McFadden, Bernard



Private Bernard Leonard McFadden – C 121559 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)

Bernard Leonard McFadden was 19 years old when, as a single man, he was Attested in Kingston, Ontario on June 22, 1943 with the Canadian Infantry Corp (CIC) Reinforcement Unit. Bernard Leonard was enlisted for the duration of the War as a Private (Pte) on June 22, 1943 and was assigned Service Number C 121559. Bernard Leonard stated that he was born in Lakefield, Ontario on June 18, 1924; that he was 5′ 5″ tall, had light-brown hair, hazel eyes, chest 36″ and weighed 124 pounds. He indicated that he had no previous military experience. His previous employment was listed as a labourer. Bernard Leonard lived in Lakefield Ontario and his next-of-kin was listed as his mother, Mrs. Gertrude Mary McFadden, also of Lakefield Ontario. He was insured with the Prudential Life Insurance Company. Bernard Leonard gave the prior work reference of Mr. Alec McIlvey of the Department of Transportation who worked as a Lockmaster on the Trent Canal System; he lived in Peterborough, Ontario. Bernard Leonard was employed there for 6 months; his pay was $90.00 per month. Pte McFadden’s entry medical was done in Kingston Ontario, June 22, 1943. It was noted that he had Hypertrophy in his left breast; he was considered fit for duty. Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength to No 3 “A” District Depot (DD), Kingston, Ontario for Operating Training (O/T) to become a member of the Infantry Reinforcement Unit.

On July 1, 1943 Pte. McFadden was struck-off-strength from No 3 “A” DD, Kingston to No 32 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre (CA (B) TC) at Peterborough, Ontario and attached to No 32 CA (B) TC Peterborough for pay purposes effective July 1, 1943. On July 2, 1943 Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength for all purposes on transfer to 3 “A” DD, Kingston. On August 5, 1943, after 5 weeks of training at No 32 CA (B) TC Peterborough he was struck-off-strength for all purposes on transfer to No 31 CA (B) TC at Cornwall, Ontario. Then on August 6, 1943 Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength to No 31 CA (B) TC, Cornwall from No 32 CA (B) TC Peterborough.

On August 10, 1943 Pte. McFadden was admitted to the Cornwall Military Hospital with a diagnosis of Gynecomastia. August 17, 1943 he was transferred to the Kingston General Hospital and then he was transferred to the Kingston Military Hospital; all for the same diagnosis. On August 30, 1943 Pte. McFadden was discharged from the Kingston Military Hospital and returned to No 31 CA (B) TC, Cornwall. October 7, 1943, after 5 weeks of training, Pte. McFadden was stuck-off-strength from No 31 CA (B) TC, Cornwall on transfer to No 3 DD, Ottawa Ontario, for all purposes. On October 8, 1943 he is taken-on-strength to No 3 DD, Ottawa and is posted to D Company (Coy) in the Draft Section. Pte. McFadden had an interview with the Medical Officer (MO) at the Medical Inspection Room (MIR), Lansdowne Park on December 6, 1943; the conclusion was that Pte. McFadden was considered as suitable paratroop material. December 22, 1943 Pte. McFadden is granted 5 days Special Leave to December 26, 1943 inclusive.

January 13, 1944 Pte. McFadden is struck-off-strength from to No 3 DD, Ottawa on transfer to No 31 CA (B) TC, Cornwall. January 14, he is taken-on-strength for all purposes to No 31 CA (B) TC, Cornwall. Although not shown in his Military Records; Pte McFadden would have been on training conducted by the No 31 CA (B) TC. Pte. McFadden’s Records are not very clearly stated, in fact confusing; it has been decided that he probably remained on-strength with No 31 CA (B) TC until he was posted June 1, 1944. After more than 4 months of basic and advanced training, on June 1, 1944 he was posted and then taken-on-strength to A-29, Camp Ipperwash, Ontario on June 2, 1944. Pte. McFadden was granted 9 days furlough to June 11, 1944. Although not shown in his Military Records; Pte McFadden would have been on additional training conducted by A-29, Camp Ipperwash.

June 5, 1944 Pte. McFadden was to receive an increase in pay to $1.40 per diem. On July 9, 1944 he was struck-off-strength from A-29, Camp Ipperwash to 294A Lachine Québec and July 11, 1944 Pte. McFadden embarked Canada and was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (CA) Canada. The following day, July 12, 1944 Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength to the No 2 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit (CIRU) in the United Kingdom (UK) with the CA Overseas. On July 19, 1944 he disembarked the UK and reported for duty at No 2 CIRU July 20, 1944.

August 3, 1944 Pte. McFadden was struck-off-strength from No 2 CIRU to X-4 List [13th Battalion, No 2 Canadian Base Reinforcement Group (CBRG)], UK. On August 4, 1944 he was taken-on-strength to X-4 List, 11th Battalion, Canadian Essex Scottish Regiment (ESR) from X-4 List, 13th Battalion CBRG. Also on August 4, 1944 Pte. McFadden embarked the UK and disembarked France August 5, 1944. Again, on August 5, 1944 Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength to “X” List ESR from X-4 List, 11th Battalion, ESR. August 7, 1944 he was struck-off-strength from “X” List ESR to the ESR. On August 8, 1944 Pte. McFadden was taken-on-strength with the ESR in the Field from “X” List, ESR. Pte. McFadden would have been engaged in combat until August 27, 1944 when he was reported killed in action.

Private Bernard Leonard McFadden was killed in action in France on August 27, 1944. He was buried at Map Reference 109015 on Map Sheet 8E/6 “right of the railroad, right of road inside the hedge; France”. A Burial Party returned to retrieve Pte McFadden from his initial burial site and re-interred him in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian Military Cemetery at Bretteville-sur-Laize, France in 1947.

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

Bernard Leonard McFadden served for 1 year, 2 weeks and 5 days in Canada, 16 days in the United Kingdom and 22 days in France for a total time of 1 year, 2 months and 5 days (including travel time).
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, 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?




Bernard Leonard McFadden was born June 18, 1924 in Lakefield, Ontario to John Joseph McFadden & Gertrude Minnie Garland.

Bernard Leonard lived in Lakefield and attended the Lakefield Public School from 1930 to 1938 and the Lakefield High School in 1939. Bernard Leonard liked school but left in 1939 to take a job.

Bernard Leonard worked as a labourer running a Twisting Machine in a Woollen Factory for 1½ years; his pay was $0.40 per hour. He ran a Packer Machine at the Quaker Oats Company, Peterborough for 4 months; his pay was $0.35 per hour. Bernard Leonard also worked for about 1 year at the Locks that his father operated and 6 months as an Assistant Lockmaster for Mr. Alec McIlvey, a Lockmaster on the Trent-Severn Waterway. He also his did odd jobs for about 4 weeks. He was very interested in hockey; he played first-string at the centre-ice position on a Lakefield Team that suffered no losses during the season.

Bernard Leonard had Bonds that he had purchased in 1943 while stationed at Camp Ipperwash, Ontario. His mother was the beneficiary and the amount purchased was unknown.


Bernard Leonard McFadden’s paternal grandparents are William McFadden & Mary Ann Ayotte. His maternal grandparents are William Garland & Sara Ann May.
Bernard Leonard’s father, John Joseph (Jack) McFadden, born January 1886, married Gertrude Minnie Garland, born September 1887, on December 5, 1906, in Young’s Point Ontario. John & Gertrude had the following children: Francis Leo; Mary Loretta (married Thomas Joseph Watts); John Joseph (Jr.); Jerome; Helen Margaret (married a Tasse); *Martin Patrick; *William E.; Veronica Rita (married a Payne & a Lloyd); Bernard Leonard and Teresa K. (married Ronald Loucks). John Joseph was a Lockmaster at Lock 26 on the Trent-Severn Waterway for 32 years, he and his family lived in Lakefield, Ontario.

*Note: October 1944 Martin Patrick and William E. were both in the Canadian Army Overseas. According to an interview in Ottawa, Ontario December 6, 1943 Bernard Leonard had four brothers overseas. Apparently they were with the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders, or the Dragoons or the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.

After Bernard Leonard’s demise the Canadian Message was dispatched to Mrs. Gertrude Mary McFadden October 7, 1944 and the Royal Message was dispatched to her October 18, 1944. Mrs. Gertrude M. McFadden was sent a Burial Report April 23, 1946. The above items were sent to Mrs. Gertrude M. McFadden, Box 597, Lakefield Ontario.

Bernard Leonard’s mother received the Memorial Bar December 21, 1944 and the Memorial Cross April 4, 1950.