385. Canadian liberator died in Kloetinge
One of the Canadian regiments that liberated South Beveland in the week of 24 to 31 October was Le Régiment de Maisonneuve. Jean-Maurice Dicaire was a member of this regiment. Dicaire joined the service when he was just 17 years old.
In 1944, he was 23 years old when his regiment moved from Schore to Kloetinge, on the morning of October 29th. Other regiments nearby are the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment of Canada) and the Rileys (Royal Hamilton Light Infantry). Regularly the group of Dicaire is halted when retreating German troops use their guns to slow the advance of the Canadians. This happened again near Kloetinge.
Around half past nine in the morning there is light gunfire at Kloetinge from the direction of Waanskinderen, a hamlet east of the village. Moments later, the first Canadians enter the village. They are met with enemy gunfire from Ter Vaten. The Germans then flee via the Noordeinde. Another group of Germans of approximately 25 men now appears with a white flag in Ter Vaten and surrenders. After several hours of silence heavy German artillery begins firing towards the village.
On the Bredeweg, a large group of Germans appears to be present who fire at the advancing Canadians moving from Ter Vaten to Mannee. Canadian artillery at Kapelle answers this barrage. Jean-Maurice did not succeed in taking cover on time and was hit in the back by a projectile. He was severely wounded and then carried off on a ladder that had been used during the harvest. However, he died later in a field hospital. Residents of Kloetinge take his memory to heart, and bury him in a place of honor at the cemetery. Jean-Maurice Dicaire is still resting peacefully there.
Kapelseweg - Kloetinge - GPS code N51.496553, E3.919871