The original Perth Regiment, after mobilization in Canada, spent the early years of WW2 in garrison and training in Britain. It saw combat in Italy as an infantry battalion in the 11th infantry Brigade of the 5th Armoured Division. The Perths soon gained a reputation for courage, initiative and reliability. In early March of 1945, all Canadian troops which had been fighting in Italy were transferred to Belgium resulting in all five Canadian divisions fighting as a team. In some of the hardest actions of the war, the Canadians drove the Germans out of northern Holland and helped to end the war.
The Perth’s tasking since 1936 had been that of a Corps Machine Gun Battalion, The Perth Regiment (MG), and for the first 18 months of the war the unit trained in this capacity. On March 4, 1941 the Perth's were then notified they would become part of the 5th Canadian Armoured Division. This assignment changed the regimental tasking from a Corps Machine Gun Battalion to that of Motorized Infantry, The Perth Regiment (Motor).
Below are several photographs taken during training
while the unit served as The Perth Regt. (MG). The pictures are from
the collection of Lt. Col. Jack Tipler and provided courtesy of his son
Grant Tipler. They may be enlarged by clicking on each picture.
Upper Picture: Firing at a 30ft. range established in a gravel pit "Somewhere near Stratford". From left to right, the men are: C.S.M. F.G. Twist (Standing), at no. 1 Gun is Private F. Baker, at no. 2 gun is Private George Briggs, with Sergeant A. B. Baird adjusting the apparatus. At no. 3 gun is Private J. R. Spencer and standing directly behind him is Corporal W. Furzer. In the background behind Corporal Furzer can be seen Corporal P. W. Mertens. Looking on operations at No. 4 gun is Lieut. R. S. Reid (in khaki shirt) and Sergeant D. R. Bruce. With his hands behind his back at the rear is Sergeant Ernie Hobson and kneeling is Lance-Corporal W. Hass. The picture was taken in April 1940.
Most Regimental histories talk of battles fought, hills taken, rivers crossed and perhaps which company or platoon advanced where. Very little attention is given to the individuals who actually served. To be able to understand the true face of war, it is important to understand that individuals fight wars, and it is the individual who needs to be remembered. Ironically very few records were compiled listing the estimated 3000 persons who, at one time or another, served with the Perths during WWII.
For some time, the thought of even beginning to locate the names of these individuals seemed an impossible task. However, records have recently surfaced thanks to Mr. Grant Tipler, whose father was Major John E. Tipler, wartime adjutant of the Perths. These records, while not providing a complete list, make it possible to begin recording a good number of the individuals. The records included those who enlisted starting September 1st, 1939 until the time when the Perths were sent overseas to England. These records where augmented with records from the War Graves Commission to compile the first 1000 names.
Over time, thanks to other documentation and many e-mails which we have received, the list has grown to a respectable length of 2600 odd names.
It is hoped that, as more records become available and as persons read this page, it will become possible to compile most of the names. And while we may never be able to say with 100% accuracy that we have all the names of those who served, we should at least be able to remember most.