Corporal George Alexander Rosborough – C 49145 — ACTIVE SERVICE (WW II)
George Alexander Rosborough signed-up to join the Canadian Army at the Armouries in Peterborough, Ontario. After about three weeks he and two other Peterborough enlistees boarded a train in Peterborough bound for Sharbot Lake. A Military vehicle drove them from Sharbot Lake to Old Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario.
On September 4, 1944, George Alexander Rosborough completed the Attestation Paper for the Canadian Army, in Kingston, Ontario. George Alexander was 27 years, 8½ months old; 5′ 11½” tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair when, as a married man (married to Ethel Lake) and a father of two daughters (Fern Joanne – age 4, and Patricia Marie – age 1); he enlisted for the duration of the War. George Alexander was born at RR #4, 7th Line of Smith Township on December 17, 1916 but lived at Bridge St., Lakefield Ontario when he enlisted. He indicated that he had graduated Grade 8 from a Rural School and had no previous Military experience. George Alexander gave his next-of-kin as his wife, Ethel Rosborough, also living at Bridge St., Lakefield. He gave his occupation as a Crane Hitcher with the Canadian General Electric Company at Peterborough, Ontario. Physically, George Alexander was described as a tall, broad shouldered man of powerful build. A quiet type; above average in mechanical aptitude and considered best suited for Infantry Support. George Alexander had a scar on his right knee and was deemed fit for duty with the Canadian Army; he indicated that he was insured with the Manufacture Life Insurance Company. George Alexander signed the Attestation Oath and Certificate on September 4, 1944, at No 3A District Depot, Kingston Ontario. George Alexander Rosborough was assigned the rank of Private (Pte) with Service Number C 49145.
Pte Rosborough’s Military Service began on September 4, 1944 when he was taken-on-strength at No 3A District Depot (DD), Kingston Ontario with the Canadian Infantry Corps, Infantry Rifle (Reinforcements). On September 21, 1944, he was struck-off-strength from No 3A DD to No 48 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre (CA(B)TC) located at St. Jean, Québec. Pte Rosborough then traveled by train from Kingston to St. Jean, Québec. September 22, 1944 Pte Rosborough was taken-on-strength with No 48 CA(B)TC.
There is a note to File, dated November 16, 1944, from Lieutenant A. E. Farebrother stating the following about Pte Rosborough: “Rosborough has done quite well in Basic training, and will be a good soldier. He is willing but inclined to be slow moving; has good intelligence, but does not impress as being keen and alert. His abilities are discovered slowly, but he responds to special attention and does good work. After completing Advanced Training he would like to get into the Carrier Platoon, provided it is not possible for him to transfer to the Provost Corps, where he would like to be and for which he seems well suited.”
November 18, 1944, Pte Rosborough was struck-off-strength from No 48 CA(B)TC and on November 19, 1944 he was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Infantry Training Centre (CITC) A12, located at Farnham, Québec for Corps advanced training on a Norton Motorcycle including cross-country training. He later had a Harley Davidson Motorcycle and then graduated to a Jeep. On January 4, 1945 he was granted pay scale $1.40 per diem. January 24, 1945, Pte Rosborough was granted 4 days Embarkation Leave with Travel Warrant to January 28, 1945. On February 9, 1945, he was struck-off-strength to No 2 Transit Camp. February 10, 1945, he was taken-on-strength with the Training Brigade Group (TBG), located at Debert, Nova Scotia. This large Military base was the final staging area for Canadian troops embarking from Halifax for oversea duty. On February 15, 1945, prior to his dispatch overseas, Captain M. LeBel placed the following note on Pte Rosborough’s File: “Rosborough has assumed an attitude of interest and ambition. Has displayed fine qualities of efficiency, reliability, keenness, and interest in all of his work. According to the Company Commander he deserves consideration as NCO material. Suitable for operational duties overseas with the Canadian 2nd Corps”.
February 24, 1945, Pte Rosborough was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army – Canada. On February 25, 1945, he embarked, from Halifax on the ship, (Nieuw) New Amsterdam and was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army – Overseas.
On March 4, 1945, Pte Rosborough was authorized to draw pay scale $1.50 per diem. He disembarked March 5, 1945 at Liverpool, England and reported for duty on March 6, 1945 and was taken-on-strength with the No 7 Canadian Infantry Training Reinforcement Unit (CITRU). On April 14, 1945 Pte Rosborough was struck-off-strength from No 7 CITRU to the 1st Canadian General Reinforcement Unit (CGRU). On April 15, 1945 he was taken-on-strength to the 1st CGRU from No 7 CITRU. Also on April 15, 1945 Pte Rosborough was transferred from the Canadian Infantry Corps (CIC) to the Canadian Provost Corps (C Pro C). On May 29, 1945, he was taken-on-strength with No 9 Provost Company*. He was granted a 9-day Leave Pass on June 29, 1945. On July 7, 1945 Pte Rosborough was promoted in rank to Acting Lance Corporal (A/L/Cpl).
*Research indicates that No 9 Provost Company was attached to Canadian Military Headquarters – Reinforcement Unit located at Aldershot, England.
Canadian Provost Corps personnel wore the standard Army issue wool (serge) battle dress, with a Canadian Provost Corps flash (blue background with red lettering) on each shoulder, white puttees, and a red topped cap. They were armed with .38 caliber revolvers carried in a holster, worn on the hip with a white pattern 1937 web belt, and brace attachment (diagonal strap) in the same manner as the British Corps of Military Police. On August 15, 1945, A/L/Cpl Rosborough was attached to No 19 Canadian Infantry Training Base (CITB) for Advanced Training and on August 21, 1945, he ceased to be attached to No 19 CITB. A/L/Cpl Rosborough was often assigned the duties of Patrolling the towns of Guilford, Aldershot and Bordon, England. He also went to London each day, for some time, to take Soldiers who were Absent Without Leave back to their barracks. A/L/Cpl Rosborough was also required to be in Court when cases involving him were heard.
On November 3, 1945, A/L/Cpl Rosborough was promoted in rank to Acting Corporal (A/Cpl) with pay. December 21, 1945, he was granted 9 days paid Leave. On March 4, 1946, A/Cpl Rosborough was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. He was granted 9 days paid Leave on April 8, 1946. On May 9, 1946, A/Cpl Rosborough was confirmed in the rank of Corporal (Cpl). June 20, 1946, Cpl Rosborough was struck-off-strength from No 9 Provost Company, C Pro C. On June 21, 1946 he was taken-on-strength with No 1 Canadian Repatriation Depot. July 8, 1946 Cpl Rosborough was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (Overseas) and the No 1 Canadian Repatriation Depot to No 3 DD Kingston, Ontario. He embarked from the United Kingdom July 9, 1946 aboard the New Amsterdam and was taken-on-strength at No 3 District Depot, at Kingston, Ontario.
On July 18, 1946 he disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia and was granted 34 days Disembarkation Leave to August 20, 1946. August 22, 1946, Cpl Rosborough was interviewed by Captain L. V. Earle, he stated: “Rosborough is a tall powerfully built man with a mild manner. This man is returning to his former occupation of a Crane Hitcher with Canadian General Electric Company at Peterborough, Ontario. Rosborough is also interested in a Small Holding and was directed to the Regional Supervisor of the Veterans Land Act (VLA) at Campbellford, Ontario.” On August 23, 1946, Cpl Rosborough was discharged from the Canadian Army at Kingston, Ontario. Upon his Discharge he was granted a clothing allowance of $100.00 and a Rehabilitation Grant. George Alexander Rosborough was transported to Peterborough and then took a bus to Lakefield. He walked home, unannounced, to quite a greeting.
Cpl Rosborough was awarded the following Medals:
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp and
War Medal 1939 – 45
He was also awarded War Service Badge – Class “C”
During his Military Service, Cpl Rosborough served 5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days in Canada and 1 year, 4 months and 4 days in the UK and 17 days travel time for a total of 1 year, 10 months and 19 days of Service
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 honourable?
George Alexander Rosborough
George Alexander Rosborough was born at RR #4, 7th Line of Smith Township, Ontario on December 17, 1916. His parents are Stanley Roland Rosborough and Hazel Fern Northcott. George Alexander went by the nickname “Alex”.
Alex attended a Rural Public School, in Smith Township, from the age of 5 until 16. He left school, after graduating from Grade 8, based on a preference to go to work. Sometime after Public School Alex completed one term of night school, in Peterborough, studying Auto Mechanics. He spent the next 9 years working on the family and surrounding farms, until he found employment as a Crane Driver/Hitcher, with the Canadian General Electric (CGE), in Peterborough, Ontario earning $0.74 per hour. The CGE was part of the War Industry, Alex worked there for 4 years until he enlisted.
George Alexander Rosborough married Ethel Rosetta Lake on October 14, 1939 at the Presbyterian Church in Lakefield, Ontario, the first Wedding Service at the Church. Ethel Rosetta Lake was born September 30, 1918 in Lakefield, died June 23, 2006 at Riverside Manor in Peterborough. Alex and Ethel had 5 children: Fern Joanne, born 1940, married Ernest William Underwood and then Ronald Mahood; Patricia Marie born 1943 married Neil Revoy; Nancy Joyce, married Harry Kenneth Jakins; Rosemary Elaine, married Neil Douglas Heard and William Alexander married Sheila Tuckey.
Initially Alex and Ethel lived in Seymour Township, near Campbellford, Ontario. Fern Joanne was born there and then they moved to Lakefield, lived on Clementi Street for a while and then rented a house from Frank Coyle. The home was situated where the McDonalds outlet is now located (2015). Later that house was moved but before that Alex bought a home on William Street. In 1960 Alex built a house near Ray’s School and their last move was to Aylmer Street in Peterborough.
Alex indicated that he had no specific interest in sports, he said he enjoyed spending his evenings with his young family, and reading a good book.
At interviews Alex indicated that he had nine years of experience in General Farming and would like to go back to that work. When Alex enlisted in the Service the Manager at the General Electric Company indicated that his job would be there when he returned. After being discharged in 1946 Alex returned to the General Electric Company and worked there until he was 65 years old.
George Alexander Rosborough died in the Peterborough Regional Health Centre on January 26, 2001. He and most of the Rosboroughs are interred in Lakefield Cemetery.
THE GEORGE ALEXANDER ROSBOROUGH FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
George Alexander’s paternal grandparents are William Roland Rosborough and Sarah Hetherington, they had two sons: Stanley Roland and Gordon who died in 1921. His maternal grandparents are Elijah Wesley Northcott and Catherine Boyce.
George Alexander’s parents, Stanley Roland Rosborough and Hazel Fern Northcott were married on March 4, 1914 in Lakefield Ontario at the Baptist Church. Stanley Roland & Hazel Fern had 10 children, 6 boys and 4 girls: Everett Roland, born June 14, 1915, married Lottie Bray, died October 19, 1999; George Alexander born December 17, 1916, died January 26, 2002; Winnifred, born about 1919, married Robert Freeburn; Margaret, born about 1920, married Truman Dunford; Kathleen, married Wellie Bullock; Mary, married Melville Nicholls; Stuart, married Phyllis Ireland; Gordon, married Doris Ellis; Bruce, married Dora Johnson and Wesley who died shortly after birth. Stanley & Fern lived on a 200-acre farm at RR #4, Peterborough, Ontario. Stanley Roland Rosborough was born May 11, 1891, died January 4, 1964; Hazel Fern Northcott was born February 21, 1893, died July 21, 1959.