Thursday, 9 November 2017

Military Challenge - Thomas Ray Edward Seale

I have taken up Patricia Greber's 11-day challenge of posting about one of my military ancestors every day until November 11th. 

Day 9 of the 11-day Military Challenge


My father, Thomas Ray Edward Seale (Bud) enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers on 9 June 1941.  During training he switched to 1st Bridge Company because they were next to ship out, then was assigned to the 85th Bridge company.  He sailed from Halifax on 13 November 1941 and disembarked in Liverpool November 23rd.  

Bud (Center) with his brother Bill (left) and future brother-in-law Jim (right)

On June 6th Bud was assigned to the 25th Field Regiment, engaged north of Caen, France. As troop leader he had 4 guns - 25 pounders, and gun tractors with a cab for 6, ammunition carriers, a jeep, a Sergeant, and a crew of 6 including a Corporal. They supported the Infantry and the Armor with shell fire.

In the winter of 1944-45 they were bogged down at the Maas River, and could see the Germans across the river, neither going anywhere. 

From 27 February to 3 March 1945 he was in the Battle of Hochwald Forest. In May 1945 the Germans surrendered. 

Bud left England in November 1945 and he was put on Active Reserve until he was discharged February 20, 1946.

In 1916 I wrote a series of posts titled The Cigar Box, which held medals, photos, postcards and things Bud brought home from the war. 

Like many soldiers that saw combat, Bud never talked about the war, only about his escapades on leave. 

After the war Bud went to college to study engineering, then worked for the Bell Telephone Company... but his heart was in carpentry. Sixty years ago Bud was put in charge of overseeing the building of our church, and he made the altar, the lectern and the baptismal font. They are still used today.

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