Honour Roll




Kenneth Lawrence, Rifleman, Royal Winnipeg Rifles
(Click on Image to Enlarge)


Service # H/1170
Date of Death: June 8, 1944
Cemetery: Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Reviers, Calvados,France
Grave Reference: XIV. F. 9



Château d'Audrieu

The Chateau d'Audrieu

(Following information from Veterans Affairs Canada)

Château d'Audrieu
As many as 156 Canadian prisoners of war are believed to have been executed by the 12th SS Panzer Division (the Hitler Youth) in the days and weeks following the D-Day landings. In scattered groups, in various pockets of the Normandy countryside, they were taken aside and shot.
Before the war, Château d'Audrieu, in the village of Audrieu near Pavie, was a beautiful estate, with a lush garden, servants' quarters, orchards, and woodland -- after the war it was converted into a luuxury hotel and restaurant. During the war, Gerhard Bremer, Commander of the German Army's 12th Reconnaissance Battalion, established his headquarters here.
On June 8, in the surrounding clearings, forests and orchards of the Château, 24 members of the 3rd Canadian Division were executed: 22 from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and two from the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. Two British soldiers were shot along with them. One group of the POWs (consisting of 7 platoon of the Royal Winnipeg Rifle's A Company plus the two British soldiers) had been captured near Brouay; most of the remaining men fell into SS hands near Putot.
They were searched then taken to the rear of the Château beginning at 2:15 p.m.
It was later determined that some were killed in groups of three: they were interrogated, taken down a path in the woods to one clearing or another, turned so their backs would face their small firing squad -- or else forced to lay on their stomachs and rest on their elbows -- and shot from behind. In the late afternoon, 13 men from 9 platoon of the Winnipeg's A Company were led en masse to an orchard, lined up and shot.
The executed Canadians were:

Royal Winnipeg Rifles

Private William Adams
Private Emmanuel Bishoff
Private Lawrence Chartrand
Private Louis Chartrand
Private Sidney Cresswell
Private Anthony Fagnan
Lance-corporal Austin Fuller
Private David Gold
Private Robert Harper
Major Frederick Hodge (commander of A Company)
Private Hervé Labrecque
Private Kenneth Lawrence
Private John Lychowich
Private James McIntosh
Corporal George Meakin and his brother
Corporal Frank Meakin
Private Robert Mutch
Private Frank Ostir
Lance-corporal William Poho
Private Henry Rodgers
Private Steve Slywchuk
Private William Thomas

Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

Private Francis Harrison
Private Frederick Smith

British soldiers

W. Barlow (50th Northumbrian Division)
Private E. Hayton (Durham Light Infantry)

That evening, following heavy Allied naval and artillery bombardment, the Germans fled the Château, and the following afternoon it was occupied by the Dorsets Regiment of England. The new occupants were informed of the executions by the proprietor's daughter -- and were guided to the sites. At the orchard near the main house they came upon 13 bodies. To his horror, Major Lloyd Sneath of the Dorsets recognized some of them, having served as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles before he was transferred to the British Army under the CANLOAN program. The Dorsets were forced to withdraw the next day, but the Château was liberated for good two weeks later by other British forces. The remaining bodies were found then, including those of the two British soldiers.