Alex, my father joined up in 1964 (1 Battalion RCR)in London,Ontario. The in 1965 he was transfered to Soest,Germany (Fort York)from then till late 1969! He always told me with pride that it was the best times of his life and had many good buddies over there and the "Royals" were true blue- Ohhh maybe he meant Labatts Blue "lol"
Hey Alex, Do you remember W.O.II (Ret'd) Sargent-Major Steve Horan...? He was my dad's Sgt Maj, in Soest,Germany in 1965. 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade there....the Brit's used call it the "Light Division". (as in over strength in numbers)part of B.O.A.R., (British Army on the Rhine)
Anyways Steve is 80 years old now. and my dad remember him well. Just thought to mention that bit, see if this jog's any memories....."
The epitomy of a proud yet very humble and honest man. I know him well, and last spent an afternoon with him at Christmas. A very close friend of the family, Steve was my 'Uncle Steve' when I was a kid, and was one of the reasons why I joined the military (and the RCR!). He loves to tell funny stories, and my son was enthralled by Steve's recollections of me when I was a boy. He retired from the Army in 1972, and joined External Affairs, travelling the world. When I was stationed in Germany with 3RCR (88-92), he was in Brussels Belgium, and we used to see him quite often. I was unable to make it for Bam's funeral, but one of the most proud and touching points for Steve was the number of 'Royals' who travelled long distances to attend, or sent condolences.
Did you know that he was in the North Shore Regt at Normandy? Or that he was wounded and captured near Carpiquet? Spent the rest of the war in a POW camp near Leipzig (his "working holiday courtesy of the 3rd Reich", according to Steve!), yet he loves Germany second only to Canada. He was in the Jump Coy of 1RCR back in the MSF days, and proudly wears his RCR cap badge on a maroon beret alonf with his "fruit salad" (medals!) whenever he gets the opportunity to participate in an "Alte Kampfer" event. He still has the huge handlebar moustashe of a Sgt-Maj, too.
Yes, he's 80-ish now, but he's as sharp as when he was 65. On his 65th birthday, he was running for Brussels' subway trains! I can only hope to be that spry as I age.
Steve was a great soldier and a proffesional to the core!! My dad has a lot of respect for him and he had a heart of gold, when pay parade was late or my dad was short for cash Steve gave my dad some dough ($$) to hold him over till next time....he'd tell my dad ya can pay me later Furlotte!
Steve also loved his cigars too and my dad told me some real humourous stories of when he was part of 9 platoon C Coy (Charlie Company) and Steve would look after his men before himself and was firm but fair and a great leader of men.(Oh ya, my dad remember his rather large moustache!!
My dad had wanted to wish him a happy 80th birthday on Feb 6th on 2005. It was held at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192 Carleton Place,ON.
I have a picture of him from the Ottawa Citizen and "yes' he does look like a real soldier with Jump wings and fruit salad (medal galore).
Oddly enough my grandfather was was also in the North Shore Regiment and was attached to C.M.H.Q's in London,England from 1941-45. He was seconded to the RCE's (1 Canadian Pioneer Company) perhaps Steve and him knew one another/?
Anyways thanks for sharing the story about Steve.
Chris Furlotte and my Dad sends his regards to his Old Sgt Maj.
Steve often told me the story of the Newfie cook he had in his company who, when faced with turning roast beef into steaks for a BBQ and told by CSM Horan to prepare for a fe more mouths, replied with, "By jaysus Sar'nt Majer bye, I'm slicin' dem so tin now, dey only got one side".
I missed the Sgt-Maj's birthday celebrations at the CP Legion, but I'd visited with him this past Christmas, which was closer to his actual birthday (26 Dec).
Funny how we permanently refer to good Sgt-Maj's as just that! I jokingly address Steve as 'Sgt-Maj', and while I've not seen MWO(Ret'd) Terry Seaver in afew years, I still consider him to be the epitomy of the Sgt-Maj during my time in the RCR, and always addressed him as such. He was another professional soldier, who never asked a subordinate to do anything that he wasn't prepared to do himself, or had already done.
1RCR C Coy... who's got stories of when 'Charlie' Coy changed to 'Charles' Coy?
The custom of referring to "C" Company as "Charles" Company in the 1st Battalion dates back to operations in the Korean War (RSO's for The RCR - Chapter 1, Section 2-Official Designation of Components, Article 109(2)).
Hey, Chris, if it tells you anything, my call sign was "Three-Three" - your dad was in my platoon and Jack Vance (MGEN) was the company commander. If you can confirm that your father was born in England, which may be the case since your grandfather was stationed there during the war, do I have another story for you!
There was a snipers' school in Germany, but the Prix LeClerc, named after the French General, although a small arms competition, was not, to the best of my recollection, specifically a snipers' competition.
And while on the subject of snipers, let me say that one of the weapons that truly made a lasting impression on me as a young soldier was a scoped, sniper's Lee Enfield that was on display in either the PPCLI museum or the RCR museum. (you'll have to forgive forty-five years of memory lapse here since I served both with one and "the other English-speaking regiment.") This particular Enfield had several notches carved into the shoulder stock from "kills" during WWII and Korea.
Is that Enfield still on display in one of the museums?
. . . a shooting competition among the infantry units in NATO in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
In 1962, 1st Batallion the Cdn Guards won the competition, the only Canadian unit ever to do so. The Cdn Brigade in West Germany at the time was over the top ecstatic about the win.
My dad remembers Jack Vance (MGEN) well!
He's a short little guy but "tough"!! Dad told me he'd come ta the bar in Wolseley Barracks Officers Mess where my dad worked and he'd give my dad a cuff around the ear and say "puttin' up Furlotte" (kiddingly) as Jack knew my dad was a scraper!! Jack was "good people" in my dads books!!
Born in England, was he? Then I'm right about right "Furlotte".
Yes, Chris, I was a young LT back then. The last time I saw your father was around '69 or '70 in the Officers' Mess in Wolseley Barracks during one of my visits back home from the States. To my surprise, "Furlotte" was the bartender behind the bar! If my memory serves me, he was also my batman at one time.
Ask him whether he remembers my silver Jag XKE roadster, and in particular, ask him whether he remembers me running back and forth to the British Embassy in Bonn, ( at around 130-140 mph) in a desperate attempt to obtain a British passport for him within an extremely tight deadline for your parents' wedding ceremony in Soest! Yes, a British passport for a Canadian soldier!
Email me and I'll give you the details rather than post them here.
Got your E, Chris, and thanks - thanks for bringing a bit of pleasure into the life of an old soldier. What's your dad doing these days? And where are you? I get up to Toronto once or twice a year to see family - it'd be nice to have a drink with Tony and chat about old times.
Airborne, and Pro Patria, eh ... that's Canuck speak, y'all.