Former Cornwall Alderman and World War II veteran passes away

Nick Seebruch
Former Cornwall Alderman and World War II veteran passes away
Gerry Grant. Submitted photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Former Cornwall Alderman and World War II veteran Gerrold "Gerry" Vokes Grant passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, he was 94-years-old.

Predeceased by his wife Dorothy, Grant is survived by his son Thomas (Kathleen), his grandson John and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Grant joined the army in 1943 at the age of 19. Two months after D-Day, Grant was shipped over to France with the Canadian Grenadier Guards Tank Regiment, 22nd Canadian Armoured Regiment, 4th  Canadian Armoured Division.

With the Canadian Grenadiers Guards, Grant saw action in the closing of the Falaise gap, the Liberation of Holland and the invasion of Germany.

During the Battle of Hochwald, Grant remembered attacking a small farm complex guarded by German tanks. Typhoon air support was called in to attack the farm and the Grenadiers gave them their coordinates.

“As I was observing one of the Typhoons approaching the targets, I realized that it was lined up exactly with the sight of my machine gun,” Grant would one-day tell his son Thomas. “We were the target! The Typhoon had got disoriented and fired everything it had at us. It missed our tanks and one of the ordinance exploded only a few yards from our tank. We were so surprised by it that we did not have time to get back into the tank and close the hatches. The explosion and impact in the muddy grounds near the tank case a large amount of mud and dirt to cover our uniforms and it entered the tank through all the open doors. There was mud everywhere and nothing was white any longer. I was so mad. The next day, an RCAF observer joined our tank crew. He was going to ensure this was not going to happen again.”

After spending nine months on the front line, Grant was wounded by shrapnel during the Battle of Bad Zwischenahn. After recuperating, he returned to Canada in December of 1945.

Grant first visited Cornwall in 1945, he would meet and eventually marry his wife Dorothy here and worked in the CIL plant in their chlorine production unit, eventually retiring as Supervisor of Transportation and Supply in 1985.

After his retirement, Grant served as City Alderman from 1986 to 1988.

Friends and family wishing to celebrate the memory of Gerry Grant were welcomed at the McArthur Bros. & MacNeil Funeral Home & Chapel on Friday, Sept. 7 and a funeral service was held at Knox-St. Paul’s United Church on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 8. at 11 a.m. Gerry Grant will be interned at Woodlawn Cemetery in Cornwall. Memorial donations to the Children’s Christmas Fund will be gratefully acknowledged.

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