Hi

My name is Jim Kidd. I was in the CProC, attached to 1st Cdn Guards for about one year up to disbandment, after which I was transferred back to Germany..

My reason for Emailing you was the memos re high incidence of Cancers.

Vieques was for years the testing ground for the US Navy on every kind of chemical one of which was agent Orange, and others by DOW Chemicals. From the fifties and the latest was in Dec 1968.

We were bivouaqued in Vieques for about three months as I recall and were sprayed for mosquitos by air I believe. I wonder now. The grounds of Vieques were soaked in every kind of chemical to kill vegetation etc.

This might be part of your high incidence of cancer and other related health issues like lungs .

I know of a few Provosts that had prostrate cancer, one that was with us in Vieques.

I know what the DVA is like as with back injuries caused during service they don’t want to pay so what is new. Hell to be getting older eh.

Anyway this is for your info.

Fond memories of Camp Picton.

Jim Kidd  (Oct 30, 2014)


Thanks Goldie

After returning from a fantastic weekend in Oromocto New Brunswick at the Canadian Guards Reunion, I called Mrs. Gregg affectionately known as Norma.

Norma likes to be kept up to date on the latest, and we discussed happenings of the weekend. Like everyone is getting older and can still cut a mean rug on the dance floor! The events of the weekend and memories of times gone by.

In our conversation, I told her of the nomination of Terry Dexter By Ken Zinck and seconded By Ted MacDonald to be appointed patron of the Canadian Guards Association, Atlantic Branch. Milton being the much loved Patron leaves Terry with big shoes to fill and we all thought he was very worthy of the roll. Her comment was that Milton thought very highly of Terry and would certainly approve!

Norma will be 94 this coming January. She still lives in her own home with three care givers popping in at different times of day. She has had a difficult year with the passing of her beloved husband and child. She is very strong in spirit and heart and has a wonderful memory.

For those that would like to keep in touch her address is as follows.

Norma Gregg

7007 Fielding Avenue

Halifax, NS

B3L 2H1

Blessings Marie MacDonald

Via Stephen Brodsky (photo from 1957)

Gerry:

I counted 12 Cormier’s in the Regiment. I wonder if the song writer is a descendant. Perhaps through the Net you might find out. In any case any old soldier would enjoy the song.

Bill Patterson


From: Frederic L. Tolleson Subject: Hometown Battlefield

THIS ONE IS FLYING AROUND THE INTERNET DOWN HERE AMONGST MARINES.

INTERESTING BECAUSE IT IS A SOMEWHAT COUNTRY BALLAD DONE BY A CANADIAN IN NOVA SCOTIA.


https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wq0X0bwMprQ?feature=player_embedded


Ben Murdock..got your great photo today. Right to left:
George Hennecke 1st Bn, Ben Murdock 2nd Bn, Lloyd Holden 3rd Bn, and Don Hilchey 4th Bn. Photo taken in Edmonton ay 100th ann of PPCLI

(Sept 15, 2014) also on our facebook page


Click here for the latest “Guards Star” (GGFG) (September 2014)

For your use and/or delectation, here is a photo of quondam Belgian Artillery sergeant 1961-65 Walter Verstraeten (r) with Prince Philippe  of Belgium (L).  

Note: Not knowing Belgian protocol, I don't know if Walter, having been knighted, now has a prenominal as in France's 2nd Empire (Nap. III), which would have been Chevalier Walter; and where Orders of Knighthood and Orders of Merit begin and end in various European constitutional monarchies is a confusingly murky business. So, unless we were in the diplomatic corps and had to know, he's just plain Walter.

Chimo, Steve

(July 2014)Gerry - I have just received an informative note from Chevalier Walter Verstraeten. Here is an excerpt which you may wish to append to my notes:

"I noticed your addition to the comments section of the Canadian Guards Association website. I am indeed entitled to the addition “chevalier” (or “ridder” in Dutch) to my name. On official functions I find myself mostly to my surprise addressed with that title. . . . It still makes me jump to be addressed with my title as deep in my heart I am very much the son of an Antwerp longshoreman."

Aside from a knighthood bespeaking true merit, which Walter wears with the unassuming modesty of the truly deserving, I greatly value his comradeship as a quondam brother-in-arms, and as a respectful friend of our Regiment who has gone to the trouble of seeking us out and reestablishing our bond.

AMUAM, Steve

Sgt S Brodsky

Having just read relayed by our historian of sorts SSB, a recently published item in "Comments" correspondence from Walter Verstraeten ... a complementary and conclusive summation of what it was to be a Canadian Guardsman as seen through the eyes of a Belgian sergeant. As I remember us Guardsmen in Soest West Germany, we were a sultry lot but with class, and pride in what and who we stood for. It will never go unnoticed in my view, of how we conducted ourselves in the rank and file of the regiment. I say this from experiencing complimentary notice from other professional soldiers after the regiment had broken up. With many of us learning to serve other masters in other Corps, the Guards motto never was forgotten from wence we came, discipline!!!

I too had the opportunity to visit with a Belgian conscript in his home town of Leopoldsburg, Belgium, for a week-end enjoying time with his family. I can recall the royal treatment his family extended to me in and around the town's watering holes. This corporal, much like myself young also, had parents having experienced the war years, literally being fought in their back yard. They were ever so impressed with Canadians during those years; so much so they came to Soest and we all met in the Florida Bar, a Belgian Army hang-out in the sixties for a gathering. We had our good times drinking Klina Mulligan and dancing with the frauleins into the wee hours of the morning. If I recall correctly they wore an itchy khaki uniform much like our old battledress, at the time. Of course we had our tailored suit, white shirt and tie looking very spiffy, compliments of R dub Bennett, RSM. This too, was good discipline!

How time has passed us by... the story he has relayed is never tiring, may these memories remind us of how it once was for the Guards, Soest 1957 - 1962. I keep asking ... WHY did they let all that go?

Howie Pierce, Gdsm


Thanks for that, Howie. I agree with your memory and commentary. What Walter and his comrades didn't see, however, and of which I have since disabused him, was a battalion in the field wearing mechanics' coveralls, WW 2 puttees and barbers' basins (superseded by cast-off US helmets), and worn-out US combat jackets bought at Butzbach's military surplus store. The Rosinante steeds we Quixotes rode as APCs were 3/4 ton trucks held together by paint, while every other NATO army had camouflage combat gear, combat boots, and APCs. We were the ragmen of NATO. The miracle is that, servants of a criminally uncaring government (the same which junked the Avro Arrow and a Made-in-Canada APC), we and the other regiments did it so well. We all may be mightily proud of that, but ashamed for the old men in suits who sent us, forgot about us, and at the end of the decade jettisoned all we had built.

G. W. Stephen Brodsky, CD, DPhil

Good day, Gerry and John -

I have forwarded you the email (below) from Walter Verstraeten, because it is much too evocative of who we as a regiment were in our prime, not to be shared in some form with every member of our Association. (It is slightly abridged, with a few personal details of general interest removed.) You will recall that he was the former Belgian Army Artillery sergeant who contacted the Cdn Gds Assn website inquiring after Rick Prest, Nick Puddicombe, and me. Walter and I have had a very interesting exchange with news of ourselves since we knew each other in Germany.

In brief, Walter left the Belgian Army in 1965, and entered corporate business, eventually at a very senior executive level. He was knighted by King Fillippe of Belgium. What he has to say here is very moving. It's often extraordinary to find out how we touch the lives of others without even knowing it. Anyway, between you use Walter's email as you see fit. (I shall also send you a photo he sent me of the Red Patch Barman Erwin (we called him Irving),

who became something of an iconic figure to the patrons.

AMUAM, Steve

From: Walter Verstraeten Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014  

To: Stephen Brodsky       Subject:  things we cherish

Dear Steve,

. . . . What strikes me when comparing the way our careers evolved is that when we first met we were ‘simple’ sergeants, though I should put that ‘simple’ in its correct perspective. From what we Belgians could observe a sergeant in the Canadian army was a non-commissioned officer and a gentleman, whose stature rose far higher than a Belgian sergeant’s. A Belgian NCO was an officer’s doormat and their attitude towards a sergeant was comparable to the way a noble would treat his serves. You guys were so spic-and-span in comparison to us. I remember being invited to the Trooping the Colour ceremony in Fort York on August 18, 1962. Seeing this parade for the first time in my life I sat in the visitor’s gallery and drank every move the troops made and absorbed every token of tradition exposed in the parade ground. That day I heard Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ for the first time and it has stuck to my ribs for the remainder of my life. What I saw enfolding before my eyes that day was a totally different aspect of what an army can be. I remember our conversation the night of the same day at the Regimental Birthday Ball where our Canadian hosts all appeared in military or plain tuxedo, a vestment that even in their wildest dreams was completely unknown to a Belgian Army sergeant. Apparently in the Canadian Army pomp and circumstance was not something reserved for the officers, but was just as much expressed in the ranks of the NCO’s and Warrant Officers and even in the ranks of the soldiers and corporals as I have been able to observe myself on more than one occasion.

Meeting the Canadians to me opened a new horizon. Talking to you and Nick and Rick was a sacrosanct happening to the simple boy I was. Like a sponge I filled my being and very existence with every word spoken, every gesture made, every adage expressed to me. I learned about another world besides the scruffy-looking unpolished Belgian army where traditions were few and discipline could not be matched with the one I witnessed in the Canadian Army. Of course there was a difference, the Belgian Army was for the major part a conscripts army, whereas the Canadian Army was a professional one. That in itself creates a vast difference. From you guys I learned the importance and the exact significance of the word ‘discipline’. “Give a man discipline”, Rick Prest told me once, “and he will be a man at peace for he will know exactly where he stands, what he may do, and what he cannot do”. I put his words on like an invisible shirt and the shirt never again left my body. In every business or other function I held later on in private life, demanding and exerting discipline was my first objective and it brought me and the men reporting to me a lot of good. I consider myself very happy to have found you. . . .

Fortunately I have kept all my diaries, my agenda’s, every scrap or bit of paper, that now enables me to give a profound description of what I did at any given day [in later professional life]. . . . I can tell you on what flight I was when flying to Ghana in September 1971. . . . I can describe in detail why I was apprehended in Nigeria and incarcerated for the better part of a day under suspicion of being a Biafra spy. It is one of the reasons why I decided to try and get back in contact with you and Nick, for you two had without you realizing such a profound influence on how my life would evolve. Going back to civil life is a decision that finds its roots with the fine Canadian gentlemen I met in the Red Patch Club in Soest, believe you me. I cherish the red maple leaf badge I carry on my photo bag. . . .

Kind regards,

Walter

Howie P, Gdsm

On Monday, April 14, 2014 10:31:18 PM, judy charlton <jlcharlton@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hi Howie this is Bob’s daughter Judy I am afraid my dad is still fighting for his life as he has gotten the super bug that has been going around the hospital and is now on dialysis but is still fighting and hasn't given up yet .l will read your message to him it will make him happy. thanks for thinking about him.   cheers Judy


Guards Park

Gentleman,

We are very pleased with this honour as you might expect.


OTTAWA - February 18, 2014 –Councillor Desroches is pleased to announce that the City of Ottawa is moving forward with a proposal to name the new Barrhaven park at Leamington Way and Ventanna Way as „Foot Guards Park‟ in honour of Ottawa‟s ties to the Governor General‟s Foot Guards.

“I am pleased to report that the City of Ottawa‟s Commemorative Naming Committee has currently put forward the suggestion to name “Foot Guards Park” in recognition of the service of the Governor General‟s Foot Guards to Ottawa,” said Steve Desroches, Councillor for Gloucester-South Nepean. “The Foot Guards have been a fixture in the National Capital Region for over 141 years and have become a symbol of our country, showcasing patriotism and pride in Ottawa through the Changing of the Guard Ceremony.”


 Following City Council‟s approval at the conclusion of the name review, Councillor Desroches will host the community and the Governor General‟s Foot Guards at a special park opening ceremony later this spring.

George Kennedy is mentioned and I remember him and ……as we all were back then, ready for anything challenging no matter the consequences. Old and tired soldiers were pushing forty at that time.Best wishes,

Larry Lomas

Click on GGFG for a link to the Guards Star Newsletter page. (March 2014)

Hello I am researching the late Capt. Maurice Barnett who saw service in the Canadian Guards. Googling his name had led me to your site where I see several photos and the mention of Capt. Barnett but alas I am unable to tell which man he is in the photos and wonder if you can assist please?
Regards
Ed  (Please reply thru webmaster)  Feb 16, 2014

Latest from Goldie..click on link below for photos in high quality of the Guard of Honour for JFK  (Feb 12)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs2FyA37QkU

Ernie Martin to John Barclay

HI JOHN AND BARB

BELATED BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR. HOW GOES THE WARS IN THE FROZEN NORTH. DID YOU GO ON ANY INTERESTING VACATIONS. ALTHOUGH THE IDEA OF VACATION FOR WE RETIRED FOLK IS SOMEWHAT STRANGE.

I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT SENDING A MESSAGE BEFORE THE 60TH. HOWEVER I HAD A VERY BAD SPELL OF ILL HEALTH, RESULTING IN BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS ENDOSCOPYS, SEVEN BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, A 16 DAY STAY IN A VERY OVERCROWDED HOSPITAL,THREE MONTHS IN BED AND A VERY RESTRICTED DIET. I HAD BEEN TAKING A MEDICATION CALLED KATEROLAKA WHICH CAUSED SAY THE DOCTORS TWO PERFORATED ULCERS.

IF ANYONE IS IN TOUCH WITH GRAHEM MEHARG PLEASE TELL HIM THANKS AGAIN FROM ME FOR THE BLACKTHORNE WALKING STICKS THAT HE BROUGHT BACK FROM BELFAST,  YEAH THESE 55 YEARS AGO, WHICH I NOW USE ALL MY WALKING TIME. NOW THAT I AM IN SOMEWHAT BETTER HEALTH I WILL TRY TO STAY IN BETTER TOUCH.

ALL THE VERY BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE. ERNIE  (Feb 8)

hi Ben (Murdock).this is Judy Charlton contacting you about my dad (Bob). Last week my dad had a double bypass and valve replacement surgery and was doing well and was removed from icu but he has now got some form of infection in his body and is once again in the icu. I will keep you updated on his condition. Thanks Judy (Feb 7)

Erratum! I just noticed that I said the Black Watch lost a battalion in 1968. That's wrong. Only the Guards and Queen's Own lost a battalion then, although all regiments lost their depots at the same time. In 1970 all three regiments were disbanded and the two battalions of Jocks in Gagetown were rebadged and squeezed into the reformed 2RCR whose Colours and finery were shipped from Germany to Gagetown at the close-out of Fort York.

I'm sure one of the astute people following the site will see the error so I thought it best to do my mea culpa in advance.  AD  (Jan 2014)

The picture was taken in the Spring of 1970 when everything having to do with regimental affiliations was in flux. (Bernie Skehen in the Golden Video)

The 2nd Battalion RCR had been in Fort York from 1965 and were due to rotate out in 1968. However, as you recall the Queen's Own, Black Watch and Canadian Guards each lost a battalion in 1968 so the policy of unit rotations was changed to individual rotation. Officers and senior NCOs from other regiments started to be posted to 2RCR at that time, one of whom was WO Bernie Skehen.

I went to 2RCR in November 1969 with Ken Bettes. Barry Worth and Chris Wellwood were already there, as were some officers from the QOR of C and Black Watch, along with a fairly large contingent of Sr NCOs from the reduced regiments. You might also recall that the new green unibag and the announcement that three regiments would be reduced the NIL strength occurred at about the same time in 1969. Unlike the PPCLI battalion in Germany, the CO of 2RCR invited the NCOs from the disappearing regiments to rebadge early and get a head start and, to the best of my knowledge, most of them did. Because of the cost of outfitting officers in new regimental kit, most of us retained our regimental badges and accoutrements until we got greenies, at which point we rebadged.  rAl Ditter

For those of you who have requested and will receive a copy of the CD, feel free to copy it for your friends. This will make it easier for making distribution to as many who would appreciate it. Goldie  (Jan 4 2014)

I am a member of the association and am looking for the forage cap we wore in the 60s. For some reason I can find no one that has any way of locating one. Have they thrown all of them away and I assume they no longer make them. However, they must be around somewhere. Can you help!

Regard
Reg Kirby  email (any suggestions, feel free to email Reg) (Jan 4 2014)

Made some more improvements to the video and put it on CD. Perhaps the Petawawa and East Coast Branches would like a copy for play back on a computer at their end. If so, just let me know where to mail them. Goldie..

(Dec 28)