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XII Manitoba Dragoons
26 Field Regiment

Overflowing crowd remembers sacrifices
Second World War hero Numi Stefanson 
presented special hero award from France
Nov 11, 2014 ~ By Tim Lasiuta ~ Innisfail Province

An overflowing crowd of more than 600 Innisfailians packed the Royal Canadian Legion Auditorium to honour the fallen at this year's Remembrance Day Ceremony. And citizens were witness to the special and unexpected commemoration of Numi Stefanson, a Second World War veteran and current Innisfailian, with France's highest non-citizen award as a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his service to free France.

The Nov. 11 local ceremony was attended by hundreds of community citizens, men and women from the military, RCMP, cadets, and representatives from service clubs. Innisfailians aged three to 93 wore poppies proudly as many solemly remembered sons and husbands. Others recalled relatives they never met but still honoured. Del Seabrook, president of Innisfail Legion 104, introduced the dignitaries and read a letter from Prime Minister Stephen Harper that expressed admiration and respect for the role of Canadian peacekeepers and soldiers up to the present day. “The solders who fell defending Canada and our allies during wartimes, are the sons and daughters of Canada,” said Chris Strong, member of Alberta's North West Command. “I was in Ottawa and spoke hours before the shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo while guarding the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and like the death of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent shows, our military is still serving us.”

Strong noted two overseas bases are being renamed in honour of the two fallen soldiers - Patrol Base Cirillo in Iraq and Camp Vincent in Kuwait - effective Remembrance Day to commemorate the two military men. He told assembled citizens at the Innisfail ceremony there was also a special salute for 96-year-old Stefanson, whose valour in the Second World War has put him in a select group of heroes. “I am honoured to present this medal to you, on behalf of the President of the Republic of France, and to thank you for your part in freeing France during the Second World War,” said Strong, while presenting the international honour. “This medal has been given to only 600 individuals, of whom 6,000 were deemed to be eligible worldwide."

The Second World War veteran said he served in the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and was part of the armoured car regiment with the rank of ‘Trooper”. “I remember being on the barge along with our ‘cars', or staghounds that held five men,” said Stefanson after the ceremony. “ Driver, co-driver, gunner, radio man, and our sergeant fit into a small cockpit. When bullets are flying, you sure are able to fit into tight sport,” he added.

Stefanson was one of the initial Canadians who landed on the beaches of Normandy from Britain, and military duty took him from the beaches of France to Belgium, and finally to Germany. The veteran calls Innisfail's Country Manor home and fellow 12th Manitoba Dragoon member, Cameron McNab, lives in Sunset Manor. McNab was not present for the ceremony. Due to inclement weather, the laying of the wreaths was done indoors, with # 7 Penhold Cadet Squadron escorting the dignitaries to the front of the auditorium.

Innisfail's Kathleen MacPherson played the Last Post, and two minutes of silence was observed. This was followed by Piper's Lament and Reveille. A short luncheon was served after for guests and attendees.

Dear Friends:
We invite you to join with us as we celebrate three momentous events. 
1. On Saturday 1 November 2014 at 1300hrs (note time change),  the M-109 (Self Propelled Howitzer) will be dedicated
in memory of LCol Thompson and all the soldiers of  26th Field Regiment RCA; past, present, and future. 
This memorial event will be held at the Brandon Armoury (11th Street and Victoria Ave).

2. The second momentous event is a celebration of the WWI 45th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force Colours being re-dedicated at St Matthew's Cathedral. 
This event will occur on Sunday 9 November 2014  1030hrs during worship at St Matthew's Cathedral,  403  13th Street Brandon. 

3. On  11  November 2014,  the Museum will be open for viewing from 1300hrs to 1500hrs. 
We will be showing the WWII  Film Footage from the XII MB Dragoons,  "Day in the Life of the Regiment" starting at 1300hrs. 
This film footage is almost two hours long and is a documentary of the XII MB Dragoons right from recruiting in Manitoba to England to Europe. 
Showing of the documentary will be at the Brandon Armoury (11th Street and Victoria Ave).

We look forward to seeing you at these three events. 

E.L.  Mc Arthur
26 Fd Regt RCA – XII MB Dragoons Museum

The Colours are now hanging 
in the nave at St Matthew's Cathedral. 
Ninety eight years of history.

Many thanks to the Bishop, Dean of St Matthew's, Warden  Chris Macdonald and Rae, the Commanding Officer of 26 Field Regiment RCA,  the Adj of 26 Fd Regt, and Museum Board - Volunteers. 

The 45th Battalion CEF Colours were presented  by Mrs FJ Clark to her husband, LCol Francis Joseph Clark (XII MB Dragoon and then 99 Ranger and also Officer Commanding 7th MB Calvary Brigade for Military District #10) 28 October 1915 on the Athletic Grounds of Brandon College (now Brandon University) and deposited at St Matthew's Cathedral  5 March 1916. History states that the embroidery was completed by the Ladies Auxillery of the 45th BN. 

To boost moral, 45th Battalion had a Brass Band as well as chipping monies together to purchase a piano.  The piano remains today at the Royal Canadian Legion Minnedosa. 

Our Curator Emeritus,  Mr Ross Neale's  Daddy was part of 45th BN. 

Total strength when 45th BN disembarked in England  on 25 March 1916 was 38 Officers,  1119 other ranks aboard the SS Lapland.  Two drafts  (combined with 44 & 45 th BN)  First Draft: 10 Officers,  500 other ranks.    Disembarked England 1 June 1915. 
Second Draft: 5 Officers,  250 other ranks.  Disembarked England 4 September 1915. 

This is an amazing amount of soldiers from SW Manitoba.... and to think Brandon and area also recruited 79th BN,  181th BN,  6th BN,  32 BN (as well as 5th BN and 1 CMR but we don't perpetuate those).

~ Thanks to John for the history!

Standing salute
Members of the 26th Field Regiment salute beneath the colours of the 45th Battalion
during a rededication ceremony at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

Brandon's Military Museum
Volume 3, Issue 5 :: Fall/Winter 2014
Read it HERE in PDF Format
Back Issues:
September 2014
July 2014
March 2014
November 2013
July 2013
April 2013
March 2013
November 2012
July 2012
March 2012
November 2011
Col Dick McDonald memorial service.
25 September 2014
Thursday, 2:00 pm
Central United Church
327 8th Street
Brandon MB

Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst has Proclaimed Sept 7-13
2014 MEMORIAL WEEK in the City of Brandon
Brandon University cordially invites you and a guest to the attend 
the Opening Reception of the Brandon College and the Great War exhibit. 
Through artifacts and photography, this commemorative exhibit 
explores Brandon College's history and participation in the First World War.

Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 7 PM – 9 PM
Location: Tommy McLeod Curve Gallery, John E. Robbins Library
Brandon University 270 - 18th Street, Brandon, MB
Refreshments will be served. 
RSVP By Wednesday, September 10th to:
Amy Wyntjes
(204) 571-8547

The arrival of the M-109 Self Propelled Howitzer at the Brandon Armoury.
The acquisition of the M-109 was an inactive of the
26 Field Regiment RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum and 26 Field Regiment RCA
Brandon's own Army Reserve unit.

. .

1. Arrival of the M-109 Self Propelled Howitzer

2. Installing the Lifting Rig

3. Lift-Off

4. Approaching the Concrete Pad

5. Spin Almost Complete

6. Final Positioning

7. Touchdown

8. Home at Last
. .
The gun will be dedicated to the memory of LCol Ross Thompson, CD
and all the soldiers who have served
26 Fd Regt RCA "Past Present and Future".
Heritage Day
The Centenary of the First World War

Sunday August 3, 2014: 1 pm to 4 pm
 The Manitoba World War One Museum is hosting a Heritage Day 
commemorating the centennial of the beginning of the First World War. 
Come view exhibits from different military museums including 
The Darlingford War Memorial and Museum, 
The Legion House Museum, 
The Pilot Mound Museum, 
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles Museum, 
The 26th Field RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum 
plus a private collection exhibit on the 184th Battalion.
Located at the Silver Springs Bed and Breakfast 
between LaRiviere and Pilot Mound 
on Highway 3 Turn north at Mile 58W and right at Mile 16 North.
Phone # 204-825-2961

From our AS YOU WERE. . . Monthly Webzine:
D-Day Landings Scenes Then and Now


It's An Honour! Travelling Exhibit
Monday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13 at 
Neelin High School (10th Street and Brandon Avenue). 
It is open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. on both days.
On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and the Rideau Hall Foundation, 
I am writing to invite you to visit the 
It's An Honour! travelling exhibit, 
which will be in Brandon, Monday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13 at
Neelin High School (10th Street and Brandon Avenue). 
It is open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. on both days.

Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. 
Kind regards,
Katie O'Brian
 Program Manager / Gestionnaire du programme It's An Honour! / C'est un honneur!
www.gg.ca/HonoursExhibit / www.gg.ca/ExpoDistinction 
Facebook & Twitter: /HonoursExhibit /ExpoDistinction 
Tel : 613-447-2390


Click for full-page image
D-Day Tea
A Time to Remember
 For Veterans, Families and the Community
Monday ~ June 9, 2014
7 - 8:30 pm
1116 Victoria Avenue
RSVP by May 27 to Lorna
to all our Museum Friends and Volunteers 
for helping to make the 
34th Annual Vimy Night a success.
Our Annual 
5 April 2014 ~ 1800 hrs
The Friends of the 26th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum invite everyone to attend our Thirty-Fourth Annual 26th Field Regiment RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum Vimy Night Celebration and Fundraiser on Saturday 5th of April 2014 in the Brandon Armoury. 

Doors open at 6:00 pm, supper will be served at 6:30 pm.  Vimy Night will consist of a Chinese Food Buffet, entertainment provided by the 26th Field Regiment Pipes and Drums, and a live auction plus a silent auction.  The Chinese Food Buffet tickets are $15.00 per person. 

Admission to the auction is free which will follow the buffet.  Entrance to the armoury at 1116 Victoria Ave. is via the 11th Street door.  There will also be a cash bar for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tickets are available from Edd Mc Arthur at 26fdregCurator@wcgwave.ca
or telephone 204-726-3498


Feature Story in the
Written by Tad Krasicki
26 Fd Regt RCA—XII Dragoon Museum Volunteer

D-DAY 70 YEARS ~ JUNE 1943
We lost three Brandon boys that day…

D-Day saw a big change in Europe and also in Brandon. Brandon had losses all during the war but now things went into high gear. We lost three Brandon boys that day.

Rifleman KENNEDY, ALLAN JOSEPH H/103100. A Manitoba service number, but we do not know how he ended up in the Regina Rifle Regiment. Many Brandon boys served in units from all over Canada. Brandon's former alderman of the '50s and '60s -- J.M. Shurb was a Sgt. with the Regina Rifle Regiment having been transferred from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles to teach rifle shooting. There are many reasons for serving with more distant units.

Rifleman WORONCHUK, EUGENE J. B/142310 (the B is probably a typo and it should be an H) Royal Winnipeg Rifles. This stocky fellow was also a wrestler who was popular in Brandon at that time. He showed up one evening at his girls' home to say good-bye as they were shipping the RWR out the next day. He said that he would not return. The girls there all said for him not to take that attitude but he had already lost his neighbor on Eighth Street North to an ammunition accident in training and had a bad feeling.

That neighbour, Rifleman PURPER, WILLIAM H/41015 Royal Winnipeg Rifles, had died at Shilo on 11 May 1940. In June of 1944 the girls, including his pal, were spending a warm evening singing. Another girl ran over saying, "The family just got news and Woronchuk has been killed." The girls never sang again during the war.

Corporal KLOS, WALTER JOHN H/41048 Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Raised on Twelfth Street North, Klos had ended up as a mucker in the mines of Flin Flon. This is copied from the book Juno by Ted Barris and tells of Cpl. Klos's last moments on Juno beach. The Winnipeg's 'B' Company, and the Royal Canadian Engineers 6th Field Company assault team working with them, had one of the highest beach casualties of the day. The company had lost almost three-quarters of its men. Their courageous company commander, Captain Gower, was left with only twenty-six men. A pill-box on the west side of the Seulles River contained a 75 mm field gun and a very large anti-tank gun. A story of unimaginable courage took place near this pillbox. It concerned Corporal W.J. 'Bull' Klos. "Rushing the enemy, 'B' Company encountered heavy enemy fire. Corporal Klos, badly shot in the stomach and legs while leaving the assault boat, made his way forward to an enemy position. Men fell all around him as Corporal Klos thrashed through the deep water. Klos was a big, powerful man. Thus the nickname “Bull”. The corporal's rage was greater than his pain. He staggered to the beach and shot an enemy gunner. Despite being wounded, he engaged in hand-to-hand combat with three German soldiers he came across in a pill box. He knifed two of them and was strangling the third with his bare bands when he was killed. His hands still gripped about the throat of his victim produced a chilling sight!"

A lady that lost her brother, a Flying Officer told me what it was like on Tenth Street North where the family lived at that time. In the summertime with windows open the sound of the telegraph boy's bicycle bell could be heard. The shout went out and was spread street to street in all directions. The mothers or wives walked to the front gate to wait. Where would the telegraph boy go? For the unlucky ones he turned onto their street and then stopped at their gate. With a telegram coming for every injury, every sickness, every wound, every "missing in action", every "taken prisoner", and every death this began a time of much increased dread for the families on the home front. And so it was from D-Day until after the war and the boys came home.

Be part of an exciting project
The Brandon Veterans' Memorial Committee is seeking your help 
to raise funds for the Veterans' Memorial.
The Memorial will built on the corner of 11th Street and Victoria Avenue.
This is your opportunity to make a donation, in remembrance of
a Veteran of the Regular or Reserve Forces of Canada.
Donations of $100 or more will be recorded on a plaque.
Please give your name, the Veteran's name, Rank, Service Branch or Unit.
Donations may be made to the City of Brandon Veterans' Memorial
410-9th Street. Brandon, MB  R7A 6A2