Captain Richard Douglas Oatway, enlisted into the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1943, in 1944 he landed in Normandy on D-Day plus one. On 10th July of 1944 he replaced the Queen’s Own Medical Officer, Major M. Bruser, and remained with the Queen’s Own for the remainder of the war.
Below is his obituary as published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 31, 2007:
RICHARD DOUGLAS OATWAY Douglas Oatway, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, passed away on Tuesday, March 27, 2007, aged 88 years. He was predeceased by the other members of his family; his parents, Robert (1957) and Margaret (1960) Oatway; his sisters, Jean Boles (Henry) of Deloraine, MB, (1946); Mavis of Edmonton, AB (1990); Ida of Winnipeg, MB (1997); and Beatrice Linkins (Bill) of Florence, Oregon, USA (2001); a brother Ross (Margaret) of Winnipeg, MB (1998). Also predeceasing him were brothers-in-law, Henry Boles and Bill Linkins, and sister-in-law Margaret (Craig) Oatway (Ross’ wife). A brother Maitland, died in infancy in 1906. Douglas was born on the family farm in Green Ridge, Manitoba on November 17, 1918. He went to the local school to Grade XI (1935), and then on to Wesley College in Winnipeg, to take Arts and Science 1. (1935 to 1936). In 1936 to 1937 he took 2nd Year Pre-Med at University of Manitoba (the old Broadway Buildings), and in the fall of 1937 he entered the Faculty of Medicine, graduating M.D. in 1942, after a year’s junior internship at the Winnipeg General Hospital. In Medical School, he won two Isbister Scholarships, a Bronze Medal in Anatomy, and Certificates of Merit (Honours). In sport, he played soccer for the Medicals, and one year they won the Intercollegiate Soccer Championship. After a senior internship at the Misericordia Hospital, he enlisted in the Army (RCAMC), April 27, 1943, and was posted to Camp Shilo as a Medical Officer at an Artillery Training Centre (A3 C.A.T.C.). Basic training was taken at Camp Borden, ON, following which he was confirmed in the rank of Captain. In early December 1943, he was sent overseas to Aldershot, UK. He served in England until landing in Normandy at Bernieres-sur-Mer on June 7, 1944 (D+1) with a troopship of reinforcements. On June 9, 1944, he was sent to the #22 Canadian Field Ambulance at Beny-sur-Mer, where he remained until July 4, when he was sent up to Carpiquet village to replace a wounded M.O. with the Regiment de la Chaudieres for three days. On July 10, he was sent up to Queen’s Own Rifles at Carpiquet airfield, and remained as Regimental Medical Officer with them until after VE Day, when he returned to Canada, having volunteered for the Canadian Far East Force. During his service in Northwest Europe, he was awarded a Mention in Dispatches. In 1994, he went with the Queen’s Own Rifles veterans to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and in 1995, to celebrate VE Day and the liberation of the Netherlands, an again to Holland in 2000. Following discharge from the Army in 1946, he began postgraduate training in both Medicine (at Deer Lodge Veteran’s Hospital, 1946 to 1948) and Surgery in 1949, going over to the U.K. He took training in Surgery at Hammersmith Hospital in London, and Worcester Royal Infirmary, Worcs, U.K., and obtained his FRCS (Edinburgh), returning to Canada in 1952. After further training at Winnipeg General Hospital, he passed his Certification in Surgery in 1954, and his FRCS (Canada) in 1955. He practiced in Brandon, MB for two years; in Winnipeg from 1956 to 1979; and in Marathon, ON for two years, retiring in 1996 at the age of almost 78 years. During these years, he was engaged in general practice and general surgery. He returned to live in Winnipeg in September 1996, to be near his family – his sister, with Alzheimer’s Disease, and a brother and sister-in-law, who were quite old. Following the deaths of his sister in 1997, and brother in 1998, he began to do some travelling, as well as yearly visits to his sister Betty and her husband in Oregon until Bill’s death in 1999, and then, to her Nursing Home for Alzheimer’s Disease, in Oregon, twice a year until her death in 2001. He enjoyed a quiet life reading, radio, TV, his VCR, CD player, and his computer, which he dabbled with. He enjoyed travel, although he had left this until retirement, and found it increasingly tiring into his 80’s. He enjoyed listening to music – the older, more traditional stuff; short walks for exercise in the sun and fresh air; and always liked doing the crossword puzzles every day. He enjoyed driving on trips, and continued to drive in the city until the age of 88 years. Cremation was carried out at his request. Funeral services will be held at Thomson Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m. The interment will take place in Green Ridge, MB in the family plot at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of choice. THOMSON FUNERAL HOME 669 BROADWAY 783-7211