Corporal Harold Jorgen Skaarup, G753, from New Denmark and Carleton County, New Brunswick was a Sherman tank commander in "A" Squadron of the 5th Armoured Regiment, 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars during the Second World War.
On the morning of the 31 August 1944, Harold and his tank crew were fighting the Germans in Italy near a hill known as Point 136. His squadron had already lost 12 of 19 tanks, ten to German 88-mm anti-tank shells and two to breakdowns. That morning, Harold's tank was hit by another 88-mm shell and Harold was badly injured. Although he and his tank crew bailed out of the burning Sherman, mortar rounds began to land on them. Harold was hit again, this time taking shell fragments in his chest. He was evacuated to a field hospital in the rear area, but died of his wounds (DoW) on 6 September 1944. He was 24 years old. Today he lies buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in Montecchio, Italy. He never got home to tell his story. New Brunswick Hussar is a partial chronicle of his service, by his nephew. We never met, but I do carry his name
For family, friends and those with an interest in the 8th Hussars, the text of this book is presented here as a gift:
8th Princess Louise’s New Brunswick Hussars
This story is about Cpl Skaarup who was but one of a number of 8th Hussars to lose his life in the service of his country. He, like most of his brothers in arms, was an average man who answered the call to arms for many and varied reasons, but above all he was a good Canadian. Unfortunately, he never came back to tell his story, so we must rely on the official records and the reports of the survivors he served with to understand what really happened to him during that period of the war in Italy. These days, few of the original Hussars are left alive. As time marches on, the living history of the regiment dims with the passing of each veteran. For those who have never served in the armed forces, "New Brunswick Hussar" outlines the story of one Hussar from a family and historical point of view. For those who are in the military, the story is an all too familiar one - a Canadian soldier serves overseas, trains hard under difficult conditions, is deployed to the front, and is killed in the service of his country. This book serves as a remembrance of Cpl Skaarup and for those 8th NB Hussars who served with him. You should find it an interesting and informative read.
Lieutenant-Colonel Larry J. Zaporzan, Commanding Officer, 8th Canadian Hussar, Moncton, New Brunswick, 2001.