June, 2016: The 150th Anniversary of the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway
Well over 5,000 spectators attended three-day ceremonies in the Fort Erie area to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway, 2 June, 1866. The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, 2881 Scarborough Rifles Cadets, the QOR of C Association Toronto Branch and members of The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry marched to the battlefield with a composite, two regiment military band.
Members of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Sergeants’ Mess held a pre-event Mess Dinner on the 1866 Battlefield.
Skirmishers from The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry on Parade.
The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada’s Pioneers followed by a composite band from The Queen’s Own Rifles and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry led the long parade of many marchers to the Battlefield site.
Sergeant Adam Winnicki of the Airborne Company of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada delighted the many spectators at the 150th anniversary celebrations. From a height of 10,000 feet he parachuted from a small aircraft with a huge Canadian flag and was able to land in the centre of the newly-christened Ridgeway Drop Zone (DZ) adjacent to the battlefield. (Below) Children were invited to help him gather up and fold the flag after the successful landing.
A wreath was laid at the Battle of Ridgeway Memorial Cairn by Commanding Officer LCol Sandi Banerjee CD and CWO/RSM Paul Martin CD, on behalf of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Standing silent vigil, heads bowed, rifles reversed, are Regimental Skirmishers from The Queen’s Own Rifles and The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
Bob Dunk, President of the National Association of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada acted as Master of Ceremonies at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Ridgeway. Held at the battlefield site, the ceremonies attracted well over 1,000 spectators on a sunny, warm afternoon.
New Battle of Ridgeway
Memorial Plaque Unveiled
A new Memorial was unveiled at the 150th anniversary ceremonies for the Battle of Ridgeway. The plaque lists the names of all those who died as a result of the encounter: Seven from the Queen’s Own Rifles who were killed in action; two from The Queen’s Own who died later of wounds, three from the Wentworth Regiment (Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) who died later of disease contracted at the battle site and one from the British Army who died on the march en route to the battle.
During the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway in June, 2016, members of the Regimental Association Toronto Branch gathered at the Memorial Cairn.
The Queen’s Own Rifles 2881 Cadet Corps Annual Inspection
Colours are marched on as members of The Queen’s Own Rifles 2881 Cadet Corps stand at attention.
The Queen’s Own Rifles 2881 Cadet Corps passes the reviewing officer led by Cadet RSM/CWO Breeanna Alie, and MWO Maya Royer.
Reviewing Officer LCol Sandi Banerjee CD, Commanding Officer The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, begins his inspection of the cadet corps.
Reviewing Officer LCol Sandi Banerjee CD, Commanding Officer The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, speaks with a member of the cadet corps during his inspection.
Awards ready for presentation to members of 2881 Cadet Corps.
RSM/CWO (ret’d) Brian Budden CD presents Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence to recipient, Cadet MWO Maya Royer.
Scarborough 2881 Cadets Precision Drill Team.
Members of the Regimental Band provided music for the event.
Death of D-Day Veteran Jack Martin
Rifleman Jack Martin in Normandy shortly after D-Day
When Jack Martin died in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto in May, 2016, aged 92, he was one of a steadily-dwindling band of brothers – the D-Day veterans of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. All now in their nineties, there remained just 11 survivors of 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, whose members splashed ashore under unrelenting enemy fire in the early hours of 6 June, 1944.
A member of the mortar platoon, Jack landed in the second wave in the battalion’s support company and later recalled that “Shells were landing all around when the ramp finally dropped.” He saw B Company commander, Major Charles Dalton, “who had blood streaming down his face,” who told him to “’Get up to the wall’ and it was then that I probably could have beaten Roger Bannister’s record (for running fast.)” Moving into Bernières-sur-Mer they were warned “”there are snipers everywhere,” and eventually reaching their rendezvous location, “It didn’t take long before we had the mortar ready for action.” He remembered that an SP (self–propelled armoured vehicle) “fully loaded with ammo received a direct hit from an 88 (anti-tank gun shell). I looked up to see a massive piece of metal hurtling towards me. I had learned to flatten out and the chunk from the SP flew by, striking the barrel of the mortar. It left a mark that reminded me of the incident right through to the end of the war,” he said.
“We carried on until we reached Anisy and pulled into a farmyard to bed down for the night. We were in a barnyard, and during the night a German staff car pulled in and the men in it went to sleep. In the morning, some of our soldiers found the Germans – there were two officers and an NCO – and they were really surprised when we woke them up (and took them prisoner.)” He fought with the battalion all the way through to war’s end and was one of the few originals to do so.
Surviving Jack as veterans of the landing on Juno Beach on 6 June, 1944 are: Alex Adair, Cobourg, Fred Barnard, Uxbridge; Edward Butler, Orono, John "Jack" Hadley, Toronto, Ivor Rooney, Scarborough; Roy Shaw, Barrie and Tom Wilson, London, all in Ontario. Also, Bill Ross and Ken Jamieson, Montreal; John O’Neill, Fredericton, NB; and Joseph Meagher, New Waterford, NS.
Jack Martin passed away at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto on Friday, May 13. Predeceased by his wife Amy in 2004, whom he married after his return home, he left his daughter Marlene and son John. He had four brothers, Gord, Ernie, Don and Bill and all served in The Queen’s Own Rifles from WW2, Korea and into peacetime. All but Bill are still with us, as his sister Patricia. Predeceased were sisters Edith and Lil.
Serving with 3rd Battalion in the post war years he was appointed CQMS and was instrumental in efforts to have Regimental Memorials established in North-West Europe as well as within Moss Park Armoury/ He also organized and led D-Day and VE-Day tours for members of the Regimental Family. On 6 June, 20ll (D-Day+67) he was Guest of Honour at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto and recently was awarded the French Legion of Honour for his World War Two service in the Liberation of Normandy.
All four of the D-Day veterans in this photo are now dead. CQMS Jack Martin was the last one to pass away.
QOR of C Regimental Trust Fund
Chairman’s Executive Summary For 2015
The Endowment Fund:
The General Fund:
Colonel Paul Hughes
100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge Tour to France, Belgium & England
The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Association
April 2 – 16, 2017
Cost: $3,500.00 - $3,700.00 plus departure taxes of $775
$3,694.00 - $3,894.00 plus departure taxes of $775
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ride, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Association is planning a special your which will visit all the sites of greatest importance to the Regiment during the First World War including significant battlefields in Northern France and Belgium, they will also be on hand for the official commemorations at The Canadian Memorial Park at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017. The tour will also include sites in Normandy important to the Regiment’s participation in the D-Day invasion and the Battle for Normandy during the summer of 1944.
A Fine Farewell for Paddy, it was!
Photos from the military funeral of RSM/CWO Scott Patterson CD at Moss Park Armoury, Toronto.
Parade square seating was full and the balconies lined on 22 February for the military funeral of RSM Scott Patterson CD.
As muffled drums were beating, the Bearer Party entered Moss Park Armoury at a Slow March with the flag-draped casket.
Pall bearers bring the flag-draped casket to the dais.
The sword, medals and beret with cap badge of RSM Patterson are placed upon the flag-draped casket.
Among those presenting eulogies was Heather ten Kortenaar, a friend of RSM Patterson for many years.
Eulogy presented by Regimental Chaplain Capt John Niles MSM.
Skirmishers and Pioneers lead the Bearer Party from Moss Park Armoury.
The Final Steps.
The Sergeant’s Mess was the place to be as Paddy’s Wake got underway.
What would Paddy's Wake be without a group of Irish fiddlers and the loike?
"In Pace Paratus - In Peace Prepared"