THE MAJOR P.H. BARRE, ED, C ST S TROPHY (TOP RECRUIT) is awarded annually to the soldier receiving the highest ranking on his/her Basic Military Qualification / Soldier Qualification course. The trophy is so named after Major Paul Barre joined the RMR in the early 1920’s, following the footsteps of his uncle, Hercule Barre, one of the original RMR’s (14th Battalion CEF) who came from the 65th Regiment, Carabiniers Mont-Royal. Hercule Barre was a company commander with the RMR until being wounded at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. His own story is fascinating in its own right and can be read here.
In 1943, Major Paul Barre was second in command of the RMR, and went on course with the Army to participate with the Allied Military Government at the end of hostilities. After cessation of hostilities on May 5th, 1945, he was posted with the Allied Military Government in Continental Europe and then attached to British Army 5th Corps Headquarters at Carintia, Austria, and it was there his duties took him to the nearby village of Viktring to attend to a large group of Yugoslav refugees where his humanitarian intervention (and disobedience to military orders) saved the lives of thousands of people. Recognition for this effort was manifested at a reception held in the Officer’s Mess on April 4th, 1987, when Major Barre was presented with “the degree, rank, and status of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Saint-Sava for his outstanding service to the Yugoslav Royal Army in 1945”.
In 2015 the trophy was awarded to Private De Lutis, who serves as a Rifleman in “A” company. He joined the RMR in April 2014 with a strong paramilitary background, having been a Cadet with Cadet Corps # 2567 Dunkerque (Fus MR) in Laval from 2008 – 2013, where he qualified on the Basic Military Parachutist course.
He claims to not yet have any one particular favourite memory of serving with the Regiment, as his service so far only includes all of his individual training courses, the tactical field exercises and being challenged as an Infantryman “just like all of his buddies”. He reflects that “I suppose it’s time to, and I guess this award can be the foundation to those future favourable memories of mine.” He admits that the waiting (and maybe the rain) are the things he likes the least about the military (and who actually LIKES the waiting??), but the thing he likes the most is the field experiences – and he thinks that the coolest thing he has ever done with the Regiment is using a live hand grenade.
Born and raised in Laval, Private De Lutis is a student in his civilian life (he has a DEC in Psychology). His comments on being awarded the Barre Trophy for being recognized as the best recruit in the Regiment were “Surprised! I thought to myself that I was a really bad recruit at the unit. I’ve been doing rookie mistakes, forgetful, and not confident in what I was doing half of the time. Though, I have been practicing in my field craft. Always ready. Always on the ball. I behaved like a soldier, and so this trophy reinforced the fact that I am one.”
His advice to future recruits who might want to win the same trophy in the future is to “Outperform. Don’t be lazy, and if your buddies are, turn their unwillingness into some form of drive. Know your skills, know your traits. Stay positive.”
Congratulations to Private De Lutis, he deserves his trophy – way to set the standard for the recruits!
Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.