The following information is from an e-mail sent from Debbie (George R. Jabusch's daughter):
Gregory, attached is the SSR History that I mentioned earlier. I don't know who wrote it but I don't believe it was my father. The note at the end is his; however, I don't know who he sent it to.
As for the POW reference, perhaps we could just add the following to the current text:
"Dad's name shows up on one report as a prisoner of war. I am quite certain that this was never the case. He told us a lot about his WWII experiences and he never mentioned any period as a POW."
The regiment dates back to 1908, being connected with the 20th border horse, a mounted infantry regiment, with headquarters and one squadren at Manitoba and squadrens in Weyburn, Estevan and Carnduff in Saskatchewan.
In 1915 the 152 Battalion was alloted to the present regimental area of the South Sask Regiment with headquarters at Weyburn. The unit embarked for overseas Oct. 3rd 1916 and on reaching England was split into reinforcements for the 4th, 5th, 28th and 102nd Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The 152nd Battalion was allotted battle honors at ARRAS, 1917 and HILL 70.
In 1920 the South Saskatchewan Regiment was formed with five companies, the third at Weyburn and the firth at Estevan. In 1921the third Battalion became known as the WEyburn Regiment with headquarters at Estevan a dncompanies at Estevan, Carnduff, Lampman and Neptune. These two companies were almagamated on December 14th 1936 to form the South Sask, Regt. with companies at Weyburn, Estevan, Assiniboia and Oxbow.
During 1924-25 the Weyburn and Estevan Saskatchewan border Regiments became affiliated with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the BOrder Regiment respectively. These affiliations still hold with the South Saskiatchewan Reg't, whose regimental badge bears the antelope, wreath, cross and eight pointed star of the two Imperial units.
On September 1st 1939 the Regiment under command of Lt, Col. J.E. Wright began mobilizing to full war strength. Training was carried on at Weyburn, Regina and camp Shilo and moved to Toronto in October. The unit disembarked on Christmas eve 1940 at a part in Scotland.
Their MAJESTIES the KING and QUEEN inspected the regiment in the spring of 1941 and in february 1942 Lt-Gen. B.L. Montgomery CB, DSO, a former commanding officer of the ROyal Warwickshire Reg't. officially visited the regiment and was received at a special parade and luncheon. Lt-Col, Lett had by this time taken over the battalion. A few weeks later he was given command of the 4th Cdn. Inf. Bde. Lt-Col. C.G. I. Merrit assumed command and moved the battalion to the Isle of Wight for special training and combined operations.
Training culminated with the raid on Dieppe on August 19th 1942. Here the regiment held the right flank successfully and formed a beachhead. Some companies proceeded as far inland as three miles, and fought their way out again.
The first VICTORIA CROSS awarded to canadians in World war II was awarded to Lt-Col. Merrit the commanding officer of the regiment, who is now a prisioner of war. Other awards included the DSO two MCs two DCMs and several mentions.
After the raid Lt-Col. Kempton, former 2IC, had the task of reorganizing the new Battalion. In december 1942 Lt-Col. F.A. Clift of the Saskatoon Light Infantry replaced Lt-Col. Clift's leadership and personality that the battalion reached its high standard of training and efficiency prior to D DAY. Old timers will long remember Sparten, Harlequinn, Frosty and many other schemes.
May 1944 the Brigade moved to Dover area in a defensive role to prevent a german suicide attack on the British supply ports.
July 8th 1944 the South Sask Regt landed in FRANCE and proceeded to an assembly area near Bayoux. Prior to the first engagement of the Battalion Lt-Col. Clift was given command of the 4th Inf Bde and Major G.H. Matthews 2IC led us into battle on VERRIERS-ROCQUENCOURT-AnDRE-SUR-ORNE line.
The enemy put down a terrific concentration of mortor, artillery and machine gun fire, followed by a tank attack. Major Matthews waskilled and many others officers and NCOs. Communications were gone, the anti-tank guns knocked out, so the battalion was ordered to withdraw to FLEUR-SUR-ORNE LINE IN WHICH area the battalion reorganized.
In 48hrs Lt-COL. CLIFT had resumed command and we were back into a town of IFS for a ten day deluge of shell and mortor fire. On august 4th VERRIERS was taken. On august the 7th the big attack to crack the German line was made at ROCQUANCOURT, with it as our first objective. This was successful and after the battle the missing of the first attack were located and buried.
Then came several small battles in a more open type of warfare, in the advance to FALAISE. With the 4th Bde and Cdn Divs and the Americans all trying to get into Falaise first. The South Sask Regt gained the honours for the 2nd Div. In the battalion advance down the m ain road towards the city and when within a few hundred yards of the first objective orders were received to stop the advance, for some unknown reason they were never received and so fought their way into Falaise, inflicting heavy casualties and taking many prisioners of war.
ORBE was the next objective. This was achieved after a long fast suprise move. It was here that Lt-Col. Clift was appointed Brigader 6th Cdn Inf Bde. Major Courtney assuming command in his place. From Orbec the advance continues via BRIONNE and several other small towns to the Battle of the forest-De-La-Londe on the banks of the SEINE river near ROUEN. This was perhaps the bitterest fighting the battalion had had to date. Major Courtney was killed and Major Thomas took over the reins. After the battle the rifle companies were left with approximately one officer and 28 men each, Lt-Col Clift was also wounded.
From the forest-de-la-londe to ROUEN and thence to DIEPPE and so onc e again the South 'Sask Regt was back to its original battle ground. The Division marched past the army commanders and REMEMBRANCE Services were made and many a picture taken, At Dieppe major Thomas had a recurrence of malaria and was evacuated to the hospital. Major Buchanan became temporary commander. From Dieppe the battalion moved into BELGIUM and attacked the town of NIEUPORT with very little opposition. The enemy had withdrawn from the towns in this area into a concrete forts in the sand dunes. After four days of fighting an ultimatum was sent into the main fort and the enemy surrendered the following morning.
From here BRAY DUNES plague was next on the list of battles and lasted five days of fierce fighting. The battalion was relieved by british commandoe. At the end of the battle Lt-Col RITCHIE of the R.H.L.I. tookover the command. THen a seven day rest at CONTICH which will long be remembered by both soldier and civilian alike. It was here that Lt-Col. V. STOTT 2IC of the calgary Highlanders came to the S.S.R. as Co.
His first operation was the crossing of the Antwerp Turnout canal near Lochten. The crossing was sucessful but our flanking batallions were not and we were forced to withdraw. A successful diversionary attack was put in two days later and enabled the 5th Bde to cross and make a bridgehead and Lochtenburg was occupied. Oct 3rd the batallion advanced to the objective of Fort Schooten and the town of BRAASCHAAT. By nightfall all of these objectives were in our hands except a few isolated pockets of resistance which were cleaned up the following morning without trouble. Late that same night the batallion moved to BRECHT in a defensive role taking over the positions of the R.H.V. - and remained there till Oct 11, The batallion came under the command of the 4th Bde and moved to protect the right flank the defensive position being in the area of Groot Meer. The jerries put in several counter attacks which were repulsed. Eve of Oct 13th A coy reported being surrounded. However they held their position and batteled their way out of a rather sticky position. The enemy then put in an out flanking movement and again cut A coy off. Two coys of the R de Mais were to relieve the situation but due to the rather dark night the operation was not successful. The next day two coys of the Essex Scots relieved the situation. However that night jerry moved in again and forced A coy to pull out. From then till Oct things were at a stand still. Oct 23rd prparations were made for an advance to clear the south Beveland Peninsula, Oct 28th the coys were consolidated at a bridgehead across the canal and then moved to the village of Niese for a rest which was short lived. Word was received that the batallion was being relieved and Nov 1st we moved back to Willebroek Belgium for a well earned rest.
Nov 8th we travelled to Mook via Antwerp, Turnout, Tilberg, and Nijmegen. Upon arrival the 6th bde took over from the 214th British Inf Bde, The S.S.R. went into reserve approximately 1400 yards behind or from Germany. We remained here till December 1st interchanging with the Fus Mr and the Cams of Canada on front line positions. December 1st a batallion parade was held and Lt-Col Stott announced that CSM Smith and Cpl Mitchell had been awarded the MM for gallantry and distinguished conduct. Cpl Mitchell's medal had been awarded posthumously. 6th Cdn Inf Bde moved into reserve with the S.S.R. being stationed at Maldon. Dec 8th 6th Bde took over from the 5th Bde and the S.S.R. relieved the Calgary Highlanders near GROSBEEK. Here the Germans were our next door neighvours. Dec 15th the Btn interchanged with the Cams of Canada and went into reserve. While in this area D coy put in an attack on a german position taking one prisoner and wounding thirteen. Dec 23 6th Inf Bde again became reserve and moved to the village of KUYK on the south bank of the river Maas. Here we spent christmas. Dec 29th the batallion moved to the area of Drieheusen and here we went into corps reserve and remained here until the new year. Our casualties since the landing in France were 101 officers and 1554 Ors a total of 1655 all ranks. Thus the year 1944 had added another successful and eventful chapter to the heroic annals of the South Sask Regt. It finds us poised on the border of Germany ready for the final blow which will spell the final end of the nazi gang as refered by Churchill.
New Years eve was celebrated in good Canadian fashion with the whole Canadian army putting on a fireworks display, for a few minutes jerry retaliated with every weak effort. A dance was held in the village of Driehouser only a few thousand meters from the enemy and a good time was had by all. Early in January 1945 the batallion moved back into the lines in the Reichwald forest and the month will long be remembered for snow rain and mud which made living conditions very ardous.
February 8th the long awaited assault on the SIEGFRIED line was launched by 30 British Corps under Canadian command. We did not take part in the attack but were held for a possible counter attack. When the push had reached Cleve we were taken out of the line for a fourty hour rest at Nijmegen.
February 17th at 1355 hrs the batallion crossed the border into Germany to a conk area near Bedburg. The boys tooted horns and cheered as we crossed the line. Non fraternzing rules were put into force and the sight of glum and solemn german civilians watching us go by was vastly different from the usual cheering and flag waving Hollanders and Belgiums.
At the end of February the battalion took a prominent part in a large scale attack on ar at thecracking of the Calcar-Goch line of defence. Under cover of a terrific artillery barrage of 14 mediums and fld regts the battallion mounted on kangaroos captured a feature known as the pimple south of Calcar. the feature controlled the area east of the Rhine and several counter attacks were repulsed and positions consolidated. Eighty PWs and 90 dead and four 88Ms was the score. After holding the pimple for two days the Btn was relieved by the Worchesters and moved into an area a few miles west of the hochwald forest. It was in this area that we first heard the multi-rocket projecter in action. Many of the old timers took to cover on hearing them thinking that they were moaning minnies. It was here on February 28 that Lt-Col Stott took over temporary command of the brigade for two weeks in the absence of the Brigadier. Major Buchanan taking command of the battalion.
On march the 1st the Btn moved into the hochwald to relieve the Lincoln & Welland of the fourth div. The Bde was ordered to clear up the forest with the S.S.R. taking the first line into it and the F.M.R. and the Cams of Can passing throughlater. The battle was marked by heavyshelling and mortaring by the enemy and the fanatical manner in which they fought. By the 2nd day contact had been lost with the enemy who had apparently fled completely back toXanten the last line of defense before the rhine or in front of the wesl bridgehead. March 5th saw the S.S.R. moving out of the hochwald across the open country towards Xanten. After several smqll skirmishes we stopped one mile from Xanten. Xanten was held in strenght and an attack by the Cams of C was later repulsed. March 8th the last big battle of the rhine was launched witha terrific artillery barrage. The S.S.R. came under command of the 5th Bde and were right flank protectionto the Xanten state forest. After a hectic night featuring jams and confusion in the city of Xanten rubbles, flame throwers, burning ammdumps, 80ft railway embankment and a stiff counter attack, the battalion consolidated on its first objective before teh rhine. Shortly afterwards teh last bridgehead over the rhine was wiped out and the brigade went back to the reichwald forest for a rest. March 25th the DSO was awarded to Lt-Col Stott and the DSM to CSM Allen.
March 26th the battalion crossed the rhine over the black friars bridge the longest bailey bridge in the world. After a short time in Bienen assembly area we moved over the German border into Holland near Glendringen. There followed a series of minor skirmishes with the Division advancing to the Holland German border.
The next important battle was teh crossing of the Schipbonk canal on the 7th of April which saw 78PWs taken and many others killed. D coy made good use of the flame throwers and toasted their way to success. A coy had the interesting experience of freeing a Jewish Concentration camp and guarding it. Next came the battle for the city of Groningen and the advance to Hoogeveen. This was another Falaise. It will long be remembered for its pretty girls and free liquors, civillian looting and huge fires. Then after two days offighting the city surrendered and we had taken 181 prisoners. Then the battalion moved to Zoudzwolle for a brief rest which was our last in Holland.
April 24 SSR moved 150 miles into Germany to the area of Wildeshausen near Bremen. The Brigade attacked the village of Sandhatten and Kirchhatten on 22 of April, The S.S.R. consolidating in the former town. Active patrols were sent into the Oldenburg Forest for the next few days and reported the enemy using numerous mines and road blocks, also dogs were being tied up and were being used as sentries.
May the advance towards the city of Oldenburg was started with the S.S.R. cleaning up the forest and the FMR and the Cams of Can on our flanks. In heavy rains and snows and after a few casualties the forest was cleaned and the FMRs passed through to the north. At 1200 hrs May3 we passed through the FMRs and advanced to the outskirts of the city of Oldenburg. After a short organization the battle for the city of Oldenburg began and which was to be our last. Opposition was light and the battalion did not stop until the canal in the centre of the city had been reached. Many snipers bullets were flying around but the FMRs crossed the canal in the morning of May the 4th and accurred the north side of the canal and the battle of Oldenburg was was over. Then the Poles, Russians, French, Belgiums and other forced labour people started to loot the stores of food and clothing. May 4th the battalion moved to the area of Ofen and at 2000 hrs May 3rd word was received that Unconditional surrender of the German forces in Northern Holland and Germany was to be effective May 6th, The war for us was over and thus we had taken part in the first and last battles of the Second world war.................
TOTAL CASUALTIES FROM JULY 7th TO MAY 6th 1945
|Battle casualties||110 Offrs||1437 Ors in all||1547 all ranks|
|Normal casualties||10 Offrs||551 Ors in all||570 all ranks|
|TOTAL||120 Offrs||1988 Ors in all||2117 All ranks.|
The following text (written on the bottom of original document) is believed (by his daughter, Debbie) to have been written by George R. Jabusch...