Earning the Maple of Canada

Discussion in 'North Irish Horse' started by Gerry Chester, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Canuck

    Noting the Princess Pat's nickname in your posting today - reminded we supported them, the Seaforth Highlanders and the Loyal Eddies (another nickname) on May 23rd 1944 - reminded me of the following

    Brigadier Tetley

    Special Order of the Day
    by
    BRIGADIER J.N. TETLEY, Commander 25 Tank Brigade



    24 May 44
    The following messages have been received and replies sent:

    From Commander 1 Cdn Corps
    To Commander 25 Army Tank Brigade.
    rptd Commander 1 Cdn Inf Div
    Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to the 25 Tank Bde which has fought so magnificently with us today. The courage and determination of all ranks has been beyond praise.


    From Commander 25 Tank Brigade
    To Commander 1 Cdn Corps.
    rptd Commander 1 Cdn Inf Bde
    All ranks 25 Tank Brigade thank you for your most generous message. This day has been a great one for all of us and we shall never ask for better comrades than 1 Cdn Inf Div


    From 1 Cdn Inf Div
    To 25 Tank Bde
    Message from Comd 1 Cdn Corps to Comd 1 Cdn Div.
    CANADA will be proud for ever of a battle which its 1 Cdn Div has today won. Through the courage and determination of all ranks of the Div and their British Comrades of the 25 Tank Bde, HITLER LINE has been broken in the face of bitter opposition and the enemy has been dealt a blow from which he will NOT soon recover. The final victory is nearer. Let us press on and complete our task.


    From G.O.C.1 Cdn Inf Div.
    To 25 Tank Bde.
    Well done. We have won a resounding victory. This victory is the fruits of your magnificent courage, endurance and the will to win. Now we have the bastards on the run we must keep cracking. Good luck. I am the proudest man in the world


    From 25 Tank Bde
    To G.O.C. 1 Cdn Inf Div
    1. All ranks 25 Tk Bde thank you for your kind message. We ask for nothing better than to fight with 1 Cdn Inf Div under your command and will help to make Kesselring run faster and farther yet.
    2. The Bde Commander wishes these messages and the following to be read to all ranks.
    By the great courage and determination which you have shown today and by the magnificent manner in which you faced trhe most difficult task you have ever met, you have made a great page in history. Many experienced soldiers might have thought your task impossible in such country and with such skilled and determined defence. I thank you all for the great job you have done.
    3. General G.C.Vokes, DSO, Commanding 1 Cdn Inf Bde, has intimated that he would be pleased if all ranks of 25 Tk Bde would wear a Maple Leaf emblem in token of the part played by the Bde assisting 1 Cdn Inf Div to breach the ADOLF HITLER LINE.
    Commander, 25 Tank Brigade, has accepted the offer with thanks.
    Further instructions will be issued at a later date.

    (Sgd) J.N.Tetley Brigadier
    Commander, 25 Tank Brigade


    Reproduced from original which is on file


    ORDER OF BATTLE - 25TH TANK BRIGADE
    25th Tank Brigade Headquarters

    25th Tank Brigade Signals Squadron

    The North Irish Horse

    51st Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

    142nd Regiment Royal Armoured Corps

    Brigade Services
    27th Company RASC (Tank Brigade)
    25th Tank Brigade Workshops Company REME
    5th Light Field Ambulance RAMC
    104th Ordnance Field Park RAOC
    Bde Troop RE (ex 3 Troop 3 Field Squadron HE)
    253rd Forward Delivery Squadron


    Affiliated for Operations
    142nd Army Field Regiment Royal Artillery (Royal Devon Yeomanry) equipped with 105-mm self propelled guns.

    Non-combatants
    Royal Army Chaplains Department
    Army Catering Corps

    All the above, with the possible exception of the RA unit, and their antecedents are entitled to wear the Maple Leaf.


    Although the NIH is but a shadow of its former self the Maple Leaf is still propudly worn today.


    Cheers,

    Gerry
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Gerry- and all we got in 21st TB was the Redpatch of the 1st Cdn Div to wear under our cap badges for taking them through the month long Gothic Line !
    Cheers
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Morning Gerry

    It's always nice to get a special "Thanks !" for a job well done, even from a brigadier !

    I'm sure you must have the similar one we got from General Alexander ?

    Methinks that I shall now hie myself away and start a thread entitled "Thanks for a job well done !"

    Best regards

    Ron
     
  4. colinhotham

    colinhotham Senior Member

    To Gerry (NIH), Tom (21st Tank Brigade) and Ron (49th LAA) it was not only a "job well done" by you and many others in 1944 but for the duration!
    I think this is the first time I have been able to mention my 3 veteran friends in one post and that pleases me.

    Colin.
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I AM unfortunate.

    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
     
  6. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Colin,
    I second that.

    Gerry, thanks for posting the 'thank you'.
    To your last line...Does the NIH incorporate the Maple Leaf today?

    Cheers from Canada
    Randy
     
  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Gerry,

    Thanks for posting that. The excitement and pride from both sides just jumps off the page.
    Quite remarkable that there was so much respect and cooperation between British and Canadian units. Gives a new meaning to the word ALLIES.

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Canuck
    One of the strange things about the battles in Italy was that the Canadian 1st Armoured bde invariably fought alongside a British division whereas the British Tank bdes e.g. 4th Armoured of 40th RTR - 46th RTR and 50th RTR - supported the 1st Cdn Div in lower Italy- then after Ortona - even with 5th Cdn Armoured nearby - the 25th British TB of Gerry's lot and mine of the 21st TB became the main support of 1st Cdn. with 25th taking them through the Liri valley - and we then took over until they finally left in the Feb of '45 for Belgium - it worked out well as there was always a bit of friction between 1st & 5th owing to the Ortona fracas.....
    Cheers
     
  9. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Canuck
    One of the strange things about the battles in Italy was that the Canadian 1st Armoured bde invariably fought alongside a British division whereas the British Tank bdes e.g. 4th Armoured of 40th RTR - 46th RTR and 50th RTR - supported the 1st Cdn Div in lower Italy- then after Ortona - even with 5th Cdn Armoured nearby - the 25th British TB of Gerry's lot and mine of the 21st TB became the main support of 1st Cdn. with 25th taking them through the Liri valley - and we then took over until they finally left in the Feb of '45 for Belgium - it worked out well as there was always a bit of friction between 1st & 5th owing to the Ortona fracas.....
    Cheers

    Good evening to you Tom. How is the weather on the left coast?

    Can you elaborate on the 'friction' between the 1st and 5th. I'm not aware of that history.

    Tim
     
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Canuck -
    I have PM'd you on that subject- give me a yell - the left coast is as always - raining - what else can make the flowers grow - and the apples - peaches - grapes - BC bud - sockeye salmon - et al
    Cheers
     
  11. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Canuck,

    Claims for the award of World War Two combat Battle Honours , (and quasi forms, such as wearing the Maple Leaf, officially termed ”Honorary Distinctions”), required the completion of Form 0098H T 1/56. Applications were subject to agreement by the Claims Committee chaired by General Sir John Crocker. Honorary distinctions once approved belong to the unit and its antecedents. Although complex as units change their names, there is a logical sequence ensuring that Honorary Distinctions may continue to be worn. Here is an example:

    51st Battalion Royal Rank Regiment, 25th Tank Brigade.

    In 1936 the 8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion was converted to Anti-Aircraft artillery. In 1938 the 7th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion was converted to the armoured rôle, and redesignated '45th (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Corps (TA)' (45 RTR). In early 1939 the Territorial Army was doubled in size requiring that existing units each raised 'duplicate units'. This resulted in 'A' Squadron of 45 RTR, at Morley, expanding to become a second regiment - '51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment (TA)'. Both units adopted the badges of the Royal Tank Regiment retaining the Leeds Rifles' colours on their uniform shoulder-strap flashes. Both tank regiments served as such during the Second World War.


    When the Territorial Army was reconstituted in 1947 45th (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment (TA) reformed with Headquarters and two squadrons at Leeds, Carlton Barracks, and one squadron at Morley. In 1952 the Regiment was redesignated as 45th/51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment (TA). In 1956 45th/51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment (TA) reverted to the infantry rôle and again became the 7th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (TA).
    By 1961 both the Leeds Rifles' artillery and tank regiments had reverted to the infantry rôle, and amalgamated to form one infantry battalion, The Leeds Rifles The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (TA).

    This explains why its antecedents, the Leeds Detachment (Leeds Rifles), Imphal (PWO) Company, The East and West Riding Regiment, wear the Maple Leaf today.

    Of interest here is an extract from the covering letter received with the above information:
    " For information I might add that a commemoration of the award of the Maple Leaf to the 51st RTR and the other units of the 25th Tank Brigade which of course includes the NIH in 1944 and the award of the Croix de Guerre to a Leeds Rifles battalion in 1918 is held each year in Leeds Parish Church attended by the Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire and other dignitaries.”

    So it is with the NIH antecedents B (North Irish Horse) Squadron Queen's Own Yeomanry, and 69th (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron. Note: The other QOY and Signals squadrons do not wear the Maple Leaf.

    Prsonnel no longer in service may wear the silver Maple Leaf on regimental ties, Here's scan of mine. http://northirishhorse.net/Canada/MapleLeaf-6.jpg

    From a local newspaer http://northirishhorse.net/N-Ireland/Limavady-2009.html
    Dignatories present: A serving Colonel of the Canadian Army and four lords - three of whom being lords leiutenant.

    That the bonds between Canada and 25th Tank Brigade are ever strong is evidenced by this plaque hanging in Dunmore Barracks, Belfast.
    http://northirishhorse.net/Canada/11.JPG
    and an ex NIH WWII officer "Paddy" Reid, being chosen to be the Honorary Colonel of the Colombia Regiment.

    How great it would be if all who served on the Allied side during the war had similar ties - I am both honoured and humbled to be one of them.

    Cheers, Gerry
     
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Gerry

    I finally had a chance to read through the extensive material you put together. Many thanks for doing that. The silver maple leaf looks quite good on the tie and obviously the years have been very kind to you. You look very well turned out in that photo. Almost fit enough to be wearing the khaki again!

    I am both honoured and humbled to associate with great men like yourself and this is one Canuck who admires those ties with the Irish.

    Cheers
     
  13. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Gerry,
    My buddy Tim says it very well.
    Thank you for the excellent post.
    Cheers from across the pond.

    Randy
     

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