From The Estate Of Smokey Smith Colour Photo Canadian Wwi & Wwii Vc & Gc Winners

From The Estate Of Smokey Smith Colour Photo Canadian Wwi & Wwii Vc & Gc Winners

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From The Estate Of Smokey Smith Colour Photo Canadian Wwi & Wwii Vc & Gc Winners:

For sale here is a framed colour photograph of some Canadian V.C. and G. C. winners at a reunion before 28 May 1976 as B. Handley Geary, V.C. is alive and in the photo.


You have to decide how you want the picture delivered: local pick-up, shipped with or without glass, shipped framed or unframed.

From the Estate of the late Sgt. Ernest Alvia "Smokey" Smith, V.C. I am selling this and some other items on behalf of his daughter, Norma-Jean. More items will become available in the future as she down-sizes.

Smokey Smith attended every Victoria Cross reunion according to his daughter. For sale here is a framed colour photograph of some Canadian V.C. and G. C. winners at a reunion. Not all living V.C. and G.C. winners were present at this reunion e.g. Lieut-Col. Cec Merritt, VC, was not there. This is the actual print/frame that Smokey had. The image is 9-1/4" wide by 7" high. Matted with separate typed label identifying each man.

Back row:

Jack Mahoney, V.C. "On 24 May 1944 Major Mahoney led his company across the Melfa River in Italy under heavy artillery fire. His task was to secure a firm bridgehead on the western side of the river, and was part of the operations by 1st Canadian Corps to break through the Adolf Hitler Line. Although threatened by vastly superior forces, Mahoney’s company managed to hold the bridgehead for five hours under continuous fire until reinforcements arrived. In two German counterattacks, his men destroyed three enemy self-propelled guns and one tank – a significant feat considering they had no anti-tank guns. Though he suffered three wounds, throughout Mahoney was a constant source of inspiration and determination as he tirelessly organized the defence, visited his men in their positions, and personally directed the fire of the light anti-tank weapons on hand. For his exemplary leadership and courage in this action, Major Mahoney was awarded the Victoria Cross. Mahoney died in London, Ontario on 15 December 1990."

C. N. Mitchell, V.C. "Captain Mitchell earned the Victoria Cross on the night of 8 to 9 October 1918 while leading a party of sappers on a reconnaissance mission near Cambrai in France. Their task was to venture beyond the Canadian front line to examine bridges over which the Canadian 5th Infantry Brigade proposed to advance, and to prevent their demolition. After finding one bridge destroyed, Mitchell moved on to the next, which spanned the Canal de l’Escaut. Running across the bridge in total darkness, Mitchell found that it had indeed been prepared for demolition. With a non-commissioned officer he cut the detonation wires and began to remove the explosive charges. When the Germans realized what was happening, they charged toward the bridge but were held off by Mitchell’s sappers until reinforcements arrived. Saving the bridge over the Canal de l’Escaut contributed significantly to the later success of the 5th Infantry Brigade’s offensive Mitchell died in Montreal, Quebec on 17 November 1978."

E. A. "Smokey" V.C. "Ernest Alvia “Smokey” Smith was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, on 3 May 1914. He was the only private soldier to earn the Victoria Cross in the Second World War. The action occurred in Savio, Italy, on 21 and 22 October 1944 as a forward company of the Seaforths Highlanders on the German side of the Savio River attempted to consolidate the bridgehead. It was suddenly counter-attacked by three German tanks, two self-propelled guns and about thirty infantry. Despite heavy fire, Smith led his PIAT (anti-tank projector) group across an open field to a suitable defensive position. His men then found themselves face to face with one of the German tanks coming down the road, its machine guns blazing. Smith held his ground, and at ten metres range fired the PIAT and disabled the tank. The group then moved out onto the roadway, firing Tommy guns and forced the enemy to withdraw in disorder. Smith died in Vancouver, British-Columbia on 3 August 2005."

G. R. Pearkes, V.C. "As well as recognizing his courage, the award of the Victoria Cross to Major Pearkes was due to his skilful handling of his troops at Passchendaele in Belgium on 30 and 31 October 1917. At a particular stage, the progress of Pearkes’ troops was threatened by a German strongpoint. Quickly evaluating the situation, he captured the position, which enabled him to continue to advance toward his objective, and then to hold it with a small number of men, despite a wound in the thigh. Although he was wounded five times over the course of the First World War, Pearkes remained a career soldier and went on to hold several major command appointments during the Second World War. After retiring from the Army, he entered federal politics as a Progressive Conservative and was elected four times to the House of Commons (1945, 1953, 1957 and 1958). Pearkes served as Minister of National Defence in Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s Cabinet from 1957 until 1960. In 1961, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, a position he held until 1968. Pearkes died on 30 May 1984 in Victoria, British Columbia."

J. W. Foote, V.C. "On 19 August 1942 Honorary Captain Foote was attached to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI), one of the battalions from the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division that participated in the raid on the French port of Dieppe on that day. After landing, Padre Foote assisted the RHLI’s medical officer in caring for the wounded at the regimental aid post. However, he frequently left the relative safety of that location for the open beach where he rendered first aid, and gave injections of morphine to alleviate the suffering of the many wounded who were there. Later, he carried wounded men from the regimental aid post to landing craft waiting to evacuate the survivors of the raiding force. Padre Foote declined the opportunity to embark, preferring to continue to minister to those left behind, and to share their fate as prisoners of war. At the end of the war, Padre Foote received the Victoria Cross for his conduct at Dieppe, the first ever awarded to a Canadian chaplain. He died in Hamilton, Ontario on 2 May 1988."

A.D. Ross, G.C. "Ross, Arthur Dwight (1907-1981). Air Commodore Ross, born in Winnipeg, March 18th, 1907, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was awarded a George Cross when he led a group of men in rescuing a pilot and gunner from a plane that had crashed into another aircraft loaded with bombs. His bravery on the morning of June 28th, 1944, saved the lives of the entire crew aboard the burning Alouette (sic). The Air Commodore lost his right hand due to a bomb explosion.

Fred Harvey, V.C. "Lieutenant Harvey earned the Victoria Cross for his conduct on 27 March 1917 in an attack on the village of Guyencourt in France. German soldiers defending the village opened fire with rifles and a machine gun at very close range on Harvey’s leading troop as it advanced, causing heavy casualties. Lieutenant Harvey ran forward well ahead of his men, jumped the barbed wire protecting the enemy position, shot the machine gunner and captured the gun. Harvey later received the Military Cross for his part in the Strathconas charge against German positions near Moreuil Wood on 30 March 1918, the same engagement for which Gordon Flowerdew was awarded the Victoria Cross. The French Government also conferred on Harvey the Croix de Guerre. After the war, he joined the Canadian Army Permanent Force, and in 1938 was promoted to command his regiment. Harvey died in Calgary, Alberta on 21 August 1980."

Front Row:

DVA [Department of Veterans' Affairs representative presumably.]

Paul Triquet, V.C. "On 13 December 1943, plans were made by the 1st Infantry Division to get around the western end of the German defences running inland from the Adriatic Sea just south of the small coastal city of Ortona. By “turning” the enemy line, the 1st Division hoped to open the way to Ortona, its objective, and to capture the city. The key to the success of the plan was an advance by the Royal 22e Régiment north-eastward along the road to Ortona to seize an important road At 10:30 on the morning of 14 December “C” and “D” Companies of the “Van Doos”, supported by tanks from “C” Squadron of The Ontario Regiment, began moving up both sides of the road. The force had already met and destroyed two German tanks. On the left, about half-way to the hamlet of Casa Berardi, Captain Triquet’s “C” Company began to encounter fierce resistance from enemy machine guns and infantry sheltered in wrecked buildings and in terrain favourable to the defenders, all backed up by tanks and self-propelled guns. On the right, “D” Company became lost and took no further part in the action that day. “C” Company and the Ontario tanks proceeded to fight their way through the opposition, knocking out three more tanks and eliminating the Germans’ defensive positions. At this stage, the company had been reduced to fifty men and one officer – Triquet. Although ammunition was running low, Triquet, his men and their supporting tanks persevered in the attack, capturing Casa Berardi late in the afternoon and driving on nearly to the crossroads. Here the survivors, now only fifteen strong with four tanks, were stopped by mortar fire, and retired to Casa Berardi to prepare for counterattacks. As darkness fell, “B” Company of the Royal 22e arrived to reinforce Triquet, and by the early hours of 15 December the battalion’s remaining two companies had reached Casa Berardi. The western flank of the German line had been turned. For his courageous and determined leadership resulting in the capture and retention of Casa Berardi, Captain Triquet received the Victoria Cross. died in Quebec City, Quebec on 4 August 1980."

Fred Tilston, V.C. "In late-February and early-March 1945, the First Canadian Army was striving to eliminate enemy resistance in the Hochwald forest, Germany’s last defensive position on the west bank of the Rhine River. In fact, the defences in the Hochwald protected a vital escape route for German ground forces seeking to withdraw across the river. Early in the morning on 1 March 1945, supported by artillery fire and a troop of tanks from the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, The Essex Scottish Regiment attacked the northern part of the forest. On the left flank of the attack, Major Tilston led his “C” Company across 500 metres of open ground and through three metres of barbed wire to the first line of enemy trenches at the edge of the woods. The advance was made in the face of intense gunfire and without the supporting tanks due to the soft ground. Although wounded in the head, Tilston was first into the German trenches, using a hand grenade to silence a machine gun delaying the progress of one of his platoons. He continued with his company to assault and clear the second line of the enemy’s defences, suffering a second wound in the thigh. In the course of occupying this second objective, Major Tilston’s men overran the headquarters positions of two companies of the German parachute troops defending the forest. However, before the remnants of “C” Company could consolidate their gains, the Germans counterattacked, heavily supported by machine guns and mortars. Tilston calmly moved in the open through the heavy enemy fire from platoon to platoon organizing the defence. Six more times he braved the intense fire to carry badly needed ammunition and grenades to his men from a neighbouring Essex company. By now having suffered more serious wounds to his legs, Tilston refused medical aid until he was able to brief his one remaining officer on the plan of defence, and to impress upon him the absolute necessity of holding the position. Only when that was done did he relinquish command. The position was held, and for his valour and exemplary leadership in this action, Major Tilston earned the Victoria Cross. Tilston died in Toronto, Ontario on 23 September 1992."

B. Handley Geary, V.C. - "Ordained into Holy Orders after the war, he was at one time Chaplain to the Forces, but resigned to go to Canada where he became Sergeant-at-Arms in the Canadian In 1939 he joined the Canadian Army as a Major. He died on 28th May 1976, at Niagara-on-Lake. 2/Lt Geary received his Victoria Cross from King George V on 9th December 1915."

David V. Currie, V.C. "Major Currie earned the Victoria Cross for his efforts on 18 August 1944 to capture and hold the village of St Lambert-sur-Dives during the fighting to block the escape route of large German forces cut off in the Falaise pocket. Leading a small force of tanks, infantry and anti-tank guns, but with no supporting field artillery fire, he organized an attack on the village and succeeded in seizing and consolidating a position half-way inside it. For 36 hours Currie’s force repeatedly thwarted attempts by German tanks and infantry to force a way through the village by counterattacking the Canadians. Finally, Major Currie and his men renewed their attack and drove the enemy out of St Lambert-sur-Dives, completing the capture of the village. His force had inflicted 800 casualties on the Germans and taken 2,100 Currie died in Ottawa, Ontario, on 24 June 1986."

Alex Brereton, V.C. "On 9 August 1918, near Warvillers in France, Corporal Brereton’s platoon suddenly came under fire from six German machine guns while in an exposed position. Brereton immediately charged one of the machine guns on his own, shooting one member of the crew, bayoneting another, and compelling nine other enemy soldiers to surrender. The rest of the platoon, inspired by his example, assaulted and captured the five remaining machine gun positions. For his actions on this day, Corporal Brereton was awarded the Victoria Cross. Brereton died in Calgary, Alberta on 11 June 1976."

Milton F. Gregg, V.C. "Lieutenant Gregg earned the Victoria Cross for his actions from 27 September to 1 October 1918 while serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment near Cambrai in France. Gregg led his men in an advance under intense fire through uncut enemy barbed wire. When the Germans mounted a strong counterattack and his supply of grenades was exhausted, Lieutenant Gregg secured more grenades and rejoined his men. Despite suffering two wounds, he continued to lead his men against the enemy trenches, which they cleared. Gregg died in Fredericton, New Brunswick on 13 March 1978."

R. L. Zengel, V.C. "Raphael Louis Zengel was born on 11 November 1894 in Faribault, United States. While he was still very young, he and his mother moved from the United States to a homestead in Saskatchewan. Zengel enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in December 1914. He served overseas with the 5th Infantry Battalion, CEF, taking part in several raids on German trenches. For his role in one of these raids, near Passchendaele in Belgium in 1917, Zengel received the Military Medal. On 9 August 1918, Sergeant Zengel was leading his platoon forward during the second day of the massive Allied offensive against the German lines around Amiens, in France. When he noticed a gap on the flank of his platoon and an enemy machine gun firing on the advancing Canadians at close range, he quickly decided to deal with the machine gun position himself. Rushing 200 metres ahead of his platoon, Zengel charged the German emplacement, killing two of the machine gun’s crew and compelling the rest to flee. Later that day, when the progress of the 5th Battalion was blocked by heavy machine gun fire, he demonstrated great tactical skill in directing the fire of his platoon to eliminate the enemy resistance. Sergeant Zengel’s courage, leadership and disregard for his own safety inspired his men, and were important factors in enabling the advance to continue. For his conduct on this day, he was awarded the Victoria Zengel died in Vancouver, British Columbia on 22 February 1977."

CONDITION: Very good but some fading due to being hung on a wall. Currently matted and framed with glass. Picture wire and two screw eyes on the back.

SHIPPING: Pick-up is possible in Richmond, B.C. Buyer may chose method of shipping e.g.

Key words: Victoria Cross; George Cross; bravery; Canada; Canadian World War I; World War II

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