In This Issue

 

The Powder Horn

 


Volume 8 SEPTEMBER 1998 Issue 2

People And Places

AUDIENCE WITH THE COLONEL-IN- CHIEF. LCol A. R. Welsh, commanding officer, was granted an audience with the regiment's Colonel-in-chief, her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra on 22 July 1998 at St. James palace in London. He was accompanied by his wife Andrea.

SILVERWARE RETURNS HOME. The keen and discerning of eye of BGEN C.L. "Kip" Kirby resulted in the return to the Regiment of a large silver bowl which had been presented to the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada by "The Buffs" on the occasion of the Regiment's 100th anniversary. BGEN Kirby spotted the bowl in the Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess and initiated proceedings for its return to its rightful owners. How the bowl found its way to Kingston remains a mystery. At a special dinner hosted by BGEN Jan Arp, Commandant of Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College on 10 June 1998, the bowl was handed over to BGEN D. A. Pryer, honorary Colonel of the Regiment, in the presence of BGEN C. L. Kirby, LCol John G. B. Strathy and a number of senior officers of the directing staff at the College.

REGIMENTAL WEB SITE. Thanks to the initiative of MWO John Wilmot, the regiment now has a web site. He has assumed the responsibility of answering all inquiries. When he receives a request he cannot answer, he posts it on the Internet and asks for help from the Regimental family. Requests for information on persons who had served in the Regiment or who had some association with the Regiment have been numerous. A striking example of an answer to one of the inquiries is evidenced by the e-mail MWO Wilmot received from Wendy Cimicata, a copy of which appears in this newsletter.

CANADA NORMANDY PROJECT. This project, conceived by members of the 14th Field Regiment, RCA, proposes to purchase a building in Bernieres-sur-Mer to house an information centre where Canadians and people from other countries would learn about Canada and the role Canada played on land, sea and air in the struggle to preserve freedom and democracy. Contact Garth Webb or Lise Cooper at 2407 Woodward Avenue, Unit 24, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4J2 or telephone (905) 333-0233 or Fax (416) 252-3621 for more information.

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QOR of C Bulletin
By Major J.M. Fotheringham

Ten rifleman led by CAPT Adam Harmes participated in "Exercise Rambling Rifleman 98", the ongoing series of exchange visits with our allied Regiments. The Rifleman were hosted by the 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles in Hampshire during the period 1-21 July. Seven of the para-qualified Rifleman were detached to C (Gurkha) Company of 2 Para Bn to participate in "Exercise Pegasus Anvil" while the remaining three Rifleman took part in airmobile operations with 1 RGR.

As part of "Exercise Rambling Rifleman 98", five members of the 4th battalion, Royal Green Jackets, and ten members of the 5th battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, joined the Queen's Own Rifles in Petawawa during the August training camp.

QOR of C is the coordinating unit for the infantry portion of 32 CBG's "Exercise Steadfast Warrior". LCol A. R. Welsh is planning a demanding and exciting patrolling exercise which will include airborne and airmobile operations, rappelling, live firing and assault boat crossing. Two officers from 44 Para Brigade, South Africa, and a detachment of the RCMP Emergency Response Team will also take part in this training.

"Sovereign Steadfast", a 32 CBG sovereignty exercise in Gjoa Haven, NWT, includes a number of QOR of C members. MWO Patterson, WO ten Kortenaar and Rfn Amodeo, Candelario, Delaney, Lam, Morris, Pytlik, and Trayner will be part of a company of soldiers training with native Rangers during the period 4-22 August.

Seven officers and men have returned safely from "Operation Palladium Roto 2" in Bosnia where they served with 1 RCR. Sgt Paton and Cpls Lawlor, Morton and Vulakovich are now in theatre on Roto 3 with 3 RCR.

Lt. W. Beardmore, attached to the Canadian Para Team (Skyhawks) had the misfortune of breaking a leg during a demonstration jump in Thunder Bay on August 29th. Members of the unit wish him a speedy recovery.

Congratulations to Cpl Rick Kurelo who was the top LFCA a candidate on the QL3 infantry course.

SIGNIFICANT COMING EVENTS

CHANGE OF COMMAND PARADE

LCOL A.R. Welsh will hand command over to LCOL B.G. McEachern on Wednesday, 30 September 1998 at Moss Park Armoury. Guests to be seated by 2000 hours. Dress will be combats for military guests and business suit or Regimental blazer and medals for civilian guests.

GALA DINNER

Friday, 6 November 1998 in honour of MGEN H.C. Pitts, MC.CD. Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment. Mark this date on your calendar. Full details on this Gala Regimental Dinner will be announced later.

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Regimental Museum News

The Passing Scene by Captain P.A. Simundson, Curator

Highlights of Museum operations between July 1997 and June 1998 cover a wide field of activities ranging from the acquisition of Regimental artefacts and paraphernalia to the up-dating of displays to dealing with correspondence from a myriad of sources.

Acquisitions of Regimental artefacts and materials include: a cash donation and a set of greens worn by members of the Regular battalions in Germany donated by Larry Bean, owner of LB Towing in Scarborough and brother of Captain George Bean, MC; Rfn C.M. Bloomfield's medals donated by Miss Dorothy Bloomfield; a crossroads and mess kit donated by Major J. C Rush of Victoria; a crossbelt, uniforms and other Regimental paraphernalia donated by LCOL M.I. Jackson; a section of a WWII aircraft fuselage donated by Major Jim MacKendrick; an assortment of material from the estate of Jim Dickson, bugler; a number of Regimental uniforms and photographs from MGEN H.C. Pitts; a group of artefacts donated by George Aylward of Tillsonburg which included his grandfather's North West Canada medal; and a selection of maps donated by NDHQ. Many of these artefacts are on display in the museum or are being prepared for display while the crossbelts and mess kits were passed on to the Battalion for use by serving officers.

The recent release of the movie "Titanic" as rekindled an interest in this tragic event. Major Arthur Peuchen, a

member of the Queen's Own Rifles and President of Standard Chemical, was on board the Titanic returning from a business trip in England. As the ship sank, he took charge of a lifeboat and managed to survive. Major Peuchen joined the Queen's Own Rifles in April 1897. He rose quickly through the ranks and left the Battalion before the start of World War I thus his service in the Regiment can best be described as uneventful and undramatic.

The rumour of a "Queen's Own" Lieutenant at the Battle of Little Big Horn as Custis' adjutant appears unfounded. There is no W. Cooke listed anywhere in any Regimental records from its formation to 1876. It is possible that he may have been an ex-British soldier who picked up the nickname "Queen's Own".

Casa Loma allocated 150 passes to the Regiment in 1997 and 1998 of which 114 passes were distributed. Due to an apparent lack of interest, Casa Loma now allocates only 75 passes per year. "Use them or lose them" is the message here.

Finally, much work has been done in cleaning and re-arranging the picture storage room. All other storage rooms in Casa Loma, with the exception of the uniform area, have been refurbished. The Museum plans to make a display board of bayonets for display in the hall and donations of bayonets are requested.

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QUEEN'S OWN ASSOCIATION (TORONTO BRANCH) NEWS
By CWO Brian Budden, Association President

At the request of Toronto Star writer Mitch Potter, the Association assembled eleven Normandy veterans to view Steven Spielberg's recently released film "Saving Private Ryan." Among Queen's Own Veterans who attended this special viewing were Alex Adair, Dick Ayton, Joe Oggy, Ken Scott, Orville Cook, Doug Hester, John Hadley, Jack Martin and Dave Kingston. In short, "it's brutal, and it's dead on.", said first-wave veteran Doug Hester. At the end of the film, these veterans emerged from the theatre red-eyed, shaken and virtually speechless. They had just witnessed a collective past that until now was often too painful to share.

A thank you to D-Day Veterans James Wilkins and Hugh Lamb for sharing their wartime experiences with members of the Toronto Rotary Club on June 4th. Their presence added to the dignity of the occasion and made everyone aware of the important role the Queen's Own Rifles played at a crucial time in Canada's history. A special thanks to Ronald Denham, Governor of the Rotary Club for the hospitality.

There was an excellent turnout at the D-Day parade on June 6th. The Association expresses its gratitude to Major John Fotheringham of the Battalion for his support and for the breakfast after the parade.

The Annual Association Rifle Shoot was held on the same day at Niagara-on-the-Lake ranges. It was successful despite the low attendance. Rob Grieve deserves a great deal of credit for making the arrangements for the shoot.

The Warriors' Day Parade was held on August 22nd with the Queen's Own Rifles contingent achieving 2nd place for

the second year in a row. Congratulations to all the members of the Association who paraded and a special thanks to the Colour Party consisting of Peter, John, Steve, Phil, Bing, Art and Joe Smith-the Colour Party Commander. The Regimental Band and Bugles performed in their stellar fashion as is to be expected.

Members of the Association are invited to attend the Change of Command Parade at Moss Park Armoury on Wednesday, September 30th. Spectators are requested to be seated by 2000 hours. Dress is regimental blazer, beret and medals.

Normandy 1999 55th Anniversary of D-Day. Those interested should contact CWO Brian Budden at (905) 567-4975 for listings of contacts in Normandy. Those who wish to travel to Normandy will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements, however, assistance can be provided by me if needed.

Remembrance Day Church Parade will be held on November 8th at St. Paul's Church and the Remembrance Day Parade will take place at 11 o'clock on November 11th.

Finally I was honoured to have been selected as "Rifleman of the Year" for 1997/98 and I wish to thank the members of the Executive Committee and Directors of the Association for this honour.

Also I wish to express my gratitude to the Regimental family and friends for their expressions of sympathy on my unfortunate accident from which I am well on the road to recovery.

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QUEEN'S OWN ASSOCIATION (CALGARY BRANCH) NEWS
By Captain Ralph E. Ridley

On Saturday evening, 18 April 1998, approximately 100 members including wives and friends of Calgary Branch gathered at the Royal Canadian Legion branch No. 264 Kensington, to celebrate the Regiment's 138th birthday. The main activities consisted of a buffet dinner, dancing and plenty of socializing. Many out-of-town guests were present but once again the couple travelling the greatest distance was Ron and Betty Wilson from Brandon. The dinner was catered by the Legion Branch in a most befitting manner, however, the atmosphere was not quite the same as that experience at the former Base WOs/Sgts Mess. During the latter part of November, the branch is planning a luncheon at the same Legion Branch to bring members together once again.

John Cresswell reports that he met with Herb and Marianne Pitts, Cy Arkinstall, Gord Hryhoryshen, Bill Carleton and Ron Caplan while in Victoria on August 14th.

Approximately three years ago, John Cresswell visited the Union Jack Club in London, England and noted that Audrey Cosens name appeared in their Honour Roll for having been awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross while serving with the Canadian Scottish Regiment. Notwithstanding this affiliation at one time, it does not alter the fact that he was serving with the Queen's Own Rifles at the time of his heroic deed. Recognition has now been given to his Queen's Own Rifles affiliation. On Friday, October 2nd, John Cresswell will meet with Colonel

Cowen, Secretary of the Union Jack Club, when he will be presented with a Queen's Own Rifles plaque for display in the Club.

On Wednesday, August 19th several members of the Association met at Mewata Armoury to joined MGEN Lew MacKenzie at a 7 o'clock breakfast to mark the 56th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. Following breakfast, MGen MacKenzie addressed a group of about 50 choosing as his subject "The Evolution of the Canadian Forces", particularly the Army over the past few decades. As expected he had a captive audience and no one seemed to dispute his facts.

A move is underway to gain a niche in the Museum of the Regiments, located west of the main Currie Barracks. It is hoped to display minor articles of Regimental memorabilia to served as a reminder to all of the years the active components of the Queen's Own Rifles spent in Calgary, and for that matter in western Canada. The Museum has attracted much attention from both the local citizens and visitors, and should be included in a visitor's itinerary.

On June 22nd the Association was pleased to be visited by BGEN D.A.Pryer, Honorary Colonel and LCOL John G.B. Strathy and his wife Jane. Under the kind and generous auspices of COL Paul and Bev Hughes, the Torontonians were wined and dined at the Ranchmans' Club. Ten former Queen's Own officers and their wives also joined in the evenings festivities.

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OTTAWA COMMUNIQUE
From LCOL B. Grahame Baskerville

LCOL Grahame Baskervill continues to serve on the Ottawa-Carlton Regional Police Board. He attended the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Police Boards in Edmonton in August where he met with LT Norm Gardner, Chairman of the Toronto Police Board, and another rifleman involved in the field of policing.

LCOL M.G. (Mike) McKeown, who retired last year and chose to remain in Kingston, is working on contract at the Royal Military College in the Department of Applied Military Science responsible for preparing the model on Defence Program Management. His wife Marion is a lecturer in English Literature at the College. It would appear they have settled in Kingston on a permanent basis.

CAPT A.L. (Al) Way and his wife Rosanne have moved from Ottawa to their summer retreat on Sydenham Lake near Kingston where they built a new log home and where they intend to live year round. Rosanne recently retired from her position as Principal in the Ottawa-Carlton school system.

On August 30th the Ceremonial Guard, under command of MAJ C.P. (Pat) Dillon, carried out the Trooping of the Colour at Rideau Hall. This parade, at which Pat turned over command to his successor, marked his last day of service as he retired from the Canadian Forces with over 34 years of service. His wife Susie recently completed her master's degree in linguistics. Pat and Susie plan to go back-packing in Russia, China, and SE Asia for a two year period with Susie doing some teaching of English as a

second language and Pat possibly doing some United Nations work in SE Asia.

Major R.S. (Clair) Donnelly was married last November without fanfare. The Regimental family sends its congratulations and best wishes to Clair and his bride.

Mrs. Eileen Monro, widow of LCol W.G. (Glen) Monro, has moved from Tichborne near Lake Charbot to take up residence in Kingston.

MAJ J.P.O. (John) Saunders finally commenced his retirement on January 1st after many years with National Headquarters of the Corps of Commissionaires in Ottawa. He and Audrey are keeping busy by visiting family and friends as well as hosting visitors of their own. MAJ W.A. (Bill) Crew and his wife Joan from Winnipeg were recent guests.

LCOL R.R. (Ray) Crabbe retires from the Canadian Forces on September 15th after serving as the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff at NDHQ for the past year.

MGEN Vic McPherson (RCAMC) and his wife June are moving from Tichborne to Kingston where they are having a new home built.

THE RIFLEMAN

Submissions for the 1998 issue of "The Rifleman" should be in the hands of the Editor by December 15th

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THE QUEEN'S OWN RIFLES OF CANADA TRUST FUND
ANNUAL REPORT

The Annual Meeting of Trustees of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Trust Fund was held in Toronto on 11 May 1998 under the chairmanship of the President, LCOL J.G.B. Strathy. Twelve of the sixteen trustees were present at the meeting.

LCOL M.I. Jackson, Trust Fund Treasurer, presented his report which showed total receipts in 1997 of $33,701 while the expenditure amounted to $43,628.

Major items of expense include the publication and distribution of "The Rifleman" and two issues of "The Powder Horn" ($14,225), upgrading and maintenance of the Regimental Museum ($8,888), operating cost of regimental headquarters ($3,708), insurance premium on Regimental property ($3,183), memorial plaques for Normandy battle sites ($9,764), and support of the Battalion ($3,860).

The trustees approved expenditures of $26,860 in 1998 for the annual recurring Regimental activities. The trustees also considered a proposal by LCOL S.D. Brand for the completion of several memorial projects in Normandy at an estimated cost of $22,000. A committee is being formed under the leadership of LCOL S.D. Brand to determine the feasibility of completing these projects by the year 2000.

LCOL J.G.B. Strathy stressed the need for all members of the Regimental family to financially support the many Regimental activities which fall outside the responsibility of the Defence Department. Without this support it may be necessary to eliminate some of the activities which are essential to keep the Regimental spirit alive.

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Trust Fund

Trustees
QOR of C Trust Fund
Regimental Headquarters
Moss Park Armoury
130 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5A 1R9

I am aware of the financial needs of the Trust Fund to retain those Regimental activities that are outside the responsibility of the Defence Department and I am pleased to enclose $..............in support of the Trust Fund.

Name.....................................................................................................................

Street Address........................................................................................................

City...........................................Province.................Postal Code............................

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www.qor.com. Helps Complete a Family History

Dear John Wilmot:

I wanted you to know how the William Gilbert May posting turned out, as I'm sure you'll be pleased.

As the posting said, all that was known of Gil was his name, and that he was with the QOR of C when he died on D-Day.

I emailed the writer to tell I found Gil's name in the QOR's Book of Remembrance, and was also able to provide the regimental number. With that information, I informed them how to get Gil's service records, and how to find out his burial plot row/number in Beny-sur-Mer Cemetery in Normandy. Also, through my father (Jim Wilkins), I was able to provide him with a QOR of C veteran's name and address who actually grew up on the same street in Toronto as Gil. I phoned this particular veteran, Jack Martin, and found out that he and Gil were in the same company (A), and that Jack also knew certain details of Gil's death on the beach. The author (Dave Burden) emailed me back to say thanks, and also to tell me a little of the circumstances behind Gil's death.

It seems that Dave Burden is Gil's grandson-in-law, and he is doing research for a family tree. Gil was born in Toronto, and from his regimental number my father told me he was among the first 500 men to enlist in the QOR, and that he would have enlisted at the Toronto armouries on University Avenue. Dave knew that, while stationed in England, Gil had married an English girl (his grandmother-in-law), and together they had a baby girl (his mother-in-law), who never got to know her father. Within the past ten years these two woman have passed away. Too bad, as Dave says, "They would have been thrilled to be able to see all this information on Gil!"

After learning Gil was in A Company, and that Charlie Martin was obviously his Company Sergeant-Major, I decided to go further and provide him with the name of Charlie's book, "Battle Diary", which he has ordered. Then, I made a copy of the tape, "Battle Diary, A Day in the Life of Charlie Martin", and mailed that to him. I hadn't watched the tape in over a year myself, so I was very pleased when yesterday I received an e-mail from him telling me that Gil is actually shown near the end of the tape and Charlie actually mentions a little about him.

Imagine, from only knowing a person's name, regiment, and where/when they were killed in action, to all this!

I'm sure you're as pleased as I am, and I just know that somewhere Charlie is smiling too.

Sincerely,

Wendy Cimicata