Lieutenant Wilfred Arnold Beresford was born on November 26, 1910, in London, England, to parents Thomas and Winnifred Beresford. In 1938 Beresford married Winnifred Jessie Porter, and prior to his enlistment they were living in Calgary where he worked as a bookkeeper with the Consolidated Fruit Company.
On March 2, 1941, Beresford enlisted to Active Service, becoming a Trooper with The Calgary Regiment (Tank), (redesignated later that year as the “14th (Reserve) Army Tank Battalion”). Beresford was serving in Italy with the 14th when he was killed in action May 24, 1944. According to the Court of Inquiry held following his death, the tank that Beresford commanded, (T-147519, named “Confident”) was hit by hostile artillery file just east of Aquino. Also killed was Trooper Howard Norman Elmes; Trooper Raymond Claire Langley died of wounds soon after. Beresford was buried in the Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Italy, leaving behind his widow Winnifred and two-year-old son Tom.
The poem in the collection is part of a commemorative collage made by family members, including both text and wartime photographs.
Lt. Beresford’s service record (Serv/Reg# M27109) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Beresford can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Tank crew of #T-147519 (“Confident”) killed with Lt. Beresford on or following May 24, 1944:
Operator: Tpr. Raymond Claire Langley’s service record (Serv/Reg# B61445)
Gunner: Tpr. Howard Norman Elmes’ service record (Serv/Reg# H195513)
The remaining crew members survived; their service records are not open to public access at this time:
Driver Tpr. J.W. McMullin (Serv/Reg# F77493)
Co-Driver Tpr. W.L. Evans (Serv/Reg# L53416)