Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
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Name: Robert Francis Boudreau Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, R.C.I.C. Service No: F/8829 Date of Birth: February 27, 1923 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, NS Date of Enlistment: February 18, 1943 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, NS Age at Enlistment: 19 Height: 5 feet, 2 inches Complexion: Medium Eyes: Brown Hair: Dark Brown Trade: Truck Driver Marital Status: Single Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Elizabeth Boudreau (Stepmother) Wedgeport, NS Date of Death: August 12, 1944 Age at Death: 20 Cemetery: Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Reviers (Calvados, France) Grave Reference: IV. F. 14. The 16th name on the WWII list of the Yarmouth War Memorial Listed on the War Monument at Saint Michel Parish Church, Wedgeport, NS Commemorated on page 254 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on May 28 Robert was the stepson of Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ M. Boudreau and Charles M. Boudreau, of Upper Wedgeport, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Robert left school at age sixteen and was employed as a general helper by Charles Boudreau in his boat building business in Upper Wedgeport for three years. In the ten months prior to his enlistment, he was employed as a truck driver with Thompson Construction Co. Yarmouth, NS. Attached to No 6 District Depot at Halifax, NS, he completed training under the Militia, National Resources Mobilization Act of 1940 in Halifax, Debert, NS and Sussex, New Brunswick between February 18, 1943, and May 28, 1944, under the Service Number of F/602014, when he enlisted for Active Service. He was assigned a new Service Number, F/8829 at Sussex, NB, with an enlistment date of May 28, 1944. He served in Canada between February 18, 1943, and June 25, 1944. He arrived in the United Kingdom on July 3, 1944, and departed England for France on July 25 arriving in France on July 26, 1944. On August 12, 1944, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade was ordered to advance towards Clair Tison, Calvados, in Normandy, France. “The RHLI passed Barbery, a hamlet of a few houses which was the half-way point. Nothing stirred there; not a person or farm animal...The men waded through the unharvested wheat on each side of the road. The field narrowed about a thousand yards beyond Barbery where woods closed in on each side of the road. The men were sodden with sweat and chaff, and pollen clung to their trousers as they walked resolutely through the woods. A breeze rustled the aspen and poplar, their whispers punctuated by the odd clink of equipment and the whine and slap of the Shermans [tanks] coming up behind them. C Company was the first to come under fire from machine guns in a copse to the left. Then all the rifle companies were enveloped in a storm of bullets and shrapnel. Lyle Doering, the battalion Intelligence Officer, later recorded it as "the most intense mortaring and shelling the unit ever witnessed.” Serving with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Private Boudreau was severely wounded in action during the Battle of Clair Tison on August 12, 1944, and died at 11:35 pm. The German counter-attacks were an attempt to hold the Falaise pocket, but by dusk the Germans withdrew. The Canadians had won, but at a cost of 20 soldiers killed and 100 wounded. The following day, Private Robert Francis Boudreau was buried in Saint-Germain-La-Blanche-Herbe in Calvados, Normandy, France, and was later reburied in the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Calvados after the end of the war. A second Nova Scotian, Corporal Gerald Arthrell born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, was also killed August 12, 1944, in the Battle of Clair Tison and rests in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Robert Boudreau Crescent in Robert’s hometown of Upper Wedgeport was renamed in his honour, and a monument in his memory was unveiled on the crescent in 2017.
Robert Francis Boudreau
Photo: Wartime Heritage - July 2009
Robert Francis Boudreau Honoured by Road Name  WEDGEPORT:   Argyle Municipal Council accepted a petition to change the Chemin Dirt Road to Chemin Robert Boudreau Crescent to honour Robert Francis Boudreau who lived on the road. The resolution to accept the petition was at the monthly council meeting on September 8, 2015.  Robert Francis Boudreau was killed in action in Normandy, France on August 12, 1944 during the allied invasion and the liberation of France and Europe. He was 21 years old although a military record states he was 20 years old. He was born on February 27, 1923 and was the adopted son of Élizabeth and Charles Boudreau a Wedgeport boat builder.  He was an army private in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. He is buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Reviers, Calvados, France not far from Juneau Beach where the Canadian Forces landed. 31 other soldiers of the same regiment died on the same day as Robert.
In July 2009, three members of the Wartime Heritage Association visited the grave of Robert Boudreau at the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and placed a Canadian flag at the grave marker.
Sources and Information: Library and Archives Canada Commonwealth War Graves Commission Veterans Affairs Canada Battle of Clair Tison Cyrile LeBlanc, Wedgeport Royal Canadian Legion