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Slator and Nugent family history

Descendants of Daniel Nugent and Margaret Russell

Jack Slator and Mary Nugent

Tribute to Danny Slator (1926-1944)

Brian Slator's Slator Family Tree

Tracing Lines of Descent (or, what are first cousins, once removed?)

Peter Keating and Christina Anderson page (my mother's side of the family)

What Web page would be complete without a link to soccer coverage by The Irish Times?

Who am I? Why am I here?"

Historical and other links of interest

Crest of 12th Manitoba Dragoons

L. Cpl. Michael Joseph (Daniel Patrick) Slator
Nov. 30, 1926 -
Aug. 9, 1944

I recently received e-mail from Glenn Lisle, a Canadian magazine publisher, who is writing a book on the history of the XII Manitoba Dragoons. He saw this Web page, and wanted to know how to contact one of the veterans mentioned here.

I recently received a copy of Danny Slator's military file from the Government of Canada under the Canadian equivalent of our Freedom of Information Act. Some of the information received is presented below.

NOTE: The footnotes (below) will be out of order until this page is finalized.

Danny Slator (#H103032) fought with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, out of Winnipeg. The regiment has a long and distinguished history, as recorded on a monument (below) that was dedicated to the unit in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in early June 2000.

The 12th Manitoba Dragoons was mobilized on May 10, 1941, under the 4th Canadian Infantry Division.  In World War II, the unit was known as the 18th Reconnaissance (Armoured Car) Regiment, and served as the Armored Reconnaissance Regiment for the II Canadian Corps. The motto of the unit was "Ubique Honor et Equis," which means "everywhere honour and equality." The above photo was generously provided to me by Herb Schuppert of Langley, B.C., who also served with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons during World War II.

Here is a photo of Mr. Schuppert standing alongside the monument at the dedication ceremony:

Here is a photo in which the inscriptions can be read:

Danny Slator enlisted in the Canadian Army in Winnipeg on November 3, 1942. (To view his "Attestation Paper," click here Click "back" on your browser to return to this page). Danny had apparently passed a physical on November 2, 1942, and was classified as "A1" by the medical board. This status was confirmed on July 11, 1943.1 On November 3, 1942, he had a dental examination by Capt. W.R. Parsons. Danny's oral hygiene was reported to be "fair," and he had two teeth in need of extraction.2

Danny enlisted under the name "Michael Joseph Slator" -- my father's name (although my father had no middle name) because, at the time of his enlistment, Danny was only 15 years, 11 months, and five days old. (My father tried to join when he turned 18 but was refused because of his heart condition). Although he used my father's name, he did not use his birth date, February 25. Instead, he used February 23, 1924, and he claimed to be 18 1/2 years old.2 Danny listed his occupation in one place as "laborer," and his education as "3 years High School," with Grade 11 the last school year of completed.2 On another form, he listed his occupations as "painter," and "Mr. D. Blackman," a builder, and his most recent employer, of six months. He indicated he did not wish to return to this job after his army service, and that his employment plans were to "remain in the army."3

It appears Danny was transferred to Portage La Prairie on November 20, 1942. On December 22, 1942, he was granted "New Year's leave and ration allowance 50 cents per diem from Dec. 12, 1942 to January 3, 1943."4 On December 23, 1942, he made his only appearance on the "Morning Sick Report," complaining of a sore left heel. The treatment he received is not noted.5

On January 26, 1943, Danny was transferred to "A. 27 C.A.C. (Recce)" (which, I believe, means reconnaissance). On January 27, 1943, Danny was transferred to the Dundurn military camp, which is 20 miles outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Danny remained at Dundurn until July 16, 1943.6

On November 5, 1942, Danny was paid $1.30 per day. His pay increased to $1.40 per day on March 3, 1943. On May 29, 1943, he became qualified as a driver, and on June 11, 1943, was granted $1.50 per diem.7 On June 14, 1943, he was given a furlough until June 29, 1943, and an $8.00 furlough allowance.8 By February 11, 1944, his pay had risen to $1.85 per day.

On June 23, 1943, he began receiving "trades pay" as a Driver Operator. On July 12, 1943, he ceased receiving trade pay, but it appears he began receiving it again on July 23, 1943, after he had been transferred overseas.9

On July 17, 1943, Danny was transferred to England, where he remained until July 8, 1944. On July 9, 1944, he was transferred to France.10

On August 2, 1943, Danny executed a Will, using the name of of Michael Joseph Slator. He left to his father, John Joseph Slator "all his estate, both real and personal, for his use absolutely."

On Spetember 10, 1943, he was granted 9 days "P.L." (which I assume means personal leave) with "M.A."

On February 11, 1944, Danny was appointed Acting Lance Corporal "w.e.f." (whatever that means) January 18, 1944. A May 12, 1944, entry on his "Continuation Card" states he was appointed Lance Corporal "w.e.f." April 18, 1944.

On January 18, 1944, Danny was appointed "A/L/Cpl," but there is an entry dated April 18, 1944, that reads: "to be L.Cpl." It appears Danny was sent to England on July 8, 1994. A rubber-stamped entry of that date reads "EMBARKED UK". The next entry, from July 9, 1944, reads: "DISEMBARKED FRANCE".11

On March 21, 1944, Danny's father, John, wired $26.75 via the Canadian Pacific Express Company to "M.J. Slator," 18th C.A.C. Regt., 12th Manitoba Dragoons, C Company.

As described below, Danny Slator was killed in action on August 9, 1944. He was posthumously awarded the 1939-45 Star, France-Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp.12

On August 12, 1944, Capt. Gabriel LaRoque, completed a "Unit Committee of Adjustment Report," on the financial affairs of Danny at the time of his death. No assets or debts were reported.13

On August 15, 1944, Jack Slator received the following telegram at approximately 5:52 p.m.:

15 AUGUST 1944

On September 25, 1944, Jack Slator complete a questionnaire, Form P. 64, in order to be eligible to receive Danny's estate. Danny's six brothers and sisters are listed, with all but Chris and Helen noted to be residing in Stony Mountain, Manitoba. (Chris is listed as residing "overseas," and Helen is listed as residing in MacDonald, Manitoba, it appears.) Jack added this note at the end of the questionnaire:

Daniel Patrick Slator not being of Army age, assumed his brother's name of Michael Joseph, who was rejected from the Army.

John Joseph Slator.14

On October 7, 1944, the Estates Branch of the Department of National Defence in Ottawa sent wrote to Jack Slator acknowledging receipt of the completed questionnaire. The letter also reported the existence of the Will that Danny had executed on August 2, 1943, and that Jack was named the sole beneficiary. The letter said that "full particulars of his Service estate... will not be available here for several months owing to the war situation..."15

On November 8, 1944, Capt. Eric G. Roberts, filed a "Standing Committee of Adjustment Report" regarding Danny's financial affairs at his death, and indicated an "identity disc" and "M.B.M. 1 Pts. I, II, and III" were not mentioned in the "Unit Committee of Adjustment Report."16

On March 24, 1945, Lt. Col. G.M. Lampard, Officer in charge of Estates at the Canadian Military Headquarters in London, filed a report about Danny's property at his death. The report indicated Danny essentially had no property other than his personal effects, and was paying $3.00 per month for a Crown Life insurance policy.10 He apparently took out this policy in December 1942.17

On May 14, 1945, Col. L. M. Firth sent Estates Form P.4 entitled "Distribution of Service Estates," showing proceeds payable to John J. Slator of $81.68 under Danny's Will.18

On April 13, 1945, to The Secretary, Department of National Defence, Jack Slator asked "as father and the Beneficiary of the deceased," was he entitled to apply for the gratuity?19 On April 27, 1945, Brig. Gen. A. R. Mortimore wrote to Jack Slator to acknowledge receipt of his application, and to advise him that under the War Service Grants Act, 1944, the gratuity would first be paid to dependents, and if none, to beneficiaries under the decedent's Will.20

On July 7, 1945, the Estates Branch in Ottawa wrote to Jack Slator to notify him that no personal effects were found for Danny.21

On October 9, 1945, Brig. Gen. A. R. Mortimore wrote to Jack Slator to notify him that his application for War Service Gratuity was being referred to the Director of Estates for Distribution, and that "some time will elapse before th[e] claim can be brought to a finality."22

It appears that on October 10, 1945, the Department of National Defence sent to the Director of Estates the sum of $297.25, which is a "war service gratuity".23

Some time ago, I placed a notice in the Canadian Legion Magazine and the newsletter of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons. I had the good fortune of hearing from many veterans of the unit, including some who knew Danny Slator. One of those veterans is Ed Kochanski of Regina, Saskatchewan. Mr. Kochanski sent me the following letter:

Dear Kevin,

I saw your article in the Can. Legion Magazine, about L. Cpl. Mike Slator. [Note: Danny Slator had enlisted under the name "Michael J. Slator".]

Mike and I and another fellow by the name of Joe Standby were very good friends, while we were in Brighton. We called ourselves the "Three Musketeers." We went into action on August 9, 1944... with our armoured cars.

As we were going down the road, Mike and his driver (Mike Moroz from Transcona) were in the lead Scout car, and our Staghound was second. Then another Scout car and Stag followed. We went very slowly, as there was an 88 mm. cannon hidden in a sand pit, which we didn't know where.

One shot was fired; it went over Mike's car and landed in front of us and bounced over our Stag. Mike's car was close to a crossroad, and as we saw him make a right turn, we stopped, threw a smoke screen, turned around, and headed back. We heard another shot and when we were out of range, we got out of our cars and started walking back up the road. We saw Mike's car about a half a mile in the ditch smoking and badly banged up.

Later on, a Jeep with a Red Cross went and picked up the two Mikes. I hope this will ease your mind.

Yours truly,

Mr. Kochanski sent me this second letter, in response to some questions I asked about Danny:

Dear Kevin,

First of all, we knew Danny as Mike.

Mike was a very quiet person, as far as I was concerned he had no dislikes. As far as religion, we didn't have that much time, as Padres were hard to get?

Mike must have joined the army in Winnipeg and I in Regina. I kind of thought Mike was a little young? If the army found out Mike was underage, I never heard.

We were stationed in Tonbridge Wells, Surrey, before going to France. I think I mentioned that Mike Moroz was Mike's driver and they were both killed at the same time? As far as Joe Standby, he came home, and later he passed on. Joe lived in Owen Sound, Ontario, and he died in November 1959. Mike Moroz was from Transcona, MB.

Note: In addition to Danny Slator and Trooper Mike Moroz, two other members of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons were killed on August 9, 1944. They were Trooper Walter Sahaluk (#H77803) of Winnipeg, aged 23, and Trooper Clarence Douglas Lee (#M104995, age and hometown not listed). Trooper Moroz was age 28 at the time of death, and was survived by Margaret Moroz of Transcona, Manitoba. They are all remembered on the Web site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Sgt. C.A. Phelps of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons was among those wounded on August 9, 1944, who remained on duty. All told, 15 Candians were killed and seven were wounded on August 8-9, 1944.

Another Canadian army veteran, Clarence Holmberg, of Richard's Landing, ON, wrote to say he saw my notice in the Canadian Legion Magazine. Mr. Holmberg was not in the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, but his brother, Hartley, was a member of "A" company of the 12th.

Mr. Holmberg sent me a copy of page 119 of a book entitled "XII Manitoba Dragoons: A Tribute". Page 199 is from a chapter entitled "Recce at Last!". It describes "Operation Totalize," which the First Canadian Army planned to launch on Aug. 8, 1944, against Tilly la Campagne-Verrieres Ridge Line, which was held by the German army. The following is an excerpt:

"C" Squadron was sent forward to push southwards. Like "D" Squadron it was held up by A/T guns. Attempting to find an opening, the heavy Troop (Lieutenant Smart) came across an 88 A/T gun, was fired upon, and tried to withdraw. His scout car manned by Lance Corporal M.J. Slator and Trooper M. Moroz was brewed up by enemy fire, resulting in deaths of both car occupants.

This photo, from Canadian Archives, is of a Staghound (T17E1) Armoured Car, a widely-used reconnaissance vehicle:

Here's a recent photo of a Staghound, kindly sent to me by Herb Schuppert, that was taken at Arnhem in the year 2000 during anniversary celebrations of the airborne landing:

Danny Slator was 18 years old when he died. In May 1945, John Slator received a letter from the Canadian Department of Defence informing him that Danny's remains were buried in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, in France. A "suitably inscribed headstone" was to be added later, with a short personal inscription of John Slator's choosing. To view the text of the letter, click here.

According to information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web site, buried in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery are:

...those who died during the later stages of the battle of Normandy, the capture of Caen and the thrust southwards (led initially by the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions), to close the Falaise Gap, and thus seal off the German divisions fighting desperately to escape being trapped west of the Seine. Almost every unit of Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the Cemetery. There are about 3,000, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site, of which 2,872 are Canadian, 80 British, 4 Australian, 1 New Zealand and 1 French.

After Danny died, his sister, Helen (my aunt), received a letter from him.  Among other things, he said he had recently gone to confession.

Danny's name has been entered in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Danny also has a lake named after him.  Slator Lake is located in Manitoba, north of Amphibian Lake.  It can be found on map 52 M/13, and the coordinates are 51 53 54 - 95 39 05.  Slator Lake was adopted 17 May 1979.   The lake is "named to remember L/Cpl. Michael J. Slator, regiment No. H103032, enlisted in Division 5, Army.  Died 9 August 1944. Listed on page 20 of the Manitoba Army casualty list."

There is a bridge in Bruges, Belgium, called Manitoba Bridge.  Bruges was liberated from the Nazis during World War II by the 12th Manitoba Dragoons in 1944.  Presumably, this occurred after Danny's death in August 1944.

The 12th Manitoba Dragoons were disbanded at Winnipeg on December 31, 1964.

1 source: Nov. 3, 1942, "Attestation Paper," From M.F.M. 2.
2 source: Dental Records (M.F.B. 465), Canadian Dental Corps
3 source: "Record of Service"
4 source: Nov. 4, 1942, "Occupational History Form"
5 source: "Record of Service"
6 source: Dec. 23, 1942, "Morning Sick Report" by Capt. H Cohen, Medical Officer, and L. Cpl E.J. Ward, Orderly N.C.O., 100th CA(B)TC.
7 source: Aug. 19, 1945, " Verification Form, War Service Medals"
8 source: "Service and Casualty Form"
9 source: Form M.F.M. 14, Part II.
10 source: Form M.F.M. 14, Part II.
11 source: Aug. 19, 1945, "Verification Form, War Service Medals"
12 source: "Service and Casualty Form"
13 source: Aug. 19, 1945, " Verification Form, War Service Medals"
14 source: Aug. 12, 1944, "Unit Committee of Adjustment Report"
15 source: Sep. 25, 1944, questionnaire. Note: The story in my family was that when the army found out Danny was under aged, they held him back until he turned 18. I cannot find any evidence of this in his military service papers, nor has it been corroborated by the veterans of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons with whom I have communicated.
16 source: Oct. 7, 1944, letter from [unreadable], Captain, Director of Estates, Estates Branch, to Mr. John Joseph Slator, Stony Mountain, Manitoba
17 source: Apr. 13, 1945, letter from J. Slator to The Secretary, Department of National Defence, Ottawa, Canada.
18 source: Apr. 27, 1945, letter from A.R. Mortimore, Brigadier Paymaster-General, to Mr. J Slator.
19 source: Jul 7, 1945, letter from Director of Estates to Mr. John J. Slator.
20 source: Oct. 9, 1845, letter from A.R. Mortimore, Brigadier Paymaster-General, to Mr. J Slator.
21 source: Oct. 10, 1944, "Statement of War Service Gratuity"
22 source: Nov. 8, 1944, "Standing Committee of Adjustment Report"
23 source: Mar. 24, 1945, untitled report from Canadian Military HQ in Trafalgar Square, London, to Director of Estates, Department of National Defence, Ottawa.
24 source: Form M.F.M. 14
25 source: May 14, 1945, Form P. 4, "Distribution of Estates"

Last updated on January 5, 2004.