Stittsville native dies on beach during invasion of Normandy – brother dies nearby

(Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery – The Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, located at Reviers, about 4 kilometres from Juno Beach in Normandy, France. Photo: J. Stephens)

His name was Arthur McCaffrey and he was born in Stittsville in 1914. The son of Dawson and Helena (Lena) McCaffrey, he grew up here with his many siblings. Dawson, his father, passed away in 1928 in Stittsville.

As an adult, Arthur moved to Ordale, Saskatchewan and was married in 1943.

Men were required for the war effort — in 1944, Arthur enlisted in the Fort Garry Horse, R.C.A.C.,10th Armoured Regiment. and became Trooper Arthur McCaffrey.

Arthur was killed in combat on June 6, 1944 on Juno Beach — reported missing that date. He was only 30 years of age. His body wasn’t found for several months, but was retrieved and is buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Reviers, France.

Below is McCaffrey’s headstone in the Beny-sur-Mer cemetery, along with page 382 of the Canadian Book of Remembrance where his name appears. The Book of Remembrance is located in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa. You can view Arthur McCaffrey’s name, along with the name of his brother George (on the same page) on August 12th of each year.

     

(Photo of the Beny-Sur-Mer memorial to the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment, Fort Garry Horse, who landed on the beaches of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer with their amphibious tanks on the 6th June 1944. Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery is about 1 kilometre east of the village of Reviers.)
(Soldiers on the Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Photo: Toronto Star)

There is another memorial located in St-Aubin-ser-mer, France that is dedicated to the memory of the North Shore Regiment, the Fort Garry Horse, Royal Canadian Engineers and the Royal Canadian Artillery. This memorial is dedicated to those Canadian who lost their lives while invading Juno Beach on June 6, 1944. The photo is below and compliments of John S. Brehaut.

It seems that Arthur’s brother George McCaffrey also joined the war effort. George was born in 1906 and died on September 20, 1944 in Belgium. He was 38 years of age. George was a member of the South Alberta Regiment, R.C.A.C, 29th Armed Reconnaissance Regiment. George is buried in the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium.

Editor’s Note: I want to thank Valerie Wright who provided some details that allowed this story to grow and to commemorate two Stittsville brothers who fought bravely for Canada.


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