Loughnan, David Stephen Herbert

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David Stephen Herbert Loughnan
1920 – 19 February 1945
Loughnan, David Stephen Herbert photo.jpg
Nickname Spud
Place of death near Moyland Wood, Germany
Place of burial Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Captain
Unit 3rd Canadian Divisional Signals
Captain David Stephen Herbert Loughnan (1920 - 19 February 1945) was a Canadian soldier who served with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals during the Second World War and was killed in action.

Early Life

Born to David and Daisy E. Loughnan, who's family immigrated to Canada around the time of the Great War, David Loughnan was the middle of three children. His older sister was Patricia and his younger brother was Brian Ian. David grew up in Capilano British Columbia, now part of North Vancouver.[1]

His parents sent him and his brother to a boarding school in England for the 1934-1935 school year.


Lieutenant Loughnan left Canada for the UK on 24 November and arrived on 2 December 1943. He joined 2 Canadian Corps Signals after leaving the Canadian Signal Reinforcement Unit and he arrived in France on 4 July 1944. He later joined 3rd Canadian Divisional Signals and Commanded "J" Section which was assigned to support 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

The History of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals records his death as follows[2]:
The two Canadian infantry divisions were next directed against Moyland Wood and the Goch-Calcar road, and in the 48 hours required to clear these areas suffered severe punishment from the Panzer Lehr Division. On 18 February units of the 7th Brigade were deployed for an attack on a small wood covering the approaches to Calcar. Their tactical disposition was such that line had to be laid along a road parallel to the woods and in full view of the enemy entrenched within it. The battle plan was intricate, and its timing required that line communications be maintained to all units throughout. During two days and nights the road was under heavy artillery and mortar fire, but a Signals corporal[3], without food or rest, and with several of his crew members killed or wounded, strove valiantly to build a line. A scant few minutes before zero-hour he completed an air line so well constructed that it withstood all shelling throughout the operation.

The following day the same brigade was at Beek and still in the thick of the fighting. The Regina Rifles and Canadian Scottish were critically engaged out front. Two Signalmen of "J" Section were working on a line to the regiments when the captain commanding the section called to learn their progress. The men expressed concern at being unable to repair the line to the Canadian Scottish whose companies were in difficult straits. Mortar fire was particularly heavy in the area when Capt. D. C. H. Loughnan came out to the scene, picked up his linemen, and set off to find the trouble. In an open field close to the road they detected the break and had just stopped their "Weasel" to repair it when the Signals officer and a number of infantrymen were killed outright by mortar fire. Word was sent back to brigade headquarters, whence a corporal came forward and succeeded in repairing the line.


Capt Loughnan's name is recorded on a memorial at the former Brigg Grammar School in England for the 50 previous students who lost their lives in the Second World War.

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  1. Information courtesy of David Rose, a relative of Capt Loughnan
  2. History of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals 1903-1963, page 203.
  3. It has been identified that this was Corporal E.A. Stanley who was awarded the Military Medal for his actions.