Sunday, February 22, 2015 John Patterson Wilson (c1913-1943)

John Patterson Wilson was born on 12 July 1913 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, to Mark and Agnes (Patterson) Wilson. His father was born in Scotland and his mother in Nova Scotia, Canada.

On 28 March 1932 John married Catherine Richmond at the Presbyterian Manse on 300 Franklin Street in Nanaimo. He was 19 years old, lived in the Northfield area of Nanaimo, and worked as a truck driver.

During World War II he served with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. It is not known when John joined or was drafted, but the Seaforth Highlanders were among the first Canadian units to deploy, crossing the Atlantic in December 1939 to England. They did not see action in Europe until 1943 and were part of Operation Husky, or the invasion of Sicily. When they crossed the Straits of Messina into Italy the unit found themselves pursuing the Germans north.

The Germans dug in at their Gustav line. From 6 to 22 December the Canadian 1st Division, including the Seaforth Highlanders, advanced about three miles from the Moro River to the small town of Ortona. The town's narrow streets led to brutal street fighting. The battle was so intense that it was nicknamed "little Stalingrad."

John Patterson Wilson was killed in action or died from wounds on 10 December 1943 at the age of 31.

Canada, British Columbia Marriage Certificate, 1872-1938, 1932-09-404399
Canada, British Columbia Marriage Index, 1872-1935, 1932 Wilson, John Patterson - Richmond Catherine
Italy, Find A Grave Index, 1800s-Current, FAG Memorial #56518216
UK, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Commemorative Certificate, Wilson, John Patterson, K/62658

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