Canadian Military Cemetery - World War Two - Western Cemetery
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
At the time Canada declared war in 1939 its population was around 11 million. Over 1 million Canadians served in armed forces of whom 42,000 are recorded as dying and 55,000 wounded. Over 2,000 of those casualties are buried here. Brookwood is unique among CWGC cemeteries in having two Cross of Sacrifice. The Cross here was unveiled in June 1953.
Following declaration of war on 10th September 1939 the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian merchant marine played a critical role in the Battle of the Atlantic and Canadian airmen fought in the Battle of Britain. Canada contributed successfully in the Allied invasion of Italy and the long march north.
On D-Day Canadian airborne and ground troops suffered 50% casualties at Juno Beach and then fought through to achieve the deepest pentration of all 5 landing forces. One of the most important Canadian contributions was in the Battle of the Scheldt where the First Canadian Army defeated an entrenched German force at great cost to help open Antwerp to Allied shipping. By wars end the RCAF was the 4th largest of the Allies.
RCAF Womens Division and Womens Canadian Army Corps were formed to release men for frontline duties.
The First Canadian Army aided the liberation of the Netherlands where many Dutch were close to starvation as German troops repeatedly plundered the country. A strong relationship developed between the countries and the Dutch government gives symbolic tulips to Canada each year in a tribute of remembrance.
Canada was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and of NATO in 1949.
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