Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
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Name: Harry William Doucette Rank: Private Service No: F/57593 Regiment/Service: North Nova Scotia Highlanders, RCIC Date of Birth: May 25, 1925 Place of Birth: Bell Neck, Yarmouth Co., NS Date of Enlistment: October 4, 1943 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, NS Address At Enlistment: Bell Neck, Yarmouth Co., NS Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 5 feet, 8 inches Weight: 157 lbs. Complexion: Eyes: Brown Hair: Black Trade: Labourer Marital Status: Single Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Mrs. Celina Doucette (Mother) Bell Neck, Yarmouth Co., NS Date of Death: March 25, 1945 Age at Death: 19 Cemetery: Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery (Gelderland, Netherlands) Grave Reference: XVII. H. 3. The 33rd name on the WWII list of the Yarmouth War Memorial Commemorated on page 510 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on October 29 Private Harry Doucette was the son of John and Celina Mary Doucette, of Bell Neck, NS. He had seven brothers and one sister. Two brothers served in the RCAF during World War II. He completed grade VIII at the age of fourteen and left school to work as a lumber-man in the woods. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Edward Burbank at Bell Neck. Not active in sports, he enjoyed reading western and veteran stories. He was somewhat shy but stable and mature for his age. Enlisting at Halifax on October 4, 1943, with the Canadian Infantry Corps, he was assigned to No. 60 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre at Yarmouth between October 22, 1943 and December 18, 1943. He completed his Advanced Training at Aldershot, NS, in August 1944 and was assigned to No. 1 Training Brigade Group at Debert, NS, pending overseas deployment for general reinforcement. He went overseas embarking Canada on October 13, 1944 and disembarking in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1944. He embarked the United Kingdom on November 23, 1944 and disembarked in Northwest Europe on November 24, 1944. He was taken on strength with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders on January 25, 1945. On the night of March 24, 1945, the North Nova Scotia Highlanders riflemen crossed the River Rhine west of Rees by stormboat. In the afternoon of March 24th, the Argylls had fought their way into a farm 150 yards from the edge of Bienen, but all attempts to move beyond it were stopped. They were to be relieved as soon as possible by the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. The Highlanders were to march to the "Argyll Farm" at 7:00 am on March 25th and them across the short distance into the town of Bienen for what was expected to be a tough house-to-house fight. The six platoons of North Nova rifleman scattered in and around Argyll Farm had the full attention of every weapon the Germans could bring to bear. Artillery, mortars, and machine guns targeted any attempt to move outside the protection of the farm or even on its front edge. As the battle progressed, attempts to clear Bienen of the enemy stands out as the battalion's most difficult and bloody battle of the war next to the fighting on June 7 in Normandy. The battle for Bienen left 68 of the North Novas wounded and 44 dead in a single day. These casualties represented 30 per cent of the unit's fighting strength. (Canadian Military History, Volume 12, Issue 2) Private Doucette killed in the action of March 25th, was buried in a temporary Military Cemetery approximately 6 miles north-west of Calcar, Germany (3rd Canadian Division Temporary Cemetery, Germany). He was reburied in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.
Harry William Doucette
Bienen Monument THIS TABLET HAS BEEN PLACED BY A GROUP OF SURVIVING CANADIAN VETERANS OF THE NORTH NOVA SCOTIA HIGHLANDERS, 3 CANADIAN INFANTRY DIVISION, IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE FORTY MEMBERS OF THEIR REGIMENT WHO FELL IN BATTLE AT BIENEN, GERMANY ON SUNDAY, MARCH 25,1945 AND IN MEMORY OF THOSE FELLOW COMBATANTS OF 9 CANADIAN INFANTRY (HIGHLAND) BRIGADE AND 51 BRITISH HIGHLAND DIVISION WHO DIED IN THE SAME BATTLE AND IN THE SAME CAUSE AND, AS WELL, IN RESPECTFUL MEMORY OF THOSE ADVERSARIES IN THE GERMAN ARMY WHO DIED ON THAT SAME FATEFUL DAY. AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. ERECTED AT BIENEN ON THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EVENT, IN THE YEAR 2000.