Lives behind the Commemorative Banners: November, 2020

Angus Munroe Mcleod was born in Southampton on October 8, 1910. His father Angus was one of the MacLeod(s) that arrived in Canada from the Scottish Outer Hebrides Island of Harris & Lewis.

Growing up, he was well known throughout town and was called Munro. He was active in the Presbyterian Young Peoples and sports groups and, after finishing school, he attended Stratford Normal School and taught in Timmins for seven years before enlisting. For two of those years, he was a member of the local Military reserve in Timmins and was a reserve Second Lieutenant. On August 4, 1942, he enlisted in Timmins in the 2nd Battalion of the Algonquin Regiment.

His training took him across Canada to Red Deer, Chilliwack, Calgary, Camp Borden and Windsor Nova Scotia. Training qualified him as a motorcycle operator as well as gunner operator.

He left Canada on March 26th, 1944 and arrived in England on April 3rd.

The invasion of Europe by the allies began on June 6th, 1944 and Munro McLeod landed in France on July 4th with the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, 7th/11th Hussars. They were known as the Sherbrooke Hussars and had distinguished themselves in WWI.

When Munro joined them in France, the Hussars were involved in the long drawn-out battle for Caen, the large city in Normandy. It was at the end of this battle on July 25th at 18:00 hours that he died.  He was 33 years old.

Among his personal effects was a pipe, a diary, a bible, some pictures and a silver identity bracelet. For his 723 days of service including 122 days overseas his mother received a War Service Gratuity of $227.62.

Munro is buried in the Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery a few miles south of Caen. This cemetery also has the two local boys Ralph Black and Laird Beresford buried there.


Ralph George Black was born in Southampton on Boxing Day in 1920. His family farmed on the outskirts of town and he had a brother Keith and a sister Jean.

He was working as a driver and helping on the farm when he enlisted in London on August 6, 1940. He joined the Royal Canadian Engineers and received training as a military driver in Petawawa. He was also a military bandsman, playing the horn.

On Aug. 8, 1942 he was granted permission to marry Grace Crone of Owen Sound. They had two children, Beverley Sharen and Wendy Lee Cheryl.

He left Canada on November 27th, 1943 arriving in England on December 3rd. Sadly, in April 1944, his youngest child Wendy Lee Cheryl died in the Owen Sound Hospital.

The invasion of Europe by the Allies begun on June 6, 1944 and Sapper Ralph George Black arrived in France on July 15th. There had been violent battles for weeks following the invasion leading up to and around the city of Caen in Normandy. Finally, the Germans were driven out of the city and were being slowly pushed back to the south and east of town.

It was during these actions on August 8, 1944, that Ralph George Black lost his life. He is buried in the Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, a few miles south of Caen and in the same cemetery as Angus Monro McLeod and Laird Beresford.

The three men died during a 35-day period in this one of the most violent of battles that the Canadians fought in WWII.

Researched by G. William Streeter