C65541 Lance-Corporal Philip Beaufoy Pattrick was born on June 7, 1917 to George and Georgina Pattrick in Lakefield, Ontario. At the age of 3 years, they relocated Philip and his sister to a property in Bowmanville near the present location of Wellington St. and Liberty St., a lot on which they farmed. Philip was educated at the Central Public School and three years at the Bowmanville High School. Leaving school at the height of depression years, no doubt he was required to help support the family. He worked at a few jobs in town including a canning factory and a local dairy. He landed a position at the Goodyear plant prior to enlisting.
Enlistment occurred in 1940 when Philip was 23 years of age. He signed up with the Midland Regiment, a local unit mostly comprised of recruits from Durham and Northumberland Counties. There is a long and storied history with this unit dating back to pre-Confederation. It was mobilized for WW2 in July of 1940. They served in all parts of Canada, guarding strategic points first in Ontario, then in the Maritimes; thereafter in Alberta and lastly in British Columbia where the unit was engaged on coastal defence duty. These duties were not enough for many of the men as they desired active overseas units. Philip transferred to an infantry unit, Queen’s Own Rifles, in December of 1942.
He arrived in England on March 31, 1943. Training with his new unit for the eventual Normandy invasion occupied their time for the following year. His brigade was moved to the debarkation port of Portsmouth on June 3, 1944. The Queen’s Own Rifles would be the leading infantry unit on their section (Nan) of Juno Beach on D-Day. They were the only unit of all the allied forces to reach their inland objective. They pushed more than eight miles into France, in fact having to withdraw a few miles as they had outrun their supply chain. They also suffered the highest casualties of any Canadian unit. What followed were eleven months of continuous fighting until the conflict ceased, Germany surrendering in May of 1945. In Normandy they won honours for the Battle of Caen and the capture of the well defended airfield at Carpiquet. They then liberated crucial channel ports in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They were tasked with seizing launch sites for V2 rockets and infrastructure for the next version of V3 prototypes. They liberated the northern provinces of Holland and pushed into Germany at war’s end. They were demobilized on December 13, 1945.
Philip returned to Bowmanville and in 1946 married Jean Wayling. Together they would raise three children. His employment at Goodyear had awaited him, a job from which he retired in 1981. He suffered from what was then commonly called shell shock, today known as PTSD. He was a member of the local Branch 178 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Bowmanville. He was an aficionado of Winston Churchill and liked to take strolls through town smoking a big cigar, similar to his hero, and he liked to associate with his fellow veterans. He died on August 2, 2001 at the age of 84 years.
Thanks to Second-Lieutenant Leo Afonso for submitting the information on L/Cpl Pattrick.