Focus on the VC

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An unknown artist’s depiction photo:
Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence

H1866 Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt (RMC ’25) heroically stepped into history on 19 August 1942, during the disastrous raid on Dieppe, France.

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Who am I?

  • I was born in Athboy, County Meath, Ireland. I was an International Rugby player-playing for Ireland against teams from England, Scotland and Wales.
  • I came to Canada in 1908. I worked as a surveyor in northern Alberta and High River.
  • I settled in Fort Macleod ca. 1911.
  • I enlisted in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915.
  • I became a lieutenant in 1916 and went overseas, soon transferring to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians).
  • During the First World War, I was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
  • I was 28 years old, and a lieutenant in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), Canadian Army, during the First World War.
  • On 27 March 1917 at Guyencourt, France, during an attack by the regiment, I commanded the leading troop which had suffered heavy casualties from rapid fire at close range. I was riding in front of my men when I came upon a wired trench containing a machine-gun and a strong garrison. I at once swung from my saddle and ran straight for the trench, jumped the wire, shot the gunner and captured the gun.
  • I was also a recipient of the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre.
  • As a captain from 1923 to 1927, I served as the Instructor in Physical Training at the Royal Military College in Kingston.
  • In 1938, I was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became commanding officer of LdSH(RC) at Currie Barracks in Calgary.
  • In 1940, I was promoted to Brigadier and commander of the 13th Alberta Military District.
  • I retired in 1946, and was honourary colonel of the LdSH(RC) from 1958 to 1966.
  • I lived in Calgary from 1938 on.
  • I was an avid equestrian who took part in horse shows.
  • I died at 91 years of age and was buried at Union Cemetery, Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada.
  • My Victoria Cross is displayed at the Museum of the Regiments (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

a) Brigadier General (Ret’d)Frederick Maurice Watson Harvey VC, MC, C de G.
b) H1866 Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d)Cecil Merritt, VC ED
c) Major General (Ret’d) George Randolph Pearkes VC PC CC CB DSO MC CD

Answer: a) Brigadier General (Ret’d)Frederick Maurice Watson Harvey VC, MC, C de G.

frederick_maurice_watson_harvey.JPGBGen Frederick Maurice Watson Harvey VC was born in Athboy, County Meath, Ireland, and came to Canada in 1908 where he worked as a surveyor in northern Alberta and High River. He settled in Fort Macleod ca. 1911. He enlisted in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1915. He became a lieutenant in 1916 and went overseas, soon transferring to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). During the First World War Fred was awarded the Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Croix de Guerre. From 1923 to 1927 he taught physical education at the Royal Military College in Kingston, and in 1938 was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became commanding officer of LdSH(RC) at Currie Barracks in Calgary. In 1940 he was promoted to brigadier and commander of the 13th Alberta Military District. Fred retired in 1946, and was honorary colonel of the LdSH(RC) from 1958 to 1966. He lived in Calgary from 1938 on, was an avid equestrian who took part in horse shows.

Source: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canab/vet/vetvictoriacross.html

Source: http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/victoria_cross.htm

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