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"Rad" Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters CMM, DSO, MC, CD - 11 Jan 1920 to 21 Apr 2015

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
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Fellow members of the Corps, it is with heavy heart that I pass along the announcement of BGen Radley-Walters this day, and that of his passing, a true icon of all that is great within the Corps, he will be remembered.

Corps SM(Walt) Laughlin


One of the Greatest Canadian Leaders to ever serve in our Army has passed on.
He was the Western Allies Tank Ace in WW2, killing more Tanks than even American Ace Lafayette G. Pool and eventually rose to Command the entire Royal Canadian Armour Corps.
General Radley-Walters has died.
May he Rest In Peace.


A truly great man and professional soldier.  An officer who was highly respected by all who served with him.  An officer who would always be open and accessable to the young soldiers of Royal Canadian Armour Corps.  Rad will be greatly missed by all in the Corps.

RIP Rad.

I used to stop and see him whenever I went through Wilno. He was always quick to offer his homemade wine and a bed if we overindulged. Many evenings I sat there and listened to his tales, from WWII to the present (back then). I remember when the house burned down and the trouble he had with Ottawa bureaucrats trying to get his medals replaced. Apparently, they wanted proof he had actually lost them in the fire.

Anyway, he was a great man, who remembered his beginnings and could relate to younger Troopers as an equal. He would be fashionably late to dinners in Pet because he was at the Coriano Club with the JRs. Always a humble servant to the Corps. Someone who could invigorate the most despondent soldiers. A storyteller, a patron and the epitome of what the RCAC was and is.

God Speed Rad.

Tonight I will drink to you.

Damn dust. 
My first awareness of him was in the summer of 1974. I passed the old RCEME shop in Petawawa many times, and wondered why they were painting a Sherman tank gold. I eventually asked, and was told that that was his retirement gift.

He was one of the vets who accompanied my CFLCSC on our tour through Normandy, from the Beach to Falaise in 1992.

Yes, a loss indeed. Time for a toast or two.
I spoke with him on a few occasions in Petawawa. A true legend. We are poorer for his passing.
We have lost a great soldier, leader, an example of what a good officer should be.
I first met him when I was a student on CTCC Serial 7201 and he was the Commander CTC. He spent a fair amount of time with us in the field and was always willing to explain why things happened. My wife and I spent some time with him and Pat when I was researching my Normandy book and he was extremely helpful.

And contrary to what all sorts of people say, I am convinced his squadron killed SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann of 101 SS Heavy Tank Battalion.

RIP, Sir.
I have been looking for an obituary since yesterday evening and at this point have been unable to find one. Has anybody actually seen one?
downhillslide said:
I have been looking for an obituary since yesterday evening and at this point have been unable to find one. Has anybody actually seen one?

What I found was the first posts that went out.  Obituary and funeral information should be coming out today or within the next few days from the Regimental and Corps Associations.

Chris Catry posted this yesterday:

For those that were wondering about Regiments being contacted, this afternoon an email went out to all Corps units from the Senior Serving Black Hat with the notification, asking them to in turn advise their regimental associaitons, ERE lists, etc, so full distribution will likely catch up Wednesday. No details on funeral date/timings yet, but once known, they will be passed in the same method, and also postings made to Facebook sites such as this.

From Battle Scars
A Canadian Military ICON has passed away today, BGen Radley-Walters , veteran of WW2 and a great man.
Radley-Walters was commissioned in the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment in October of that year. The regiment was re-designated the 27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment) in January 1942 and embarked for England in October 1942. The regiment was part of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade supporting the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division landing in Normandy on D-Day 6 June 1944. Radley-Walters commanded a tank during the Battle of Normandy. On D-Day + 1, 7 June 1944, in fighting near Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe, with the 12th SS Panzer Division, Radley-Walters had his first kill, a Panzer IV. Radley-Walters commanded a tank squadron in the regiment. His unit has been credited with the shot that which killed tank ace Michael Wittmann of the 101. Schwere SS-Panzerabteilung.

Radley-Walters was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross and for his outstanding leadership and gallantry as a squadron commander. His regiment participated in Operation Market-Garden and broke through and relieved the 101st Airborne Division. By the end of the war, he was the top tank ace, the ace of aces of the western Allies (and therefore, of Canada), with a total of 18 kills. From July 1945, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and commanded the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment as part of the Allied Occupation Force.

After the war, Radley-Walters served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Egypt. In 1957 he became the Commanding Officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's). He attended NATO Defence College in Paris and was assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe from June 1961 to July 1962. He returned to Canada as commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured School in Camp Borden. In 1966 he became the Director-General Training and Recruiting at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa. In June 1968 he was promoted to brigadier-general and took command of 2 Combat Group at CFB Petawawa. In 1971 he became the commander of the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown.

Radley-Walters retired in December 1974. He served eight years as colonel of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) and in November 1980 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.

RIP General
This just in from the RCD Net:

Subject: BGen S.V. Radley-Walters, CMM, DSO, MC, CD

From the desk of Brigadier-General Lowell Thomas

RCAC Col-Cmdt, Senior Appointments and Commanding Officers:

As the Senior Serving Armour Corps Officer, it is my unfortunate duty to inform you that earlier today (21 April) our much beloved Corps icon BGen Radley-Walters passed away in Kingston. Obviously, this comes as sad news to those of us who knew "General Rad" well, and of his lifelong contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps as a whole; he will always have a key place in the history of our Corps, and his dedication, leadership, loyalty and mentorship of successive generations certainly helped shape the modern RCAC. General Rad lived a long and full life and I'm certain that many of us have fond memories of him that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. No one is truly ever gone, as long as we remember them.

The Corps will take every effort in celebrating General Rad's life to the fullest and most respectful and dignified extent possible, in keeping with the full wishes of the family. General Rad's son, Grant Radley-Walters has full power of attorney and will therefore represent the Radley-Walters family in all regards. General Rad, his family and the Corps had some time ago entrusted the plans for General Rad's funeral from a CAF perspective to Major Chris Catry, who is currently serving at the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (CADTC) in Kingston, ON. He has the full confidence of the family and the Corps and is in close contact with Grant Radley-Walters at present. He is the sole CAF and RCAC point of contact with the family in all matters pertaining to funeral preparations.

Although more detail will follow, based on Major Catry's initial discussions with Grant Radley-Walters, no funeral service will occur prior to 5 May 2015 and in fact, coordination is underway to see the funeral occur on a Saturday in May. The funeral will be at the Cathedral Church of St. George, in Kingston and a reception will follow at the Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess. The family has requested military support, and of course attempts will be made to have the Corps as a whole take part, chiefly those Regiments in which General Rad served, mindful of CAF event approval procedures and geographic challenges. More information will follow via official channels.

I ask that you share this information widely in your respective chains of command, with other RCAC personnel in your areas, with your Honorary Appointments and with your Regimental Associations as applicable. To that end however, despite the good intentions of all concerned and your desires to express your compassion and offers of support, I ask that everyone minimize communications with both the family and Major Catry so that much needed critical discussions and preparations can be made.



4th Cdn Div
General Rad lived for the Corps.  His "Whiskey Jack Farm" near Wilno was an annual meeting place for any in the Corps who were in the area.  He had a small collection of armour vehicles on the farm that he enjoyed driving around his property.  His farm was a popular place to visit for many a 8th Canadian Hussar (Princes Louise), of all ranks, and his hospitality and stories are well known to all who have known him.  He was writing a manuscript on leadership when his farm burnt to the ground and destroyed his work.  Unfortunate for us, he never took up that writing again, when his farm was rebuilt. 

Years later, I was part of the team that went out to pick up his AFVs, and other memorabilia, which weres being donated to the Canadian War Museum when he sold his farm and moved to Kingston.  It was an honour to see him again, but at the same time a sad day that he was leaving his Whiskey Jack Farm.

Rad remained active in Armour Corps associations and activities.

He will be greatly missed.

Who was this man?

From the Kingston Whig Standard, 8 Nov 2010:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.
An unforgettable contribution

Monday, November 8, 2010 6:10:00 EST AM

Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters won't be at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Day.

He's in a wheelchair on the fifth floor of Providence Manor and the 90-year-old former tank commander says he doesn't want to go if he can no longer parade.

The man revered by a generation of tankers as "Rad" is not only surrounded by mementos and awards that testify to his place as one of the most important Canadian armour officers in history, but his room overlooks Artillery Park and the Montreal Street armoury where his career began 70 years ago as a young second lieutenant in the Sherbrooke Fusiliers.

It is actually difficult to overstate Radley-Walters' achievements. He was the first to figure out the fatal weakness in German Panzers -- the ring at the base of their turrets was not armoured and soon Allied gunners were aiming at that spot to destroy them. He recorded 18 confirmed tank kills, becoming not just the top Canadian tank ace, but the Commonwealth Ace of Aces.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross and his leadership style is still held up and studied as a model for the modern battlefield commander. He shared battle plans with subordinates and altered plans based on their input in a way few commanders did, and was not afraid to question his own superiors. He was one of the first to up-armour his tanks' weak spots and sandbag the floors to protect his crewmen, tactics that continue to be used by crews in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He and his tanks fought from Normandy, through Holland and into northern Germany, where they were when the war ended.

His biggest kill was one of the biggest of the war. Although dis-p uted after the fact, his tank squadron was the one who killed Michael Wittman of the Panzercorps, a German tank ace known as "The Black Baron."

Wittman is credited with more than 150 tank kills and in his most legendary engagement in June 1944 -- you could characterize it as a rampage -- single-handedly killed 14 British tanks, 15 personnel carriers and two anti-tank guns within the space of 15 minutes.

Radley-Walters is indifferent to the historical record, remembering the feared leader of the 101 Schwere SSPanzerabteilung as a worthy and determined foe.

"He was a superb tanker," recalled Walter-Radley as the late afternoon sun washed over his room and its artifacts, including pieces of the very first tank the retired brigadier general was blown up in.

"I had tangled with him two or three times and let me tell you, when you fought against his group, you were challenged by a wonderful group of commanders.

"I never had any use for the German administration that started the war but they had some of the best generals, and I hope the next time we go to war, they're going to be fighting on our side."

Radley-Walters, who was born and raised on the rugged Gaspe coast before attending Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Que., learned his tank trade in Petawawa and Borden after first drilling at the Barriefield Army Camp.

He still remembers the camp's legendary mud -- one of the reasons so many Kingstonians looked across the Cataraqui River and decided to join the air force or the navy instead of the army when the war began.

Radley-Walters was never formally schooled in command but said he picked it up along with the craft of maneuver warfare about which he can still speak effortlessly decades on.

At Borden, the members of his Sherbrooke Fusiliers practised beach landings for D-Day but it did little to prepare him for the real thing in 1944.

"That beach was 17 miles long," he recalled.

"You looked to your right and your left and it was so long you couldn't see a god-damn thing."

Radley-Walters lost his first tank shortly after landing. His lightly-armoured Caribou was hit by a shell and exploded, but his family recovered fragments of that very tank after the war and presented them to him mounted on a plaque.

"I have four sons and we were visiting Normandy 16 years later," he said.

"We went to this spot and I told them this was where my tank was hit, and the boys started digging in the sand and started pulling up pieces of my old tank.

"It was a good little tank. I was sorry to see it go at the time."

Radley-Walters moved up to Shermans and his squadron became one of the most proficient as the Allies fought their way across France and the Netherlands.

He was noted for getting the most out of his soldiers and keeping up their morale despite the heavy casualties they were suffering. While all ow i n g his men to mourn their dead, he did not allow them to handle casualties, reasoning that they were soldiers and had a job to do.

"It's not the easiest of jobs," he reflected.

He learned from the German Blitzkrieg about how to use airplanes and artillery to support lightning-fast tank maneuvers and while, like any commander, he issued commands that men died following, the first tank in was always his.

His contempt for officers barking commands over the radio while safely ensconced in the rear is still palpable.

"By being at the front you have to get cute so you don't get hit, but you were forced to do a lot of the killing yourself," he said, "but you don't show off. You're always covered and when you move, someone moved with you while two others were taking aim.

"You took care, but I guess that I was sort of cute."

While he respected the Germans, he saved his most effusive praise for his own men.

"There's nothing wrong with the Canadian as a soldier," he said.

"He can get booted around and he will never, ever quit. I respected them and they respected me.

"Around this time of year I still get calls from my men. The phone will ring and it will be someone calling from Vancouver or Montreal or anywhere else in the world just wanting to see how I'm doing."

He takes a keen interest in the war in Afghanistan and a large photo of a Leopard tank on patrol outside Kandahar City is prominently displayed in his tidy room. He gestures at it as he explains why war changes armies in ways that peacetime never does.

"There's a difference between a garrison soldier and a soldier at war," he says.

"A soldier in garrison does everything he's supposed to do exactly the way he's supposed to do it the same way every time.

"A soldier at war, every-thing is new to him and he he has to learn everything all over again, at least if he's a smart soldier. He's always looking for things and noticing things, he never takes the same route twice, he isn't rigid in his approach to things. You can't be if you want to stay alive when people are shooting at you. Canadians are very, very good at that."

After the war, he rose through the ranks, becoming Commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured School in Borden and ending his career as the director-general of training and recruiting at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa in 1974.

He was interviewed for the controversial series The Valour And The Horror and in that documentary, gave voice to what many veterans feel come Remembrance Day -- and what he had tried to give back to the Canadian a rmoured corps.

"It really comes back on our own shoulders, that before they put us six feet into the ground, somebody should sit down and each one of us pass on to the gene rat i o n ... some of the lessons which we learnt," he told the filmmakers.

He has returned to Germany at least 20 times and is so revered by his former enemies that he has gone hunting for game with the tank officers he once hunted.

"They don't bear any grudges," he said. "Their attitude is, 'You beat us, now we can be friends.'"

Radley-Walters' thoughts are still on Remembrance Day and of his trips to Europe, where he has revisited cou1ntless graves of men he both commanded and befriended and who did not come home as he did.

"It was always difficult," he said in a soft voice.

"I visited some graves and all I could do when I got there was weep over these men.

"I wept for them, because they were just so friggin' good."
Worked for Gen Rad when he commanded 2Bde in the early 70's. Best remembrance: during a long exercise (advance to contact) I was giving platoon orders under a poncho at about 0 dark 30. The edge was pulled back and my pl 2IC snarled at the intruder to mind the light. Guess who? It was the only time I ever saw a Bde Comd, let alone a CO appear like that. After listening to my orders and ascertaining all my soldiers had had a hot meal he left. Great man in my eyes.
A very well done biography in the Globe and Mail:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.
Tank ace Captain Radley-Walters began stellar career at Normandy

Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 23 2015, 7:56 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Apr. 23 2015, 7:58 PM EDT

In 1942, with Canada in the grip of the Second World War, Captain Sydney Radley-Walters was a young infantry officer who had never seen combat and never seen a tank. But by 1945 he had become the best Canadian front-line tank ace of the war, having destroyed 18 German tanks and been decorated for his gallantry and leadership.

Military historian Terry Copp said Mr. Radley-Walters, who died this week at the age of 95, emerged from the Normandy battlefields as “the best-known and most respected battlefield commander in the [Royal] Canadian Armoured Corps.”

Years later, Mr. Radley-Walters recalled that in 1942 his Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment was an infantry unit that was suddenly ordered to switch to tanks. “Not one of us knew anything about armour or even what a tank looked like,” he said. “We hadn’t a clue.”

On June 6, 1944, he rode his Sherman tank, called “Caribou,” ashore on D-Day and a day later he recorded his first success, destroying a Panzer IV. Mr. Radley-Walters – then known to his troopers as “Captain Rad” – admitted that Canadians in Normandy suffered from a lack of combat experience. He said, “We hit the beach on D-Day but we were no flaming hell until about the third or fourth week. Then we began to understand if you don’t do it right, you get killed.”

The young officer’s survival during the vicious battles around Biron, Caen and Falaise was near miraculous. He had three tanks shot out from under him and was wounded twice. He was knocked unconscious when his scout car hit a mine and was in a jeep that had its wheels blown off. “You’ve got to be lucky but you’ve got to lead from the front. You’ve got to see what the hell’s going on if you’re going to make any impact on the battle,” he said.

The fighting included facing Kurt Meyer’s fanatical 12th SS, composed mostly of Hitler Youth. Someone else in his squadron likely killed the legendary German tank ace Michael Wittmann, known as “the Black Baron.”

By the war’s end, newly promoted Lieutenant-Colonel Radley-Walters’s score of destroying 18 German tanks made him the leading Canadian “tank ace” of the war, but his final total included many additional armoured vehicles of other kinds.

Mr. Radley-Walters was a major at 24 and a lieutenant-colonel at 25, just after the war ended. He was awarded a clutch of medals including the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross and later became a Commander of the Order of Military Merit. All his original medals, however, were lost in a house fire after the war.

A long-time friend and former commanding officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars, Colonel Robert Billings says Mr. Radley-Walters’s success as a leader was based on a simple idea: “First, look after the soldiers.”

He was a much-respected but tough commander. Col. Billings called him a “rough gem” who did not suffer fools gladly. Mr. Radley-Walters’s son Grant, now a judge in Pembroke, Ont., described him as a superb leader and physically “strong as a bull.” However, he said about his father, “you wouldn’t want to anger him in a bar.”

Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters, the son and grandson of Anglican ministers, was born Jan. 11, 1920, at his family home in Malbay, on Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. The area at the time was entirely rural.

In school and college, he ex-celled at sports, especially football.

He enlisted in the Canadian Officers Training Corps while attending Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que., and became a second-lieutenant in the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment in October, 1940. He described the Fusiliers in those years as perhaps the most unusual regiment in the army. While it later became entirely English-speaking, at that time it had French-speaking Catholics in two companies and English-speaking Protestants in the other two. The adjutant was Jewish. The commander couldn’t speak French while at least one of the senior officers couldn’t speak English.

In 1946, he married Mary Patricia (née Holbrook), the daughter of a prominent Hamilton doctor and the widow of a fellow Fusiliers officer. She was a decorated Red Cross worker in her own right. They had four boys: Gary, Grant, Christopher and Bernard, whom Mr. Radley-Walters referred to as “the tank crew.”

The renowned tank commander remained in the army after the war and in 1957, he was appointed commanding officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s). He later commanded the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group in Petawawa, Ont., and the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, N.B. He was promoted to brigadier-general in 1968 and retired in 1974.

He served many years afterward in honorary positions as Colonel of the Hussars and Colonel-Commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. “General Rad” remained a legendary figure among veterans and the Canadian forces.

He believed strongly in the army reserve, saying it was the nucleus of Canada’s Second World War army, adding that of all the people in his regiment only two were from the regular forces. He was also dedicated to educating younger Canadians and a new generation of soldiers, as he returned to European battlefields more than two dozen times on educational and veterans’ tours.

He was a great outdoorsman, in later life enjoying hunting and fishing at his Whiskey Jack Farm, near Algonquin Park, in Ontario. His last years were spent in retirement in Kingston, where he suffered vision problems, becoming legally blind. His son Grant said the cause may have been the combined effects of combat and witnessing two atomic bomb blasts in the 1950s.

Mr. Radley-Walters said one of his generation’s greatest achievements was “the business of Canadians just believing in each other.” He died of pneumonia in Kingston, Ont., on April 21.

To submit an I Remember: obit@globeandmail.com
I remember him very well. He was in Petawawa quite often after he retired in 74, and once in a while he had to be driven home. I was fortunate enough to drive a very inebriated Rad back to his farm, with someone else driving his vehicle. Once we got up the hill, he insisted we share some wine with him. The home made wine wasn't all that good, but the evening was great. We went to ground in the wee hours, and missed most of the next day. I thought we were going to be in deep sh*t, but the bosses all knew what had happened. We just got some good natured ribbing from the Officers and NCO's, and most of our buddies were jealous.

RIP, General. And thanks for all you have done.
This Obituary from Robert J. Reid & Sons Funeral Home in Kingston, ON:


Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.
Brigadier General Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters
January 11, 1920 - April 21, 2015


Brigadier General Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters CMM, DSO, MC, CD, OLd’H

Brigadier General Radley-Walters, known as “Rad” to many, “Syd” to some, “Uncle Son” and Valpy to those on the Gaspé, and affectionately as “Woppy” to family, passed away peacefully in Kingston on April 21, 2015, in his 96th year. Loving husband of 68 years of Mary Patricia (nee Holbrook). Beloved father of Gary (Martha), Grant and his wife Maureen, Chris (Sue deceased), and Greg (Kumla deceased). Proud and loving grandfather of Alison (Scott Nichol), Elizabeth (Patrick Childerhose), and Mark, Radley-Walters, and Sarah, Cairis, Caitlin, Phaidra, Lilly, Stella, and Rowan. Great-Grandfather of William and Olivia Nichol. Predeceased by his wonderful sisters Ruth, Marjory (Bill Smith deceased) and Joyce (Siki Quinn deceased).

Son of the late Rev. Sydney and Marjorie, Rad was born in Malbay on the Gaspé Coast on January 11, 1920. His early education was in many one-room schoolhouses, followed by high school at Bishop’s College School. His time at Bishop’s University was filled with happy football memories. He then enlisted as an Infantry Officer in October 1940, with the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, which was always dear to his heart. The Fusiliers later became the 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment. Rad landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 1944, as a Captain second-in-command of C Squadron. Within ten days of the landing he was promoted to major and commanded A Squadron to the cessation of the hostilities in Europe. He is recognized at the Canadian War Museum as Canada’s Tank Ace of the Second World War, with 18 confirmed enemy tanks knocked out. He was decorated for gallantry by Field Marshall Montgomery and by King George VI, receiving the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order. He was promoted to the rank of Lt-Col in command of his regiment in June of 1945, making him one of the youngest regimental commanders at the age of 25. After the war, he stayed in the Regular Army as a Major in the Royal Canadian Dragoons. He was appointed to the Directing Staff of the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ontario. In 1957, then Lt-Col Radley-Walters was chosen to be the first Commanding Officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars, a position he held proudly. In June 1968, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and served as the Commander of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group and Commander of CFB Petawawa, Ontario. His final career appointment was on July 29, 1971 as Commander of the Combat Training Centre in CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Rad retired form the Forces in 1974 and was honoured by the Government of Canada with the award of a Commander of Military Merit (CMM). He was also awarded the Order of the Legion of Honour from the French Government at the French Embassy in Ottawa. He was instrumental with others in creating the Normandy Foundation and raising funds to be used in the Musée Memoriale in Caen, France, to recognize the substantial contribution and sacrifice of the Canadian Forces in the Allied Victory in Normandy and Europe.

After retirement to his much loved farm in the Killaloe-Wilno area in Ontario, Rad was a guest lecturer at the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College in Kingston and participated in numerous battlefield-teaching tours in Normandy. One of his favourite tours was showing his children and grandchildren where he landed on D-Day and recounting his history during the war. Each summer he and his wife Patricia returned to their home that he was raised in, in Percé, Quebec where he spent a large part of his childhood. His heart was in the Gaspé. Our Woppy could capture any audience with his stories about the war, his world travels and his day to day adventures. He will be remembered for his courage and leadership, and equally for his joie de vivre, his infectious laugh, and sense of humour, his incredible appetite for seafood and desserts. We fondly remember gathering around the farmhouse table, enjoying a salmon or a roast of venison or bear, and playing in the tank and armoured vehicles at the farm. We loved exploring the Perce coast and backcountry together, and seeing his smile any time he returned from a day spent fly-fishing on the Grand Cascapedia or Miramichi Rivers with a twenty-five pound salmon to show us. He was a wonderful Father, Father-in-law, Grandfather, Uncle, Soldier and Friend. He was our hero. He was a man of immeasurable courage and energy, and will be greatly missed. His spirit lives on.

The funeral arrangements have been prearranged with Robert J. Reid, Kingston.
The funeral will be at the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. George in Kingston on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 11:00 am. A reception will follow at the Fort Frontenac Officers’ Mess. There will be a family internment service at St. Paul’s Church Percé in the summer time. Special thanks are given to Major C.K. Catry MMM CD as well to the caring staff at Providence Care Manor, Syndenham 5th Floor and the ICU staff of the KGH. If desired, donations in memory of Rad can be made to Wounded Warriors Canada COPE Ontario and The Canadian Battlefields Foundation.

Funeral Details

No funeral details currently exist.
Funeral Service for
Brigadier-General (Retired) Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters,

The funeral service for Brigadier-General (Retired) Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters will be Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. George in Kingston, Ontario.

After serving 34 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, the highly-decorated Second World War veteran, Brigadier-General Radley-Walters retired on December 30, 1974. He received the Military Cross from Field Marshal Montgomery and later from King George VI at Buckingham Palace, as well as the Distinguished Service Order from Governor General Alexander after the war. He was inducted into the Legion of Honour at the rank of Officer by the Government of France and invested into the Government of Canada's Order of Military Merit at the rank of Commander. He passed away in Kingston on April 21, 2015 at the age of 95.

When: May 9, 2015

Time: 11 a.m.

Where: Anglican Cathedral Church of St. George, 270 King St. E., Kingston, ON
Rad's Funeral:

The Kingston Whig Standard has photos and this write up:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

"Rad's" life celebrated
By Steph Crosier, Kingston Whig-Standard
Saturday, May 9, 2015 10:22:34 EDT PM

Retired brigadier-general Sydney "Rad" Radley-Walters' life was celebrated Saturday by two of his families: his life-blood, and his military family.

Rad died April 21 from pneumonia at the age of 95. His funeral was held at St. George's Cathedral and concluded with a volley salute from current members of the Royal Canadian Dragoons from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.

Originally from Malbay, Que., now Saint-Georges-de-Malbaie, Que., on the Gaspe Peninsula, Rad served 34 years with the Canadian Army. He landed in Normandy on D-Day, and by war's end, Rad was credited with 18 tank kills, becoming a Canadian tank ace and a Commonwealth Ace of Aces.

Returning home to Canada, Rad led the next generation of armoured troops, often referred to as a soldier's soldier.

The funeral was attended by more than 500 guests, including Rad's family, friends and distinguished guests such as retired general Rick Hillier, former chief of the defence staff for the Canadian Forces.

“He affected every Canadian, whether they know it or not,” Hillier said. “He was a leader, he was in the worst of the fighting in (the Second) World War that the Canadian Army participated in, he was part of the fact that we destroyed the Nazi regime that did such horrible things, we restored freedom to western Europe, we helped build up their economy, and consequently we built our own economy, and this awesome country we call home. He affected every Canadian, all 35 million of them, positively, whether they know it or not.

“I think in your legacy, I think if you can say you've affected a few people positively, that would be awesome. He affected 35 million Canadians whether they know it or not.”

The Order of Canada member said he first met Rad as a young cadet at the armoured school in CFB Gagetown, N.B. Later in Hillier's career, when he was appointed brigade commander at CFB Petawawa, one of the first things the Hillier family did was visit Rad's farm just outside of Killaloe.

“He was a hero to me from the first time I met him,” Hillier said. “I think through him, the rest of that generation that fought and won (the Second) World War gave us a great country and society that we have to this day.”

Eulogies were given by Rad's second son, Justice S. Grant Radley-Walters, and friend retired major-general Clive Milner.

“It is impossible to capture such a life,” Grant said. “My father lived a full life.”

Grant spoke of how his grandchildren called Rad “Wappy,” and how hunting as a young boy helped him in his military career with learning movement, range, and how to fire.

Grant said Rad provided his family with an interesting and enriched life, having lived in 19 different residences in 18 years, that is probably the reason none of the four sons didn't join the military.

“Thank you for the military members serving,” Grant said. “What you've done in the past, the present, and in the future is critically important to Canada.”

During his eulogy, Milner emotionally thanked the Radley-Walters family, and Rad's wife Mary Patricia in particular, for sharing Rad with the Canadian military.

“His soldiers loved him,” Milner said. “He was a better leader than anyone I knew … he wasn't just (regular force), he belonged to everybody.”

After the ceremony, Milner said he first met Rad as an officer cadet at Camp Borden. He said Rad affected his life in many ways.

“Immeasurably,” Milner said. “Right from the beginning, I realized this guy was different, he was special. Through all of my training, I listened to him to try to emulate him. How I matured as an officer was based on how I thought Rad wanted us to be.”

Milner would visit Rad once a week. He said his friend would have been delighted to see everyone come celebrate his life.

The homily was given by retired colonel George Bruce, retired bishop of Ontario. He said Rad had the ability to talk to someone so that person knew they were being listened to.

“Rad was a good warrior,” Bruce said. “It was a privilege and blessing to know him.”

After the funeral, guests were invited to the Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess for refreshments. Rad's ashes are to be buried in the Gaspe in a private family ceremony.



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My wife and I drove down for the funeral, and managed to share a few words with Pat and the family at the reception. And kudos to the RCAC for a really well done send off, with an extra pat on the back to Major Catry for all his work on behalf on Rad and the families, personal and regimental.