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Name: Rank: Service Number: Service: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Enlistment: Place of Enlistment: Address at Enlistment: Age at Enlistment: Height: Complexion: Eye Colour: Hair Colour: Martial Status: Trade: Religion: Next of Kin: Date of Death: Age at Death: Cemetery: Grave Reference:
Brenton Leroy Ringer
Brenton Leroy Ringer Trooper F/57972 North Nova Scotia Highlanders, RCIC 10th Armoured Regiment March 22, 1925 Northfield, Kempt, Queens Co., NS January 17, 1944 Halifax, NS Kempt, Queens Co., NS 18 5 feet, 10 inches Fair Blue Brown Single Electrician Helper Baptist Ralph Binger (Father) Clementsport, Annapolis Co., NS April 12, 1945 20 Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands V. B. 1. Commemorated on Page 558 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on November 22 Brenton was the son of Ralph Ringer (1895-1975) and Alberta M. Ringer of Clementsport, Annapolis Co., NS. He was the brother of Charles George Ringer, that also served in the Army, and a sister Vivian Bernice Ringer. He left school at the age of thirteen, completing grade eight. He worked as a service station attendant for two years and with construction companies as an electrician helper and electrician for two years. In the one month prior to his enlistment he was employed as an electrician with Mercer Paper Company in Liverpool. Brenton was not particularly interested in team sports but had played some softball and hockey. His enlistment records indicate he was an independent type of man, appeared mature, confident, mentally alert and cooperative. He served one year with the 2nd Battalion, West Nova Scotia Regiment (Reserve) D Company and was then called-up for active service in January, 1944. During his training he had expressed an interest in joining the tank corps motivated by his interest in mechanics. He qualified as a motorcyclist He served in Canada until October 14, 1944, and disembarked in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1944. He departed the United Kingdom for North West Europe on January 8, 1945 where served with the 13th Battalion. He joined the North Nova Scotia Highlanders,10th Armoured Regiment, on March 27, 1945 with the rank of Trooper. He was killed in action on April 12, 1945. He was initially buried in the Heino Civilian Cemetery, Holland with reburial in the Holten Canadian War Cemetery in 1946. April 12, 1945, Heino, Netherlands As the Canadian military forces moved through Holland in April of 1945, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders did not waste time in Zutphen. Leaving on April 9, 1945 they passed through the Highland Light Infantry of Canada at Bathmen, securing a bridge south of Lettele and took possession of the town without opposition. Without a halt they proceeded toward the Zijkanaal which was crossed near Zandbelter at 6:00 pm on April 10th, and on the 11th there was a long move to the vicinity of Raalte. At 9:00 am on April 12, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders moved forward from Raalte as the Division advance guard. The troops were mounted on the tanks of the 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers). The task was to seize and hold a bridgehead across the Overijsselsch Kanaal. This also involved the liberation of Heino. Trooper Brenton Ringer’s tank was one that was to pass through Heino April 12, 1945. His Sherman tank was hit by a German Panzerfaust, on the Zwolseweg (the way, or road to Zwolle) in Heino. Four of the five tank crew were killed. All four men were from units in the 3rd Canadian Division. They were all part of the 9th Infantry Brigade. Brigades would typically be made up of 3 Infantry Regiments supported by an Armoured Regiment. The 27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusiliers) provided the tank support. A fifth man, Blair Cameron, survived when he managed to get himself to a nearby Dutch home, crawling and suffering from arterial bleeding. Found by Anna Jonkman-Ruitenberg, she successfully stopped the bleeding with tea towels and assisted him until he was collected by the Canadian Army. Blair Cameron was from Moser River, Nova Scotia and trained in Yarmouth, NS, and Camp Borden, Ontario before going overseas. He visited Heino in 1996. Heino after Liberation:
The town of Heino has never forgotten the five men and Canadians that liberated their home. There is a Canada Tree planted on Canada Square in remembrance of the tank crew. Nearer to the site were the tank was actually destroyed stood a cross in remembrance of the men for years. In 2020, the cross was replaced with a memorial stone. Flip Jonkman, the son of Anna Jonkman-Ruitenberg, the women who saved Blair Cameron, had worked to have a permanent stone installed for approximately 25 years. On March 12, 1945 the Memorial Stone was put in place. Several days later when Flip Jonkman visited the site he discovered that other locals had already planted flowers in front of the stone.
Three other Canadians died in the tank: Name: John Raymond Bridges Service No.: B/146207 Rank: Trooper Service: Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment, RCAC 27th Armoured Regiment Date of Birth: February 4, 1923 Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario Age at Death: 21 Cemetery: Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands Grave: V. B. 3. Trooper Bridges was the son of Son of Robert James Bridges and Martha Bridges, of Toronto, Ontario. Commemorated on Page 498 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on October 23
The tank after the attack on April 12, 1945
Name: Jack Ewert Hollingshead Service No.: A/108663 Rank: Private Service: Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, RCIC Date of Birth: January 24, 1925 Place of Birth: Tillsonburg, Ontario Age at Death: 20 Cemetery: Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands Grave: III. D. 16. Private Hollingshead was the son of Albert and Ella Hollingshead, of Ingersoll, Ontario Commemorated on Page 525 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower on November 6
Name: Herbert Walter Syvret Service No.: E/38196 Rank: Corporal Service: North Nova Scotia Highlanders, RCIC 10th Armoured Regiment Date of Birth: February 9, 1921 Place of Birth: Bougainville, Gaspé, Quebec Age at Death: 24 Cemetery: Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands Grave: V. B. 2. Corporal Syvret was the on of George Marshall Syvret and Emily Syvret, of Bougainville, Gaspé Co., Québec and brother of Erwin Syvret. Commemorated on Page 568 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on November 27
Sources: Mr. Flip Jonkman, Heino, Netherlands Pipes For Freedom Liberation Route (listen to the audio of the events in Heino on April 11, 1945)
(photo: Fort Point Museum, LaHave, NS)