My very first question is, how did you come to be a Canadian General? From as long as I remember I always pictured myself to be in a General’s outfit and have all these soldiers paying heed and accepting my command, however, this seemed like a distant and unrealistic dream to me at that time. At the beginning of the war I enlisted in the militia and this is which actually gave me the opportunity to work my way up the ranks to become a lieutenant colonel of the artillery. In your opinion, what should the background of a Canadian General be? “I am a good enough Canadian to believe, if my experience justifies me in believing, that Canadians are best served by Canadians.” Without doubt it is my belief that no Englishman from Britain can be the commander for Canadian soldiers from Canada. An example is General Sir Douglas Haig, who had people from all of the British Empire under his command including Canada, but success was not at his reach since he could not relate as well with all those soldiers from different countries.
Also, since the Canadian soldiers were under the command of a British general they probably didn’t posses the great feeling that they were actually fighting for their nation. As a result they probably couldn’t fight with a real passion and with all their strength and determination. Thus, I deem that the Canadian Soldiers General should definitely be Canadian himself, which will give him and the soldiers the opportunity to relate quite well with one another, and will give both the general and the soldiers the feeling that they are really fighting for a purpose which is for their very own country and their own people. What was your opinion of the Battle of Vimy Ridge? Just like all Canadians I consider the Winning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge as a great Canadian victory.
Being Canadian I love to live in Canada and I am proud of being Canadian. There are many reasons for this. Canada is civilized country where people live happily and have strong national unity and identity. Many people around the world compare Canada to the United States, but there are some differences between these two countries. As for me, Canada has several advantages over the United States; ...
I was beyond words overjoyed once we gained the ground, however I wasn’t surprised because I always believed in fully preparing my troops before a battle; right from the officers to the lowly private. And for this battle we took a lot of careful preparations. I knew that all that hard work would not go to vain, and this was definitely shown by the precise timing of the Canadian soldiers in the battlefield and the great accuracy by the gunners. Unfortunately the cost was high since 10 600 Canadians were either killed or wounded but “To those who fall I say: You will not die but step into immortality.
Your mothers will not lament your fate but will be proud to have borne such sons. Your names will be revered forever and ever by your grateful country, and God will take you unto Himself.” Can you briefly describe what makes you such a Great General? I appreciate the comment you made, all I can say is that I truly believe that “Thorough preparation must lead to success. Therefore, neglect nothing.” It is my outlook that “practice makes perfect” and by practicing and preparations “We have shown that even in trench warfare it is possible to mystify and mislead the enemy.” And finally, how would you describe your relationship with your soldiers to be? (sighs) Well, I am considered aloof and unfriendly from my troops and nicknamed “Guts and Gaiters.” However from the heart I really admire each and every one of them for their courage and bravery. I am unfortunately not really good at showing that outwardly, but I guess it is not quite expected that a general should show much affection. I often visit my troops at the front and believe to have made a strong case for keeping the Canadian soldiers together in a true Canadian Division.
~ I sincerely thank you for your time, and it was a great pleasure to talk to an outstanding General like you!