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Remembering World War II
Leo Abbey Cormier Rifleman G/18272 Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C. ā€œCā€ Company March 11, 1920 Amherst, Cumberland Co., NS May 17, 1940 Sackville, Nova Scotia 20 5 feet, 10 inches Dark Brown Light Brown Single Labourer Roman Catholic Alice Cormier (Mother) Amherst, Nova Scotia October 16, 1942 22 Sai Wan Cemetery, Hong Kong, China VIII. B. 2. Commemorated on Page 66 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on February 14 Leo Abbey Cormier was the son Albert M. Cormier and Marie Alice (Robichaud) Cormier of Amherst, Nova Scotia. Albert was a veteran of the Boer War (1st South African War) having served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. He also served in the First World War (Service No. 2699821). Leo had 5 brothers, Rudolph, Fred, Harold, Vernal and Gerald; and three sisters ā€“ Vina Florence (Cormier) Boss, Liza and Mary. Rudolph, Harold and Vernal all served Canada in the military during WWII. Leo enlisted on May 17, 1940 and served with Royal Rifles of Canada, in Canada, and in Newfoundland with Force W, embarking for Newfoundland on December 11, 1940. He returned from Newfoundland on August 18, 1941. Members of 'C' Force from the East travelled across Canada by CNR troop train, picking up reinforcements enroute. Stops included Valcartier, Montreal, Ottawa, Armstrong ON, Capreol ON, Winnipeg, Melville SK, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Vancouver, arriving in Vancouver on October 27th at 08:00 hrs. Leo departed for Hong Kong on October 27 with Force C. All members embarked from Vancouver on the ships Awatea and Prince Robert. "C" Company of the Rifles was assigned to the Prince Robert, a converted cruiser, everyone else boarded the Awatea. The ships sailed from Vancouver on Oct 27th and arrived in Hong Kong on November 16th, having made brief stops enroute at Honolulu and Manila. Equipment earmarked for 'C' Force use was loaded on the ship Don Jose, but would never reach Hong Kong as it was rerouted to Manila when hostilities commenced. On arrival, all troops were quartered at Nanking Barracks, Sham Shui Po Camp, in Kowloon. At the fall of Hong Kong in December 1941, Leo was taken as a prisoner of war and interned at Sham Shui Po Camp, in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Information was received from the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva that Rifleman Leo Abbey Cormier died on October 16, 1942 at 9:30 pm and it was attributed due to malnutrition and acute gastroenteritis. He was taken by truck, with his own padre present, and buried in the Argyle Cemetery, in Hong Kong three days after his death. In June, 1947, his remains were re-buried in the San Wan Military Cemetery, Hong Kong.
Leo Abbey Cormier
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