Who am I?

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Who am I?   (By E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC ’03)

  • I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the 10th of November 1908.
  • My father was killed in Ypres during the First World War.
  • 7 or 8 of his uncles from both sides of the family also served during the First World War – three of whom were killed in action.
  • I was educated at Lord Roberts School, Vancouver, University School, Victoria, and Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario.
  • I articled with a lawyer for three years before being called to the bar in British Columbia in 1929. I worked as a barrister and solicitor.
  • From 1929 to the outbreak of war in 1939, I served as an officer in the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.
  • In late 1941, I was appointed Commanding Officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment.
  • The citation for “most conspicuous bravery” during the ill-fated Dieppe raid of 19 August 1942 that led to the awarding of a Victoria Cross is prominent in the entrance to Currie Hall in RMC Kingston: “For matchless gallantry and inspiring leadership whilst commanding is battalion during the Dieppe raid on the 19th August 1942… To this Commanding Officer’s personal daring, the success of his unit’s operations and the safe re-embarkation of a large portion of it were chiefly due.”
  • From the point of landing, my unit’s advance had to be made across a bridge in Pourville which was swept by very heavy machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire: the first parties were mostly destroyed and the bridge thickly covered by their bodies. A daring lead was required; waving my helmet, I rushed forward shouting, ‘Come on over! There’s nothing to worry about here.’ I led the survivors of at least four parties in turn across the bridge. Quickly organizing these, I led them forward and when held up by enemy pillboxes I again headed rushes which succeeded in clearing them. In one case I myself destroyed the occupants of the post by throwing grenades into it. After several of my runners became casualties, I kept contact with our different positions. Although twice wounded I continued to direct the unit’s operations with great vigour and determination and while organizing the withdrawal I stalked a sniper with a Bren gun and silenced him. I then coolly gave orders for the departure and announced my intention to hold off and ‘get even with’ the enemy. When last seen I was collecting Bren and Tommy guns and preparing a defensive position which successfully covered the withdrawal from the beach.
  • Following my action at Dieppe, I became a prisoner of war for the balance of the hostilities.
  • In 1945 I was elected to the Federal Parliament for Vancouver-Burrard and served in that capacity until 1948.
  • Following the loss of my seat in the General Election of that year, I returned to my law practice in Vancouver where my wife and I took up residence.
  • In 1951, I was appointed commanding officer of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada (R), a post I held for three years.
  • On July 12, 2000, I passed away in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Who am I?

a) 1972 Hon Franklyn F.M. Griffiths (RMC 1927)
b) H1866 LCol Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt (RMC 1925)
c) 1800 Hon Hartland de M Molson (RMC 1924)
d) H1877 LCol Guy RC Smith (RMC 1925)

Answer: b) H1866 LCol Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt, VC (RMC 1925)

Sources:

Veterans Affairs Canada – Citations

Veterans Affairs Canada – Heroes Remember

One Comment

  • 11401 James Peverley

    September 17, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    How could the VC won by H1866 LCol Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt, VC (RMC 1925)have been posthumous as he did not die until 2000. I had the honour of standing beside him at an ex cadet parade to the arch in the early 70s and it was well known by all of us that he had a VC.

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