The Powder Horn
The Powder Horn
|Volume 9||APRIL 1999||Issue 1|
A new chapter in the history of the Regiment was opened on 30 September 1998 when LCol A.R. (Tony) Welsh handed over command of the Militia Battalion to LCol B.G. (Bruce) McEachern before a large crowd of former members of the Regiment, veterans and family members of the serving soldiers.
LCol McEachern was born in Calgary. On his relocation to Toronto, he joined the Queen's Own Rifles as a rifleman in May 1976. After completing RESO training in 1977 he was commissioned and served as a platoon commander. He was promoted Captain in 1984 and Major in 1994.
As a Major in the Battalion, he served as a Company Commander and Deputy Commanding Officer.
LCol McEachern graduated from Trent University in 1980 with a BA (Honours) degree after which he studied law at the University of Toronto receiving his LLB degree in 1985. He is a practicing lawyer in Toroto and is active as an alumni member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
LGen Charles H. Belzile, a former Commander of the Canadian Army who began his military career in the Queen's Own Rifles, was recently elected President of the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation. Created in January 1992, the foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Canadian public and the people of the world on the role played by Canadians in the liberation of occupied countries during the wars of the twentieth century.
Major J.R.L. (Dick) White, a former officer with the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment, and now a French resident, has been appointed Vice President (France) of the Foundation.
The Foundation has created a bursary fund so that young men and women from Canada can visit the actual battlefields to learn and understand why so many of their young predecessors gave up their lives. This understanding will be a factor in helping to prevent future wars. Details are available from the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation.
NOTES FROM THE MILITIA BATTALION
|Four riflemen have returned safely from their United Nations tour in Bosnia with Operation Palladium Roto 3 and 3 RCR. Sgt Bill Paton will be assuming the role of CQ with 60th Rifle Company and Cpls Lawlor, Morton and Vulakovich have returned as Section 21Cs.
Congratulations to WO Mark Shannon and MCpls Michael Bowers and Erica Mark on their recent promotions.
At the Men's Christmas Dinner, the following awards were presented - the COs Sword Award for outstanding contribution to the Regiment to MWO Fred Hair; the Airborne Rifleman of the Year to Cpl Darren Kiervin; and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association's Reg Walker award to Sgt Bill Paton.
WO Gerry Senetchko, who joined the Regiment in 1959, will be retiring from the Canadian Forces in May. He is the long-serving leader of the QOR Shooting team, and was awarded the Queen's Medal for top Reserve marksman several years ago. He is currently serving as CQ of 60th Company, and is President of the Maple Leaf Rifle Club.
MCpl Gerry Griggs, a member of the Band, and long-time QOR member, will also be retiring this spring.
Upcoming events include "Ex Steadfast Warrior", the annual summer concentration in Petawawa in August, and Operation "Abacus" as part of a Forces-wide operation preparing to react to any problems resulting from the "Y2K bug".
|New Year's Eve events are on hold as the majority of members can expect to be on standby in the local area in case of power shortages or aid requested by Emergency Measures Ontario.
Sgt J.R. Thorn has sent a copy of his exchange between himself and Tom Peters on 10 and 11 February 1999 an excerpt of which reads as follows.
Just wanted to send a short note thanking all the WWII veterans for what they did for our generation. You have always been my heroes. You gave so much for us and I don't feel we have done eough to make this country great.
My wife and I had the opportunity to be at the 40th anniversary celebrations of D-Day in Normandy. We stayed in a hotel with a group of British veterans, members of 30 Corps which landed on Gold Beach.
Take care and God Bless. Tom Peters.
The army of the future will have two components. The regular component of full service soldiers will give the country a ready response capability. The reserve component, made up of cost-effective volunteer citizen soldiers serving on a part-time basis, will give the country a nucleus for expansion on national and international emergencies.
Source: Reserves 2000 Communique
QUEENS OWN RIFLES ASSOCIATION (TORONTO BRANCH)
FUND NEEDS YOUR HELP.
MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.
ASSOCIATION (TORONTO BRANCH)
ADDITIONAL DATES TO
MOVED TO A NEW ADDRESS LET
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
At its Annual General Meeting held on 16 January 1999, Victoria Branch of the Queen's Own Rifles Association elected the following officers:
President -Harold Drinkwater
The meeting noted that the Past President of the Association had written a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada urging a pay increase for serving members of the forces.
Dates of two social functions in 1999 were approved, both to be held in the HMCS Naden Wardroom. A Regimental Birthday Dinner Dance will take place on 24 April 1999 and a Regimental Happy Hour will be held on 2 October 1999.
Association dues for 1999 will remain at $15.00.
Why do the French need only one egg to make an omelet?
Coup de grace is what a French lawnmower does.
QUEEN'S OWN RIFLES ASSOCIATION (CALGARY BRANCH)
|The major event of 1998 was the celebration of the Regiment's 138th birthday, details of which were given in the Septemeber 1998 issue of "The Powder Horn." The second major social event was held on Saturday, 12 December 1998 when 60 members of the Association met for lunch at the Royal Canadian Legion Kensington Branch #264.
To correct any misunderstanding of the location of the Museum of the Regiments, it is housed in the former Currie Barracks Elementary School. LCol Barnes, a former C.O. of the Lord Strathcona Horse has a prime role in the operation of the Museum. He and John Cresswell continue negotiations with respect to obtaining a niche in the Museum for a display of Queen's Own Rifles artifacts to remind the citizens of Calgary and visitors to the Museum of the important role played by the Regimental Depot and the two Regular Force Battalions of the Regiment while stationed in Calgary in the 1950s and the 1960s.
Twelve members of the Association paid a visit to the HMCS Tecumeseh Museum on Friday, 15 January 1999. The display of noval aircraft, guns, mines, torpedoes and other equipment impressed the visitors. A large model of the Tribal Class destroyer HMCS Athabascan is also on exhibit. This warship was sunk by the Germans in April 1944 in the North Sea. Dr. Jim Fyfe, who treated Ralph Ridley in his adolescent years, was the medical officer on board the ship. He was taken prisoner and retired
|to Canada after the war. He died at an early age due to the severe injuries he suffered when the ship was sunk.
Former sites familiar to all who served in Currie and Harvey (Sarcee) Barracks have undergone major changes much too numerous to detail in this report.
A special tribute is extended to John Cresswell, the Association's long standing President, who holds a high profile in the city as it relates to the Regiment. He has participated in most military ceremonies including carrying the Regimental flag on a city parade of military units to mark Poppy Week on 7 November 1998. On Remembrance Day, he has laid wreaths on behalf of the Regiment at the Remembrance Day ceremonies held at the Jubilee Auditorium. H also serves as the Vice President of the Korean Veterans Association in Calgary; he is a Board member of the Friends of the Colonel Belcher Hospital and true to his word he dropped into the Union Jack Club in London on 1 October 1998 to present a Queen's Own plaque to the club manager.
Other members of the Association who deserve special mention for devotion and dedication are Clay Hodder, Secretary of the Association, Jim Stoley and Bert Pendlebury.
Retired Major Doug Williams is in the process of compiling a book of Regimental anecdotes. Contributions from any member of the Regiment will be gratefully received.
The discovery of a Regimental piece of silverware at the Command and Staff College in Kingston prompted Maj S.K. (Scott) Bricker to ask for help in locating two hand-carved Ghanian Ashanti stools which were presented to the Regiment by him and LCol W.S. (Bill) Wilson on their return from duty in Ghana in the mid -1960s. He has offered to buy a "double" to the person who knows the whereabouts of these stools.
Sgt Art Gay, Manager of the Kit Shop, plans to order 3 feet by 6 feet Queen's Own Rifles flags if there is sufficient interest from veterans, former members of the Regiment and others. The flags are rifle green in colour and will display a large Queen's Own badge in the centre and will come with a rope and toggle. The minimum order is 30 flags at an approximate cost of $80.00 each. If you are interested in procuring one of these flags for your flagpole, contact Art Gay at the Kit Shop.
The trustees of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Trust Fund anticipate a requirement of approximately $26,000 to meet its financial commitments to Regimental activities which fall outside the responsibility of the Department of National Defence.
Anticipated expenses include:
Your financial support is essential to the well being of the Regiment.
Kenneth R. Ramsden, an 86 year old veteran, has recently published a book titled "The Canadian Kangaroos in World War II". The book tells the story of a remarkable Canadian armoured regiment equipped with APCs named "priests" which carried into action 38 infantry battalions of 9 British divisions and 16 infantry battalions of 3 Canadian divisions in the North-West European campaign.
Copies of the book may be obtained from Ramsden-Caven Publishing Co. located at 1701 Stewart Drive, R.R.. 3, Cavan, Ontario L0A 1C0 at $16.95 per copy and $3.00 for shipping and handling.
Word has reached Regimental Headquarters that MGen Barry W. Ashton was a candidate for the Calgary Co-op Board of Directors. The Calgary Co-op operates 17 outlets in the city with nearly 350,000 members and annual sales of $580 million in 1998.
We wish him well in this endeavour.
Reserves 2000 is a coalition of Canadians concerned with the security and defence of Canada. It now publishes a periodic newsletter called "Communique" which keeps Canadians informed on defence matters particularly as it affects the Reserve Forces. Copies may be procured from its offices at 82A Church Street, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2G1.
|Colonel Charles Osborne Dalton, DSO, KStJ, ED, the last surviving D-Day Company Commander of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, passed away in Toronto on 21 February 1999 at the age of 88.
Born in Toronto, Colonel Dalton enlisted in the Queen's Own Rifles Cadet Company in 1925 at the age of 15. A year later he joined the 2nd Battalion. He was sent to England in March 1940 as an instructor in the Canadian Infantry Training Unit until rejoining his Regiment in 1943 in the rank of Major to assume command of B Company.
Colonel Dalton led B Company on D-Day landing on the beaches of Bernieres-sur-Mer in front of a concrete strong point where his company underwent fierce machine gunfire. Almost half of B Company was lost in the initial dash across the beach. He suffered a severe head wound but continued to lead his men knocking out one of the pill boxes himself. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership and bravery.
He was evacuated to a hospital in England and after recovery he returned to the Regiment serving through the Channel Ports campaign. He was made second-in-command of the unit during the Battle of the Rhineland and served as such until end of the war.
On return to Canada, he joined Carling Breweries becoming President of the Company in 1951. He later became Executive Vice President of Canadian Breweries.
|Not only was Colonel Dalton a courageous soldier and an inspiring leader, he was also an astute businessman, a devout Christian, a loving husband and father, and a dedicated volunteer in several charities.
Colonel Dalton is survived by his wife Helen, two sons Christopher and Ian, and two daughters June and Faith and eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
LColonel Orson Allen Nickson, DSO, CD, CM, Company Commander of C Company on D-Day and throughout the war, passed away in Victoria, B.C. on 10 January 1999.
Colonel Nickson's rifle company played an important role on D-Day and in battles leading to the capture of Carpiquet, the securing of Giberbville and the clearing of Boulogne where he was wounded. After recovery from his wounds, he resumed command of C Company until war's end.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership and courage throughout the war.
He leaves his wife Virginia and his children Bruce, Thomas and Elizabeth.
Mr. R.L. (Robert) Bennett of Authie, France.