A Second War Memorial Cross to Canadian Stretcher Bearer
A Second War Memorial Cross to Canadian Stretcher Bearer - GRVI (B.56681 PTE. A. PENZNER). Naming is officially engraved. Very crisp detail, light contact, original ribbon, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate and Letters to His Mother and Wife from the War Service Records Director, Ottawa (dated January 6, 1950). Footnote: Arthur Penzner was born on January 8, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario. He signed his Canadian Army Attestation Paper at No. 2 District Depot on July 20, 1942 in Toronto, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Mrs. Anne Penzner, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was married and that his trade was that of Tailor. He had been a Sewing Machine Operator for Varsity Brand Clothes of Toronto before enlisting. He was taken on strength by the No. 23 BTC at Newmarket, Ontario on August 1st, then later attached to A 16 C.I.T.C. at Calgary, Alberta onOctober 29th. He was elevated in rank to Lance Corporal without pay on November 19, 1942, then reverted to the permanent rank of Private on December 23rd. He was transferred to A-21 COCTC on the 28th. He is documented as being named Acting Lance Corporal with pay allowances of rank while employed with the Technical Training Wing (3 Company) on March 1, 1943. Penzner was admitted to Kingston Military Hospital on April 8, 1943 with stomach issues, then discharged on the 12th. At the end of the month, he reverted to the rank of Private on the 30th. While in Canada, he completed his Advanced Ordnance Corps and Infantry Corps Training and qualified as a Tailor Group "C" (thanks in part to his previous experience in civilian life). He was elevated to Acting Lance Corporal when he proceeded overseas on May 14, 1943, disembarking in the United Kingdom on May 22nd. During his orientation period, he qualified in First Aid in July 1943. He was stuck off strength to the Perth Regiment on August 23rd, reverting to the rank of Private again, this time at his own request on August 27th. Penzner embarked the United Kingdom on October 27, 1943 for service in the Italian theatre, disembarking in Italy on November 8th. A little over six months later, he was wounded on May 27, 1944, suffering a sprained right arm/wrist, and treated at No. 1 Canadian General Hospital, being discharged on June 6th. Having served two years in the Canadian Army without having any entry on his Field Conduct Sheet, he was awarded a Good Conduct Badge on July 20, 1944. Penzer had been diagnosed previously with stomach issues but there proved to be more underlying issues. He was admitted to No. 1 Canadian General Hospital on October 27, 1944. In a No. 2 Canadian Exhaustion Unit, Neuropsychiatric Report, from Major A.E. Moll, RCAMC, dated October 27, 1944, he stated that Penzner was "Brought in to us in a highly excited state, writhing, sobbing, gesturing, apparently unconscious. Cannot keep him under control. For evacuation back. -0845 hrs. The driver who brought him down, said he had escorted 2 German prisoners down to T.A.C. 45, when he suddenly took this seizure. 0910 hrs- Quieter and sleeping." He continued, "The m/n was a stretcher bearer with the Perth Reg. from its first action until after the attack on Coriano. Because he has been useless in that capacity both in the setimation of his Coy. Cmd. and the M.O. he was sent to the ranks as af infantryman, much against his will. In action he had been very excitable and was unable to control himself when he was needed to attend casualties." The M.O. of the Perth Regiment stated that "He does not know what happened to the prisoners and seems to be worried as to their safe delivery. He first became worried last night when they crossed three rivers because he cannot swim. The water was up to his neck. This morning he found the water over his head and became hysterical. The prisoners waited for him across the river." Moll also noted that Penzner "States he was told he would be employed in his own trade as tailor in the R.C.O.C. Was employed in such capacity and drawing trades pay as tailor in the R.C.O.C. for about 1 yr. To U.K. in May 43, and found himself in the infantry. Has been with present unit for about 1 yr.", with Moll declaring that "This man is not suitable for infantry combatant duties and should be re-allocated after Medical board (Pulhams S3)". He was diagnosed with "Psychoneurosis anxiety hysteria" and labelled "Psychpathic personality - inadequate type". He was admitted to No. 100 British General Hospital on November 3rd, transferred to No. 15 Canadian General Hospital on the 4th, remaining there until being discharged on the 9th. In his Hospital Discharge Notification, dated November 7, 1944, Major A.M. Doyle, RCAMC, Neuropsychiatrist, at 15th Canadian General Hospital noted that Penzner was a "Tailor in civilian life, operating machine. Always been nervous, timid; frequently suffered from gastro intestinal disorder in civilian life. Evacuated from unit in confused and demoralized state, and remembers very little about the incident. He is tense, but there is not now great anxiety. He feels no confidence in ability to carry on at combat duty." Doyles' recommendation: Penzner "Should have medical board; Pulhams S rating should be 3. Discharge to X-9 Coy for reboard and reallocation." In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated November 10, 1944, Penzner was quoted as saying "I have a continuous lingering pain behind the lower part of my breast bone and in the pit of my stomach. When the pain is bad it makes me feel weak. I feel weak and I think I'm underweight. I seem to worry. I wake up about 4:30 and can't go to sleep. I'm nervous." In his notes, the physician stated that he "Says he has always had stomach trouble. Had pneumonia in Sept. 42 was in Newmarket, Ont. Military Hospital for 3 weeks. Had impetigo of face and hands in England - never hospitalized. Was in hospital 10 days (#1 C.G.H.) in June 44 with injured R. forearm. Was in 3 C.G.H. for about a week with stomach trouble. (Had spent 4-5 days in Kingston Milit. Hosp. early in 43 for stomach X-rays which were negative). On 25 Oct 44 evacuated from unit because of nervous." Penzner was with No. 18 Special Employment Company and hospitalized for ten days at No. 15 Canadian General Hospital with a "penile ulcer", from February 25 to March 6, 1945. Two months later, he was again hospitalized from May 1 to May 13, 1945 at No. 103 British General Hospital, then transferred to No. 92 BGH from May 13 to June 7th, diagnosed with Dermatitis (contact sulphonamide). He was evacuated to the United Kingdom on June 7th and after recovering, was given lighter duties, transferred on July 8th to the Canadian Overseas Postal Depot. Upon his return to Canada, he was taken on strength by the Canadian Army Trades School in Hamilton, Ontario on December 29, 1945. He spent six week at CATS before being transferred to No. 2 District Depot in Toronto on February 13, 1946. In a Department of Veterans Report, dated February 15, 1946, Penzner was quoted as saying that "I would like to receive employment as a clothing salesman. If this is not obtainable, I will return to my former trade as sewing machine operator." Captain H.C. Mitchell, Army Counsellor noted that "Penzner is a quite-mannered, rather retiring soldier who is thirty-one years of age. Before he enlisted in the army, he was employed for thirteen years as a sewing machine operator in a clothing wholesale house. He states that long before he enlisted he had desired to break away from this type of work and try his hand at selling - preferably men's clothing. In the writer's opinion Penzner lacks the necessary forcefulness and self-confidence required in selling technique. Also, his educational level hardly appears to be adequate. He admits that this may be true but nevertheless he would like to try his hand in the trade before resuming his former occupation. He considers that he has established a fair contact with employers through his association with the clothing trade and that he has a good knowledge of cloth and fitting. Re-instatement in Civil Employment Act has been explained to this soldier and he has been urged to return to his former employment within the time limit if he is not successful in obtaining the type of work he desires. This is considered important in view of the fact that he is married and has one child." Penzner was credited with having served in the United Kingdom and Italy (Central Mediterranean Area) as a Rifleman for a total 44 months, 32 months of which were overseas. He was discharged upon demobilization to return to civil life, on February 18, 1946 at No. 2 District Depot in Toronto. He died on July 30, 1949 in Toronto, the cause of death stated as "Carcinoma of stomach" (cancer) and was in the opinion of the Canadian Pension Commission, "related to military service". In a letter addressed to his mother Rose Penzner of Toronto, from G. Robertson for Director, War Services, Ottawa, dated January 6, 1950 at Ottawa, it states "The Honourable, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, wishes to extend his sincere sympathy on learning that the death of your son, Private Arthur Penzner, was related to his service in the Canadian Army Active. You are advised that the death of your son being related to his service you will shortly receive a Silver Memorial Cross given by the Canadian Government as a slight token of appreciation of the sacrifice you have made." A letter of similar content was also sent to his widow, Anne Penzner. His mother, Rose Edwards and his wife, Anne Penzner both received Memorial Crosses. His wife also received his 1939-1945 Star, Italy Star, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and War Medal 1939-1945, which are not included here. He was also authorized to wear the War Service Badge, number 636261.