Lieutenant CE “Beaver” Read MC – The Lucky Tie

Beaver Read and the “War Luck Tie”

This tie was worn by Lieutenant Chas. E. (Beaver) Read MC of the 15th Battalion 48th Highlanders of Canada in October 1918 in the Regiment’s last major action of World War I in which Highlanders were killed or wounded. In the vicinity of Waller Wood a machine gun bullet pierced the tie and wounded him in the shoulder. He was still conscious when the stretcher bearers arrived to patch him up. The bearers said they would undo his tie to make him comfortable. He asked the medics to cut off his tie as he wished to keep it. The pipe cleaner follows the path of the bullet. Notice that the bullet passed on the inside of the knot. Lt Read was the last officer injured in the war.

Lt Read had won the Military Cross at Passchendaele and at Amiens on 9 August 1918 he assumed command of his Company when the company commander, Captain Maybin, took command of the battalion after LCol Bent was wounded by shrapnel.

Read survived the war and as an officer in the home battalion during WWII volunteered to serve as an instructor for the Cadet corps being supported by the Rotary Highlanders in early 1940. Captain Read was  appointed Officer Commanding of the Rotary Youth Training Corps (Cadet Corps 1625), affiliated with the 48th Highlanders. The Cadets  were formed in two companies, The York Company and the Malvern Company who began parading at their high schools then moved to University Avenue Armouries to benefit from the 48th resources and staff. Numbers grew to 550 plus a 20 person Pipe Band,  making them the two largest Cadet corps in Canada. Read retired as a Major after the war and his son LCol Richard (Dick) L Read CD was Commanding Officer of the Regiment from 1970 to 1973.

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Waller Wood
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