In This Issue

 

The Powder Horn

 


Volume 9 NOVEMBER 1999 Issue 2

People And Places

42 AND COUNTING...Congratulations to BGen D. A. Pryer, Honorary Colonel, and MGen H.C. Pitts, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, who have been awarded the third clasps to their Canadian Forces Decoration. They were presented with their clasps by Col. H.C.F. Elliott at a recent meeting of the Regimental Senate.

FOR PUBLIC SERVICE...Capt. Timothy Nelligan, a recently retired officer of the Militia Battalion, presented a magnificent trophy to the Regiment which is to be awarded annually to a serving member of the Battalion or a member of the Regimental family who displays outstanding public service. The trophy depicts St. Michael the Archangel - Patron Saint of soldiers and paratroopers - mounted on a wooden base. The recipient will receive a miniature replica of the trophy for retention while the main trophy will be held by the Officers Mess. Submissions for commendations for worthy candidates should be submitted to the Commanding Officer of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

VETERAN REMEMBERS COSENS...The article by WO John Wilmot which appeared in the 1996 issue

of "The Rifleman" has prompted Ambrose Fougere of Havre Boucher, N.S. to write confirming the exceptional leadership abilities of Sgt Aubrey Cosens which he personally witnessed as a member of his platoon prior to and during the battle at Mooshof.

Ambrose joined the Queen's Own Rifles as a reinforcement Rifleman on 18 July 1944 and served with the unit until his evacuation due to illness on 11 March 1945. Ambrose was one of five brothers who served in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II, a rare occurrence among Canadian families.

THE ROYAL MEMORIAL CHAPEL...During a visit to the Royal Memorial Chapel at Sandhurst a few years ago, Col Paul F. Hughes of Calgary noted that the Queen's Own Rifles did not have its crest carved on the back of one of the pews in the Chapel even though it was entitled to have one. Col Hughes undertook the task of correcting this oversight by a corresponding with the Chapel and recently a letter was received from the Verger of the Chapel granting permission for the Regimental crest to be carved on one of the pews. Negotiations with a wood carver are in progress and the crest should be completed soon. 

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NON-VIABILITY SCARE...Press reports in June 1999 named the Queen's Own Rifles as one of 36 Canadian Militia units that was assessed as "non-viable" thus placing its continued existence in the Militia Order of Battle in jeopardy.

These reports came as a complete surprise to LCol B.G. McEachern, the unit's Commanding Officer, since the unit's Report Card of 30 September 1998 assessed the Queen's Own Rifles as viable in every aspect. On re-examination of all data, it was discovered that an error had been made with regard to funding allocation. The error has been corrected and the Queen's Own Rifles has been declared as a "viable unit" much to the relief of all concerned.

CALGARY BRANCH...Capt. Ralph Ridley reports that Calgary Branch of the Queen's Own Association celebrated the 139th Regimental Birthday in style on the 17th of April 1999 with a dinner at the Kennington branch, the Royal Canadian Legion. A large number of former Regimental members and their friends joined in the celebration. The 140th Regimental Birthday celebrations are planned for 22 April 2000. Details of the celebrations will be announced early in the new year.

Readers are reminded that on the third Friday of each month, several former Regimental officers meet for luncheon in the Mewata officers mess. The luncheon is open to all former Regimental officers who wish to meet old friends and spin yarns.

Calgary Branch was honoured by a visit from BGen S.F. Andrunyk, Regimental Secretary, who attended an

Association dinner held in conjunction with the official opening of the Alberta Gallery in the Museum of The Regiment's. The Queen's Own Rifles display in the Museum is intended to recognize the Regiment's service in Calgary over a period of some 20 years. The efforts of John Cresswell, members of the Calgary branch and others are most commendable in seeing this project come to fruition.
IN MEMORIAM
Capt. Orville N. Fisher, 3rd Canadian Division war artist during World War II, died in Vancouver on 13 July 1999 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife Margaret, three sons and one daughter.

Capt. Fisher landed with the 3rd Division on D-Day and painted many scenes of battle in North-West Europe that now adorn Museums and Messes throughout the country. One of these paintings, "D-Day Landing", hangs in the Queen's Own Rifles Officers Mess in Moss Park Armoury.

Capt. Fisher came to Toronto in 1993 at which time he signed 100 limited edition prints of the painting to promote the Regiment's Operation Normandie Return trip in 1994.

A few of the signed prints are still available in the Regimental Kit Shop at a cost of $150.00 each.

Mrs. Norma Hurst has requested that an announcement he published of the death of her husband, Ron V. Hurst, on 26 November 1998 at the age of 65. He served with the 2nd battalion in Victoria, Germany and Calgary.
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MUSEUM OF THE REGIMENTS - CALGARY
At an impressive ceremony before nearly 500 spectators, the Alberta Gallery of the Museum of Regiments in Calgary was officially opened on 18 September 1999. Col Ian Barnes, Director of the Museum, welcomed the guests of honour which included representatives from the Province of Alberta, the City of Calgary, Museums Alberta and the military.

The Alberta Gallery houses displays which among others include the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, the Canadian Women's Army Corps, Canadian participation in United Nations operations, and aboriginal contribution to Canada's war effort during World War II.

The Calgary branch of the Queen's Own Association is responsible for the inclusion of the Queen's Own Rifles display with MWO John Cresswell playing a leading role in the project. A fund raising drive to cover the costs of the display did not meet expectations and at the time of writing there is a deficit of about $2,000.00 which needs to be met. Members of the Calgary branch and others who served with the Regimental Depot, the 1st or the 2nd Battalions in Calgary are urged to make a contribution to the Trust Fund to eliminate the deficit.

For readers who have not visited the Museum of the Regiments in Calgary, a short description of the Museum seems appropriate. It is an officially accredited DND Museum and is housed in DND building L22 (the former Currie Barracks school). The mission of the Museum is to inform and educate the general public and in particular

youth, about Canada's military history by focussing on the sacrifice and commitment of the men and women of Southern Alberta.

The Museum facility contains four so-called lodger DND Museums which are referred to as Galleries. They are: The Lord Strathcona's Horse, The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, The Kings Own Calgary Regiment, and The Calgary Highlanders. There it is also a gallery titled "The Imperial Oil Gallery" which features a display called "The Alberta Field Force and the North West Rebellion 1885". In addition to these galleries, the facility contains an exposition gallery, a library, five archival areas, a 59 seat theatre, a board room, a cafeteria/gift shop, and outdoor amphitheatre and a vehicle exposition area. The whole complex covers an area of 12 acres.

To illustrate the magnitude of the Museum's operations, it employs a permanent staff of five people and a volunteer group of 109 persons who are involved in such areas as curatorial advice, hosting of visitors, programs, fund raising, research and a Board of Directors of 22 persons.

The Museum of the Regiments is reputed to be one of the finest military museums in Canada and is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Calgary. It has received rave reviews from all who have gone through its excellent exhibits and should be on the itinerary of all who visit Calgary, particularly former members of the Regiment who served in Calgary.

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REGIMENTAL MEMORIALS...LCol Steve Brand, former Commanding Officer, who has been the co-ordinator of Regimental memorials in North-West Europe reports that several projects will be undertaken in 2000. The Normandy plaques that were installed in 1960 and removed from the main pillbox to make room for the new plaques installed in 1997 will be relocated on the pillboxes flanking the main pillbox. They will face the sea thus being visible to beach walkers. The Book of Remembrance donated to Bernieres-sur-Mer in 1997 will be placed in a covered lectern similar to the one in St. Paul's Church in Toronto. The Book of Remembrance given to Le Mensil Patry has disappeared and another one will be presented to the town. Finally, the town of Oostburg plans to unveil a plaque commemorating the liberation of the village by the Queen's Own Rifles in 1944.

ASSOCIATION TRIP TO EUROPE...It would appear that the Toronto branch of the association has decided not to visit France in 2000, but instead make a pilgrimage to Holland to take advantage of that country's "Thank You Canada" program. The visit is planned during the first 10 days in May and not in June as had been originally planned. Readers who are interested in making the trip should contact the Toronto Branch of the Association through Regimental Headquarters.

REGIMENTAL BAND AND BUGLES...The Regimental Band and Bugles has announced its millennium concert series which will include the following programs:

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1999 AT 2:00 O'CLOCK P.M. "A family Christmas" featuring a wonderful arrangement of Christmas carols, and a narration of "'Twas in the Night Before Christmas".

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2000 AT 8:00 O'CLOCK P.M. "Happy 140th Birthday" featuring music that is dear to our Queen's Own hearts.

Consult the special brochure issued by the Regimental Band and Bugles for more details.

REGIMENTAL BIRTHDAY 2000... This will be celebrated in Toronto on April 29 with a Regimental Parade at Moss Park Armoury at 2:00 o'clock p.m.

A traditional Rifles ball will be held in the evening of the same day. Further details will be available in the New Year. 

OTHER DATES TO REMEMBER...

5 November 1999. Officers Annual Mess Dinner.

7 November 1999. Regimental Church Parade.

11 November 1999. Remembrance Day Service at St. Paul's Church.

18 December 1999. Annual Officers Mess Luncheon.

18 December 1999. Annual Children's Christmas Party.

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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 17 May 1999, under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy, President of the Trust Fund, to approve the 1998 audited Financial Statement, to allocate funds for appropriate expenditures in 1999, to elect Trustees for the coming year and to deal with other matters relating to the responsibilities of the Trust Fund.

Donations in 1998, including bequests, totalled $43,716 while expenditures amounted to $25,211 leaving a net balance of $18,505. It was noted by the Trustees that the major expenditures were incurred in producing and distributing "The Rifleman" and two issues of "The Powder Horn" at a total cost of over $11,000. Other expenditures included the cost of maintaining the Regimental Museum in Casa Loma, operating Regimental Headquarters, and paying the premium on the insurance policy covering Regimental property.

The Trustees approved the following expenditures for 1999 and for millennium celebrations in 2000.

ACTIVITY COST
Regimental Celebrations in the year 2000 $     5,000
Completion of Memorial Projects in Normandy 3,000
Militia Battalion Activities 5,400
"The Rifleman" 10,000
Two issues of "The Powder Horn" 2,800
Regimental Museum Upkeep 3,300
Insurance Premium on Regimental Property 3,200
Operation of Regimental Headquarters        1,900
Total $    34,600

The Trustees expressed in their gratitude to the donors who contributed to the Trust Fund in past years without whose financial support the Trust Fund could not meet its financial obligations. The Trustees recognized the significant increase in anticipated expenditures in 1999 and 2000, however, they were confident that members of the Regimental family would once again be generous in their financial support of the Trust Fund, particularly in light of the special Regimental celebrations to mark the Regiment's 140th Birthday and the Millennium.

Readers of "The Rifleman" and "The Powder Horn" who have not made a contribution to the Trust Fund this year are encouraged to do so before 31 December by using the proforma which it is included with this newsletter.

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THE CANADIAN VOLUNTEER MONUMENT...On the west side of University Avenue in Toronto stands a significant memorial to the men who volunteered to fight for Canada in the Fenian Raids in 1866 at Limeridge, a town located about 10 kilometres from Fort Erie.

The memorial is situated on the grounds of the University of Toronto and is maintained by Heritage Canada. Emblazoned on the sides of the memorial are the names of the men who either died from wounds received in battle or from disease contracted in service while defending the frontier in June 1866. The names of the men are: Ensign Malcolm McEachern, Lance Corporal Mark Defries Private Chris Anderson, Private William Smith, and Private Malcolm McKenzie.

The Monument is called "The Canadian Volunteer Monument campaign of June 1866 killed in action at Limeridge June 2 1866 Queen's Own Rifles".

The Monument stands approximately 15 metres high and is 6 metres wide. It is constructed entirely of brown sandstone and has deteriorated significantly due to the ravages of the environment. It is four cornered with four life size figurines on each corner squarely in the middle. There are two angels and two men dressed in period military dress. The top of the monument has a life size male figurines dressed in similar military attire. All of the figurines are carved in white marble.

In discussion with Heritage Canada, attempts are presently being made to partially restore and stabilize the sandstone structure by repointing the cracks securing

the base. They are doing this because the Monument is of great significance to the City of Toronto and it is the oldest free-standing monument in existence in the city.

MISSING PAINTING...One of three oil paintings by the late Captain Orville Fisher of the Queen's Own Rifles assault landing at Bernieres-sur-Mer on June 6, 1944 has been missing since the early 1970s. The painting has being recorded as stolen with the Toronto Police Service which means that it can be seized when found or offered for auction and its possessor charged with theft.

It would be preferable, of course, for the painting to be returned to the Regiment by its present holder. Confidentiality is assured through our tight-lipped Regimental Padre, Captain Craig Cameron, who can be reached at Battalion HQ at (416) 973-3281 or at home at (416) 229-6706.

SEASONS GREETINGS.

Seasons greetings are extended to all readers of "The Powder Horn" by:

BGen D.A. Pryer, Honourary Colonel, and MGen H.C. Pitts, Honourary Lieutenant Colonel and members of the Regimental Senate.

LCol J.G.B. Strathy, President of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Trust Fund and its Trustees.

LCol B.G. McEachern, Commanding Officer, the officers, non-commissioned officers and riflemen of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

 
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 pleased to enclose $........... as my donation to The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Trust Fund to support the Publication of "The Rifleman", "The Powder Horn" and those other Regimental activities that are not the responsibility of the Department of National Defence.

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

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

City and Province...................................................................................................

Postal Code............................................................................................................