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Fallen Comrades (retired members)

This off the Hussar Net:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Good morningIt is with sadness that I have been informed of the passing of LCOL(R) Ed Exley

LCOL Exley passed away late Tuesday evening without pain or suffering.  An informal reception to help celebrate his life will be held at the National Cemetary of Canada, located at 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, July 20 between the hours of 2 and 4 PM. An official obituary will be posted in the Saturday Citizen with all the details but please help us to spread the word to all friends and acquaintances.  Message received from Bryan Exley.  Our deepest condolences go out to LCOL Ed Exley family

  Good afternoon

Please note change in date for the informal reception. The family had passed on the wrong date.  The correct date is Wednesday, 20 June, 2012 between the hours of 2 and 4 PM.  The family regrets any confusion.

Association members, It is with regret we announce the passing of LCOL(R) Ed Exley.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this time. Info below.
Additional subjects: Col Claggett, I would like to make a correction that I had in the last Sabretache. I referred to Col Claggett as Mr WL Claggett and It should have read as Col Claggett.  My apologies.

Lest We Forget

I have added an additional subject to the Web page under the museum tab called "Lest We Forget.) 

"Lest We Forget" 

For the past few years Belleisle Regional High School teacher, Stephen Wilson, has provided his history students with an opportunity to research and build a documentary video on the life and military history of a number of members of the Canadian Forces within the local community who have paid the supreme sacrifice during a conflict.  This project received acclaim in the Legion Magazine in November 2010. With the kind permission of the school, teachers and students, we are pleased to present an overview of their efforts to document and bring to light the efforts of these veterans who gave everything to support the freedom we know today!  The Link will take you to the video's. They are amazing.


Shirley LaMontagne
8 CH Association Secretary
Telephone | Téléphone 506-422-2210
Cell (506) 471-7988
I had the great pleasure of working (indirectly) for Tony Sosnkowski when he was DLR in the 1970s. He was, as the obituary says, the very definition of an "officer and gentleman."

Reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of he Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

Col. (Ret.) Anthony Sosnkowski, CD, CA

Tony Sosnkowski, much cherished officer and gentleman, fiercely devoted husband of Margaret, lovingly attentive father to Louisa and Andrew (Rebecca), breathed his last at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Charlottetown, on June 26. A service of utmost celebration took place in Charlottetown on July 2.

Tony was the quintessence of gracious, notably so, combined with knowledge that literally spanned the cosmos, a beautifully perceptive wit, the physical strength to tackle mountains whether by foot or on skis, and a deep respect for beauty wherever he saw and heard it. Tony loved harmony and Tony created harmony; his extended family adored him and his country and community were the better for him: a man of deep appreciation who was deeply appreciated. Tony was born in Poznan, Poland, arriving as a war refugee in his beloved Canada at age 11 in July, 1940, at Halifax's Pier 21. He studied in Montreal, majoring in physics with the Jesuits of Loyola.

He fought for his country in Korea for 17 brave continuous months but for five days of R&R in Japan. For 32 years he served the Canadian Forces with diligence , his career highlight serving as the commanding officer of 4 RCHA in Petawawa which specialized in light artillery for difficult terrain and deployments by helicopter.

Subsequent to his military career, The Ontario Council St. John Ambulance and The United Way of PEI benefitted from Tony's warm, humane, focussed leadership.

How natural it is to use the word service when speaking of Tony. A chorus of loyal family dogs would agree, Monty the woofingest. Tony had lost his dear brother John. His brothers Alex, Joe and Peter remain to miss him. He was an affectionate friend to his grandchildren Sean, Bianca and Claire, and his numerous precious in- laws, who aren't sure which they loved more – Tony's hospitality or having him in their homes, with his twinkle, and crinkly grin, and perfect thing to say to mark occasions high or low. Tony was a renowned Charlottetown Rotarian, an honoured member of the PEI Commonwealth Society, and an extremely long term patron of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Perhaps those white dwarf stars ought not bother to cool without him. We are left with Tony's comprehensive library, and shiny medals, and our memories of a man who many frankly adored.

Tony was a treasure; the wealth goes on, heart-burstingly so for those who were lucky enough to be closest to him. He was a beautifully romantic husband and a perfect father.

Donations to the United Way of PEI would be appreciated.

I also had the pleasure of serving with this fine officer and gentleman. The mention of his time in Korea is understated.

The following is an extract from the RCHA history: (And as per normal, there was no formal recognition of their deed.)

The Chinese held the high ground to the north of “The Hook” in great strength, but their main positions could not be seen from any ground OP within the divisional sector. In February 1953 it was considered worth the risk to establish a “lay-up” OP well forward of the FDLs. Lt-Col Sills and Col. A. (Tony) Sosnkowski have described this unusual venture:

[Sills] The volunteers for this mission “Pheasant” [Goose Feature] were Lt Tony Sosnkowski, Bdr G.I. Reid and two signallers, Gunners Blackburn and Rafuse. Reid remained behind to “mind the store” at Tony’s OP on the Yong-Dong feature – the one entered by a tunnel dug through the mountain. The other three went to Dave Elkins’ OP on Hill 146 with “The Hook” battalion.

[Sosnkowski] Maj Chuck Murdoch arranged the US briefings and Elkins’ OP was my base and communications link. Blackburn stayed with Dave’s crew to help man the link. At night Rafuse and I set off across the Sami-chon valley. The trip was uneventful other than skirting around fires burning in the dried out brush from the previous day’s WP [White Phosphorous firing.] During the day’s operation we were too busy to worry much. If the Chinese had found us the plan was that half the platoon acting as our firm base would keep up the fire fight long enough for our pre-arranged smoke screen and DFs to come down and help us pull out.

[Sills] They infiltrated between Chinese outposts and found a suitable place to hide until daybreak; then they moved from one viewpoint to another taking on targets of opportunity. Three examples were a digging party, a mortar position and a group of visitors, all of which Tony engaged with RCHA guns. This third group was especially interesting as they appeared to be non-orientals dressed in distinctive blue uniforms – one looking like a very senior officer. Tony’s gunfire had them diving for cover in the closest bunker. He also had two US guns allotted for destructive shooting – an 8” howitzer and a ‘Long Tom’ 155mm gun – which he used to destroy three bunkers; one was particularly large, obviously some kind of HQ. After dark this intrepid pair returned, safe but weary, having completed a very successful mission in less than 24 hours.

[Sosnkowski] The only bad part I remember was the long and exhausting slog back up “The Hook” re-entrants in pitch black darkness and slithering mud as it was raining heavily. It must have been much harder for Rafuse who had the radio on his back. When we finally stumbled back into Dave’s OP he had wieners and beans, fried eggs and coffee ready. God bless him! I wolfed down the food and collapsed into a deep sleep for four hours. After a shave and scraping enough mud off our uniforms to be presentable, we went down to Battalion HQ to be debriefed and then around … to our own OP on “Yong-dong,” which seemed like a cosy and pleasant place to be again.
Wonderful obit and accounting of the "adventure". He must have been quite the man.
Rifleman62 said:
Wonderful obit and accounting of the "adventure". He must have been quite the man.

Fully concur, RM62.  RIP Col Sosnkowski!  :salute:

Mr. Campbell, Old Sweat, it must have been quite an experience and an honour serving with the Colonel.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Colonel Tony always seemed to have a grin on his face, which combined with his slight Polish accent, seemed to make people want to hang around him. He was the last CO of 4 RCHA which was disbanded in 1970 as part of Prime Minister Trudeau's huge defence cuts and restructuring. For a few years after that, Colonel Sosnkowski and myself, along with some others put an ad in the Canadian Gunner, our regiment's annual publication, that proclaimed "4 RCHA is alive and well and hiding at Montgomery Lake."
Good2Golf said:
Fully concur, RM62.  RIP Col Sosnkowski!  :salute:

Mr. Campbell, Old Sweat, it must have been quite an experience and an honour serving with the Colonel.


I was just scanning back through these pages - recalling true gentlemen, and brave and distinguished officers, like Duncan McAlpine and Rene Gutnecht, and real tough guys, like Sergeant Major BC Robinson and thinking of how lucky I was to serve in such company. And then it came to me that young men, some just newly joined today, will think the same of all of you. The army CF is a family and we are all related and we derive strength from the best of us and we all work a bit harder to carry the least amongst us and we will all miss one another, mostly fondly, when we pass.

For those who knew him, especially through the Air Cadet movement in northwestern Ontario, from his online obit:
.... Steinar Kristiansen (Capt. Ret.), 74 years, passed away peacefully on July 20th, 2012 with his loving family at his side at Maison Vale Hospice, Sudbury. Steinar is survived by his loving wife Eileen of 53 years. Together they raised four daughters, Susan (Gary Euler), Jo Anne, Karen and Heidi (Robert Paquette). He was born in Larvik, Norway, October 2, 1937 and immigrated to Canada in 1948 with his parents and two brothers Trond Willy and Jan-Erik. Sister Marilyn (Roland Amsler) was later born in Canada. He will be sadly missed by his six grandchildren Theodore and Connor Foley, Brandon, Ryan and Carter Paquette, Andrea Lalonde. Survived by Theresa Welch (niece) and Edwin Amsler (nephew). Steinar worked as a structural steel draftsman in Thunder Bay, Ontario for several years before operating his own successful drafting business with daughter Jo Anne. He was very active in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets throughout his life. He earned several rifle marksmanship awards as a teenager, obtained a pilot license and was a part of the National Drill Team. He received his Commission in 1982 and was Commanding Officer of the 66th squadron and with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179 in Capreol, Ontario and had earned a life member status.

“Asleep! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!”
John Keats.

Resting at the Lougheed Funeral Home, Hanmer/Capreol Chapel, 4605 Michelle Dr. at Hwy 69 N, Hanmer
on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 PM only

A memorial service under the auspices of the RCL Branch 179, Capreol on Tuesday at 7:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Maison Vale Hospice are greatly appreciated.
From the RCD Net:


It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of LCol (Ret'd) Ernest (Ernie) Wesson, on Saturday, 11 August 2012 at the age of 78.  Ernie lost his fight with cancer after bravely facing many outside complications including Parkinson’s disease.

Ernie began his career in the Regular Army in 1955. Then in 1958, fresh out of the University of Toronto and the Armour Corps School, he joined The Royal Canadian Dragoons, (his sole Regiment until he retired in 1980), as a Second Lieutenant.

His career took him to the Sinai desert in 1960 as a reconnaissance troop leader with the UNEF1 (The United Nations Emergency Force).

While posted as an instructor at the School of Armour in Gagetown, Ernie ran the Combat Team Commanders Course.

In 1969 Ernie moved the family to Bielefeld, West Germany, where he was posted for two years as the Canadian Liaison Officer to HQ First British Corps, British Army of the Rhine.

In the mid 70’s he had another two year posting as the Canadian Liaison Officer to the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico Virginia.

In 1982 he joined the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) becoming the Commanding Officer in 1986.  He continued to serve his country as the President of the Royal United Services Institute – Vancouver, Chairman of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association Trust, Treasurer of the British Columbia Regiment Trust and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Columbia Corps of Commissionaires. After his successful career in the military and having retired in Vancouver, he embarked on a career as a stockbroker, and had a successful career, working with the brokerage firm McDermid St Lawrence and its successor firms for a number of years.

Ernie’s warm and generous nature, along with his great sense of humour and wit drew people to him and he greatly treasured each and every one of his many friends. 

Ernie is predeceased by his beloved wife of 48 years, Maureen.  He will be greatly missed by his children, Karen Hanlon (James), Lori Murphy (Bill), Chris Wesson (Leachelle), Lynn Bradshaw and Ron Lea, and by his ten grandchildren. 

The funeral will be held on Friday the 17 August 2012 at 11:30 AM at Christ the Redeemer Parish, 595 Keith Road, West Vancouver, BC.  Prayers and visitation will also be held at 7:00 pm in the church on the evening before the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lions Gate Hospital Chemotherapy Clinic or the North Shore Hospice House.
I knew Ernie back in the 1960s; he was a good soldier and a good man. So sad.

The death of Col. Ron Johnsnton of Saint John, NB occurred Sept. 28th, 2012,  Ron retired from the Saint John Fire Dept. as Deputy Chief after 33 years service.  He was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves for 28 years, serving as the CO of 3 Field Regt and Commander of the Western NB Militia District.  He was an active member of the Rotary Club, was past president of the United Services Institute, and the Royal Canadian Artillery Association.  He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary-Lee, and his children Lee-Ann and Stephen and their families, as well as a brother,Mel, and a nephew Marc.  Resting at Brenan's Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John with visitation on Sunday and Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 pm.  Funeral service will be held from Brenan's Chapel on Tues., Oct. 2nd at 12:00.  Interment will take place at Fernhill Cemetary.
R.I.P., sir.  I was proud to have been your RSM.
Eric Lomax Royal Corps of Signals, former POW  and Death Railway survivor who found it in him to forgive his captors  and author of the Railway Man has passed away, RIP  :salute:


James Coyne, 2nd Governor of the Bank of Canada, RCAF veteran, died today; he was 102 years old.

He will be remembered for his dispute with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker which had the effect, finally, of guaranteeing the independence of all Bank Governors.


E.R. Campbell said:
James Coyne, 2nd Governor of the Bank of Canada, RCAF veteran, died today; he was 102 years old.

He will be remembered for his dispute with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker which had the effect, finally, of guaranteeing the independence of all Bank Governors.


Here is a fitting memorial written by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the National Post:

One governor to another: The legacies of James Elliott Coyne

Mark Carney, Special to Financial Post

Oct 20, 2012

A study of the long, rich life of James Elliott Coyne, former governor of the Bank of Canada, provides a perspective on the tumultuous events of Canada’s 20th century through the lens of a man who epitomized the qualities of his generation. His was a life driven by values of personal responsibility, duty, honour and integrity. Coyne was known for his determination and his commitment to what he had determined to be the right path, even when that path proved a difficult one to walk.

Lawyer, military officer, diplomat and central banker, throughout his distinguished career Coyne applied his keen intelligence and unwavering integrity to make a lasting impact.

Coyne joined the bank in 1938, three years after its establishment, was deputy governor from 1950 to 1955 and served as its governor from 1955 until 1961. Those economically and politically difficult years marked a period during which the central bank was beginning to assume a more prominent role in Canada’s economy — a role that was being defined as it was being played.

Coyne’s tenure as governor resulted in three important and enduring legacies that directly influence the bank’s monetary policy framework today: low and stable inflation as the paramount objective of monetary policy; a floating and flexible Canadian dollar; and the enshrinement of operational independence for the bank, with clearly articulated responsibilities of both the bank and the federal government in the design and conduct of monetary policy. 
In his era, Coyne’s version of monetary policy was novel — and controversial. During his tenure as governor, the Bank of Canada had little experience with conducting an active, market-based monetary policy. Few central banks did. Nor did the bank have many of the forecasting and policy tools that it needed to fulfill the expanded remit that Coyne envisioned for the institution. The bank’s initial use of market-based instruments for controlling the supply of money in the economy was considered intrusive and inelegant. 
Still, the overall principles of Canada’s monetary policy were forged during his era. If today low and stable inflation is a cornerstone of monetary-policy frameworks around the world, it is in part thanks to Coyne. He believed in price stability, and he believed it was a means to an end; the best contribution a central bank can make to fostering sustainable growth and a high standard of living for citizens. Since it was adopted in 1991, Canada’s inflation-targeting regime — the logical conclusion of Coyne’s policies — has been a critical policy anchor through calm and turbulent times, giving the bank an unwavering goal to guide its policy actions, and providing financial markets and the public with a clear means of understanding the rationale behind them. Canada’s flexible inflation-targeting framework focuses on keeping inflation near its 2% target while mitigating volatility in other dimensions of the economy that matter for welfare, such as employment and financial stability.

Coyne worked tirelessly to improve the efficiency of monetary policy. Under his leadership, the bank developed forecasting tools that allowed monetary policy to be forward-looking rather than simply reactive. It developed novel monetary instruments (including a bank rate set at 25 basis points above the auction rate of treasury bills) and fostered deep, liquid financial markets that would serve as an effective transmission mechanism for monetary-policy actions. Coyne also took an initial foray into expanding the bank’s communications with the public, drafting parts of the bank’s annual report himself and giving a series of widely reported public speeches.

Within the bank, Coyne was one of the earliest and most convincing proponents of a flexible exchange-rate regime. Canada was the first industrialized country in the post-war period to experiment with a flexible exchange rate. The decision was harshly criticized by others, including the International Monetary Fund, but the experiment proved a success: An appreciating currency at the time helped to moderate capital inflows and resulting inflationary pressures. With the exception of 1962 to 1970 (when the Canadian currency was once again pegged again to the U.S. dollar), Canada has had a floating exchange rate since 1950 — one of the longest experiences with a floating currency in the world, and an example to other small, open economies that have adopted floating rates. A flexible exchange rate is now a core element of Canada’s inflation-targeting monetary-policy framework. A floating Canadian dollar plays a key role in the transmission of monetary policy, allows the bank to pursue an independent monetary policy, and helps to absorb shocks to the economy.

These first two legacies are often overshadowed by the third; the outcome of the dramatic controversy referred to as the “Coyne Affair.” One can only begin to imagine the great personal cost of that stormy episode on Coyne, his family, close friends and his colleagues at the bank. But the legacy of the Coyne Affair was the transformation of the Bank of Canada from an institution closely associated with the Department of Finance and primarily focused on debt management into a monetary authority with clear operational independence. Over the following decades, this model would be adopted by all of the major central banks in the advanced economies.

In the wake of the Coyne Affair, on his last day at the bank, employees presented Coyne with a gold medallion bearing the inscription “Presented to James Elliott Coyne by his staff for courage and integrity in defence of the office of Governor of the Bank of Canada.” His legacy has profoundly influenced all of us who work at the bank, and has made it a stronger, more capable and more accountable institution.

James E. Coyne was a true public servant. His life was well lived and now, his rest well deserved.

Mark Carney is governor of the Bank of Canada
It is with great sadness that I report that an old friend of mine, Tim Carr, passed away on Christmas Eve at 2120 at KGH.  Funeral services will be held in Gananoque and I will post information as I get it from his wife.

Just received this today from the C&E Branch Secretariat:

t is with deep sadness that I am informing you, on behalf of the Branch Leadership, of the passing of our former Colonel-Commandant, Colonel George Lackonick (Retired), who passed away peacefully on Sunday, 17 February at shortly after 2000 hrs, with his family (wife Madeline, daughter Dianne and son Vincent) at his side.  Funeral arrangements are being arranged between the family and the Canadian Forces Joint Signal Regiment, and will be announced as soon as possible.  For planning purposes, the funeral is being planned for Thursday, 21 February at the RC Chapel at CFB Kingston to be followed by a reception to be held at Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess.  The alternate date being considered is Saturday, 23 Februrary at the same locations.  As soon as the details are firm,  they will be communicated by the undersigned. Thank you.