On Sunday, Sept 27, a Regimental party consisting of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Watts, Regimental Sergeant Major, Chief Warrant Officer Rob Garrett, Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Don Foster and
George’s long-time friend Edmund Wu met George Chow at the hospital where currently he resides, to present him with the Regiment’s 100th Anniversary Coin in honour of his long time service to the Regiment. George recently broke his hip in a fall at home and is remaining in hospital to complete his recovery. George is recovering well and in good spirits and turns 99 in November.
In August 1940, two months before his 19th birthday, George went to the recruiting centre at the Bay Street Armoury in Victoria to sign up. After basic training he was transferred to 16th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery in Windsor, ON, for advanced training. The Battery was then shipped to Halifax to board a vessel for England. In England he was a member of the first all-Canadian crew to shot down the German plane on English soil.
During the Normandy Campaign, the 16 th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA was part of 2nd Army Group Royal Artillery (AGRA). They were lucky when they came off the Landing Craft Tank (LCT) as the water was only 9” deep during their landing and they continued to move inland to Caen and other regions of France before heading into Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. After the victory in Europe, George volunteered to prepare for the Pacific theatre, but his new assignment ended soon after the atomic bomb had been dropped in Japan.
After the Second World War, George joined the 43rd Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA at Bessborough Armoury in Vancouver, BC, in 1953, as a Gunnery instructor. He attained the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class (today equivalent to MWO) and was appointed Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) of 210 Battery in 1958. In 1958 the 43rd was amalgamated with the 15th Field and George continued as BSM of 210 Bty. He was honourably discharged in 1963
Episode 2 of the Arne Knudsen interview is now on-line. It contains stories from Arne's time with the Danish Navy, the International Brigade in Spain, and his return to Canada in 1939. View it on the Arne Knudsen page.
Episode 1 of the Sergeant Arne Knudsen video is now on-line. Arne talks about his early days in Denmark, running away from home at a young age, traveling to Canada in 1929, being given 48 hours to get out of Winnipeg and signing on as a deckhand in the Far East. You can find the videos here.
In my upgrade to the Memorial Page, I dug a little deeper into some of the bios we have online. Sergeant Okon-Ockoniy was quite interesting. The attached newspaper article has him attached to the Infantry Training Centre at Sarcee Barracks. He provided quite the presentation to the local Kiwanis Club and the local media. His online nominal roll entry is a combination of this newspaper article and that of Antonius Carolus Okon. While the names may not be exactly the same, there does appear to be considerable similarity although his World War I records indicate a somewhat different name, a different birthplace (Zwolle, Holland) and different previous service information (Volunteer Corps, France, 1900) His birthplace also would have him 66 years old in 1940. Am I matching the correct person?
Library and Archives
Nom Roll Oak - Owe
1940 - 15th (Vcr) Coast Bde, RCA, CASF
Deadly Traffic Accident
A traffic accident on No.4 Road in Richmond, claimed the life of one of our young musicians, Gunner Robert Joseph Sweet, son of Sergeant Albert Bramwell Sweet. Check out 1959 with 43rd Medium Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA here.
The Memorial Page has not been updated for several years and, for that reason, it was hidden from view in the background. I had considered removing the page in its entirety but it has come to my attention that there have been some viewers that have found the page by searching. In discussion with the Regimental Sergeant Major, it was determined that the Memorial Page format is useful for those that are searching for members that they have lost touch with or for those family members to realize that we have not forgotten those that have been in the regiment before us.
Therefore I have spent the last two days and nights updating the Memorial Page and placing it back in the Lists menu. Please let me know if you find any errors or omissions.
in 2001, Some of the members of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess recorded Sergeant Arne Knudsen's stories. The total video is five hours long but it appears that I may be able to break it down into 9 separate video clips. The first episode (episode 9) is now online. It consists of Arne's time supporting an American unit in Italy. He was awarded the Bronze star for the events that took place that day.
Arne Knudsen Episode 8
01:37 Capturing the house
09:03 German Sergeant
17:05 Arne Wounded
18:10 The 17 Pounder
21:18 Arne Hospitalized
02:16 Mail back home
28:55 VE Day
Arne, tak for dine historier.
Looking for some information, suggestions, background to the 58th Battery. When the 15th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery was formed it had a detached Battery located in Victoria. It was noted as, "Detached: 58th Battery, CA – Victoria; attached to 5th (British Columbia) Regiment Canadian Garrison Artillery; September 22nd 1920." This Battery manned the Point Grey Fort as the 58th Heavy Battery, RCA. I've included the soldiers that served in the 58th during this time in our nominal roll. I also did some research on the 58th Overseas Depot Battery, 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery as I thought that we would naturally have perpetuated. It turns out that they are actually perpetuated by the 5th (BC) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA and therefore should not be part of our history. (Artillery unit histories get somewhat confusing!) Question is - Am I on the right track?
The reason that this question is now raised is that I received a query from Ireland regarding one of the soldiers from the 58th Battery, 14th Brigade, CFA - Gunner Peter Frederick Crampton Ross. I passed on coordinates to Tom Byrne in Leighlinbridge, Ireland and in return he provided me a pdf copy of the O-PIP from 1919. Enjoy the read.
Another name passed on from Warrant Officer Conrad Skuce has led to another interesting life story.
Sergeant Major Norman Joseph De Graves
Passed away 13 November 1937 during a 68th Overseas Depot Battery reunion just as he was rising to speak. A Customs Officer, Norman DeGraves was seconded to the Records Office in London and became the Superintendent Clerk for 110 clerks processing the administration for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He is interred at Mountain View Cemetery. Check out the other newspaper stories in the 1937 yearbook.