Former Commanding Officers of The Calgary Highlanders
Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Palmer, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Palmer was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1981. In 2001, after four years as an Army Cadet, he joined the Calgary Highlanders as a reserve Infantry Officer. On completion of occupational training, he was employed as a Rifle Platoon Commander and Course Officer.
In 2005, LCol Palmer completed the U.S. Army PSYOPS Officer Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, graduating as the Distinguished Allied Honour Graduate. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 with the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group, and was employed as the PSYOPS Officer in the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team and as a duty officer in the Battle Group Tactical Operations Centre. Upon completion of the Information Operations Officer’s course, LCol Palmer deployed to Afghanistan again in 2008, this time on Op ATHENA, with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group as the S7 (Information Operations).
From November 2008 to May 2011, LCol Palmer was employed as Production Officer at Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Calgary. Over this period, he continued to support the Calgary Highlanders, initially as Second-in-Command “A” Company, and subsequently as the Operations Officer. Over this period, he also completed the Infantry Dismounted Company Commander’s Course and the Army Operations Course. From December 2011-July 2015, LCol Palmer was employed as Officer Commanding “A” Company of the Calgary Highlanders. In this role, he deployed on three major exercises as the 41 CBG Composite Infantry Company Commander, and served as the commander of a Domestic Response Company on Op LENTUS, the Canadian Armed Forces response to the 2013 Alberta floods.
In civilian life Lieutenant-Colonel Palmer is employed as a project manager at Blatant Media, a company that deploys e-learning solutions. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Calgary and the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. He is married, has a son, and is a fan of reading, hiking and cross country skiing.
Lieutenant-Colonel Simon J. Cox, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Cox was born in North York, Ontario in October 1978. Born into a military family, he grew up on several army bases across the country, including CFB Winnipeg, CFB Petawawa, CFB Calgary and Ottawa. Lieutenant-Colonel Cox graduated high school in Orleans, Ontario, where he excelled athletically, competing on the football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, track and field, and rugby teams. After high school, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Business Administration graduate degree specializing in Finance from the Haskayne School of Business.
LCol Cox joined the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve in 1998 as an Officer Cadet with The Calgary Highlanders. In his early years as an officer, he was employed as a Platoon Commander and the unit recruiting officer, progressing from the unit Junior Subaltern to Senior Subaltern and was placed in charge of the junior officer development cell helping to prepare junior officers for their phase training. In October 2002, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Platoon Commander with the 1 PPCLI Battle Group. After returning from a tour in Bosnia, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox was posted to the Canadian Parachute Centre in Trenton, Ontario where he served as the Administration Officer for the Canadian Forces Parachute Team, The SkyHawks. Lieutenant-Colonel Cox returned to The Calgary Highlanders in 2005 and was employed as second in command of Headquarters Company, followed by appointment as Battalion Operations Officer. From 2006 to 2008, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox worked as a staff officer at 41 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters in Calgary as G3 Ops 2. In 2007, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox transferred to 3 PPCLI for work-up training, where he successfully completed the Dismounted Company Commanders Course. In 2008, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox deployed to Afghanistan as a Company Commander Mentor in the Operational Mentor and Liaison team, partnered with an infantry company of the Afghan National Army, where he earned a Mention in Dispatches for his actions in combat against insurgent forces. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox completed the Army Operations Course in 2008-‘09 and was promoted to Major in October 2009. Lieutenant-Colonel Cox then served as the Battalion Operations Officer for one year and then was appointed as Officer Commanding “A” Company from 2010-2011. In 2012, Lieutenant-Colonel Cox moved to Houston with his civilian employment and is currently on exchange with the Texas Army National Guard, where he serves as the Chief of Operations, 72 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters. He was recognized for his service with the National Guard by admission to the Honorable Order of St. Maurice.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cox currently lives in Houston with his wife Telma and daughter Catherine. In his spare time, he is an avid hockey player and runner, who regularly competes in long distance races.
Lieutenant-Colonel Kyle W. Clapperton, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Clapperton was born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Airdrie, Alberta. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Heath Physiology and a Masters of Kinesiology degree in Exercise and Functional Fitness, both from the University of Calgary. LCol Clapperton has an academic interest in occupational fitness training and as partial fulfillment of his Masters degree, competed a study titled “Training for long distance load carriage in reserve infantrymen”.
In 1988, LCol Clapperton joined the local army cadet corps. Highlights of his six years with 3016 RCACC (Calgary Highlanders) include the Leadership and Challenge course at the Banff National Army Cadet Camp in 1992 and the Basic Parachutist course in 1993. LCol Clapperton joined the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve in 1994 as a Private with The Calgary Highlanders and shortly thereafter was accepted into the Reserve Entry Scheme Officers program. Initially employed as a Platoon Commander, he has subsequently been tasked in every command and staff role with in The Calgary Highlanders. Following Militia Command and Staff Course in 2003, LCol Clapperton has served as the Unit Operations Officer, Officer Commanding A Coy, Officer Commanding HQ Coy and Deputy Commanding Officer for The Calgary Highlanders. From February to August 2007, he was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as a trainer and mentor to the Afghan National Army at the Kabul Military Training Centre. He returned to Kabul in April 2010 to work at the Afghan Command and Staff College. Domestically, he served as the Deputy Commanding Officer of Task Force Silvertip, the 41 CBG contribution to Op LENTUS for the flood response in Calgary in June 2013. In September 2013, LCol Clapperton was promoted to his current rank and assumed command of The Calgary Highlanders. He completed the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Program at the Canadian Forces College in July 2014. In June 2017, he relinquished command of The Calgary Highlanders and after a term as a member of the Directing Staff for the Primary Reserve Army Operations Course delivered by the Canadian Army Command and Staff College, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of The Royal Regina Rifles in 2020.
LCol Clapperton lives in Calgary with his wife, Devan Kublik, and in his civilian career is employed with the Calgary Police Service as the Manager of the Health, Safety and Wellness Section. In their spare time, they enjoy travelling and adventures in the mountains to hike, mountain bike and ski.
Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Owens, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Owens was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He joined the Reserves while still in high school in January, 1990. Later that year he graduated from Strathmore High School in rural Alberta.
As a young Corporal he deployed to Croatia for OP HARMONY Rotation 2 in 1993 with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Upon his return to Canada, Corporal Owens completed his Infantry Section Commanders Course and numerous trade courses while working on his University degree. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Military History and International Affairs from the University of Calgary.
As a Master Corporal he took the option to become an officer in 1996 and completed his officer training as an Infantry Platoon Commander. Since that time Lieutenant-Colonel Owens has occupied all the normal positions for an infantry officer including Platoon Commander, Company Second in Command, Officer Commanding “A” Company, Unit Training Officer, Operations Officer, and Deputy Commanding Officer. He has completed the Militia Command and Staff Course, Infantry Dismounted Company Commanders Course, Army Operations Course, and Command Team Course. Lieutenant-Colonel Owens took command of The Calgary Highlanders on 6 November 2010.
In civilian life, Lieutenant-Colonel Owens started his own company, Blatant Media Corporation in 2002 that designs and deploys e-learning. Lieutenant-Colonel Owens is married to Sybil Cynthia Owens and has three sons, Callum, Macallister, and Harrison.
Command of The Calgary Highlanders passed to Lieutenant-Colonel Kyle Clapperton on 11 September 2013.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Vernon, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon was born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1963. The son of a career army officer, he moved regularly from base to base across Canada. He was an army cadet for four years and during that time completed the Basic Parachutist Course. In his final year of high school, he joined the Canadian Scottish Regiment as a private.
In 1981, Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon attended Royal Military College in Kingston, graduating four years later with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. He was commissioned in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and completed a Master of Arts degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax before joining his regiment’s Second Battalion in Baden-Soellingen, West Germany, in September 1986.
In Germany, Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon served as a mechanized rifle platoon commander, completed the Basic Mortarman Course, obtained his German jump wings, and played on his unit’s rugby team. When the battalion was repatriated in 1988, he was posted to Royal Roads Military College as a newly-promoted captain and squadron commander. One year later, he went to 3 PPCLI as second-in-command of C, and later Administration, Company. He finished his Short Service Engagement as a leadership and tactics instructor at the Infantry School at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. As a secondary duty, he edited the quarterly Infantry Journal.
On leaving the army in 1994, he and his wife, Sherri, moved to Calgary and shortly thereafter he spent a month in Croatia as a freelance journalist. On his return, he began working for CBC Newsworld as a researcher and later television news program producer. He is currently a videojournalist for the CBC TV supper hour news program “CBC News at Six”. During the spring of 2002 he was assigned to cover Canadian troops in Afghanistan and spent two months in Kandahar, Kabul, and Bagram.
Lieutenant-Colonel Vernon joined the Calgary Highlanders in 1999. Since then, he has completed a number of staff courses and served as the operations officer, officer commanding A Company, and deputy commanding officer. In 2003 he was the deputy commanding officer of Task Force Four, assigned to fighting forest fires near Okanagan Falls, BC. In 2006 he completed the Combat Team Commanders Course in Gagetown, New Brunswick. He was promoted to his present rank and assumed command of the Calgary Highlanders in October 2007. He commanded the Regiment during its Centennial year and handed over command on November 6, 2010. In 2019, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed as the Commander of 41 Canadian Brigade Group.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tom W. Manley, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Manley was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1964 and was raised and educated in southern Ontario, attending college in Toronto. His military career started in 1981 when he joined the 56th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery as a Gunner. He also served for a short time as a Rifleman with the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
After a brief hiatus from the military while attending college, Officer Cadet Manley was commissioned as a Regular Force infantry officer in 1986. Basic training, Infantry Officer training, and French language training followed, and 2nd Lieutenant Manley was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a platoon commander and Unit Training Officer.
Captain Manley then completed a tour of Cyprus as Company Administration Officer, then went to the Canadian Airborne Regiment as a platoon commander in Two Commando. He served briefly as Coordinator of Official Languages at CFB Calgary upon return from the Airborne, and then went to the 1st Battalion of the PPCLI with whom he served in the former Yugoslavia. He operated as second-in-command of Headquarters Company and was tasked also as Senior Duty Officer and Assistant Operations Officer, in which capacity he oversaw several battalion operations. He took command of Combat Support Company of 1 PPCLI upon his return to Canada.
In 1997, he attended the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College, following which he was posted to 41 Canadian Brigade Headquarters as the G3 (Training). In 1999, Captain Manley left the Regular Force, and joined the Calgary Police Service Calgary while also transferring to The Calgary Highlanders. Promoted to Major shortly thereafter, he was appointed as Officer Commanding “A” Company, a post he held for two years. After command of the rifle company, Major Manley became the Regiment’s Deputy Commanding Officer, a post he held for three years.
Major Manley left the Calgary Police Service in 2004 to operate his successful investment company in Calgary, the same year in which he attended the Joint Reserve Command and Staff College in Toronto. Following his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel and his tour of command, he accepted the position of Regimental Secretary.
Lieutenant-Colonel Francis “Lee” Villiger, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger was born in the British Medical Hospital in Iserlohn, West Germany. As the son of a PPCLI soldier, he was raised on numerous military communities living in Germany and Canada. Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger joined The Calgary Highlanders in 1983. He served in the ranks in “A” Company as a machine gunner until 1985 when he was commissioned as a Direct-Entry Officer. After serving as a Colour Party Ensign and Assistant Adjutant, Lieutenant Villiger served for two years as an infantry Platoon Commander. He progressed as an infantry company Second-in-Command and then served as Officer Commanding a rifle company
Throughout his military career, Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger has held positions of Museum Executive Officer, Pipes and Drums Officer, Adjutant, Operations Officer, Officer Commanding the Alberta Training Detachment, and he progressed onward as the Deputy Commanding Officer of The Calgary Highlanders. In this position he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Museum of the Regiments and the Calgary Military Museum Society. In 2016, he volunteered as the Regimental Secretary.
Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger has passed his Field Operations Examinations, his parachutist course, winter warfare training, the Intermediate and Advanced Classification Courses, the Presiding Officer’s Course, Militia Command and Staff Course, the Commanding Officers’ Course, and the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Course. He also attended the US Army Command and Staff College and completed their Adult Learning Instructor Course. Throughout his service, he has received no less than 4 top candidate trophies and 4 significant unit awards. Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger took command of The Calgary Highlanders March 9, 2002. Highlights of his command are the first joint field exercise with the 161st National Guard and the Celebration of 50 years held in 2002 with the 161st and the Proclamation with the City of Spokane. He has been the 41 Canadian Brigade Group Battle Group Commander on five exercises of the Alberta Reserves, three of which have been major live fire exercises. As the G9 of LFWA, he deployed to Afghanistan in May 2006 on a Technical Assistance Visit and further deployed as an Instructor to Palestine in 2010 under command of the United States Security Coordinator. The high point of his career was a personal visit with the Colonel-in-Chief, HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, July 31, 2003.
In his civilian life, Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger graduated from the University of Calgary in 1983 with a Bachelor of Education Degree and in 1994 with a Master of Education Degree in Administration. He was the founding school principal of Juno Beach Academy of Canadian Studies and later became principal of Central Memorial High School. Throughout his life, Lieutenant-Colonel Villiger has played college and semi-professional ice hockey, been an active fundraiser for school programs, and has coached numerous school and community athletic teams.
After his tour as Commanding Officer he was appointed the G-9 CIMIC (2005 -2007). From there he was posted to the Canadian Army Command and Staff College as the Infantry Directing Staff and later the Chief Standards Officer. He was subsequently assigned as an exchange officer to the US Army Command and Staff College where he taught the Staff Officers Course in Phoenix, Oregon and Washington State. He retired from the military after 32 years service in November 2015.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lee Villiger resides in Calgary with his wife, Karen. They have two sons, Kurtis, and Kenneth.
Lieutenant-Colonel Warren J Spaan, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel Spaan was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, and holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, as well as a Graduate Diploma from the University of Calgary. His military service began with 2856 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, followed by enlistment in The Lincoln and Welland Regiment in 1972 as a private soldier. He was commissioned there in 1976.
Lieutenant-Colonel Spaan moved to Calgary in 1981 to pursue a teaching career and went on to hold every command appointment in the Calgary Highlanders. He commanded the Regiment from January 1999 until March 2002, and then assumed the post of Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS), HQ 41 Canadian Brigade Group. In 2003, he deployed to Bosnia as the Task Force G3 followed by a deployment to Afghanistan in 2004 with Combined Forces Command Afghanistan (CFC-A) as a Strategic Planner. Upon return to Canada in 2005, he retired from his civilian teaching career and was attach-posted on full-time service to National Defence Headquarters (Ottawa) with the Chief Transformation (CT) office.
Lieutenant-Colonel Spaan was subsequently posted to the Strategic Joint Staff (SJS) as part of its stand-up team seeing service as the section head for Western Hemisphere Operations from February 2006 until August 2008 when he assumed the position of Senior Staff Officer – Readiness. He is a graduate of the Militia Command and Staff Course (MCSC ‘89), the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Course (JRCSC ‘97), the Advanced Military Studies Course (AMSC 5, 2002), and the Canadian Security Studies Program (CSSP 9, 2007). He and his wife Deidre Morton relocated their household to Brockville in 2011. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces 31 January 2014.
Lieutenant-Colonel RJ Goebel, CD
Richard James Goebel was born and educated in Kitchener, Ontario on 1 May 1952, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Wilfrid Laurier University. At age 17, Goebel had enrolled in the Highland Fusiliers of Canada in May 1967, and transferred to the Calgary Highlanders in March 1983 with the rank of captain. He served in the former Yugoslavia from May 1993 to June 1994 in high level staff positions. On 2 February 1997 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders, with his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel coming in April.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rick Goebel and his wife, Dr. Pamela Jayne Goebel, always brought life to regimental social gatherings. In the civilian world, Goebel worked for Goliger’s Travel in Calgary, and enjoyed a keen interest in military history, fitness activities, computer war gaming, singing and reading.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter LS Grime, CD
Peter Grime was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, being educated at the Forres Academy, Morayshire, Scotland and in 1972 graduated from the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, Surrey with a Short Service Commission in the British Army. Service with the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders followed in Osnabruck, West Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. The battalion later moved to Northern Ireland, and then CFB Suffield, Alberta in 1973. In 1974 he attended courses at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, and rejoined the QOCH in 1975 after graduation. His battalion was then posted in Germany, then back to Scotland and another tour of Northern Ireland. He also served as a Major in Belize, Central America, and in 1977 commanded the 81st Army Youth Team in Inverness, Scotland.
In 1980, Major Grime served on the Commonwealth team that supervised the independence of Zimbabwe, and later in the year returned to England to serve as an anti-armour platoon commander and instructor. Rejoining his battalion in 1983 as Officer Commanding Headquarters Company, he started another tour of Northern Ireland. He returned to CFB Suffield in 1985 as staff officer personnel and unit public relations officer for British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS). He returned to his duties as OC HQ Company in the now amalgamated Queen’s Own Highlanders at Munster, Germany in 1987.
Upon retirement from the British Army in 1989, he emigrated to Canada and joined the Calgary Highlanders the next year, acting as both staff officer with Southern Alberta Militia District and Deputy Commanding Officer of the Regiment. Promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel accompanied his appointment as Commanding Officer in 1994. He went on to act as Deputy Commanding Officer of Alberta Militia District in 1997.
In civilian life, he resided in Calgary with his wife Risa, and was employed by the Nova Corporation.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. Lynn Moffat, OMM, CD
Lieutenant-Colonel J. Lynn Moffat served a second term as Commanding Officer – an event unprecedented in Regimental history – beginning in September 1991. Two highlights of his second tour of command included the Regiment’s contributions to Operation Harmony in the former Yugoslavia, and the piloting of the Cooperative Education Military Program for Alberta Militia District, the Calgary Catholic School Board and the Calgary Board of Education. Lieutenant-Colonel Moffat retired from the Canadian Forces in February 1994, and from his teaching position with the Catholic Board in 1997. He went on to serve as President of the Tenth Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association and in the position of Regimental Secretary.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Allan G Maitland, CD
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Allan Maitland received his public education in Trenton, Ontario. In 1968 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Thomas University, Fredericton N.B. While at university he enrolled in the Canadian Officers Training Corps. On graduation he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the regular army and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. He served with that regiment for two years including a six-month tour of duty in Cyprus, and in 1970 began a further two years of service as a DND Regional Information Officer at Halifax.
Maitland left the regular army in 1972 to study law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, receiving his Bachelor of Law degree in 1975, serving in the Militia also during this period. In 1975 he moved to Calgary, articled, and joined the Regiment. After a short break from service he returned to the Calgary Highlanders as a company commander and deputy commanding officer. He commanded the Calgary Highlanders from 1989 to 1994. In civilian life he served as a partner in the firm of McNiven, Kelly and O’Neil, and resided in Calgary with his wife and daughters Heather and Jacqueline.
Lieutenant-Colonel Murray E Dennis, CD
Murray Dennis began his association with the Regiment in 1967 when he joined the Calgary Highlanders Cadet Corps. He joined the Militia in 1971 and rose to the rank of Sergeant before commissioning in June 1971, going on to hold most regimental appointments, including Band Officer (during his career he had also played in the Regimental Pipes and Drums as a tenor drummer). Promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel came at age 32 in September 1985, bringing his term as Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to a close; he had acted in that capacity for 10 years, serving three successive Lieutenant Governors.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) John E Fletcher, CD
John Fletcher served in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets from 1959-1961, after which he joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment as a private, and transferring to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry in 1962. He joined the Regular Army in 1964 as an Officer Cadet under the Regular Officer Training Program and graduated from McMaster University in 1968 with an Honours degree. Following graduation he served as a subaltern with 2 Transport Company of 2 Canadian Brigade Group, and later was posted to 2 Service Battalion as Administration Officer in the Supply and Transport Company.
He remained with 2 Service Battalion in CFB Petawawa until 1970, moving to staff duties with 5e Battalion des Services du Canada and the headquarters of 5e Groupement de Combat at Valcartier between 1971 and 1973. He left the Regular Force in 1973 as a Captain, and attended the University of Western Ontario to complete a Masters degree in Business Administration (1975) and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978. During his summers, he served as Ontario Cadet Movement Officer at CFB Trenton (1974) and Assistant Administration Officer at Camp Ipperwash (1976). He moved to Calgary in 1978 to work as a corporate lawyer, and joined 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion. Promotion to Major came in 1979, and he joined the Calgary Highlanders in 1982 as Commanding Officer in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After his tour as CO, he served as Governor of the Army Cadet League of Alberta, and then as an instructor at the Militia Command and Staff College. In 1987 he was made Deputy Commander of Southern Alberta Militia District, and assumed command of the District, in the rank of Colonel, in 1990. He relinquished command in 1994 and retired in 1996 as an officer at Land Force Western Area Headquarters.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) PF Hughes, CD
Following short engagements in the RCAF (Auxiliary) and the RCNR, Colonel Hughes joined the 3rd Battalion of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in Toronto as a rifleman in 1962. He was commissioned a year later and served with the 3rd Battalion for 15 years as Adjutant, Company Commander and Deputy Commanding Officer until 1977 when his civilian job took him to Calgary. In Calgary, Colonel Hughes served with the Southern Alberta Militia District and Western Militia Area until 1982 when he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders. On termination of that appointment he assumed command of Southern Alberta Militia District until his transfer to the Supplementary Reserve in 1987. Colonel Hughes continued to maintain a strong interest in the Militia with active involvement with the Alberta Army Cadet League, The Queen’s Own Rifles Association in Calgary, and the Regimental Trust Fund. A graduate of Queen’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science, Colonel Hughes worked for a brief time at Bell Canada as a management trainee before joining Xerox Canada Limited as a marketing representative. He remained with Xerox for 30 years holding a variety of management positions in Toronto and Calgary until his retirement in 1991. Colonel Hughes went on to serve as Vice President of Mark Staffing Solutions, Inc., a company founded by his wife Beverley and later jointly owned by them. Under their creative leadership, Mark Staffing Solutions grew to a multi-million dollar operation employing 20 people and became one of the largest suppliers of staffing in Calgary. In early March 2000, The Honorable Arthur E. Eggleton, Minister of National Defence, announced the appointment of Colonel Paul F. Hughes as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. Lynn Moffat, OMM, CD
J. Lynn Moffat joined the Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG) in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, serving as a corporal piper from 1954 to 1956. His post secondary education was begun at College Militaire Royal in St. Jean from 1956-1959, where he held the appointment of Cadet Flight Leader and Deputy Squadron Commander. In 1958 and 1959 he won the Marshall Memoir Award, and in the summer of 1959 won the Royal Canadian School of Infantry’s Sam Browne Belt award.
From 1959 to 1961 he completed his studies at the Royal Military College in Kingston, where he held the appointment of Cadet Wing Band Commander, and after graduation with his Bachelor of Arts degree in French was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada.
After serving in Europe and Gagetown with the battalion, Moffat left the Regular Army in 1964 to continue his education at Dalhousie University, serving with the Princess Louise Fusiliers until graduation in the spring of 1965 with a Bachelor of Education degree. He joined the Calgary Highlanders in 1965 and served in various positions until 1976, when he was appointed Commanding Officer in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, serving in that capacity until 1979. During his command, he served for two years as Directing Staff at the Kingston Staff College, and he left the Forces in 1979. In 1986 he was asked back into the service to train officers at the Militia Command and Staff College as well as the Mobile Command Officer Examinations, and he held this position until 1991. From 1988 to 1991 he coached the Prairie Militia and CIOR team; one of his trainee officers won Canada’s first gold medal ever in CIOR competition.
In 1991, Lieutenant-Colonel Moffat was awarded the Force Mobile Command Achievement Award, Commander’s Level. In September of 1991 he was appointed Commanding Officer for an unprecedented second term.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) SE Blakely, CD
Colonel Sam E Blakely enrolled as a Private in The Calgary Highlanders in 1962 and was commissioned the following year. He served continuously with the Regiment until 1976, with two periods of attachment to The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in Vancouver. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and made Commanding Officer in 1973. After turning over command to LCol Moffat, he was appointed Senior Staff Officer (Militia) for Southern Alberta Militia District, then Deputy District Commander in 1977. In 1980, he was promoted Colonel and took command of SAMD, and was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General of Canada the same year. Colonel Blakely transferred to the Supplementary Reserve in September 1983.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) GD Stewart, CD
Doug Stewart was born in Victoria, British Columbia, and attended the University of Washington on a swimming scholarship, completing a BA in Business Administration. He joined “A” Battery of the 18th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery while working for Gulf Oil in Pincher Creek, Alberta. A transfer to Gulf Oil in Calgary also brought transfer to the 19th Medium Regiment, RCA. When that regiment was disbanded in 1964, he joined the Calgary Highlanders with the rank of Captain.
Employment with Canselex Ltd in Vancouver, BC in 1966 brought about transfer to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, and he returned to the Calgary Highlanders in 1970 as a Major. After service as DCO he was appointed Commanding Officer in 1971. Promotion to Colonel followed in 1974, when he commanded South Alberta Militia District. He retired in 1977, and in civilian life retired from Mobil Oil in 1992, establishing his own consulting and marketing company specializing in sulphur exports.
Lieutenant-Colonel H. Vince O’Connor, CD
Vince O’Connor began his military career while attending St. Mary’s High School when he joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. After three years in cadets he became a cadet instructor with the 19th Alberta Dragoons, and entered the law program at the University of Alberta. He was commissioned into the Civilian Instructor’s List (renamed in recent years as the Cadet Instructor Cadre) on 10 April 1950, later becoming an Officer Cadet with the Militia. Upon graduation with degrees in Art and Law, O’Connor joined the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, but had to resign in December 1952 while articling for the Alberta Bar.
He was admitted to the bar in June 1952 and established his practice. He joined the Calgary Highlanders in 1953 as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 28 February 1956. He held most regimental appointments, serving as adjutant for many years under Lieutenant-Colonels Tennant, Lewis and Wagg.
The Calgary Highlanders witnessed many difficult episodes in the 1960s; as the Vietnam War caused a decline in public interest and respect for the military in the United States, and in Canada, the Militia found itself challenged in many ways. The role of the unit changed from infantry to emphasize re-entry operations and aid to the civil power. A pilot project resulted in the loss of Regimental Headquarters and unit identity, the regiment lost the right to wear traditional Highland dress, the Pipes and Drums were disbanded along with outlying companies throughout southern Alberta, and throughout what little remained there were reductions in strength and equipment and massive pay cuts.
Major O’Connor accepted promotion and appointment as CO on the condition that the unit once again became a meaningful entity permitted to perpetuate its proud history. He became CO in 1968, retiring for business reasons on 1 March 1970, continuing to practice law and establishing a family of five children. One of his sons, Michael O’Connor, served with the Regimental Pipes and Drums for several years until the band reverted to all-volunteer status, when he joined the infantry and continued to volunteer with the band.
H. Vince O’Connor, CD, has served as Honorary Solicitor to the Alberta North West Territories Command and as Chairman to the Dominion Constitutional Law Committee.
Lieutenant-Colonel AH Brackenridge
AH Brackenridge commanded the Regiment from 1967-1968; his tour included the presentation of new Colours by HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent at CFB Calgary. Lieutenant-Colonel Brackenridge was an Ontarian and geologist in civilian life. Employed in the oil and gas industry in Calgary, transfer to Texas in 1968 forced him to relinquish command of the Regiment.
Mr. Arnold H. Brackenridge, B.Sc. (Geology), has 50 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and is presently retired. He spent 1958 to 1964 with Texaco Inc. in Calgary and from 1964 to 1980 in various positions with ARCO Oil and Gas Company, most recently as Vice President, Rocky Mountain District, Denver, Colorado. Between 1980 and 1984, Mr Brackenridge was President of Tricentrol Holdings, Inc. and from 1984 to 1992 was President and Chief Executive Officer of Wintershall Energy. From 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Brackenridge was president of TransTexas Gas Corporation. He was a consultant for Dorchester LLC from 2000 to 2001 and for Elk Resources from 2003 to 2004. He has been Chief Executive Officer of TransTexas Gas Corp., since March 2002 and Director of Turnkey E&P Inc., since August 23, 2005.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Brigadier General) HO Wagg, CD, MD, CM, FRCS (L)
H Ovas Wagg was born on 6 January 1929 in Ravenna, Ontario. He was educated at Queens University in Toronto and became a Doctor of Medicine as well as Master of Surgery. In 1959 he joined the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, and specialized in Gynecology until his retirement.
His military career began in 1950 when he joined the Queens University Contingent (COTC), and on 1 October 1952 went to 1 Field Ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.
His postings included 110th Manning Depot in Calgary (1 July 1954), 16th Medical Company RCAMC (1 July 1955) and Regimental Medical Officer to the Essex and Kent Scottish from 1 January 1957 to 1 September 1960, when he joined The Calgary Highlanders.
He was appointed company commander and later Deputy Commanding Officer. On 12 January 1962 he assumed command of the regiment with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, serving until 31 December 1966. In civilian life, he maintained his medical practice, and on 1 January 1970 assumed the duties of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Calgary Highlanders, serving in that capacity until 1 January 1975. He also continued to hold an active rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with the Southern Alberta Militia District, serving from 1 January 1973 to 30 June 1973 with the headquarters of that formation, before promotion to Colonel and assuming command of the District, serving from 1 July 1973 to 15 August 1975. He was then promoted to Brigadier General and commanded Prairie Militia Area from 1 July 1975 to 15 August 1978.
Brigadier General Wagg was also a member of the Order of St. John, eventually being made a Knight of Justice. He had three daughters and a son with his wife Joan Foreman, and Doctor Wagg retired from his medical practice on 1 November 1996, moving to Collingwood, Ontario.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Brigadier) FH Clarke, DSO, CD
1959 – 1962
Francis Herbert Clarke was born in Turner Valley in 1913; like most soldiers named Clarke in the British Commonwealth, he was destined to become nicknamed “Nobby”. After finishing his education, he chose to work in the oil industry, joining the Royalite Company and in 1937 moving to Imperial Oil. He married before the Second World War and had two boys and one girl. He enlisted in the Second Battalion of The Calgary Highlanders in 1940, and arrived in England in 1942 as a trained Second Lieutenant.
Joining the First Battalion in the UK, he was a Captain in command of Number 4 Platoon (Carriers) by the time the Highlanders landed in France on 6 July 1944. He was wounded at Hill 67 on 20 July, but returned to duty and was promoted to Major by the time the battalion was fighting at Walcheren Causeway, where he commanded “B” Company. By the time of the Groningen fighting in April 1945, he was in command of “A” Company.
After the war, Major Clarke returned to Imperial Oil, this time in Ontario, and worked there until 1959, though he retained close ties to the Regiment. In 1959 he returned to Calgary to become President of the Calgary Highlanders Association, and was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and given command of the Regiment. In 1962, he turned over command and moved on to 22nd Militia Group Headquarters as a General Staff Officer Grade I in the rank of Brigadier. Here, he specialized in Civil Defence training until his retirement from the Militia. Upon retirement from Imperial Oil, he had reached the level of Senior Management Officer of the Production Department.
Brigadier Clarke retired to British Columbia, maintaining an active lifestyle including the production of live cabaret and the running of marathons. Three weeks after running his last race in 1993, “Nobby” Clarke passed away suddenly in Salmon Arm, BC, at the age of 80. He was the last wartime Calgary Highlander to rise to command of the regiment.
Lieutenant-Colonel DE Lewis, CD, QC
Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis was born in Calgary in 1915, and joined the Non-Permanent Active Militia in 1938 while attending the University of Alberta. He served overseas with the Canadian Army in World War Two, with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps in the UK, and with Divisional Headquarters of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division in France. He was wounded at Falaise in July 1944, and wounded again at Bergen op Zoom in The Netherlands in October. He was Mentioned in Despatches and returned to Canada in 1946 with the rank of captain.
He served as a staff officer in the Reserve Army once more, first with 18th Infantry Brigade in Calgary, and after promotion to Major with 22 Militia Group Headquarters.
In January 1955, Major Lewis joined the Calgary Highlanders and was given command of a rifle copmany, and served as commanding officer from 1956 to 1959. In civilian life, he was a regional lawyer for Imperial Oil, Ltd. Lieutenant-Colonel DE Lewis passed away in December 1999.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Tennant, CM, ED, CD
Mark Tennant was born on 27 June 1913 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attending school at St. Rose du Lac, and later moving to Alberta where he completed his schooling in Lethbridge. In 1925, Tennant joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, leaving that organization in 1929 when he joined the Militia, enlisting in the South Alberta Regiment.
On 27 August 1939, two days after Militia units across the country were placed on active service, Tennant re-enlisted in the 20th Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. He was given Regimental Number M7. On 6 September 1939, five days after the Calgary Highlanders were mobilized, Tennant transferred to the Regiment as a Private.
Tennant was promoted very quickly, by 1940 he was a Platoon Sergeant Major, an experimental position which was abolished in 1940. Along with many of the other PSMs, Tennant was commissioned as an officer and made a full-fledged platoon commander. As orderly officer, he earned the nickname “The Green Hornet” after a popular radio show character who always knew what the “bad guys” were thinking. Promotion to captain followed in June 1942. Tennant was still with the battalion in July 1944 when the unit landed in France. Tennant served in Support Company and specialized in reconnaissance missions. Captain Tennant seemed fearless and performed all manner of dangerous missions under fire, including spotting for field artillery and using universal carriers to move ammunition and wounded men. He was with the CO of the Black Watch, Lieutenant-Colonel Cantlie, when he was killed just prior to the disastrous Verrieres Ridge attack on 25 July 1944. In August 1944 he was promoted to major, and in October was severely wounded during the fighting to open a path onto the South Beveland Peninsula. During a fierce German counter-attack, Tennant was hit by 20mm gunfire as he mounted the steps of a church. The CO, Lieutenant-Colonel MacLauchlan, was moved tears on news of his injuries and proclaimed “There goes a stout fellow! Worth three men to us.”
Tennant was wounded a total of three times during the war, and the wounds suffered that day were serious enough to have him hospitalized for several months. In 1945, after being informed he would be sent home, he convinced the medical authorities to allow him to rejoin the Highlanders, and he commanded “D” Company in the absence of George Stott, who was on leave, during the action at Doetinchem and later at Groningen. Company rolls have him commanding “B” Company in June 1945 after George Stott returned to “D” Company. In addition to his wounds, he had been Mentioned in Despatches three times.
After the war, he remained with The Calgary Highlanders, serving as the Training Officer and in 1948, he became Second in Command of the Regiment. In June 1950, Tennant married Joyce Jalland, a marriage that would endure until Tennant’s death. He commanded the battalion from 1953 to 1956, and retired from the military in 1962. In civil life, he had founded the North Hill Auto Body Works, and he served as an Alderman for the City of Calgary for twelve years.
On July 13, 1977, he was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Calgary Highlanders, and held that post until 1981. In June 1981 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. As a measure of thanks on the fiftieth anniversary of Holland’s liberations, the City of Doetincham named a park “Mark Tennant Plantsoen – A Canadian Liberator” in his honour in May 1995.
Lieutenant-Colonel Tennant’s last public act as a Calgary Highlander was to lay the wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day this year, proudly wearing his Regimental Glengarry headdress.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Tennant, CM, ED, CD was buried with full military honours, his casket borne by serving non-commissioned officers of the Regiment he served faithfully, and draped with the Union Jack by special request.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Brigadier) HTR Gregg, CD, QC
HTR Gregg was born and raised in Calgary, and known to all by the nickname “Funny” (with the exception of Lieutenant-Colonel J. Fred Scott who called him Thorton, his correct name). Gregg joined the 15th Alberta Light Horse in 1937 as a Second Lieutenant in Headquarters Squadron. He also attended the University of Alberta at this time and received a Bachelor of Arts degree and Law degree in 1940. In 1940, Gregg joined The Calgary Highlanders and proceeded overseas as a reinforcement, eventually being appointed Intelligence Officer in the First Battalion.
Gregg moved from the Regiment to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade as a Liaison Officer, and returned to Canada after promotion to Captain to attend the Army Staff Course. He returned overseas and served on staff with the Second Canadian Division’s headquarters, returning to Canada as a Major.
Major Gregg joined the Calgary Highlanders as second in command to Lieutenant-Colonel Stott, and took command himself in 1950. He relinquished command in 1953, and in 1959 joined 22 Militia Group as a Colonel, being promoted to Brigadier soon after and retiring in 1963. Brigadier Gregg passed away in August 1990.
Lieutenant-Colonel George V. Stott
George Stott had been born in Vancouver, BC on 14 July 1916. As a Calgary Highlander in NW Europe he was promoted to Captain in 1944, and Major in 1945, commanding both Support Company and a rifle company at various times during the campaign. After the war, Stott became Vice President and General Manager of Barber-Ellis of Canada Ltd. In July 1948 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the postwar battalion until his retirement on 26 June 1950.
Lieutenant-Colonel DK Robertson, CD
Major Robertson served with the Intelligence staff of General Montgomery’s 21st Army Group in June 1944. During the NW Europe campaign he served in command appointments and staff assignments with various formations. On 18 May 1946 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the Calgary Highlanders until 1948. He left the Regiment for the Regular Force, where he served for 28 years. Lieutenant-Colonel Robertson passed away in 2005.
Major LJ Rosling
2nd Battalion 1945-1946
Private Rosling joined the 2nd Battalion, Calgary Highlanders in September 1940, taking basic training at Camp Sarcee near Calgary. He was promoted Corporal in 1941 and Sergeant in January of the next year. After attending Officers Training Camp at Gordon Head, Victoria, BC he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in January 1942. He became a Captain in July 1943 and a Major on 18 August 1944. After twice temporarily commanding the battalion in September 1944, he was appointed to permanent command in November. On 1 April 1946 the 2nd Battalion was disbanded. Major Rosling then commanded The Calgary Highlanders, but only until 18 May 1946 when he relinquished command. He resigned from the Army in November 1946 as a Major.
Lieutenant-Colonel NV Waddell, MC
2nd Battalion 1944-1945
Norman V Waddell had served as Officer Commanding “C” Company in July 1941 at Camp Sarcee and took command of the 2nd Battalion in Calgary in 1944. On 28 September 1945, he took leave, and resigned on 9 November 1945. He had been the western manager of the Ford Motor Company in civilian life
Lieutenant-Colonel DA Ross
2nd Battalion 1942-1943
D. Alex Ross was born in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland on 20 January 1900. His parents moved to Montreal after his birth, and he was educated in Canada. He enlisted in the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) in 1915, and went overseas and into the Tenth Battalion CEF as a Private that same year. He was wounded on 8 August 1918 near Amiens, France and released from the service shortly after.
In 1921 he joined the Militia as a Lieutenant in the 13th Canadian Machine Gun Battalion and served with them in Medicine Hat until 1932. In 1940 he re-enlisted with the Second Battalion, Calgary Highlanders which was a part-time reserve unit in Canada. He served as Captain and Officer Commanding “C” Company which was located in Okotoks, Alberta. From 1941-43 he served as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General of Alberta, and became Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion in 1942 in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After retirement in 1943, he moved with his wife, daughter and two sons to Vancouver. In civilian life, he worked with Canadian Bakeries Ltd. beginning in 1921 and retired as Chief Executive Officer. As a Chartered Accountant he also held numerous offices in civic organizations and clubs, and was deeply involved with the building of the Air Cadet movement.
Lieutenant-Colonel W. Dalton Heyland, DSO, ED
1st Battalion 1945
William Dalton Heyland was born on 31 October 1906 in Claresholm, Alberta. He joined the 2nd Alberta Mounted Rifles in May 1930 and was promoted to Captain in 1935. In 1936, the name of the regiment was changed to the 15th Alberta Light Horse. During this time “Dalt” attended training at Sarcee Camp in Calgary every summer. On 24 May 1940, he joined the Calgary Highlanders and reverted to the rank of lieutenant. He attended Infantry School for six months at Currie Barracks in Calgary before joining the Highlanders stationed at Aldershot, England in November.
Upon Heyland’s arrival, he was posted to “D” Company as Platoon Commander of 16 Platoon and he was soon promoted to Captain in charge of all unit transport. After about one year in charge of transport, Dalt attended Battle Drill Training and Senior Officer’s Battle School. While in England, Dalt married Margaret Anne. He then proceeded to France where he took control of “C” Company with the rank of Major. On 15 December 1944, Dalt was promoted to Second in Command of the regiment when Major Bruce McKenzie left for an indefinite posting at the divisional NCO school. Shortly after crossing the Rhine River, the Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. Ross Laird Ellis, fell ill and was taken to hospital. Dalt was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the Highlanders for the remainder of the war and return to Calgary in November 1945. Dalt was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the 1939-45 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defense of England Medal, the Voluntary Medal, the Victory Medal and the Efficiency Decoration (ED). He received his discharge from the army on 10 January 1946 and went into business with Ross Ellis, forming Ellis-Heyland Motors in High River. From 1958 until 1970, Dalt was the appointed Magistrate for High River and District and spent six years as a Justice of the Peace and then another six years as Chairman of the Development Appeal Board for High River.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ross Ellis, DSO, CD
1st Battalion 1944-1945
Ross Laird Ellis was born in High River, Alberta on 15 June 1915. He joined the Canadian Army in 1932, as a member of the 2nd Alberta Mounted Rifles, a militia cavalry unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1934, and moved to the 15th Alberta Light Horse (commanded by J. Fred Scott) when his unit amalgamated with the 15th Canadian Light Horse.
He was taken on strength of the Canadian Army on 24 May 1940. He attended Infantry School at A16 Infantry Training Centre, Currie Barracks, Calgary for six months, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 22 August 1940. In November, he moved to England and joined the Calgary Highlanders, then stationed at Aldershot, where he was posted to “D” Company as commander of 18 Platoon.
In February 1941, Ellis and Sergeant C. Eden were selected to participate with their platoon in an Arms and Endurance Competition, including a ten-mile march and range shoot. The platoon finished first of all Second Canadian Division teams and second overall of all the units in South Eastern Command that participated.
Ellis went to No. 4 Wing, Canadian Training School for a course, being praised by the commander of the wing and retained as Chief Instructor. It was during this period he was promoted to Acting Major, and returned to Canada to complete a tour of duty as senior instructor at the Senior Battle Wing School in Vernon, British Columbia. Ellis was in fact responsible for planning much of the instruction at the school. He returned to Brighton, England, and the Calgary Highlanders in January 1944.
Ellis was again a Captain when he landed in France in July 1944 as second in command of “A” Company. The CO noted his natural talent and fighting ability, and brought him into the battalion’s Tactical Headquarters in the role of Battle Adjutant. His main duties thereafter involved interpreting orders, communicating with the company commanders, and also reporting accurately what the battalion was doing to brigade headquarters.
During the Battle of the Scheldt, Ellis took over command of the 1st Battalion; a policy was in place in 2nd Canadian Corps that infantry battalion commanders should be replaced after six months of combat where possible and though Lt-Col. MacLauchlan had served in the line from the first battles in Normandy in July, he was replaced by Ellis towards the end of October 1944. Ellis served as commanding officer into 1945. After the Rhine crossings, Ellis fell ill and was replaced by Dalt Heyland.
Ross Ellis was stricken off strength of the active battalion on 14 December 1945. After the war, Ellis and his wife Marjorie had two children, Robert A. Ellis and Leslie Ellen Ellis. He obtained a Chrysler franchise in High River, selling cars and trucks, and in 1947 was elected to the High River Town Council, followed by his election as mayor in 1952, a position he held for 12 years. He was also active in Provincial Municipal Affairs, serving on an Advisory Board, and was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in Alberta in 1955, where he served until 1959.
In 1964, he retired as Mayor of High River and became Town Manager. In 1967 he was appointed Town Manager of Hinton, Alberta, and in April 1975 went to Edmonton as Head of Tax Research Council.
He eventually retired to Adams Lake British Columbia.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ross Laird Ellis, DSO, CD, died on 10 March 1983.
Lieutenant-Colonel Donald GH MacLauchlan, DSO, ED
1st Battalion 1942-1944
The first Commanding Officer to face the trials of combat in the Second World War, Donald GH MacLauchlan was born in Charlottetown, PEI on 19 July 1905, and moved to Calgary in 1912 where his father had a medical practice. While in high school he joined the Army Cadets, and upon graduation in 1921 joined the Calgary Highlanders. He commissioned in 1929 as a Second Lieutenant in “B” Company, and rose to the rank of Major in the next ten years.
By the time the war began in 1939, MacLauchlan was a company commander and 18 year veteran of the Militia, having earned a reputation for being one of Alberta’s top rifle shots. Just the year before, he had been fired from his job at the Albertan newspaper for taking excessive time off of work in order to attend Militia courses. When J. Fred Scott was filling the slate of officers of the First Battalion in 1939, MacLaughlan was tapped to command one of the rifle companies. He went overseas in that capacity in 1940, and became second in command of the battalion in the United Kingdom.
In early 1942, with the departure of J. Fred Scott, MacLaughlan was given command of the Calgary Highlanders. General Montgomery, in his now-famous inspection tours of the Canadians in Britain, confided a low opinion of Colonel MacLauchlan as a battalion commander though he was to be a “good chap” and possibly a good company commander. The Canadian command evidently did not agree, or at the least felt no suitable replacement could be found, as MacLauchlan stayed in the position for the next two years. The 5th Brigade Commander evidently felt that the battalion should be tested by fire before making any drastic changes to the command structure. The fact that the brigadier also had misgivings about the CO of another regiment in the same brigade points to the problems caused by inadequate training of the Militia between the wars, and the trouble in creating competent battle leaders in a hastily expanded Army in wartime.
For his part, Lieutenant-Colonel MacLauchlan’s command style was controversial, and he was not well liked by the troops under him. While his conduct in the earliest battles in Normandy have been criticized, his brilliant service at Clair Tizon earned him a Distinguished Service Order. His personality may have made some of the criticisms of him appear somewhat more harsh over time than he may actually have merited. After his award of the DSO, MacLauchlan continued to lead the battalion through Belgium and Holland, and during the fighting to open passage to the South Beveland peninsula, he was relieved and replaced by Ross Ellis. At 37 years of age, MacLauchlan was one of the older battalion commanders in the Canadian Amy by 1944 (the youngest battalion COs were in their early twenties). MacLauchlan was spent by the time the battalion fought at Hoogerheide; he had pushed himself as hard as his men. He retained his association with the battalion after the war, often lecturing the officers with the benefit of his wartime experiences.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) J. Fred Scott, OBE, ED, QC
1st Battalion 1939-1942
J. Fred Scott was born to James M. and Mary Scott in Meaford, Ontario, on 3 July 1892 and moved west in 1911, joining his brother on a homestead 100 kilometres west of Alsask, near Oyen. In 1914, he moved to Calgary to article in law, and shortly thereafter enlisted, with Bert, in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Scott was made a provisional Lieutenant in the 21st Alberta Hussars on 20 September 1915 and went overseas as an officer in the 89th Battalion. His brother, Lieutenant George Herbert Scott, also went overseas and was killed at Courcellette while serving with the 31st Battalion (an Alberta unit) on the 28th of September, 1916.
Transferring to the Royal Flying Corps, Scott served in France as a gunner/observer and was transferred back to the CEF for medical reasons, where he served with the 50th Battalion (a Calgary unit). After coming down with pneumonia he was sent to a remount unit in Canada, rounding up wild horses in the foothills of Alberta. He was discharged as a Captain, turned to ranching and farming, and married Olga Larson in 1920. He moved to Toronto to study law at Osgoode Hall, and came back west to be accepted by the Alberta Bar in 1922.
Scott became a prominent figure in Alberta, gaining success as a lawyer and as a polo player. Scott joined the 15th Canadian Light Horse, a cavalry unit, as a part time Militia officer. He had been made a brevet captain in February 1918 and his statement of service indicated promotion to captain in March 1921, but he was reduced to Lieutenant upon joining the Light Horse. He was again promoted to Captain on 22 July 1924, then Major on 2 September 1926, “Major 2nd in Cmd” on 26 April 1930, and finally Lieutenant-Colonel on 25 April 1934. In 1935, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the regiment, which amalgamated in 1936 with another unit to become the 15th Alberta Light Horse.
In mid-August 1939, the Canadian Militia was anxiously watching events in Europe and preparing for a war that by then seemed inevitable. The Calgary Highlanders were slated for mobilization over other units in Alberta; if war came the 15th Alberta Light Horse was not slated for active duty. However, Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Riley, the Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders, was declared medically unfit for active service and the commander of Military District Thirteen asked Scott to take command. He did, and led the battalion overseas in 1940. After pioneering Battle Drill Training in the UK, he was considered too old at 43 to command an infantry battalion and in February 1942 was appointed General Staff Officer Class I at the Royal Military College in Kingston.
In May of 1942, Scott transferred to the Canadian Battle Drill School at Vernon, BC, as commanding officer. In October 1944, he was promoted to Acting Colonel and went to act as Commandant of A10 Canadian Infantry Training Centre at Camp Borden, Ontario. He was discharged on 10 November 1945, and returned to law practice with JVH Milvain (future Chief Justice of Alberta) until 1976. He took an active interest in Colonel J. Fred Scott Elementary School, and passed away on 13 February 1982 at the age of 89.
Lieutenant-Colonel Harold H Riley, MM, CD
Harold H. Riley was born in St. Lambert, Quebec, in 1897 and moved west with his family in 1907. As a private in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War One, he won the Military Medal at Passchendaele in 1917.
After the war, he joined the Calgary Highlanders as a Lieutenant in 1926, and by 1933 he was a Major. In December 1938 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and appointed Commanding Officer.
In September 1939, with the outbreak of war, Riley left the regiment for medical reasons, and later joined the 2nd Battalion, reverting to the rank of Major and acting as Second in Command. He later transferred to the 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment, which had been mobilized by the 15th Alberta Light Horse in 1942. The unit remained on garrison duty until transfer to England in January 1945, where it was broken up for reinforcements.
After the Second World War, Riley returned to Calgary, married his wife Flora, and worked as sales manager for Burns and Co. Major Riley had one daughter and two sons, and belonged to several organizations including the Rotary Club and the 8th Field Ambulance Association. He passed away on 2 September 1951.
Lieutenant-Colonel SF Bradley, ED
Stewart Frederic Bradley was born in Winchester, Ontario on 26 June 1895. After three years of service in the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), he was attested into the Canadian Expeditionary Force in January 1916. He listed his height as 6’1″ on his attestation forms, which were signed in Calgary. He was apparently taken on strength with the 137th Battalion, which went overseas as a reinforcement unit.
Little is known of his war service; he next appears in regimental records on the Militia List of April 1927 as a Major in the Calgary Highlanders, with his seniority in that rank dated to 2 January 1926. He served as Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders in 1938, taking over from Lieutenant-Colonel Dingle in that year, and leaving the post on 3 December 1938 according to battalion orders published in the Calgary Herald newspaper. In civil life, he was the owner of Bradley Footwear in Calgary.
Lieutenant-Colonel Norman D Dingle, ED, KC, QC
Norman D. Dingle was born in 1893 in Tavistock, England. He moved to Calgary in 1904 joining the University of Alberta contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) at the outbreak of the First World War. Norman went overseas with the battalion, receiving his commission in the field with the imperial unit of the Post Office Rifles. Norman was the Crown Prosecutor at the Calgary police court as well as carrying on his own law practice after the war when he joined the Calgary Highlanders when they were formed in 1921.
In 1933, Colonel Dingle was appointed the Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders. He remained in this position until 1938. At the outbreak of war in 1939, Norman gave up his law practice and served in many capacities with the Number 13 military district in Calgary, including as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion. After the war he resumed law practice by himself and also was associated with several law firms over the years. During his lifetime he was active with the 10th Battalion Association, the St.John’s Cricket Club, the Calgary Soccer Club and the Alberta Provincial Rifle Association. He was president of the Imperial Veterans’ Association at the time of its absorption into the Canadian Legion. Colonel Norman D. Dingle died in December 1962 at the age of 69 and is buried in Queen’s Park Cemetery in Calgary.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) David Holland Tomlinson, MBE, VD
1929 – 1933
David Tomlinson was born in Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, on 24 July 1892. He served for three years with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers before leaving Scotland for Canada, where he worked as a hardware clerk. On 8 July 1915 he enlisted in the CEF, but little is known about the details of his service overseas at this time.
Tomlinson joined The Calgary Highlanders as an officer in the early days of the unit, serving as Adjutant for a time, and in 1929 was appointed to command the Regiment. He served as Commanding Officer until 1933.
Admitted to the Order of the British Empire in the rank of Member, Colonel Tomlinson was also awarded the Volunteer Decoration for long service. For many years he served as secretary for the Alberta Rifle Association and accompanied the Alberta Rifle Team to the Long Branch ranges in Toronto and the Connaught ranges in Ottawa for competitions. He was also an acting honorary secretary for the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) David Ritchie, MC
Colonel Ritchie was born in Cumberland, England in 1882 and lived in the United Kingdom until 1911. Having joined the Dumfrieshire County Police at age 17, he followed this career path in Canada by joining the Calgary Police Force (as it was known then), reaching the rank of Detective. He served with the plain clothes squad until enlisting in the CEF in 1915.
He arrived in England as a Lieutenant of the 137th Battalion, and promoted to Captain while in the UK. After transfer to a combat battalion in France, he was wounded at Amiens in August 1918, and was still in hospital with his leg wound when the Armistice was declared in November.
After return to Calgary in 1919, he was presented with his Military Cross by the Prince of Wales who visited the city in September of that year. He rejoined the Calgary Police Force, becoming Chief Constable (the highest rank on the Force) on 15 September 1919. Ritchie’s impact on the Force was notable, for such things as the introduction of parking tickets and the School Safety Patrol in 1921, to the first installation of radios in police cars and motorcycles.
While Chief of Police, he enlisted in The Calgary Highlanders in 1922 as a Captain, with promotion to Major following in short order. In 1924, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and made Commanding Officer of the Regiment. His command lasted from 1924 to 1929, during which time he was promoted to Colonel.
After retirement from the Highlanders, became president of the Alberta Military Institute in 1930 and president of the Alberta Infantry Association the next year. His interest in sports, despite his injured leg, led to presidency of the Alberta Highland Games Association.
Colonel Ritchie died in 1941 aged 59, after having been Chief of the Calgary Police Force for 22 years.
Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Lee Redman
Born in Oil City, Lampton County, Ontario on 4 October 1889, Daniel Lee Redman came to Calgary in 1906, teaching school and working for a newspaper before commencing the study of law with Lougheed Bennett and McLaws in 1909. He was a founding soldier of the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), being enrolled in the unit the day it was created, 1 April 1910. Finishing his law degree in 1913 after attending both the University of Toronto and University of Manitoba, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914 and was commissioned Lieutenant in the Tenth Battalion.
Lieutenant Redman went to France on 10 February 1915, commanding “C” Company at St. Julien before being wounded severely. He returned to Canada, practicing law until his election to Parliament as representative of the Calgary East riding. He had run as “Soldier’s Representative” in the Unity Party. In 1921 he left politics, and as a Major became second in command of the 1st Battalion, Calgary Highlanders, Calgary Regiment. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in April 1922 and appointed Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders. He was also made an Honorary Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, Baron Byng.
Lieutenant-Colonel Redman had married Jean Hogg in Calgary in 1916, with whom he had three children. Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Lee Redman died in Calgary on 8 April 1948, and is buried with other veterans of the Great War at Burnsland Cemetery, just south of Stampede Park in Calgary.
Lieutenant-Colonel Harold McDonald
1921 – April 1922
Lieutenant-Colonel McDonald was the first commander of The Calgary Highlanders after the redesignation as a Highland unit. Formerly the commander of Military District 13, he reverted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in order to command the battalion. Lieutenant-Colonel McDonald presided over the very first mess dinner, at the Palliser Hotel’s Grill Room, on 21 December 1921, and was the first one to propose the now traditional toast to “The Glorious Memory of the Twenty-Second of April.”
Acting Lieutenant-Colonel (Major) C. Stevenson, MC
Born 19 Sept 1882, he had seven years of experience with the Royal Garrison Artillery and worked as a carpenter prior to enlisting in Valcartier in 1914. After serving as a L/Sergeant with the 103rd Calgary Rifles, he enlisted as a private (#19987) in the 10th Bn on 25 September 1915 and was commissioned to the Alberta Regiment the next day. He was promoted to A/Captain and A/Major in 1917 and was employed as a company commander. He was wounded on 9 April 1917 and again on 15 August 1917. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 26 July 1917. He served in England and France; Alberta Regimental Depot; 21st Reserve Bn; attended the Young Soldiers Bn (Bramshott) and was the Officer Commanding the *Canadian Concentration Camp (Rhyl) in January of 1918 and struck off strength by demobilization on 9 February 1919. Originally with the 103rd Calgary Rifles, as a LCol in the 10th Bn, he reverted to major in order to command the First Battalion of the Calgary Regiment at this time.* He died on 13 December 1947.
After Commanding the Canadian Concentration Camp and returning to Canada, the camp was the site of the notorious Kinmel Camp mutiny of Canadian soldiers awaiting repatriation.https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wales/entries/cfb526c8-186d-3afe-b3e0-095c8898f868
Lieutenant-Colonel RB Eaton
First Commanding Officer of the Calgary Regiment, upon their creation in 1921.
Lieutenant-Colonel William Charles Gordon Armstrong
56th Battalion – 1916
Lieutenant-Colonel W.A. Lowry
82nd Battalion – 1916
William A. Lowry spent his early years in Montreal, where he joined the Corps of Guides. On 22 September 1914, he was transferred to the 10th Battalion at Valcartier, Quebec. In 1915 he was sent to France and Belgium and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He commenced field duty on 9 February and was sent to the Ypres sector. He was wounded twice during the Battle of Saint-Julien on 22 April 1915. He recovered in a Boulogne hospital where he witnessed the death of his commanding officer, LCol Boyle. He was sent back to Calgary where he helped raise the 82nd Battalion, which reinforced the 10th Battalion.
Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Whidden MacDonald, DSO(3), MC
24 May 1918-23 April 1919
The son of a noted militia officer and clergyman, Eric Whidden MacDonald was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, on 20 July 1892. Educated at Acadia University, he moved to Calgary in 1913, taking a position with the Canadian Oil Company, where he was working as an accountant when the war broke out. Joining the 10th Battalion as a subaltern in the summer of 1915, he assumed command of the battalion on 24 May 1918. Aged 25, he was the youngest battalion commander in the Canadian Corps. He ended the war with the Distinguished Service Order and two bars, as well as the Military Cross for his actions planning and organizing a daring trench raid in March 1918. He remained the commanding officer until the Tenth’s demobilization in Calgary 23 April 1919. LCol MacDonald became a civil servant after the war. Serving as commissioner of the Nova Scotia Provincial Police until 1923, he moved to Ottawa, where he held an administrative post with the Department of National Defence until 1938. LCol MacDonald also acted as the Ottawa representative for General Motors, Dominion Rubber, and Canadian Industries Limited, and acquired a reputation as an international trader by the time of his accidental death in Ottawa on 12 November 1947, at the age of 56.
Brigadier-General John Grant Rattray, DSO, CMG
2 June 1915 – 7 September 1916
Major P.C. Guthrie
25 April-25 May 1915
Percy C. Guthrie was a 30-year-old lawyer and member of the provincial parliament in New Brunswick and had gone overseas with the first Canadian contingent as a member of the 7th Battalion. He was attending to court martial proceedings at Canadian Division headquarters when he heard of the Tenth’s urgent need for officers due to the casualties it had suffered near Ypres. He joined it the night of 23/24 April. On 25 April he assumed command of the Tenth after its brief grouping with the 7th Battalion. He held the appointment until he was wounded in eleven places by an exploding shell 25 May 1915 after the attack on K.5 during the Battle of Festubert. He was evacuated to England, declared an invalid in December 1915 and shipped home to Canada.* Guthrie later fell foul of LCol Ormond when he used his status as a minor celebrity to promote the unit as the “White Gurkas”, the nickname he had devised for the Tenth. To get him to stop, Ormond wrote a testy letter saying, “…considering that you were only with the Bn. for thirty-two (32) days…we are sure you would not attempt to give the Bn. a name.”**
Major Victor Odlum
25 April 1915
Maj Victor Odlum was the acting commanding officer of the 7th Battalion CEF when it was temporarily meshed with the surviving soldiers of the Tenth in the early hours of 25 April 1915. BGen Currie, the Second Brigade commander, made the decision in order to cobble together a brigade reserve of 300 men. Currie personally posted this composite unit in the vicinity of Gravenstafel Ridge. Later that same day, the battered remnants of both battalions reverted to separate commands. Odlum was a 34-year-old newspaperman from Vancouver. He went on to command an infantry brigade in the First World War and then, as a major-general, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division from 1940-April 1942.
Maj C.G. Arthur, DSO
24 April, 25-28 May 1915
C. Geoffrey (Jock) Arthur was a member of the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) and belonged to the original contingent sent to Valcartier to form the 10th Battalion in 1914. He went to France in early 1915, where he was promoted captain. When Maj G.C. Ormond was wounded near Saint-Julien on 24 April 1915, Capt Arthur briefly became the acting commanding officer of the 10th Battalion until its remnants were temporarily meshed with those of the 7th Battalion under command of Maj Victor Odlum on the morning of 25 April 1915. For his services during the Second Battle of Ypres, Capt Arthur received the Distinguished Service Order. As second-in-command of the Tenth, Arthur again assumed command when Maj Guthrie, who took over from Maj Odlum, was severely wounded 25 May 1915. Capt Arthur remained in command until Maj Ormond returned from England on 28 May 1915, having recovered from his wounds. Capt Arthur left the battalion on 11 July 1915 and was later promoted to major. In civilian life he had been in the real estate and insurance business in Calgary and was the secretary of the Calgary General Hospital Board at the outbreak of the First World War.
MGen Daniel Mowat Ormond, DSO(2), CMG
23-24 April, 28 May-2 June 1915; 27 September 1916-24 May 1918
Daniel Ormond was born on 14 August 1885, in Pembroke, Ontario. He became a prominent barrister and solicitor in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He married Anna Laura Cadman in 1919 and they had five children. Ormond served with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and later the 18th Manitoba Dragoons. At the start of the First World War, he was sent to Valcartier where he became the adjutant of the 10th Battalion. When Maj MacLaren, the Tenth’s second-in-command, was fatally wounded on 23 April 1915, then-Maj Ormond assumed command of the battalion. He remained in command from 23 April 1915 to 24 April 1915 when he was wounded during the battalion’s defence of Locality C atop Gravenstafel Ridge during the Second Battle of Ypres. His personal courage earned him the nickname “Dangerous Dan”. Maj Ormond commanded the 10th Battalion again from 28 May 1915 until LCol Rattray took over command on 2 June 1915. In August 1915, Ormond left to command the 7th Battalion after its commanding officer, LCol Odlum, was wounded during a front-line reconnaissance. After a long illness and commanding the Canadian Pioneer Training Depot, Ormond returned to the 10th on 27 September 1916 to take command until 24 May 1918. Late in the war, Ormond was promoted brigadier-general and given command of the Ninth Brigade. He was awarded France’s Croix de Guerre. After the war, BGen Ormond commanded Military District 12 in Regina and Military District 13 in Calgary (1928-1932). In 1919 he was named a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Upon his retirement in 1932, he was promoted to major-general. He moved to Ottawa and served as superintendent of penitentiaries, and later as the librarian of the Supreme Court of Canada. He died on 19 November 1974.*
Lieutenant-Colonel Russell Lambert Boyle
27 September 1914-25 April 1915
A native of Port Colborne, Ontario, Russell Lambert Boyle was born on 29 October 1880. On 7 June 1894, at age 14, he joined the 7th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, as a trumpeter. Steadily passing through the ranks, he became a sergeant 15 April 1899. At the start of the Boer War, he enlisted as a gunner in C (Special Service) Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery, and sailed for South Africa on 4 January 1900. He was wounded at the Orange River Colony later that year and received the Queen’s Medal and three clasps. Moving to Alberta with his father and brother, Boyle homesteaded northwest of Crossfield, acquiring his own 960-acre ranch before his marriage to Laura Wight in July 1906. They had two children, Annie and James. An active Conservative, Boyle took part in local politics and was named a commissioner for oaths and justice of the peace in 1905. At the same time, he was rising through the ranks of the Militia. When he moved to Alberta, he joined the 15th Light Horse, eventually commanding that regiment’s Crossfield-based A Squadron. He also became a mason and a member of Lodge No. 48 in Crossfield. When the war broke out, Boyle volunteered his services and travelled to Camp Valcartier, where he helped to organize the newly-formed 10th Battalion. Initially one of its majors, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel to command the unit before its departure for England. After leading the battalion into combat for the first time in its attack on the wood near Saint-Julien, LCol Boyle was fatally wounded. His adjutant, Maj Ormond, later recalled: “The colonel got five bullets from a machine gun in his left groin—made a wonderful pattern in a radius of two and a half inches.”* LCol Boyle died at Poperinghe on 25 April 1915. He was buried in Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery in Belgium. For years it was commonly believed that the mounted soldier depicted in the South African War Memorial statue in Calgary’s Central Memorial Park was meant to be LCol Boyle, but there is a shortage of evidence to support this. There is no name on the statue or the memorial.
Lieutenant-Colonel (Colonel) JG Rattray
22-26 September 1914; 2 June 1915-7 September 1916
Born in Banffshire, Scotland, on 15 January 1864, John Grant Rattray came to Canada in 1874 when his family moved to Middlesex County in Ontario. Educated in Strathroy and Ottawa, he headed west in 1888, homesteading near Pipestone, Manitoba, where he later established a hardware business. He served as reeve from 1902 to 1904, before moving to Winnipeg in 1911, where he joined the staff of the Canada Life Assurance Company as inspector of loans for Manitoba and eastern Canada. Rattray’s military career began in 1906, when he joined the 12th Manitoba Dragoons as a lieutenant. His stature was such that in 1910 he organized a cavalry regiment, the 20th Border Horse, which he commanded until 1914. When the war broke out, Rattray briefly commanded two battalions at Camp Valcartier, the 6th (Fort Garry Horse) and later the 10th (22-26 September 1914), which he organized before its departure for England. His command of the latter was short-lived for political reasons. Rattray, a Liberal, had apparently crossed swords earlier with the Conservative militia minister, Sam Hughes. When Hughes spied Rattray on parade at Valcartier, he roared: “Colonel Rattray, what are you doing here? Get the hell out of here!” Rattray made a humiliated retreat. The battalion’s officers were privately appalled and Hughes left without inspecting the battalion. He then served on the staff at Canadian Division headquarters and then as president of the Permanent Board of Enquiry at Shorncliffe, England. Aged 51, he was reappointed to command of the 10th Battalion on 2 June 1915, which he held until 7 September 1916, when he was promoted brigadier-general and given command of a training brigade in England. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in January 1916, and in June 1918 he was named a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Rattray’s post-war career was eventful. In 15 months of combat, he had proven himself a competent officer, though, in the words of the battalion historian, not a great field commander. In 1920, he was asked to organize the provincial police force in Manitoba, and he served as its commissioner until the fall of 1922. He later acted as chairman of the Soldiers’ Settlement Board in Ottawa, and chaired the War Veterans’ Assistance Commission in the 1930s. BGen Rattray died on 23 June 1944, and was buried in Pipestone, Manitoba.
Term as CO
103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles)
|LCol W.C.G. Armstrong||1910 – 1916|
10th Canadian Infantry Battalion CEF
|LCol R.L. Boyle||1914 – 1915|
|LCol (later MGen) D.M. Ormond, CMG, DSO||1915, 1916-1918|
|Capt G.C. Arthur||1915|
|Maj (later MGen) Victor Odlum, 7th Bn CEF||1915|
|Major P.C. Guthrie||1915|
|LCol (later Col) J.C. Rattray, DSO||1915|
|LCol E.W. MacDonald, DSO, MC||1918-1919|
56th Battalion CEF
|LCol W.C.G. Armstrong||1916|
82nd Battalion, CEF
|LCol W.A. Lowry||1916|
lst Bn (10th Bn CEF) – The Calgary Regiment
|LCol R.B. Eaton||1921|
|LCol (later BGen) H.F. MacDonald, CMG, DSO||1921-1922|
Lieutenant-Colonel William Charles Gordon Armstrong
The founder of the Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel William Charles Gordon Armstrong, was a true western pioneer. He was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England in 1866 and apprenticed as a tea-tester before coming to Canada in 1892 due to health reasons. He had married Evelyn Eddy in 1887, and their child William Frances accompanied him to Canada. The climate agreed with him, and he spent many years surveying northwest of the young new city of Calgary, and eventually became employed by the Imperial Life Insurance Company of Canada. He was engaged in numerous other enterprises, investing largely in real estate and erecting the Armstrong block in 1904.
From 1902 to 1904, Armstrong served as a City Councillor, and his work on the street numbering system and electrical lighting system is felt to this day. According to the City of Calgary’s official website, the city “is also indebted to him for the beginning of municipal ownership.”
Militarily, he joined the Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1903 – a Militia unit – and later joined the 15th Light Horse. Not satisfied, he petitioned and was ultimately responsible for the raising of the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles, and toasted his new regiment on the 1st of April 1910.
In 1914, he helped recruit five hundred men for the newly formed 10th Battalion, and he later raised the 56th Battalion CEF, going overseas in March 1915. In mid 1918, Armstrong was invalided home. He commanded the 103rd until 1916.
According to the City of Calgary website: “Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong’s post-War endeavours included a directorship for several years at the Calgary Building Society; the ultimate result of which was the Armstrong Block which the Colonel had built himself. He also served as Vice-President with Alberta Financial Brokers Limited. In the 1940’s, he was President at the Calgary branch of the Alberta Motor Association for seven terms and continued to be involved in it’s organization up until the end of that decade. As a pioneer motorist, he did much to promote the improvement of Provincial roads.”
Other endeavors included being Vice President of the Calgary Building Society, Vice President of Al-Azhar Building Company, Vice President of Alberta Financial Brokers Limited, Secretary-Treasurer of Woodcraft’s Limited, a member of the Board of Trade, Secretary of the Alberta Provincial Rifle Association, Secretary of the Liberal Association, the founded of the Municipal Lighting Company, and Chairman of the fire, water and light committee.
Armstrong died on the 6th of February 1951.