Who am I?
- I was was born on February 27, 1915 in Alberta, Canada. My father was an army major who moved his family to Toronto when I was a boy.
- In 1937, I graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, where I was a captain of the football and hockey teams.
- After graduation, I went on to play football for the Hamilton Tigers Canadian pro football team as their star quarterback.
- I joined the Canadian Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, known as the Rileys, during World War II.
- I was part of the famed tragic raid on Dieppe in Normandy as a junior officer, but managed to capture a casino on the beach, dismantle the Germans firing from inside and lead my men into the town of Dieppe. It was this action that earned me my first award for valor, the
Distinguished Service Order, the second highest Canadian military award.
- I was then promoted to commander of the Rileys, and even though wounded in the beginning of the fighting, returned to lead my men through combat in the Netherlands and Germany.
- In 1945 I received another Distinguished Service Order for exploits against the Germans in the Rhineland. By the time the war ended, I had risen in the ranks to the position of Colonel and by 1951, when I retired, I was a Brigadier General.
- I was one of the most decorated army officers of World War II. I was one of the few Canadians awarded the DSO and the Bar for valour in the field.
- I was honoured as a member of the order of Canada, an Officer of the French Legion d’Honneur, and as a commander of the Belgian order of the Crown.
- After the war, I accepted a position as an executive with CHML Radio in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as President of O’Keefe Brewery Company. I also pursued my love of certain sports. I served as Chairman of the Canadian National Equestrian Team from 1960 until 1982, and led the team to a fistful of Olympic and World Championship medals over four decades.
- I was named Chef de Mission to the boycotted 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
- I won the Canadian Senior Singles Title in Squash and Water Skiing and organized fund raising events for Canadian Olympic.
- An Award bearing my name is awarded each year to the top Team Captain of a RMC varsity sports team.
- I served as Honourary Colonel of my regiment.
- With my wife, Shelagh I wrote books on Canadian campaigns during the war. “Tug of War: The Canadian Victory That Opened Antwerp,” we also wrote “Rhineland: The Battle to End the War,”
“Dieppe: Tragedy to Triumph,” and “Victory at Falaise: The Soldiers’ Story,” in 2000.
- On May 30, 2001, I died in Oakville, Ontario.
2272 BGen Arthur Chubb
2303 BGen Donald Clark
2307 BGen Kenneth McKibbin
2290 BGen Dollard Menard
2301 BGen Edward Webb
2357 BGen Denis Whitaker
Answer: 2357 Brigadier-General Denis WD Whitaker
“He was a little bit old-fashioned. Duty, truth and valour were really taken very seriously. Service and patriotism, Denis Whitaker had them in spades. He had the respect of his men who revered him. He was an incredible leader and a devastating adversary, both on the playing field and the battlefield.”
THE WHITAKER CUP – Best Team Captain
Cup is awarded annually to the Officer-Cadet who has been the best team captain of an RMC team sport. Eligible sports teams are: basketball, curling, hockey, rugby, soccer and volleyball. This cup was presented to the college in 2000 by 2357 Brigadier-General Denis Whitaker DSO, CM, ED, CD, L de H, who was team captain of RMC football and hockey in 1936 and 1937.
LA COUPE WHITAKER – Le meilleur capitaine d’une équipe sportive
La récompense est décernée annuellement à un élève-officier qui est le meilleur capitaine d’une équipe sportive. Les équipes sportives éligibles sont : basket-ball, curling, hockey, rugby, soccer et volley-ball. Cette coupe a été présentée pour la première fois au Collège en 2000 par 2357 Brigadier-général Denis Whitaker DSO, CM, ED, CD et L de H qui fut capitaine des équipes de football et de hockey de 1936 et 1937.
Source on THE WHITAKER CUP: Guy Dubé – Varsity Sports Manager