Westmount, Quebec – 25 October 2016: The Commanding Officer of The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR), Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Francois Denis, held a CO’s parade in September that was quite memorable for all in attendance.
Traditonally during the first CO’s parade of the year in September, the RMR recruits who have successfully passed their Infantry training course in the summer are formally “badged” and welcomed into the family. The badging ceremony involves their old “cornflake” (tri-service) capbadge being removed from their beret and being replaced with the RMR capbadge. Typically one of the Honoraries will join the CO and RSM for the ceremony to formally welcome the soldiers into the RMR family, and once all of the former recruits have been badged they are marched over to join the other infantry soldiers in the operational rifle company.
This year the CO was honoured to be joined by Comrade Wilfred Mann – one of the few remaining RMR veterans of the Second World War – in badging the freshly trained infantry soldiers and formally welcoming them into the Regiment.
Comrade Sue Guerin, president of the RMR Association, had made arrangements with Comrade Mann’s family to bring him “back home” to visit the RMR’s armoury. Comrade Mann Mann joined the RMR in 1939 and he landed in Scotland before being sent off to Aldershot for further training. He served throughout the entire Second World War and he was also part of the Liberation of the Netherlands.
In the early 1970’s, Comrade Mann along with two other RMR veterans from WW2, Major David Peebles and Lieutenant John Tough, were asked by the Honorary Colonel, Colonel J.C. Pratt, to build a Museum in the RMR in time for the Regiment’s 60th anniversary to be celebrated in November 1974, and the official opening was held on Friday 20th September 1974 by Brigadier W.S.G. Armour, M.B.E., the Colonel of the Prince of Wale’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, the RMR’s British Allied Regiment. The RMR Museum was dedicated to the memory of the achievements and sacrifices of the members of the Regiment. It was fitting that Comarade Mann got to see the improvements to the RMR Museum that have been made recently, and he was briefed on the plans for future expansion.
There was a large contingent of RMR Association (Branch 14) comrades present at the parade, along with numerous friends and family of the members of the serving battalion on parade.