Trooper Henry George Johnston died in Operation BLACKCOCK while embedded with the Devonshire Regiment, a regiment of the British Army.
Today, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have identified the grave of a Canadian soldier of the Second World War as that of Trooper Henry George Johnston. Trooper Johnston was buried as an unknown soldier in 1945 in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Mook War Cemetery in the Netherlands.
Trooper Henry George Johnston was born on May 2, 1915, in Chauvin, Alberta. He enlisted at No. 13 District Depot as a General Reinforcement in October 1943 in Calgary. After training in Ontario, he embarked for the United Kingdom on June 25, 1944, arriving on July 3, 1944. He was taken on strength by the 1 Armoured.
Personnel Carrier Regiment, Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Active Service Force, on November 12, 1944. Trooper Johnston was declared killed in action on January 17, 1945, during an attack in which his Regiment was carrying members of the Devonshire Regiment, a regiment of the British Army, as part of Operation BLACKCOCK.
“Trooper Johnston dedicated his life in defence of peace and freedom during the Second World War. We honour him for his courage and selflessness. The service of this brave member will not be forgotten, as it continues to impact the way Canadians live today. As we approach Remembrance Day, all Canadians should appreciate that the Canadian Armed Forces’ Casualty Identification Program continues to identify the names and tell the stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We will remember them. Lest we forget.” – The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
The Canadian Armed Forces have notified surviving next of kin of Trooper Johnston’s identification and have provided the family with ongoing support. A headstone rededication ceremony will take place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Mook War Cemetery in Limburg, Netherlands, at the earliest opportunity.
The Canadian Armed Forces’ Casualty Identification Program fosters a sense of continuity and identity within the Canadian Armed Forces, and provides an opportunity for the family, the unit of the fallen soldier, and all Canadians to reflect upon the experiences of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.