History of Canada in World War II


Brief Review

Sept 3, 1939 Battle of the Atlantic begins

Sept 10, 1939 Canada officially enters the Second World War.

August 19, 1942 Canadians take part in raid on Dieppe.

July 10, 1943 Canadians come ashore in Sicilly.


Alexander Gillespie, Leading Aircraftman, died Jan 6, 1983, age 65.  Royal Canadian Air Force. Service ID R84066. Regular Force, Port Colborne, Ontario Legion branch.

Andrew Peter Gillespie, Canadian, birth Aug 8, 1920. ID L/13300, Private, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, 16 Gen Hospital, died Friday April 20, 1945, age 24. s/o Donald Arthur & Maggie May Gillespie of Rocanville, Saskatchewan. Buried Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, NETHERLANDS.

Arnold K Gillespie, Leading Aircraftman, died Feb 30, 2004, age 82. Royal Canadian Air Force, Service No R196741. Legion Branch City of Coquitlam,  British Columbia

Arthur James (“A. J.”) Gillespie, ID C/50798, Gunner, Royal Canadian Artillery, 14th Field Reg. b Nov 12, 1920.  Died Friday Oct 27, 1944, age 23, s/o Hugh & Mary  Fraser Gillespie of Smith Falls, Ontario Canada. Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Madlegem Oost-Vianndurst, BELGIUM


Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the pivotal June 6, 1944 operation. This colorized photo of the event depicts the Saskatchewan Regiment of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division as they landed on Juno Beach near the town of Bernieres-sur-Mer in northwestern France. Three hundred and forty Canadian troops died on the beach that day, of around 14,000 who landed ashore. A total of 160,000 soldiers crossed the English Channel on that historic day.


Charles Grant Gillespie, Captain, flew in Lancaster Bomber. Ret ‘d to live out his life in Owen Sound, Ontario,  Canada and lived to age 92. Link on his name is to his obituary in Sun Times.

Charles N Gillespie, Able Seaman, died Nov 30, 2007, age 82.  Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. Service No V50259. Legion Branch St. George Branch, St. George, New Brunswick, Canada

Clarence McLean Gillespie, Leading Aircraftman, died June 4, 1983, age 59. Royal Canadian Air Force. Service No. R203507. Legion Branch: Balcarres Branch, Balcarres, Saskatchewan, Cana


D. Gordon Gillespie, Corporal, died Aug 5, 2015, age 87.  Canadian Army Service Corps. Legion branch: Kingsway Branch, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Donald Joseph Gillespie, ID 40687, Store Clerk, Birth April 14, 1920 Moncton, New Brunswick. Roman Catholic. Royal Canadian Navy

Dorothy Louise Gillespie, b 1922. Veteran Guard of Canada & Canadian Women’s Army Corps


Earl Gillespie, Lieutenant, hometown Kitchener, Waterloo Co Ontario. no details.

Earl Victor Gillespie, birth 1906. R.C.A.S.C. (2nd Division).

Edward Bruce Gillespie, Flight Sergeant, ID R/133826 b Jan 11, 1920,  died Tuesday, October 26, 1943, age 22. Royal Canadian Air Force, Division 160 (RAF) Squadron;  Son of Edward and Sarah Margaret Gillespie; husband of Barbara Letitia Gillespie, of St. Vital, Manitoba. No known grave. Remembered on SINGAPORE Memorial.

Edward William Gillespie, (American), Pilot Officer, Service No J7764, Royal Canadian Air Force, 501 Squadron, born July 15, 1921. Died Saturday, May 9, 1942, age 20. Son of John Joseph and Margaret Gillespie, of Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. Runnymede Memorial.


Francis B Gillespie died Nov 17, 2009, age 86. Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, Canadian Navy, Service Number  V51239. Legion branch : Sackville Branch, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

Fred Gillespie died April 24, 2017. No information. Legion branch: North Battleford Branch, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada


Garnet L Gillespie, Air craftsman 1st Class; Service ID R270894. Royal Canadian Air Force, d Nov 10, 2003,  age 78 (b 1925). Earl Grey Branch, Saskatchewan. Published March/April 2004 Last Post.

Gavin A Gillespie, Flight Sergeant, Service ID R177884 Royal Canadian Air Force. d Nov 22, 2004, age 94 (b 1910) Manitoba Oak Lake Branch. Published March/April 2005 Legion website.

George Gillespie died July 25, 2007, age 84.  Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve; service ID V24905. Legion branch  Qualicum Beach Branch, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada

George E Gillespie, Private, D Company, Highland Light Infantry of Canada, Hometown Ayr, Waterloo, Ontario

George Hamilton Gillespie, Major, b 1902. Died Thursday, Sept 6, 1945, age 43. Army: Royal Canadian Artillery, Awarded Canadian Efficiency Decoration. Son of George and Kate Gillespie, of London; husband of Edna M. Gillespie, of London. Buried London Woodland Cemetery, London, Ontario, CANADA (notes from researcher: “Began in 1930 as a reservist in London Field Battery. Called to active service in Sept 1939 and was  a staff officer in UK and Washington. He died of natural causes in 1945. Family was at 355 Piccadilly, Street, London, Ontario.”

George MacDougall Gillespie b in Albert, New Brunswick April 13, 1907. Educated at Chatham High School, Pictou Academy and University of New Brunswick. AFRO 2637/44 Dec 8, 1944. Award for Valuable service No 112, Wing Overseas.  Notes: Began flying 1928. Instructor and barn stormer 1931-1934. Enlisted at Trenton April 1, 1940. Instructed at Trenton with RAC Ferry Command, Dorval & North Bay June 1943-Aug 1945.

Glenn Gillespie, Rifleman, H/103511. Died of wounds Tuesday, Oct 10, 1944; Service No H/103511; age 22; Army, Regina Rifle Regiment; Citation(s):  Campaign medals: 1939-1945 Star; France-Germany Star; War Medal 1939-1945 ; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Born April 10, 1922 Gunton, Manitoba; enlisted November 19, 1942 Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He was the youngest of a farm family of eight children. He took advanced training in the Canadian Armoured Corps Training Unit, CACT, Borden, Ont. He left Canada for England 19 July 1944 and was stationed with the Canadian Armoured Corps Reinforcement Unit, CACRU, 12 July – 11 August 1944. He transferred to Rocky Mountain Rangers, 11 August 1944 – 1 October 1944 and then to the Regina Rifles Regiment, 1 October 1944. He was most probably killed during the Battle of the Scheldt, at the attack across the Leopold Canal, which bordered Belgium and the Netherlands. The attack took place from 6-13 October 1944 and the Regina Rifles were involved. (C.P. Stacey, Victory Campaign, v.3, p.393-395) Buried Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, BELGIUM.

Gordon Gillespie, Private, d Dec 12, 1997, Service ID M103471. Drayton Valley, Alberta. Canadian Army. Published Sept/Oct 1998 Legion website


Harry George Gillespie, served overseas with the R.C.A.F. 435 Squadron. His obituary from left menu under Canada: Ontario, Hamilton,   died Nov 13, 2008

Hector W Gillespie, Leading Aircraftman, died Jan 14, 2005, age 82. Royal Air Force, Service No 1061064; Legion Branch: Taber Branch, Taber, Alberta, Canada

Hilton Archibald Gillespie, Lance Corporal, ID H36832. Army 12th Manitoba Dragoons, RCAC. Division H.Q. Sqn., 18th Armd. Car Regt. b Jan 24, 1910. Died Aug 4, 1944, age 34. Son of Archibald and Josie Gillespie; husband of Jean Gillespie, of St. Vital, Manitoba.  Buried Canadian War Cemetery, Bretteville-sur-Larze, Calvados, FRANCE.

H Roy (Harold)  Gillespie, died June 30, 2013, age 90.  Canadian Army. Legion branch: Vedder Golden Branch, Vedder Crossing, British Columbia, Canada

Hugh Gordon Gillespie, Sergeant, ID R/95484, Royal Canadian Air Force. b Oct 20, 1909. Died Saturday,  Nov 14, 1942, age 31. Buried St Columb Major Cemetery, Grave 1319, Cornwall, ENGLAND. Son of George Murray Gillespie and Ida Jane Gillespie of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.


Ian George Gillespie, Flying Officer, b Sept 17, 1923. Died Wednesday, December 22, 1943, age 20. Service No J14698. Royal Canadian Air Force; 404 Squadron; Son of Erroll P. and Catharine Gillespie, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. No known grave. Remembered on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Panel 173,  Surrey, ENGLAND.

Isobel Edith Gillespie, Rank Captain. Regiment Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. Threat of Combat or Operations: North West Europe 1944-45. Award Royal Red Cross. For gallant and distinguished service (Army) Combatant Gallantry Award.


Jack F Gillespie, Royal Canadian Air Force, Hometown Toronto (Home), Galt (Residence).

John Gillespie, Sergeant, from Toronto, Ontario CANADA, b Oct 9, 1918. Killed in action April 27, 1943, Service No R56637; age 24. Royal Canadian Air Force, 207 RAF Squadron. Son of Peter and Anne Gillespie, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Buried Scoonselhof Cemetery, BELGIUM.

John Gillespie, Trooper, 1st Hussars, died July 17, 2008, age 88. Service Numbers: K75131. Legion branch: Niagara Falls Branch, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

John A Gillespie died May 16, 2011. Canadian Army, Service No H82199. Legion branch Kelvington Branch, Kelvington, Saskatchewan, Canada

John S Gillespie, Sergeant, died Nov 11, 2012, age 94. Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Service No F78173. Legion branch Digby Branch, Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada

John W Gillespie, Private, Highland Light Infantry of Canada, Hometown Ayr, Waterloo Co, Ontario Canada.


M. G. Gillespie, Service ID J215395. From Victoria, British Columbia. Royal Canadian Air Force, Prisoner of War (Sept 1939-Dec 1944).


Norman L. Gillespie, Lance Corporal,  Highland Light Infantry of Canada,  Hometown Ayr, Waterloo Co, Ontario. Died July 21, 2014, age 91. Service ID B128031. Legion branch: Burlington Branch, Burlington, Ontario, Canada (note: two records being blended, so I trust they are the same person). 

Norman L Gillespie  1942 Canadian Army Trade School and Training Centre.


Robert Gillespie died Feb 28, 2008, age 77. Legion branch: Stonewall Branch, Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada

Robert M Gillespie, Major, Royal Canadian Army; Hometown Kitchener, Waterloo Co, Ontario.

Robert P Gillespie, Flight Sergeant, Royal Canadian Air Force, d May 4, 1996, age 66 (b 1930), Service No 12620.  Published Sept 1996 Legion website. From British Columbia. Legion branch:  Kelowna Branch, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Rose Gillespie, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Air Froce. Hometown Kitchener, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Ross Gillespie, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Air Force, Hometown, Kitchener, Waterloo Co, Ontario.

Roy H Gillespie, Private, Service ID G6026555. Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, d Sept 1, 1994. Published Jan 1995.  From New Brunswick. 1994 Last Post Veterans magazine.

Roy William Gillespie, Engineer Officer,  Canadian Merchant Navy, M.V. Montrolite (Montreal); died Wednesday, Feb 4, 1942, age 22; Son of Nellie Gillespie, of Halifax, Nova Scotia; No known grave; commemorated on Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia, , Panel 20 CANADA . Registration of ship Montreal. (27 others are listed as dying on this ship)

R. R. Gillespie, Service ID J2973  Prisoner of War Sept 1929 to Dec 1944. .


S. A. Gillespie of Indian Head, Saskatchewan, died Nov 11, 1995. Published Feb 1996 Last Post Veteran’s Magazine.


Teresa Gillespie, Service ID 2090615, Aircraft Woman, 1st Class.  Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, d Jan 10, 1995, age 72 (b 1923).  Lethbridge, Alberta. Published June and July 1995 Last Post magazine.

Thomas B Gillespie, Flying Officer, died Jan 16, 2003, age 86. Royal Canadian Air Force. Service No J42706. Legion branch Sault Ste. Marie Branch, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada


W. H. Scott Gillespie, Corporal, b 1908 Kirkland Lake, Ontario. s/o Arnold. d July 30, 1996, age 89 years. Service No B39368. Legion branch: Kirkland Lake Branch, Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada

Wilbert Gillespie, 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry of Canada, Hometown Ayr, Waterloo Co, Ontario. `

Wilbert Howard Gillespie, Sapper M/106592. Royal Canadian Engineers. Died June 7, 1944, age 35. Son of Mrs & Mrs George B Gillespie, and stepson of Mrs C Gillespie, Nanaimo, British Columbia. Ben-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Reviers, V. D. 15, FRANCE. This cemetery burials are from the first day of the Normandy landing, and most were from th 3rd Canadian Division.Click on name of cemetery to find map of grave location.

William Gillespie, ID  OFF VR-810 birth Feb 9, 1883 Amherst, Nova Scotia. Royal Canadian Navy.

William Leaman Gillespie, Private. Service No 466069, 5th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, died Sept 14, 1916, age 37 yrs. Buried Contay British Cemetery, FRANCE. Son of William L Gillespie & Margaret Marion Gillespie of Thornbury, Ontario. Husband of Estella Gillespie of Thornbury. Note:   a marker honouring William is on the side of the highway at the bridge in middle of Thornbury.

William Leaman Gillespie, Pilot Officer from Toronto,  Ontario; Service No J90090; Royal Canadian Air Force, Division 239 Squadron (2nd record gives 429 Squadron).  Born Aug 15, 1915. Died Tuesday, July 18, 1944, age 28. Killed in action. Bombs hit the tail of the aircraft while over Caen, France. Son of William Leaman Gillespie and Estella Maud Gillespie, of Toronto, Ontario. Buried Canadian War Cemetery, Bretteville-sur-Larze, FRANCE 

William Russell Gillespie, Sergeant, Service No R196278, Royal Canadian Air Force, b July 28, 1922, died Thursday, March 23, 1944, age 21 at #8 Service Training School at Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Two Harvard aircraft crashed.   Son of Joseph L. Gillespie and Johanna C. Gillespie, of North Kildonan. Buried Winnipeg Elmwood Cemetery, Manitoba, CANADA

William W Gillespie, Chief Petty Officer, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. Service ID V42094. Dartsmouth, Nova Scotia. Died March 7, 1994, age 72 (b 1922). Published 1994 Last Post Veteran’s Magazine.

William W Gillespie, died Jan 1, 2001, age 78. Royal Canadian Air Force. Legion: Renfrew Branch, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada

Other Records

John Gillespie KIRKPATRICK, Flight Lieutenant, ID J/11038 died Monday, March 5, 1945 , age 24, Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Royal Canadian Air Force, Division 426 Squadron. s/o William John and Agnes Jane Kirkpatrick of Red Deer, Alberta

John Gillespie MAGEE, Pilot Officer ID J/5823 died Thursday, Dec 11, 1941, age 19 in  flying accident in England. Shopwick Church Burial Ground. Royal Canadian Air Force

Cameron Gillespie WASHBURN, Private,  ID A/109165 died Sunday, Sept 17, 1944, age 38, Ravenna War Cemetery. Army Unit  Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. s/o Clark G Washburn and Margaret C Washburn (nee Gillespie) of Kitchener, Ontario.


In the years following World War II, many Canadian military members served with units of the British Military.

Record Count: 61

Source of Records: Mormon website, World War II,  1939-1945; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Library & Archives Canada (13). Funeral Home Obituaries