Canadian Army Newsreel No. 1


[Canadian Army Newsreel
Musical Intro.] Narrator:
Arriving from Canada by bomber, Colonel Ralston,
Lieutenant General Stuart, Chief of General Staff
and Mr. C.D. Howe are greeted by Mr. Vincent Massey. First visit of the Minister’s
lightning tour of the Canadian army was to units
of the Second Division who had been engaged
in the Dieppe raid. After the troops had swung
proudly past the saluting base, Colonel Ralston talked to
many of the battle scarred young veterans,
gathering firsthand information. At CRU, the Minister
certainly learned the ropes. At an artillery demonstration, the light ack-ack crew
showed speed and skill while 25 pounders blasted
away at distant targets. Wounded men in
Canadian hospitals, grim reminders of the
heavy casualties of Dieppe were cheered by
the Minister’s words. In Scotland, Colonel Ralston
saw the important work being done by the
Forestry Corps. He talked to soldiers
who instead of rifles carried axes and saws and… While at the First Division, he saw the Third Brigade
attack with tanks under cover of heavy mortar smoke. After the demonstration,
he inspected the West Nova Scotia’s famous
First Div Unit from the Bluenose province. And then to the Third Division,
where the Minister inspected units of the Nineth
Highland Brigade, including the massed pipe bands
of the Three Battalion. On to the First
Army Tank Brigade, where he saw an
impressive demonstration of Canada’s armoured might,
squadron after squadron of heavy Churchills were drawn
up in battle array on the down. At the Fifth Div,
the skirl of pipes welcomed the Minister to the
Cape Breton Highlanders, for this was Colonel Ralston’s
former unit, the old 85th, whom he
commanded in the last war. The last item on the crowded
program was a flying visit to units of the newly
arrived 4th Division. And so Colonel Ralston
left for Canada, knowing that the
Canadian Army is ready, willing and able for whatever
tasks may lie ahead. In a new kind of competition,
there was riding for skill where points were
given for control, and riding for spills when Canadian and
British dispatch riders raced over a tricky
course at high speed. And then there were
field events, such as the erection of
poles to carry signal wires, for this was a test of skill
at arms between signallers of the 12th Corps
and 1st Canadian Corps. The events were tackled
in a real sporting spirit, with Canadian and British
signallers matching their skill in using the arms with which
they fight the enemy. And in a close finish,
the Canadians came out on top by a score of
four hundred and sixty-eight to four hundred and fifty-two. The Canadian infantryman
is well used to the rigors of battle drill
and assault training. But in World War II,
it’s not only the infantry who had to do the fighting. No troops can consider
themselves completely out of the battle area. And so the 3rd Divisional
Special Training School takes men from what
used to be considered a non-combatant arms and turns
them into frontline soldiers. These men are from the
supply and transport and petrol and ammo companies
of the RCASC, from the field parts and workshops
of the ordinance corps, from divisional engineers
and signals, medicos from the field ambulance
and fighting men, every one of them,
imbued with the Canadian army’s
spirit of attack. In May 1942, the army’s
bulldozers started clearing ground for a new airport
for the RCAF. It was a mammoth job and
it had to be done quickly. One of the chief obstacles
to the expansion of the Canadian army’s vital
air component was the shortage of aerodromes. So General McNaughton set the
Royal Cdn. Engineers to work. To help the sappers,
came detachments from the Forestry Corps,
the Ordnance Corps and drivers from the RCASC. Heavy Canadian and American
equipment was kept working Eighteen hours a day,
six days a week, and there was no time off
for tea. Five short months after
work was started, the army had done its job
in record time. The huge aerodrome was ready to be formally handed
over to the RCAF. Chief figures in this ceremony
included Air Chief Marshal Courtney,
Air Marshal Edwards, Major General Hertzberg,
the army’s chief engineer, and Lieutenant
General McNaughton. “I’m very happy to be here today and to acknowledge also, as General Hertzberg has done, the very wonderful cooperation
in this whole matter which has been extended
to us by the Air Ministry and all those who work
in that ministry under the direction of
Air Chief Marshal Courtney.” Air Marshal Edwards
accepting the aerodrome on behalf of the RCAF, declared
it one of the finest in England and a
magnificent achievement. Meanwhile, 12 Mustangs
were circling the field in tight formation. And as they landed
on the smooth, wide runways, they symbolized
the striking cooperation between the Canadian Army
and the RCAF. History was made
when senior officers of the Coldstream Guards
joined with Canadians to welcome their Allied regiment, the Governor General’s
Foot Guards. Brigadiers Burns and Phelan
greet Lieutenant Colonel Rick, the officer commanding. Then the Foot Guards marched off
to their new quarters to train for the day when they’ll add
to the glorious achievements of the old CEF Iron Second. With the band of
the Grenadier Guards playing them into the station, the Canadian Grenadier Guards
arrive, and this historic moment was shown the keen interest
taken by the senior regiment of the empire in its
Canadian namesake. Guards officers waited while
the unit detrained and fell in on the station platform. Major H.D. Griffith was greeted
by Lieutenant Colonel Piler, officer commanding,
and Brigadier Phelan who formerly commanded
the regiment and later the Canadian Brigade of Guards. Like the Foot Guards,
the Canadian Grenadiers are now an armoured regiment and form part of
the 4th Division. Gone for the duration are
the Busby and scarlet tunic, replaced by battledress and the grease and sweat
on the tank soldier. Somewhere in the future lie
great names to be added to the battle honours already won;
names like Hill Seventy, Passchendaele,
Canal du Nord, Vimy. Welcome indeed to the
Canadian Army in England are these two proud units
with their proud tradition. While the Royal Standard flew
high above Buckingham Palace, a patient crowd assembled
outside the gates, for the word had gone round
that the men of Dieppe were to receive their decorations
from the King. Finally they appeared, the soldiers, sailors and airmen
whose deeds on that fateful day had won them recognition. Major General Roberts, who commanded the
military forces, received the DSO,
as did Brigadier Mann, self-styled “backroom boy.” So did Air Commodore Cole,
Royal Australian Air Force. Captain Porteous, VC. The Canadian VC,
Colonel Merritt, SSR is now a German prisoner. Amongst the many Canadians
was Sergeant Thurman M.M., Royal Regiment, Privates Thrussell
and McKellar, SSR, both received Military Medals. Private Mayer, VCM,
Corporal Carl, M.M. and Lance Sergeant Misov,
all Essex Scottish. Corporal Dow, FMR and Sergeant Dixon,
Essex Scottish, Military Medal. Second from the right, Private McQuaid, M.M., RHLI. Captain Wilkinson,
SSR, Military Cross. On the right, Sergeant Debouf,
M.M., VFMR. Lieutenant Cavanaugh, Queens Own Camerons,
Military Cross. On the left,
Lance Corporal Fisher, Second Div Sigs. On the left,
Private Haggard, VCF, SSR. Private Lebrett, FMR,
Military Medal. In the centre, Private
Leo Pilio, Military Medal, Captain Brown, Padre of
the Camerons, Military Cross. Lance Corporal…
RHLI, Military Medal. RSM Veen, RHLI, Military Medal. In the centre,
Corporal Graham, RHLI, VCM. On the right, Sergeant Mundy,
SSR, Military Medal, Captain Carswell, RCA,
Military Cross, CQMS Marsh, Black Watch,
Military Medal, Major Kennedy, Essex Scottish,
Military Cross, Lance Corporal Gilbert,
Second Div Sigs, Military Medal, Lance Corporal Huppy, Camerons,
Military Medal, Lieutenant Ewener, RCE,
Military Cross, Signalman Ray, 6th Brigade
Headquarters, Military Medal, Captain Loranger, FMR,
Military Cross. And many others whom our busy
cameramen could not photograph. Heroes all, these men,
heroes who helped to write a glorious page of history.

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