Lieutenant, Lord Strathcona’s Horse, 2nd Armd. Regt
Killed in Action, January 5, 1945
Harvey Dyson Shaw was born in Hamiota, Manitoba, on January 17, 1917. He was the youngest of eight children born to George and Maria Shaw of Cardale, Manitoba. He was raised on the family farm near Cardale, in Blanshard Municipality, north of Brandon, Manitoba.
Harvey’s father died in a farming accident in October 1920. My grandmother, Laura, stayed on the farm to help her mother, who was coping with the administration of two estates (including her brothers who died in 1918), the threshing, hired men, carpenters, the building of a new house, a three-year-old child and three boys of school age. Laura remained at home helping to raise Harvey until he began school, then left for Portage la Prairie to attend Normal (Teachers) School during the 1923–24 term.
Harvey completed his schooling in Cardale, eventually leaving to attend McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts and then a Bachelor of Commerce at Queens University in Kingston. With his commerce degree, he got employment as an accountant with Robin Hood Flour Mills and then as a statistician with Merck Chemical Company.
On April 7, 1942, Harvey enlisted with the Canadian Army, Regimental #D-131108. His Personnel Selection Record stated he had an “easy, assured manner and is confident. Very good personality and impressed very favourably. Well balanced character and mentality. Good intellect, well informed … very promising prospect for advancement to commissioned rank”.
In just over a year, Harvey did advance to the commissioned ranks when he was promoted to Lieutenant on June 10, 1943, and was sent overseas on July 20, 1943, as part of the 3rd Canadian Armoured Corps Reinforcement Unit (CACRU). Eventually, he was assigned to Lord Strathcona’s Horse, 2nd Armd. Regt in San Giustina, Italy, on October 4, 1944.
On January 4/5, 1945, Harvey’s tank squadron was assigned to support the Westminster Regiment, slightly south of Conventello. On the morning of January 5, 1945, Harvey was killed when his tank took a direct hit from a heavy shell. He was subsequently buried at Ravenna, Provincia di Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The Ravenna War Cemetery lies on a communal road 1 kilometre south of the SS16 from Ravenna to Ferrara near the village of Piangipane in the Commune and Province of Ravenna.
The site for the cemetery was selected by the Army in 1945 for burials from the surrounding battlefields. Ravenna was taken by the Canadian Corps at the beginning of December 1944, and the graves in the cemetery reflect the fighting for the Senio line. Many of the men buried here are Canadians.
A cenotaph was also erected to remember Harvey’s service in the Marney Cemetery in the Rural Municipality of Oakview, just north of Cardale, Manitoba. Thanks to Charlotte McCrae of Brandon for allowing me to use her picture of Harvey’s cenotaph from Find-A-Grave as a winter “clipper” (fast-moving) snowstorm prevented my drive to Cardale this morning.
As it seems in Manitoba, the more we talk with friends and family, we find connections that often separate us all by only two or three degrees. Such is the case with Alan Scott and Tom Anderson, co-workers and friends from the Winnipeg Police.
Alan’s father, Alexander George Scott, of Desford, Manitoba, was a Sergeant in Lord Strathcona’s Horse, 2nd Armd Reg. and served alongside my great uncle in Italy. He was wounded on January 20, 1944, at Orsogna, Italy, but returned to his regiment a month later and saw further action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Tom’s father, Clifford Burton Anderson of McAuley, Manitoba, served with Calgary Tanks. He was wounded at Lake Trasimene, Italy, during a tank battle on June 28, 1944. He returned to Italy to finish the war with the Three Rivers Tank Regiment, seeing further action in Belgium, Holland and Germany.
Thank you to all members of the Canadian armed forces who have served our country.
… the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place …
Researched and written by John Burchill, great-nephew of Lieut. Harvey Shaw