Flashback | Rétrospective: Great Gunners


Researched by E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003)

The Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo, Manitoba is a focal point for telling the story of Canadian Gunners. The story of the Gunners of Canada is really the story of Canada itself – part of our shared national heritage. This story is physically held in museums across Canada. Following are just some of the Great Gunners with links to the Royal Military Colleges.  Are you aware of others?  If yes, let us know with a comment.

* 2265 LGen William Alexander Beaumont Anderson OBE, CD (1915-2000) graduated from Royal Military College in 1936. He returned as Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada 1960-2. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/anderson.htm

* 1022 MGen Harold Oswald Neville “Brownie” Brownfield CBE, MC, CD (1894-1958) graduated from the Royal Military College in 1910. He was appointed Professor of Tactics at the Royal Military College in 1934. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/brownfield.htm246

* 246 LGen Sir Henry Edward Burstall KCB, KCMG (1870-1945) was educated at RMC and was commissioned on 29 October 1889. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/burstall.htm

* 749 General, The Honourable Henry Duncan Graham “Harry” Crerar PC, CH, CD, DSO, CD (1888-1965) graduated from RMC in 1909. He returned as Professor of Tactics, Royal Military College. In 1935 he was appointed as Commandant, Royal Military College. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/Crerar.htm

* LGen Sir Arthur William Currie GCMG, KCB (1875 – 1933). The Currie Building and Currie Hall at the of Canada were named in his honour. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/currie.htm

* H7860 LGen, The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire OC, CMM, MSC, CD (1946- ) attended Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, Québec, and graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences from RMC in 1969. In 1989, he assumed command of the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/Dallaire.htm

* 624 MGen William Henry Pferinger Elkins CB, DSO, CBE (1883-1964) graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada, in June 1905. He was appointed to command the Royal Military College 1930-35. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/elkins.htm

* LGen Andrew B Leslie CMM, MSC, MSM, CD. His education includes a Masters in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. In June 2006, he was promoted to his current rank and appointed Chief of the Land Staff. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/lesliea.htm

* Col, The Honourable John Ross Matheson OC, KSTJ, CD, QC, LLD is perhaps best known for his contribution to Canada’s Flag and the development of the Order of Canada. He is still a familiar face around RMC often attending many special events, inparticular, Reunion Weekend. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/matheson.htm

* LCol John McCrae MD (1872-1918) was a soldier, physician, and an accomplished poet who wrote “In Flanders Fields”. He trained as an artilleryman at the Royal Military College of Canada in 1893. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/mccrae.htm

* 985 MGen Henri Alexandre Panet CB, CMG, DSO (1869 – 1951) graduated from the Royal Military College in the summer of 1891. He was appointed Staff Adjutant at the Royal Military College 1901-5. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/panet.htm

* MGen Edward Chester “Johnny” Plow CBE, DSO, CD (1904-1988) entered the Royal Military College in 1921. His elder brother John, preceded him to the college and the practice of referring to new cadets by their elder brother’s Christian name was followed; for the rest of his life he bore the name, “Johnny”. He later returned to the college where he lectured in gunnery and in military history. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/plow.htm

* 891 MGen John Hamilton “Ham” Roberts CB, DSO, MC, CD (1891-1962) graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1914. A robust and active student, he excelled in sports, particularly football, tennis, shooting and cricket. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/roberts.htm

* LGen Guy Granville Simonds CC, CB, CBE, DSO, CD (1903-1974) graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1925. He gained a reputation for excellence, achieving a “Distinguished” grading in half his subjects. His knowledge and abilities as an instructor gained him the post of Associate Professor of Artillery at RMC and later the post of Instructor in Tactics. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/simonds.htm

* 1878 Major General Hebert Alan “Sparky” Sparling CBE, DSO, CD (1907-1995) entered the Royal Military College in the summer of 1925 and graduated four years later with the nickname “Sparky” as his brother had before him. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/sparling.htm

* 1131 Brigadier Percy Arthur Stanley Todd, CBE, DSO, ED, CD (1898-1996) was one of 200 men who undertook a seven-day, highly competitive examination competing for the 53 available positions at the Royal Military College in the year following the outbreak of the Great War. After winning a place, he completed the intensive wartime one-year course in 1915. He played a key role in the reopening of the Royal Military College of Canada after the war. http://www.rcamuseum.com/English/Great%20Gunners/todd.htm