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Fallen Comrades (retired members)

big bad john

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We have to honour those who came before.  "If you don't know where you're coming from, how do you know where you're going".
 

big bad john

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Major Dick Rubinstein
(Filed: 28/02/2005)

Major Dick Rubinstein, who has died aged 83, won the MC and the Croix de Guerre serving on SOE Jedburgh missions in France and Burma.

 

On the night of August 6 1944, Rubinstein's team was parachuted into Brittany, north-east of Vannes. The "Jeds" were not spies, but primarily a liaison force, and Rubinstein was wearing the uniform of a British paratrooper and a captain's badges. He was armed with a.45 Colt revolver, M1 carbine and commando knife and was carrying five million francs for local supplies and wages for the French Resistance.

The money was handed over at the HQ of the Forces Français de L'Interieur and for the next week the team were concealed in a small oyster farm. Working with the SAS and the FFI, they helped with the landing of gliders carrying arms for 3,000 men and harassed the German garrisons in the naval bases. By the end of the month, most of the region had been cleared of the enemy. On his return to England, Rubinstein had to pay customs duty on a silk dress that he had bought for his wife.

On September 15, Rubinstein and his team were dropped by night into the Jura, south-east of Besançon, to assist the local Maquis in attacking the Germans along the Allies' main axis of advance from the south. After the setback at Arnhem, a Rhine crossing that autumn was ruled out and the team concentrated on reporting on enemy troop movements. When they were ordered to make their way home, they split up for safety reasons. Rubinstein found a German motorbike but ran into the French Army and was promptly arrested and tied to a tree while his future, which seemed likely to be short, was deliberated.

He persuaded his captors to verify his credentials by calling SOE HQ with a coded message giving his house number in London. He was released and flew back to England in October. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre and was mentioned in despatches.

In December 1944, Rubinstein was attached to SOE Force 136 and, the following month, was parachuted by night into Burma with two comrades. He said later that, despite being a veteran, before the drop he had "felt rotten all afternoon; very frightened and also irritated by the non-op types who kept saying, 'Don't worry, old boy, the chute won't open anyway.'" Guided by fires, the team was dropped in the Kutkai area of northern Burma to reinforce an SOE intelligence group led by Bill Howe, a former rice buyer. The "Jeds" sustained themselves on fruit, rice with chillies, stewed meat along with bartered eggs, buffalo milk and the odd chicken. They lived with the Burmese, sleeping in thatched huts or in the open under mosquito nets.

Intelligence on the movements of the Japanese was supplied by the local Kachin, tough, cheerful, hill people fiercely loyal to the British. Rubinstein organised fighting patrols composed of guerrilla groups who would set up concealed camps, reconnoitre for enemy bivouacs and attack at night, often going in close with their short swords. Japanese military targets were ambushed, roads were mined and convoys shot up.

Rubinstein's men were in action almost every day and by the end of February 1945, they had taken a heavy toll of the enemy. In March, General Chiang Kai-Shek's forces arrived from the north. The next month, in an operation code-named "Chimp", Rubinstein and his five-man squad were dropped into a dry river valley surrounded by forest north of Pyinmana. Two of them fell in the trees but by the time the Japanese had arrived they had made their getaway.

The Army was badly in need of intelligence about Japanese troop dispositions and Rubinstein raised 200 guerrillas through the local leader of the Communist Anti-Fascist Organisation. During the month, they ambushed enemy troops, called down air strikes on strategic targets, and captured arms and ammunition.

A Japanese major-general, six of his staff and 17 other ranks were killed in one ambush. Important documents found with them were despatched immediately by runner to General Slim's forces. When the news of this coup reached London, it had a marked effect on the willingness of the military planners to increase support for Force 136, the SOE and the Burmese resistance.

In June, Rubinstein was moved to Toungoo with orders to stop the Japanese crossing the Sittang and making for the border with Siam. So successful was his Burmese force that he questioned the number of kills reported. Proof was then produced in the form of amputated right ears carefully wrapped in green leaf packages.

Rubinstein afterwards estimated that his force of 1,000 fighters had accounted for 2,500 of the enemy as well as taking 200 prisoners. In October, after the Japanese surrender, he was posted to Calcutta to organise the reception and care of agents being withdrawn from operations. He was awarded an immediate MC.

Richard Arthur Rubinstein, the son of an importer of millinery, was born in London on August 29 1921. His grandfather, a Latvian Jew, had come to England in the early 19th century.

Young Richard went to University College School and won a place at Imperial College to read Aeronautical Engineering. But the outbreak of war intervened and he enlisted in the Royal Engineers and was posted to 321 Company 26 Anti-Aircraft Battalion.

After being granted a commission, he commanded a searchlight troop in Norfolk, travelling by motor-bike on a 50-mile circuit to control six searchlight sites and 80 men. In 1943, he was promoted captain and had 24 searchlights in his charge.

He then volunteered to serve in Occupied Europe and, after intense training, including parachute jumps at Ringway, was recruited into an SOE Jedburgh team.

In February 1946 Rubinstein returned to England from Burma to find that his parents' house had been destroyed by a bomb. He took charge of a POW camp in Devon for a few months and was then demobilised. He then spent two years at Imperial College and, after a spell with ICI, joined De Haviland Hawker Siddeley at Hatfield, Hertfordshire. He was later responsible for selling the company's gas turbine control systems to the Royal Navy and stayed with the organisation until he retired in 1986.

In retirement, Rubinstein lived in Hendon, north London, but his holiday home was a small boat moored on the Beaulieu River. He and his wife, Gay, spent many happy summers cruising on the Solent. He was an active member of the Special Forces Club and used to arrive for meetings on his motor-bike until he was close to 80.

He was proud of his Jewish roots but converted to the Church of England so that he could share his faith with his wife.

Dick Rubinstein died on February 23. He married, in 1943, Gay Garnsley, who survives him with their two sons.
 
 

big bad john

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March 01, 2005 - Sgt WE (Bill) Brown
Sgt Bill Brown of 2 Cdo died Sunday morning at the University Hospital in Edmonton at the age of 71 . Bill served with the PPCLI from 1950 through to 1970 when at that time joined the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Edmonton until 1976 serving for 26 years .

He served in 2 separate tours in Germany while with the PPCLI and in Cyprus with 2 Cdo of the Canadian Airborne Regiment .

Billy as he was known died after a long bout with Huntington's Disease passed away in his sleep . He is survived by his 4 sons Michael, Barry, Stacy and Roger and 8 Grandchildren .

A memorial service will be held March 4 2005 at Park Memorial Funeral Home in Edmonton at 3:30 p.m.

 

XHighlander

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i tried to start a similar thread just after the D-Day Anniversary......... but there seems to be no takers.......... until now............ thanks Mike for the site and for the opportunity to show case my father's collections......... in the insignia section..........

http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/16836.0.html
 

Edward Campbell

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Joseph "International Joe" Grigas DCM departed this life early on 08 March 2005 in the Western Counties Wing of Parkwood Hospital in London
Ontario.

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, USA Joe was born on 15 February 1915. A self-described loner with a family that was not close he marched through life to his own drum. After serving a short enlistment in the US Army (14th Inf Regt in Panama Canal Zone) in the early 1930's Joe went to Spain as a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigades of the Republican Army. He was captured by the Fascists and spent a year and a half in captivity before being released. He returned to the USA and in 1940 went to Montreal to enlist in the Canadian Army (Active). He joined The Royal Canadian Regiment in England. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions in leading his Section in the successful attack and capture of an Italian Coastal Artillery Battery at Pachino on 10 July 1943.

Joe was wounded and captured (again) at Regalbuto in Sicily but was left behind by the retreating Germans in an Italian hospital. On rejoining The RCR Joe continued to serve until mid 1944 when he was invalided out.   He returned to the USA where he spent the next half-century living, sometimes quietly sometimes not, on the fringes of society - hand to mouth but never with his hand out for a handout.

Betrayed by his advancing years and increasing infirmity Joe related his story to a friend, Mr. Bill Carrick of Worcester.   Bill contacted The RCR and before too much time had passed Joe found the country he had once helped was willing to help him. Joe complained as only a soldier can (or has the right to) complain and when his complaining faded we knew the end was near. We thank the staff of 4th Floor Bruce at Parkwood for helping to smooth some of the bumps in the road on Joe's final journey. Cremation has taken place.

A Regimental Association Memorial service will be held at the Wolseley Barracks WO's and Sgt's Mess at 1100 on Saturday 12 March 2005.

Memorial donations to The RCR Museum, 750 Elizabeth St, London ON N5Y 4T7 would be appreciated by his Regimental family. That is where some of the stories of Joe and his generation are told.

PRO PATRIA

--------

D105811 Private Joseph Grigas

" On 10 Jul 43 in vicinity of PACHINO Airfield "A" Coy The Royal Canadian Regiment

of which Pte Grigas was a soldier was operating against enemy coastal

defences.   At 1000 hours the Coy commenced an assault on a coast defence

battery immediately north of Pachino Airfield. Pte Grigas's Sec Comd became a

casualty.   Pte Grigas took command of the section and, advancing under heavy

fire managed to reach the perimeter wire.   The remainder of the Coy was by this

time pinned to the ground. Pte Grigas breached a gap in the wire and led his

section through to assault the enemy concrete posts which were knocked out in

quick succession.   Although Pte Grigas' section was the only section of the Coy

to enter the battery position the attack was led with such determination that it

caused the surrender of the garrison of approximately two hundred men and in

the capture of four 9.2" howitzers and large quantities of ammunition, small arms

and stores.   The personal gallantry, determination and leadership of Pte Grigas

was largely responsible for the success of this operation."


 

Edward Campbell

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Maj. (Ret'd) Richard D. Medland, D.S.O, C.D. died recently at the age of 85.

Dick was the first Coy commander of A Coy when was 2RCR was activated in 1950. He served with 2RCR in Korea and was Bn 2IC when 2RCR went to Germany in 1953.   The photo, below, shows him when he commanded the RCR contingent at the coronation in 1952.   Art Johnson will recognize some of the faces.

 

Edward Campbell

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I don't know why it took so long to print this.

From today's Globe and Mail at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20050323.OBCOWAN23/TPStory

JAMES COWAN, ARMY OFFICER 1928-2005
As a raw lieutenant, he took command in the middle of a battle in the Korean War and was recommended for the Military Cross

By BUZZ BOURDON
Wednesday, March

OTTAWA -- Jim Cowan achieved a rare distinction for an inexperienced 22-year-old army officer when he took command of his infantry company in the middle of a battle. On May 30, 1951, he was a lieutenant with the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, commanding a platoon of 35 infantrymen during their first major action in the Korean War when his company commander was wounded.

Mr. Cowan's seniority got him the job, said John Woods of Ottawa, one of two other platoon commanders during the battle of Kakhul-Bong almost 54 years ago. "John Strickland of 9 Platoon had lost three-quarters of his platoon in the first five minutes of the attack. [My platoon] came up and took over his position, so Jimmy and I fought side by side up the hill."

Suddenly, word came that their commander, Major Harry Boates, had been hit by a Chinese mortar bomb. Mr. Cowan sprinted breathlessly over to Mr. Woods. "What date was your commission?" he asked.

Even in the middle of a battle, it was important for officers to observe certain professional niceties. "Feb. 16, 1948," Mr. Woods replied.

"That gave him three months seniority over me, [which] entitled him to take over the company."

They discussed what to do next. "We thought about making a full bayonet charge with both platoons, but we decided . . . it would have been suicidal."

The Second Battalion, which had formed at Camp Petawawa, Ont., less than a month after North Korea invaded South Korea on July 25, 1950, had trained at Fort Lewis, Wash., before shipping out on May 4, 1951. Placed under the command of the 25th U.S. Division, it had been advancing north of Seoul when it was ordered to capture the heavily fortified 500-metre summit of Kakhul-Bong and the village of Chail-li beyond it.

D Company, including Mr. Cowan and his men of 10 Platoon, had been told to take the main objective -- the twin peaks of Kakhul-Bong. At 6:30 a.m., Major Boates sent his three platoons leapfrogging forward until they were pinned down by Chinese machine-gun fire. A driving rainstorm that started at 7 a.m. didn't help matters. Not long after, Major Boates was wounded and Mr. Cowan took over the attack.

"Jimmy was very cool and very professional," said Mr. Woods, who remained a lifelong friend. "The way he accepted the responsibility of taking command was very impressive."

A handful of men advanced to within six metres of the summit of Kakhul-Bong, only to be stopped by heavy fire. "Victory was so near -- yet so far. Below, the Chinese could be seen concentrating in substantial numbers for a counterattack," wrote G. R. Stevens in The Royal Canadian Regiment, Volume Two, 1933-66.

"Determined to deny them access to the Chorwon Plains -- to which Kakhul was virtually the key -- the enemy opened up with mortar and artillery fire. In pelting rain and with no high ground for observation, it was obvious he was firing from guns which had been previously dug in and ranged," wrote correspondent Bill Boss of The Canadian Press. For three hours, both Mr. Cowan and Mr. Woods deployed their platoons "in a bombardment not seen by this correspondent since . . . the Second World War."

Mr. Cowan radioed battalion headquarters that his right flank was entirely exposed, reported that 3,000 Chinese soldiers in the valley below were preparing a counterattack and said he had only 70 men left. Brigadier-General John Rockingham, commander of 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, ordered him to disengage.

Second Battalion had suffered six dead and 25 wounded. Both Mr. Cowan and Mr. Woods were recommended for the Military Cross. Years later, Mr. Cowan, who had been wounded that day, said that "becoming a company commander while under fire is an experience no young man ever forgets."

The son of a Toronto police officer, Mr. Cowan joined the cadet corps of the 48th Highlanders of Canada at 13. He was commissioned into the regiment seven years later before volunteering for the regular army in 1950. After the Korean War, he followed the conventional career path of thousands of officers, including battalion and staff postings in Canada and Europe.

In 1953, he enjoyed an unusual job for an army officer when he cruised the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific as ground-liaison officer aboard the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent. While in Halifax aboard Magnificent, he met a navy nurse named Betty-June Ballantyn and they became sweethearts. Then, after spending a number of years in Vietnam and Laos as part of the International Truce Commission, Mr. Cowan returned home in 1957 and they married.

The next 13 years saw Mr. Cowan and his family assigned to postings around the world, including stops in India, Germany and the United States. He commanded his original unit, the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, in Soest, West Germany, from 1968 to 1970. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1982 as a brigadier-general. He later spent seven years as CEO and priory secretary of St. John Ambulance.

Brigadier-General James Albert Cowan was born on Sept. 30, 1928, in Toronto. He died of lung cancer on Jan. 1, 2005, in North Bay, Ont. He was 76. He is survived by his wife, Betty-June, sons Ian and Scott and brother Bill.

He was predeceased by his brother Dave and his sister Jean.

He will be interred with full military honours in Ottawa's National Military Cemetery in May.

'Big Jim' Cowan was my CO and, later, a friend.

 

bossi

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Well - what can you say about a fellow who'd testify "... "Only if you were disguised as a doughnut or covered in gravy." ..." ... RIP, good soul.  :salute:

Paul Edward Burden [DFC, CVSM]
By CARL G. ERICSON and ERIC M. WRIGHT
Globe and Mail, Monday, March 28, 2005 Page A16

Second World War hero, husband, father, grandfather, community leader. Born Aug. 7, 1920, in Pokiok, N.B. Died Feb. 18 in Fredericton, of Parkinson's Disease, aged 85.

Born and raised on a farm, he attended Montreal's MacDonald College, but left after one year to join the RCAF at the age of 19, enlisting on June 27, 1940. Paul was posted to the United Kingdom in 1943. As a pilot with the 434 Squadron and 405 Pathfinder Squadron respectively, Lieutenant Burden remained active until war's end, completing 43 missions.

In the post-war period, the story circulated that Paul flew a Lancaster bomber under the Carleton Street Bridge in Fredericton on his way to an air show, and decided to "salute" his mother on the way. This became one of this city's most famous and enduring myths. He was often questioned about it, and took great delight in never denying it. There was a military hearing to investigate the allegations, and although the air force testified that his was the only Lancaster in the air at that time of day, nevertheless he was acquitted. A RCMP officer testified that he was about to walk across the intersection of Carleton and King Streets and he was glad he looked both ways because there was a Lancaster bomber coming up Carleton Street.

Paul received his demobilization from the air force in 1946. During his career as an airman, Paul was awarded (among others) the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery; the France-German Star, 39-45 Star; the Canadian Volunteer Service medal and clasp, and the Victory medal for wartime service.

In recognition of service to country and community, he also received the Queen's Coronation, Silver Jubilee, Centennial and Golden Jubilee medals; Canadian Corps of Commissionaires Meritorious Service, Canadian Corps of Commissionaires Long Service and Fédération des Combattants Volontaires Alliés Canada medals.

He was devoted to his wife of 58 years, Iris, whom he met overseas and who served in the air force. They shared the joys and challenges of eight children, 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He enjoyed raising and grooming both dogs and Peruvian Passover horses and often rode the latter in local parades in full regalia.

In civilian life, Paul was well-known in the stationery profession and took the ups and downs of business without complaint. He was an active community volunteer, and gave willingly of his time to many local, provincial and national organizations.

Paul brought one of the first Bullmastiff breed of dogs into Canada. Walter, a descendent, was the Bullmastiff who helped Paul run his stationery store and is the dog behind the story of Walter The Farting Dog, a best-selling children's story that has been read around the world. The actual Walter was always with Paul and usually sprawled outside his office.

Walter was involved in a small altercation one time, which lead to litigation and the plaintiff's lawyer questioned Paul regarding Walter's disposition and the likelihood of his turning vicious. He brought up the fact that he often met Paul at the post office in the mornings and noticed that Walter was usually sitting in his car. He posed the question whether Walter would bite him if he were to get in the car and pretend to steal it. To which Paul, replied: "Only if you were disguised as a doughnut or covered in gravy." This brought the proceedings to an immediate halt.

Those of all ages who knew Paul smile at his memory through our tears.

Carl and Eric are friends of Paul Burden.
 

bossi

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And then there were five ...
(I'm surprised this news was not reported more widely).

I've visited Holten several times, and have unwittingly visited his son's grave.   RIP, father and son.

Lazare Gionet
National Post, April 5th 2005
Nennifer Campbell, Canwest News Service
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oldest WWI vet was 109
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 600,000 Canadians enlisted to fight in the First World War. One in 10, or 60,000, died on the battlefields of Europe. Today, only five Canadians who set out to fight in the "War to End All Wars" remain. One more serviceman, Lazare Gionet, was, until his death on Friday, the oldest surviving Canadian participant in the war. In the lead-up to April 9, the anniversary of Canada's great victory at Vimy Ridge, CanWest News Service and the Dominion Institute relate the stories of these Canadian heroes.
- - -
Lazare Gionet was 20 years old when he set off in 1916 to enlist as a private with the First Depot Battalion. Born in Bas Caraquet in northeast New Brunswick in August, 1896, he was, until his death on Friday, the oldest surviving Canadian veteran of the First World War. ... [more]
++++++
Lazare Gionet (1896-2005)
l'Acadie Nouvelle - 4 avril 2005
http://www.capacadie.com/acadienouvelle/detail.cfm?id=109409

 

Jack Neilson

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Douglas Gunter, Army Officer 1921-2005 

By BUZZ BOURDON

Thursday, April 14, 2005 Page S9

Special to The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA -- Colonel Douglas Gunter loved organizing things, so when National Defence Headquarters told him in 1972 to expect a Royal visit to Canadian Forces Base Shilo, he found himself in his element. For three months, he was everywhere, planning, inspecting and double-checking everything. He resolved that Shilo, the home station of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, would be in tip-top shape for a visit to Manitoba by the Queen, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne.

Even his own family was involved. A possible rail strike meant they might have to be evicted to house the Royal Family. "When I told them that we might be moving out to make room for royalty, the children thought that would be exciting, while my wife, with her Irish heritage, was less enthusiastic," Mr. Gunter wrote in a 1993 family memoir.

His daughter, Anne Brigham, who was 10 at the time, recalled the havoc. "German shepherds were brought in to sniff for bombs. My mother's silver tea service was replaced by 'something better.' She was offended!"

The family was instructed on etiquette, she said. "I had to curtsey to the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles and Anne; my brother had to bow. My mother was a good girl and did what she was told for my father's sake."

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Finally, the big day arrived on July 13, 1970. Father and daughter made a final tour of the base at 9 a.m. to see that everything was ready. Then the weather, the one thing beyond Mr. Gunter's control, went haywire. Appalled, he could only watch in horror as the clouds unleashed lightning, thunder and pelting rain on the royal enclosure. "Vicious rains were soon blowing chairs, bunting and children horizontally across the prairie," he wrote.

In due course, the Royal Family arrived and took their places on a reviewing stand to watch paratroopers from the Canadian Airborne Regiment make a free-fall parachute jump. Other soldiers then demonstrated rappelling by sliding down ropes from a hovering helicopter. That's when the spit hit the fan. Unexpectedly, backwash from the helicopter struck with a prolonged blast of air. Hats went flying and soldiers arrived at a dead run to steady the dangerously teetering structure.

A young Princess Anne managed "to hang on to her hat while her lime-green mini-skirt was flying in all directions. The ever-alert members of the media rushed with their cameras to the front of the stand to capture the royal thigh on film," wrote Mr. Gunter.

Reacting quickly, he shielded her with his umbrella, earning him transatlantic kudos as "the gallant base commander, protecting the modesty of the young princess."

"Not since the days of Sir Walter Raleigh 400 years ago has such gallantry been seen," one newspaper reported.

Doug Gunter had joined the army in 1939 and attended the University of New Brunswick. He was posted to 12 Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. He landed in Normandy shortly after D-Day in 1944 and fought his way across France, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany.

In February of 1945, he took part in a major operation to clear the west bank of the Rhine River for the drive into Germany. The attack opened with 1,200 guns in the biggest artillery barrage of the war. "My guns started firing high explosive at 0400 hours -- the continual flashes of gunfire meant you could read a paper anywhere," he wrote. "We continued firing until 1600 hours."

Retired Major-General Reg Weeks of Ottawa first met Doug Gunter during the autumn of 1944. Operating about 150 metres behind the fighting, Mr. Gunter was acting as a forward observation officer, recording the fall and effect of artillery and calling in corrections amid the noise and confusion. A wrong move could mean untold casualties by friendly fire.

"I never knew him to make a mistake in bringing down artillery fire in the right place and the right time," said Mr. Weeks.

Those desperate months remained with Mr. Gunter for the rest of his life. "Our gun positions were usually littered with the purple, bloated bodies of horses, cows, pigs and enemy soldiers."

He never did become accustomed to the discovery of body parts. "I remember doing a reconnaissance for a gun position near a Dutch farm house. I discovered a teenaged girl and started to question her when artillery shells started to fall. We both dove for shelter in different areas. When the shelling stopped, I found [her] decapitated body in the farm yard. That I found very disturbing."

After the war, Mr. Gunter transferred to the regular army, moving his family 17 times before he retired in 1974 as director of artillery. He served in Canada, Korea, Germany, Britain and Cyprus.

Mr. Gunter spent the next 10 years as the executive director of the Canadian Figure Skating Association.

Douglas Hayward Gunter was born on Mar. 22, 1921, in Saint John, N.B. He died of cancer on Mar. 4, 2005, in Ottawa. He was 83. He leaves his wife, Josephine, children Anne and Richard, sister Dorothy and brother Harold.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050414/OBGUNTER14/TPObituaries/
 

Haggis

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Major Roger Courchesne (Retired Air Force Pilot).

Surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer, Roger passed away on Friday, June 10, 2005.  He is survived by his wife Claire Caron, son Richard, daughter Chantal (Jamie Risk) and his grandson William.  He will be missed by his mother Lucille, his brothers sisters, relatives and friends. 

Roger was employed by Director Human Resources Information Management (DHRIM) following his retirement from the Regular Force.  He was well liked and well respected by civilians and CF members alike within the Directorate and in the wider CF/DND HR community.

A memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. at the St-Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 2757 St-Joseph Blvd., Orleans, Ontario followed by the military burial at Beechwood Cemetery.  A reception will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. the same day at the Officer's Mess, 158 Gloucester Street.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the Hospice at May Court or the Cancer research Foundation would be appreciated.  www.rogercourchesne.ca



 

Gunner

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Major-General (retd) William Arnold Howard CM CMM CD QC


Maj.-Gen. Howard was born in Calgary to the late Horace and Elizabeth Howard (nee Johnson) on Oct. 19, 1918.  He was educated in the public school system and graduated in law from the University of Alberta in 1941.  Called to the Bar in 1942, he began practicing in 1946 and remained active in his profession until 1993.

The general enjoyed an outstanding military career, beginning with the University of Alberta Canadian Officers' Training Corps and later as a member of the Calgary Regiment and the 15th Alberta Light Horse.  He was enrolled as a lieutenant in the Canadian Active Service Force in 1942 and served overseas from January 1945 to August 1946. 

Upon discharge from the CASF as a captain, he joined The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) (Militia) and in October 1954 became the commanding officer.  In 1961 he was appointed Commander 22 Militia Group and in 1963 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier.  He became militia advisor for western Canada to the deputy chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves) in 1965 and on Jan. 10, 1970 he was named to the new appointment of Major-General Reserves.

Following retirement as an active reservist, Maj.-Gen. Howard served in the posts of Colonel Commandant Royal Canadian Army Cadets (1973-78), Honorary Colonel The King's Own Calgary Regiment (1978-87) and Colonel Commandant Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (1987-90).  His dedication to matters military extended to the presidency of the RCAC Association in 1959, the chairmanship of the Conference of Defence Associations in 1970 and the presidency of the Royal Alberta United Services Institute.  He was also the past Alberta chairman of DND's National Employer Support Committee.

The general found time also to support his province and his beloved community of Calgary.  He served in leadership roles with the McLaurin Foundation for Hearing Deficiencies, the development committee for the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary, Canadian Corps of Commissioners (Southern Alberta), Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation, Calgary Military Museums Society, Calgary Police Museum Society, Council for Canadian Unity, Sir Winston Churchill Society, Senator Stan Waters Memorial Foundation and the Calgary Police Commission.  He enjoyed his memberships in the Ranchmen's Club, Calgary Golf & Country Club, Glencoe Club and the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

Professionally, Maj.-Gen. Howard was a past president of the Calgary Bar Association and a member of the Alberta Law Society and the Canadian Bar Association.  He was Counsel to the law firm of Howard, Mackie, where he was senior partner 1958-93.  He held numerous directorships on Canadian and international corporate boards.

The general married Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of the late George and Mary Hannah, on April 8, 1950.  The couple had two sons, John Arnold and William George, and two daughters, Mary Louise and Barbara Joanne.  William died in Malaysia in 1975 whilst serving with Canadian University Students Overseas (CUSO).

Maj.-Gen. Howard's service to the nation were recognised by his appointment to the Order of Canada and his military contributions earned him the accolade of Commander of the Order of Military Merit.  The government of Alberta acknowledged his legal skills when he was made a Queen's Counsel in 1955.
 

tomahawk6

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My condolences on the death of Maj.-Gen. Howard. He made a difference.
 

wotan

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Excellent post, but a sad loss.  I'll toast the good General tonight.  Cheers.


 
B

Blacknight

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Pro Patria to any other RCR..I spent thirty years in the Military and followed in my fathers footsteps to serve in the Military like he did. My Father passed away March 19 2005 after suffering a lengthy illness due to Parkinsons. George Thomas Grigg was born Dec. 19, 1924. He served in the second world war as a Bren gun driver. He then transferred to the Air Force as an Armorer and then had the opportunity to train in a new Radar trade. I know my father was proud of me as I was of Him for his service to our country and its time of need :cdn:
 

bossi

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Jul. 4, 2005. 10:06 PM
Mountie (former CF) dies after cruiser hit by truck

CANADIAN PRESS

MILLET, Alta. - A Mountie was killed and another officer injured today after a parked cruiser was rammed by a truck on a flat, straight section of the main highway south of Edmonton, RCMP say.
A male officer in another cruiser was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries and released. The driver of the truck was being questioned by police.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan identified the dead officer as Const. Jose Agostinho, a nine-year member of the RCMP.

The death was another blow to the Alberta RCMP still recovering from the fatal shooting of four officers near Mayerthorpe in March. James Roszko gunned down the Mounties on his farm before taking his own life.

"It is just a shock," said RCMP Cpl. Al Fraser. "There is a great deal of pain in our organization here with Mayerthorpe and this incident. I can only imagine what they are going through right now in Wetaskiwin."

Agostinho was responding to another traffic accident when his vehicle was struck from behind, said Jules Xavier, a photographer with the Wetaskiwin Times-Advertiser who was on the scene moments after the crash.

"The semi-trailer smacked into the back of the cruiser, forcing it across the north lanes of the QE2, across the median, and across the southbound lanes into the ditch on the southbound side," Xavier said.

"By that time the vehicle was just crumpled up like an accordion."

Xavier said the officer's body was removed from the wreckage and a crew member from an air ambulance unsuccessfully tried to revive him.

Agostinho, 45, leaves a wife and two children. He was previously posted in Cold Lake, Alta., and also served in the Canadian Forces, McLellan said in a news release.

"This event is a sad reminder of the sacrifice and bravery of the men and women who serve in our national police force and who dedicate their career and their lives to protecting our country and our communities," McLellan said.

McLellan, who is the minister responsible for the RCMP, also offered her condolences to Agostinho's family and colleagues.

Traffic was rerouted from the Queen Elizabeth II Highway near Millet onto secondary roads and highways for hours as police investigated the accident.

Queen Elizabeth II Highway is the main north-south thoroughfare between Edmonton and Calgary.

The stretch of highway where the accident occurred is straight and level. Visibility in the area at the time of the accident was good, Fraser said.

"The road is straight as an arrow. You have a minimum two kilometre sightline" he said.

"Not a hill, not a mound, not a dip. Straight."

Formerly known as Highway 2, it was given the new name by the province to honour the Queen during her recent centennial visit to Alberta.

Millet is about 50 kilometres south of Edmonton.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1120513809860&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037&t=TS_Home
 

tynanfromBC

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A lot of you fella's are very lucky to know these things about your grandparents, or your CO's.

My grandfather died at the age of 84 in 2003. He joined at the age of 20, in 1939, as an armoured soldier(tanks... forgive me please, i don't know much of this military lingo), he was a young LT. who served in the army until the age of 45. Trained young recruits while deployed in england in the early parts of the war, fought in normandy, belgium, and holland. Lost half of his right sholder, and chunks of his skull when a grenade went off under his tank. In 1945 he decided to stay in the army. I don't know if he volunteered for the south pacific campaign, or if he was even able to, i doubt he would have, he had enough of death. After the war, he had my family tromping around europe while he was constantly redeployed, later to send his wife and son to quebec, while he was stationed in india. After his retirement from the military, he served as a proud member for the faculty of law at the University of british columbia, where he spent the next 20 years. Retired for what he thought was good, got bored basically, and became a marriage commissioner.

My grandfather never told anyone about his experiences in the army, or during the war until he was diagnosed with Cancer in 2002, but decided it was a good idea to give his 8 grandchildren an idea of what he did. He never wore his uniform on rememberance day, he never bragged about any medals he may have, he was simpley proud of who he was. He was a well respected man, as hundreds attended his funeral. He died of cancer early in the morning with his relatives around him, do to Cancer.

Anyways, i thought i would just add this, hoping someone would take some time to read it, there are a lot of great stories here.

Currently i am looking for his military service records, but i have had no luck. Hopefully someone here can help me out. All i know about his time in the army, was that he commanded, or drove a tank nicknamed BOMB or BOMBtank.

Tynan
tmg123@hotmail.com
 

DogOfWar

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http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/07/20/obit.doohan.ap/index.html


LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command "Beam me up, Scotty," died early Wednesday. He was 85.

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) at his Redmond, Washington, home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.

The Canadian-born Doohan fought in World War II and was wounded during the D-Day invasion, according to the StarTrek.com Web site. He was enjoying a busy career as a character actor when he auditioned for a role as an engineer in a new space adventure on NBC in 1966. A master of dialects from his early years in radio, he tried seven different accents.

"The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding. So I told them, 'If this character is going to be an engineer, you'd better make him a Scotsman.' "

The series, which starred William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as the enigmatic Mr. Spock, attracted an enthusiastic following of science fiction fans, especially among teenagers and children, but not enough ratings power. NBC canceled it after three seasons.

When the series ended in 1969, Doohan found himself typecast as Montgomery Scott, the canny engineer with a burr in his voice. In 1973, he complained to his dentist, who advised him: "Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."

"I took his advice," said Doohan, "and since then everything's been just lovely."

"Star Trek" continued in syndication both in the United States and abroad, and its following grew larger and more dedicated. In his later years, Doohan attended 40 "Trekkie" gatherings around the country and lectured at colleges.

The huge success of George Lucas' "Star Wars" in 1977 prompted Paramount Pictures, which had produced "Star Trek" for television, to plan a movie based on the series. The studio brought back the TV cast and hired director Robert Wise. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was successful enough to spawn five sequels with the cast of the original TV show; other films, featuring cast members of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," have followed.

The powerfully built Doohan spoke frankly in 1998 about his employer and his TV commander.

"I started out in the series at basic minimum -- plus 10 percent for my agent. That was added a little bit in the second year. When we finally got to our third year, Paramount told us we'd get second-year pay! That's how much they loved us."

He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, adding: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."

James Montgomery Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia, youngest of four children of William Doohan, a pharmacist, veterinarian and dentist, and his wife Sarah. As he wrote in his autobiography, "Beam Me Up, Scotty," his father was a drunk who made life miserable for his wife and children.

At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. The chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.


Doohan (third from right) and the rest of the "Trek" crew in the film "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan."After the war Doohan on a whim enrolled in a drama class in Toronto. He showed promise and won a two-year scholarship to New York's famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where fellow students included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Richard Boone.

His commanding presence and booming voice brought him work as a character actor in films and television, both in Canada and the United States.

Oddly, his only other TV series besides "Star Trek" was another space adventure, "Space Command," in 1953.

Doohan's first marriage to Judy Doohan produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and their children were Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80.

In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line "Beam me up, Scotty" -- a line that, reportedly, was never actually spoken on the TV show.

"I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun."

 

Spr.Earl

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James may your Gods except you. :cdn: :salute:
Thank you for the entertainment you have have given me and others.

UBIQUE

P.S. They forgot too mention that after being wounded he remusterd to the Air Force and again he had some more close encounters.
Shit to be hit by 6 rounds from a machine gun on D.Day and live to become a International Icon old James' God was looking after him.

 

Kirkhill

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Lt. Edward Scott Buchanan C.E.  late of the Calgary Highlanders.

Scotty Buchanan passed away July 12th, 2005 at the Royal Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, England at the age of 48.  He was visiting family in Scotland and touring the UK with his wife when he succumbed to a condition of longstanding.  Despite this his death comes as a surprise to all.

He is survived by his wife Cathy, his mother Jessie, his brother Alan and his sister Hazel. 

Scotty came to Calgary in 1967 from the town of Stonehouse in Lanarkshire, Scotland where he was born.  He attended Bowness High School and later the University of Calgary.  His military career started with the Calgary Highlander Cadet Corps and progressed to the Calgary Highlanders where he became a RESO qualified officer, completing Phase IV at CTC Gagetown in the early 80's.  It was during this time that he was given the designation C.E. by his fellow course mates.  C.E. stood for Corps Envelopment.  During an advance to contact exercise on Shirley Road Scotty was Platoon Commander.  Not wanting to do the conventional frontal advance he opted for a long flanking approach.  Apparently he led his platoon in an excursion that saw the platoon emerge from an unexpected quarter and the position was assaulted and secured in classic fashion.  However the fact that the approach took 40 minutes to an hour displeased the DS and the assault had to be put in again.  The duration of the approach varies with teller, time since the event and the amount of beer.

At the Highlanders Scotty was well liked by his troops, being particularly appreciated for his concern for their well being, his enjoyment of their company and for the quality and variety of his training. He was also liked and respected by his fellow officers becoming something of a regimental fixture during the '80's.

Scotty would have made a fine regular force officer  but was disbarred due to a pin in his ankle installed as a result of an injury gained in pursuit of his other passion, rugby.  Scotty played for high school, university and city teams and coached many players during his life. 

Unable to pursue a military career Scotty became a high school teacher, teaching social studies in the Calgary system where his concern for his charges earned him many young admirers.  It also sometimes put him at cross purposes with others and the system.  He was not one to suffer fools gladly and firmly believed in the rightness of things.  At times this put him not just in professional jeopardy but in personal physical danger.  He was known to step in and break-up or defuse incidents amongst competing factions at schools where students had histories of assaults with baseball bats, knives, machetes and guns. His interventions were discouraged by authority.  He couldn't not intervene.

Scotty would eschew the label victim but in some respects he was.  He was a victim of his times and his society.  He followed an older path that many in modern society considered derisory.  Sacrifice, duty, honour, respect, loyalty, testing - these were Scotty's watch words. 

I have had reason to revisit the events of the massacre of Montreal Polytechnique of late, where 50 young men and two male professors left 10 young women to their fate at the hands of Marc Lepine (Gamil Gharbi).  I choose to believe that if there had been one man of Scotty's character in that group such an incident could not have occurred. 

With every lost Scotty our society is diminished.

I had the pleasure to serve with him and the privilege of calling him friend.

Safe home Scotty.

Christopher J. Pook - aka Kirkhill.

 
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