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100th Birthday Brigadier General HE (Ted) Brown, OBE OStJ ED CD BA

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Brigadier General (ret) HE Brown will celebrate his 100th birthday on 30 August 2012. If not the last, he must be one of the last surviving officers who commanded a unit in action in the Second World War. A biographical sketch courtesy of the gunner net follows:


Brigadier General H.E. (Ted) Brown, OBE OStJ ED CD BA

From “The Quadrant” Fall 2010

BGen Brown was born in Brandon, Manitoba 30 August 1912.

His 40 year military career began in 1928 when he enlisted at age 16 in the Manitoba Rangers. He excelled in marksmanship and qualified as an instructor at the Canadian Small Arms School at Sarcee Camp. He rose through the non-commissioned ranks and was commissioned. Second Lieutenant in 1932 and Captain in 1935. Further infantry qualifying courses were completed at Fort Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg the next year.

In 1936 the Canadian government decided the Army lacked sufficient artillery units. The Manitoba Rangers was disbanded and the 26th Field Regiment RCA was formed. Capt Brown thereupon rebadged to Artillery. Ceasing employment at Eaton’s in Brandon, he joined the Canadian Army Active Force in January 1940. Reverting to Lieutenant, he received artillery training first at Fort Frontenac, Kingston, then at Camp Petawawa for approximately a year with 17th Field Regiment RCA. The now Major Brown was appointed OC 37 Fd Bty.

The Regiment sailed for England in November 1941, underwent further extensive training, and was rated first in overall performance amongst Canadian artillery units. In mid-October 1943 the Regiment sailed to Italy and deployed in the Ortona sector. In February1943 he was appointed Acting LCol and CO 1 RCHA. Whilst in this appointment he was wounded by shrapnel in the right leg and shoulder necessitating hospitalization for approximately two months. Returning to his Regiment, he took part in operations breaching the Hitler Line including the first William target ever fired by his Regiment. Further operations included the Liri Valley, the shelling of Aquino, the crossing of the Melfa River and finally the breaking the Gothic and Gustav Lines. He subsequently became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his exemplary performance and leadership.

His citation reads in part: “Lt.-Col. Brown went forward to the most advanced posts under heavy mortar, machine gun and rifle fire and carried out the reconnaissance and ranging necessary for the close artillery support of the brigade’s assault. This officer’s unflinching devotion to duty and skill throughout the battle made an important contribution to the successful breaking of two strong enemy defence lines – the Gustav and Adolph Hitler Lines ... His skill in drawing up and coordinating fire plans as CRA’s representative at HQ 3 CIB during the attacks across the Foglia River on 30 August… and on 17 September …was largely responsible for the success of the Brigade in these actions”.

A diminished list of BGen Brown’s many postings and commands follows:

·        1945 Commanded 1st Fd Regt RCHA in NW Europe for 5 months, and after the war A3 – Canadian Army Artillery Training Centre, Shilo, Manitoba.

·        1947-49 G S O 1 , Directorate of Weapons and Development, Army HQ. He completed parachute training at Rivers, Manitoba and still proudly wears his para wings.

·        1954-57 Commandant, The Royal Canadian School of Artillery, Shilo, Manitoba.

·        April – October 1957 Senior Canadian Officer UNEF, Palestine and Egypt.

·        Feb 1958- Aug 1959 Promoted Brigadier and appointed Commander, 2 CIBG, Petawawa.

·        Sep 1959 – Jun 1960 Attended National Defence College, Kingston.

·        Jul 1960 – 1964 Commander, Central Ontario Area.

·        Sep 1964 – Sep 1965 Senior Military Advisor, Canadian Delegation, Viet Nam and Senior Military Officer, Indo China.

·        1966 Retired from Canadian Army.

·        1966 -1977 General Manager and Secretary, Canadian Urban Transit Association. Appointed to Hall of Fame for contributions to the Canadian transit industry.

·        1980 – 1985 Consultant, EAC Amy & Son – Paper Recycling Project for Ministry of Environment, Ontario


BGen Brown was a busy man in his retirement. He traveled to many countries with his late wife Julie who sadly passed in 1999. Julie was the former Lieutenant (NS) Julie DeLacey Prindiville; they were married in Horsham, Sussex, England on 23 January 1943.

Ted has served on many committees: St. John Ambulance (32 years service), Membership and Library Committees of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Soldiers’ Tower Committee of the University of Toronto and RCMI Outdoors Club. He is a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Legion and President of Fort York Branch 165 from 1984-85. Ted was a distinguished HLCol and HCol of 7th Toronto Regiment during the years 1986-89 and 1989-91 respectively.

Ted authored the University of Toronto Memorial Book culminating four years of extensive research. The book records the death, place of burial and faculty of the 557 former students and graduates who gave their lives in the service of Canada during WWII. In recognition he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Military Studies and the Arbor Award for outstanding voluntary service to the University of Toronto.

From 1991-2000 Ted was an Artillery Veteran Commentators for the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College annual tour of WWII battlefields in Italy. For many years Ted has hosted the annual D-Day luncheon at the RCMI.

Now in his 99th year, Ted leads an active life both physically and mentally. He has an amazing memory and eye for detail. He continues to show a keen interest in all military matters, particularly those which affect The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and 7th Toronto Regiment RCA. He rarely misses a mess dinner and is regularly seen at Legion and RCMI events. He is a supporter, Life Member and Honorary Life Member of RCAA. His entire life and career, both in war and peace, has been a continuous story of generous and outstanding service to the benefit of Canada and the Royal Regiment.
 
The Regiment sailed for England in November 1941, underwent further extensive training, and was rated first in overall performance amongst Canadian artillery units. In mid-October 1943 the Regiment sailed to Italy and deployed in the Ortona sector. In February1943 he was appointed Acting LCol and CO 1 RCHA. Whilst in this appointment he was wounded by shrapnel in the right leg and shoulder necessitating hospitalization for approximately two months. Returning to his Regiment, he took part in operations breaching the Hitler Line including the first William target ever fired by his Regiment. Further operations included the Liri Valley, the shelling of Aquino, the crossing of the Melfa River and finally the breaking the Gothic and Gustav Lines. He subsequently became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his exemplary performance and leadership.
 
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