Nicoletti, Roland

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Roland Nicoletti
16 January 1919 – 26 June 1944
Place of burial Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1939-44
Rank Lieutenant
Lieutenant Roland Nicoletti, (16 January 1919 - 26 June 1944) was a Canadian soldier who served in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.

Early Life

Roland was born on 16 January 1919 to parents Francesco and Anne Isabella. One of 11 children, he had nine older siblings (Louis, Margarete, Alfred, Elena, Adeline, Matilda, Lydia, Rudolph and Frederic) and one younger (Uroulia).[1]

Roland completed four years of high school and completed Grade XII. Starting in December 1937 he was a sporting goods salesman with Simpsons Company. In March 1939 he went to work for Canadian Window Glass Ltd. as a draughtsman designing store fronts.


Roland attested for service on 8 September 1939 with 2nd Divisional Signals at Toronto as a Signalman. As the unit grew in the early days of the war, he was promoted quickly. Made a Lance Corporal on 20 September, he was promoted to Acting Corporal on 4 October after less than one month in uniform.[2]

In November 1939 he joined 1st Divisional Signals. The unit sailed for overseas leaving Halifax on 7 December 1939 and arriving in the U.K. on the 18th. In May 1940 he was promoted to Lance Sergeant and attached to 3rd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. February 1941 found him promoted to Sergeant and transferred to 1st Field Regiment, RCA. On 13 May, after having had abdominal pains for 24 hours, he was admitted to hospital with a sub-acute appendicitis. He had an appendectomy on 15 May and spent the remainder of the month in 5th Canadian General Hospital. In June he recovered in a convalescent facility prior to rejoining his unit. In August 1942 he was attached to 400 Squadron, RCAF for a short period before proceeding for Officer training in September.

He attended the Royal Signals OCTU at Wrotham Camp, Kent from September 1942 until May 1943. His file records that he broke his left thumb while representing his company at a boxing event in January 1943. His final report says that he was capable and efficient although he did not find the more technical portions of the course too easy. Overall, he was rated as a good leader with extremely smart personal appearance but it was noted he could stand to develop a more aggressive spirit. Having successfully completed the course, he was commissioned at the rank of Lieutenant in May 1943.

First posted to First Canadian Army Signals in July, he was transferred to 1 Line of Communication Signals in August to serve with 5 Telegraph Operating Section. On 8 December 1943 he was posted to 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisional Signals and then, in January 1944, attached to 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment as the Battalion Signal Officer.

Roland landed on the beaches of Normandy with his unit on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and participated in the push inland towards Caen. On 26 June 1944 at approximately 2115 hours (9:15 p.m.) the farmhouse the Battalion Headquarters was located in took a direct hit from a German eight inch shell.[3] The shell exploded inside the building with a crash and a sheet of flame, hurling steel, bricks and wood splinters in all directions causing shrapnel wounds to his face and head. Roland died en-route to hospital without regaining consciousness.[4]

Roland Nicoletti is buried at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery.

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References and Notes

  1. 1921 Canadian Census. Library and Archives Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 88; Census Place: Ward 3, Toronto Centre, Ontario; Page Number: 10.
  2. Roland Nicoletti Service File. Library and Archives Canada
  3. War Diary, Canadian Scottish Regiment, 26 June 1944.
  4. Ready For the Fray: The History of the Candian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's) 1920 to 2002 by RH Roy.