he was foreign-born, but he was required to complete a Personal History Form - Enemy Origin. It was completed on July 21, 1943 and included questions if he had traveled outside Canada in the previous 10 years, which he had not; and to provide names of any relatives living in Axis or Axis occupied countries, but he indicated all relatives were in Canada or Sweden. Sweden had maintained a policy of neutrality in WWII). The record indicate he was to be assigned to a “non-sensitive unit” anywhere including Overseas. He married Rita Alma Young at St. Mary’s Church in Halifax October 19, 1943. The application to marry had been completed September 28, 1943. Rita was born February 21, 1923, the daughter of George and Sadie (Collier) Young. Gustof and Rita’s son Daniel Terrance was born September 1944 in Halifax, NS. Rita died in 2008. Gustof completed eight weeks of basic training at No. 20 CIBTC in North Bay and Brantford, Ontario, and transferred to Nova Scotia on May 14, 1942. He served with the 4th Canadian Anti-Aircraft Battery in Dartmouth, NS, beginning June 10, 1942. He returned to Ontario assigned to #1 Transit Camp between January 27 and February 15, 1944 and then to No. 25 CIBTC, in Simcoe, Ontario, for additional infantry training. Later in 1944 he trained at A29 CITC Camp Ipperwash in Lambton Co., Ontario near Kettle Point. Private Winsa served in Canada until July 11, 1944. He served in the United Kingdom between July 19, 1944 and March 26, 1945 and in Northwest Europe between March 26, and April 10, 1945. He was killed in action while serving in Holland.
Infantrymen of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and a Sherman tank of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division awaiting orders to go through a roadblock, Wertle, Germany, April 11, 1945 (Credit: Capt. Alexander M. Stirton / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA- 159062
Remembering World War II
Gustof Evald Winsa