Rifleman Russell George McCallum was born in Toronto 17 September 1921, son of Fredrick Lee McCallum and Mildred Alma Pratt although by the time he enlisted his parents had separated and he was living with his mother at 57 St Anne’s Road, Toronto.
McCallum attended Brock Ave Public School, Toronto; Central Technical School, Toronto (for two years); and St Andrew’s College (Aurora) for one year. After this he worked at the Hamilton Gear & Machine Company as a mechanic. AFter the war he wanted to become a musician.
McCallum enlisted in the band of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, serving from February through September 1939 but was underage and discharged when the regiment went overseas. “Junior” McCallum then joined The Queen’s Own Rifles in November 1940 as a teenaged drummer in the Band. He enlisted in the active army on 13 January 1941 and though still underage when the Regiment sailed for England, he was taken along.
Some notes from his military file:
- 29 July 1941 – Landed at Gourock, Scotland
- 15 August 1941 – Given landing leave
- 11 November 1941 – Given first privileged leave
- 18 December 1941 – Confined to barracks for five days and forfeited six days pay
- 12-31 October 1942 – Motorcycle course
- 22 January – 3 February 1943 – Privileged leave
- Pay increased to $1.50 per day
He was one of the youngest QOR riflemen and was killed on D-Day at Bernières-sur-Mer.
He is buried in Beny-sur-Mer Cemetery: Grave I.B.4