Hurl, Donald Raymond


Sapper Donald Raymond Hurl – C 64092 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)

On August 17, 1940 Donald Raymond Hurl completed the Attestation Paper for the Royal Canadian Engineers, in Peterborough, Ontario. He was 21 years, 1 month and 19 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. Donald Raymond was born in Young’s Point, Ontario; he gave his birth-date as June 29, 1919 and indicated that he had no previous Active Militia experience. Donald Raymond lists his educational background as having completed Grade 11 at the Lakefield High School in 1936; he was 17 years old when he left school. Donald Raymond was living in Lakefield, Ontario; had been employed as a Mill Hand and worked for Edward Millage, a plumber in Lakefield, but not working when he enlisted. He was 5′ 7” tall, with brown eyes and black hair and weighed 161 pounds. He was deemed fit for service (category A-1). Donald Raymond’s, next-of-kin is listed as his mother, Mrs. Sarah Hurl, living in Lakefield. Donald Raymond Hurl signed the Oath and Attestation Certificate on August 17, 1940 at Peterborough, Ontario. He was assigned to the 3rd Field Park Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, Canadian Army (Active) in Peterborough, Ontario as a Sapper (Spr) with Service Number C 64092.

On August 17, 1940 Spr Hurl was taken-on-strength with the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE), 3rd Field Park Company (Fd Pk Coy), in Peterborough, Ontario. Although his records do not indicate any action for the next 7 months Spr Hurl would have undergone basic military training; marching, discipline, rifle, offensive and defensive tactics. He would have also received basic Field Engineer training where he would learn how to build Bailey Bridges, do demolitions and booby traps, lay out mine fields, clear mines & booby traps, crater roads, erect fencing using large coils of barbed wire (concertina fencing) and other Engineer tasks. On December 7, 1940 after the Field Engineer training Spr Hurl was qualified Pioneer Group “C”. On March 17, 1941 he was granted 14 days Furlough to March 30, 1941 and then was posted to Debert, Nova Scotia.

Spr Hurl would have been taken-on-strength at Debert about April 1, 1941 and been assigned duties plus more Field Engineer training. On May 6, 1941 Spr Hurl started taking instructions on a First Aid Course; May 27, 1941 he was qualified in First Aid. July 5, 1941 Spr Hurl was granted a 6-day Leave of Absence on “Special Duty” until July 10, 1941 at which time he proceeded to Halifax, Nova Scotia in preparation for embarkation. On August 23, 1941 Spr Hurl embarked Halifax for the United Kingdom (UK); was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (CA) Canada and taken-on-strength with the CA Overseas with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division on August 24, 1941. September 1, 1941 Spr Hurl was qualified as a Batman but no indication that he was employed as such. He disembarked at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK) September 2, 1941. Spr Hurl was granted Landing Leave, with a Travel Warrant, from September 24 to 28, 1941. Over the next 3½ months he would have been on duty and advanced training in the UK until January 7, 1942 when he was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to January 13, 1942.

Another 3 months of duty and training passed when on April 10, 1942 Spr Hurl was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to April 17, 1942. For the next 3 months his training and work details continued until July 13, 1942 when he was attached for all purposes (fap) to the 18th Field Park Company (Fd Pk Coy) for one day only. Then on July 14, 1942 Spr Hurl ceased to be attached to the 18th Fd Pk Coy and was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to July 21, 1942. On July 16, 1942 he was granted Trades Pay for Pioneer “C”. August 17, 1942 Spr Hurl is awarded a Good Conduct Badge. July 22, 1942 when he was attached for all purposes (fap) to the 18th Field Park Company (Fd Pk Coy) and ceased to be attached to the 18th Fd Pk Coy on July 23, 1942. On August 1, 1942 he was attached for all purposes (fap) to the 18th Fd Pk Coy for seven days, to August 6, 1942 when he ceased to be attached to the 18th Fd Pk Coy. On August 7, 1942 he was attached for all purposes (fap) to the 16th Field Park Company (Fd Pk Coy) RCE. August 26, 1942 Spr Hurl ceases to be attached for
all purposes (fap) to the 16th Fd Pk Coy and was again with the 3rd Fd Pk Coy. On August 31, 1942 Spr Hurl’s Trades Pay Pioneer “C” ceases. The next five months has no entries in Spr Hurl’s records; continued training and assigned duties would have been the daily grind.

January 1, 1943 Spr Hurl was granted daily rates of pay of $1.50 per diem. January 13, 1943 he was granted 9 days Privileged Leave to January 22, 1943. On April 5, 1943 Spr Hurl was granted 7 days Privileged Leave plus 48 hours to April 13, 1943. Over a year later, on January 15, 1944, after lots more training, Spr Hurl was granted permission to marry Muriel Windebank on or after July 2, 1944 and awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. June 2, 1944 Spr Hurl embarked at UK for France and disembarked France June 6, 1944, D-Day, with the 3rd Fd Pk Coy, RCE. The 3rd Field Park Company was in action in the following battles, Spr Hurl was probably in action in many of them.

3 Field Park Company
• D-Day Normandy Landing Juno Beach 6 June 44 • Leopold Canal 6 – 16 October 44
• Authie 7 June 44 • Breskens Pocket 11 October – 3 November 44
• Putot-en-Besssin 8 June 44 • Breskens Pocket 11 October – 3 November 44
• Bretteville-Porgueilleuse 8-9 June 44 • The Rhineland 8 February – 10 March 45
• Le Mesnil-Paltry 11 June 44 • The Rhine 23 March – 1 April 45
• The Orne (Buron) 8 – 9 July 44 • Zutphen 6 – 8 April 1945
• The Orne (Buron) 8 – 9 July 44* • Deventer 8 – 11 April 1945
• Caen 4 – 18 July 44 • The Leda 19-29 April 1945
• Bourquebus Ridge 18-23 July 44 • Leer 28 – 29 April 1945
• Dives Crossing 17 – 20 August 44 16th and 18th Field Companies
• The Seine 25-28 August 44 • Caen 4 – 18 July 44
• Boulogne 17-22 September 44 • The Orne (Buron) 8 – 9 July 44
• Calais 25 September – 1 October 44 • Dives Crossing 17 – 20 August 44
• The Scheldt 1 October – 8 November 44 • Breskin Pocket 11 October – 3 November 44
*Items in italics are from the 16th and 18th Field Companies. Notes from an interview October 18, 1945 indicated that Spr Hurl was employed as a carpenter’s helper, on bridge construction work and as a driver.
On February 6, he was granted 9 days Privileged Leave to the UK. February 10, 1945 Spr Hurl married Miss Muriel Windebank at Lyndhurst, Hants, England, then he returned from Leave February 18, 1945 after his marriage. On February 21, 1945 he was struck-off-strength from the 3rd Fd Pk Coy UK to Headquarters, RCE, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division (CID). On February 22, 1945 he was taken-on-strength from the 3rd Fd Pk Coy UK to Headquarters, RCE, 3rd CID to 3rd Canadian Field Park Company. March 23, 1945 Spr Hurl was struck-off-strength to 3rd Fd Pk Coy and March 24, 1945 he was taken-on-strength from HQ RCE 3rd CID. May 4, 1945 Spr Hurl’s next-of-kin was changed to; Mrs, Muriel Hurl, Firleigh, Broughton Road, Lyndhurst, Hants, England. June 9, 1945 he was granted 11 days Privileged Leave to the UK and returned June 19, 1945. July 25, 1945 Spr Hurl was struck-off-strength from 3rd Field Park Company to 233 CD – MD 3 and taken-on-strength July 26, 1945.

July 28, 1945 Spr Hurl embarked North-West Europe (NWE) and disembarked the UK on the same day. On July 29, 1945 he was attached for all purposes (fap) to No 11 Canadian Repatriation Depot (CRD) located in Surrey areas. July 31, 1945 Spr Hurl was granted 9 days Leave with MA to August 6, 1945. On September 3, 1945 Spr Hurl ceased to be attached (CTBA) fap to No 11 CRD and was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army Overseas and taken-on-strength September 4, 1945 to the Canadian Army Canada. On October 19, 1945 Spr Hurl was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army on discharge to return to civil life on demobilization. He was granted $100.00 Clothing Allowance and a Rehabilitation grant. His address was Lakefield, Ontario.

During an interview, August 18, 1945 Spr Hurl indicated that he was going to settle in Lakefield, Ontario with his wife. Then on October 18, 1945 he was at another interview, the following text was extracted from that meeting: “Hurl is a pleasant, though, serious, young married man of 26, who appears steady and reliable. He is of good appearance, straight forward, courteous and well adapted, to serving and meeting the public. His education is well above average having completed Grade XI. He has 2 yrs. experience as a clerk in a grocery store.
His plans call for entering a partnership with a friend in a grocery business in downtown Peterborough. This friend has been in this occupation all his life, and is at present managing a large grocery store in Peterborough (Brown’s). This man has a good reputation for the industry and competence, so that Hurl will not be at all handicapped through this partnership.
He does not intend to use his credits as capital for the business, but rather to purchase furniture in order to establish a home for his wife, when she joins him in this Country. He will apply his savings and gratuities as capital on an equal partnership basis.”

Sapper Donald Raymond Hurl served in Canada from August 17, 1940 to August 23, 1941 plus return time; 1 year, 1 month, 15 days; in the United Kingdom from September 2, 1941 to June 2, 1943 plus return time, 1 year, 10 months, 6 days in France and North West Europe from June 6, 1944 to July 28, 1945; 1 year and 3 months, plus 21 travel days. In total, Sapper Hurl served from August 17, 1940 until October 19, 1945 the dates on his Discharge Certificate. This totals 4 years, 3 months and 22 days of Service. Donald Raymond Hurl was discharged in Kingston, Ontario on October 19, 1945.


Sapper Hurl was awarded the following medals:
1939 – 45 Star;
France and Germany Star;
Defence Medal;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and
War Medal, 1939 – 45.
He was also awarded War Service Badge – Class “A”

An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:

The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your Nation. What could be more honorable?




Donald Raymond Hurl (Don) was born June 29, 1919 in Youngs Point, Ontario to John C. Hurl and Sarah Hurl. Don attended the Lakefield High School and graduated Grade 11 in 1936. Before enlisting Don had worked as a Clerk in a grocery store, part time in 1934 – 36; doing mixed farming for 1½ years, was a Scalar working at the McManus & Son Saw Mill in Lakefield and worked for Edward Millage, a plumber in Lakefield for 1 year just before enlisting.

In an interview April 4, 1941 Don indicated that he had experience in mixed farming and would like to be engaged in that field. However for his first choice he would like to own a Grocery Business.

Don enjoyed Track & Field, hunting, swimming, hockey (right wing, School League) and Baseball (pitcher, School League). Don was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 77 Lakefield, Ontario.

February 10, 1945 Donald Raymond married Muriel Windebank at Lyndhurst, Hants, England. Don & Muriel had 6 children: John Charles, married Sherelene (Sheri) Darlene Spears; Muriel Ann, married Bruce Garfield Mullan (divorced), married Derek John Pulsford; Pamela (Pam) Maureen, married Robert (Bob) Ivan Irwin (divorced), partner John Lawrence McCrea; Ronald (Ron) Norman, married Kathy Marie Wilson; Donald (Don) Clifford, married Lee Anne Clements (divorced) and Richard (Rick) George, married Linda Louise Lemmon (divorced), partner Shirley Lewis.

Donald Raymond Hurl passed away at home in Lakefield on Wednesday, August 31, 1994 in his 76th year; he is interred in the Lakefield Cemetery.


Donald Raymond’s paternal great-grandparents are Joseph Hurl (English), born 1827 of Dummer Township and Ann Jane Hatton (Irish), born 1836. Joseph & Ann Jane were married by Rev. Hooper August 25, 1852; witnesses were Jane Hurl and Edward Barrie. His maternal great-grandparents are John Curtain & Harriet Blanco.

Donald Raymond’s paternal grandparents are William James Hurl, born May 30, 1853 in Smith Township and Margaret Curtain, born January 27, 1854. William & Margaret were married by Rev. Alexander Richard February 16, 1875; witnesses were Samuel Hatton and Mary Curtain, both of Lakefield. His maternal grandparents are Josiah Bullock and Elizabeth A. Northey.

William James & Margaret had 14 children: Levina Jane, born November 26, 1875; John (Johnnie) Curtain, born November 8, 1877; Bernice Angeline, born June 8, 1879; William (Willie) James, born June 10, 1881; Margaret (Maggie) Ann, born September 22, 1882; Harriet Mellica, born April 6, 1884; Elizabeth (Lizzy) May, born May 29, 1885; Sarah Delilah, born March 22, 1887; George Samuel, born September 14, 1888; Joseph (Josey) Stanley, born April 25, 1890; Cecilia (Cecil) Levina, born August 28, 1891; Bertha Phyllis, born September 4, 1893; Norman Douglas, born July 1, 1895 and Lillian (Lily) Louella, born June 27, 1899.

Donald Raymond’s parents; John Curtain Hurl, born November 8, 1877 and Sarah Sophia Bullock, born February 8, 1884 were married in Lakefield, Ontario on September 25, 1907. John & Sarah had 6 children: Margaret (Maggie), born November 12, 1908, died December 17, 1994 married Chalmer Sweeting; Edna, born August 15, 1910, died February 19, 1972 married Ernest (Ernie) Bullock; Viola (Vi), born September 26, 1911, died August 2, 1998 married Wallace Blewett; James (Cliff) Clifford, born July 11, 1915, died August 31, 1971 married Freda Allison (2nd marriage); Donald (Don) Raymond, born June 29, 1919, died August 31, 1994 married Muriel Windebank and Verna May, born September 22, 1922, died November 28, 2002 married Bertram (Bert) Vaughn.

John passed away on July 1, 1950; Sarah passed away on July 1, 1962 – both are interred in the Lakefield Cemetery.