LCOL EW Haldenby, MC, VD

Brigadier Eric W Haldenby CBE MC VD (MID)

Architect and Creator of the Regimental Memorial at Queen’s Park (1923)
Commanding Officer 1st Battalion 48th Highlanders (CASF) (1939-1940)
Commander 9 Canadian Infantry Brigade (1940-1941)
Commander Canadian Reinforcement Centre Avelino Italy (1943-1944)
Honorary Colonel 48th Highlanders of Canada (1963-66)

Eric Wilson Haldenby CBE MC VD BSc was born at Toronto Ontario (ON), son of Charles Norman Haldenby and Eva (Trotter) Haldenby both of Toronto. In 1915 Haldenby joined the 48th Highlanders with the rank of Lieutenant and went overseas in the spring of 1916 and was posted to the 15th Battalion. In June 1916 Haldenby was promoted to captain and was appointed Adjutant in 1917. He fought at the Battle of the Somme and was awarded the Military Cross (MC) in April 1917 for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. In September 1939 when the 1st Battalion, 48th Highlanders (CASF) was mobilized, LCol Eric Haldenby was selected as the first Commanding Officer and took the Battalion through the mobilization process at the CNE Horse Palace and then to the UK. In August 1940 he was promoted to Brigadier and appointed to command 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade. From August 1943 to September 1944 Haldenby served in the Italian Campaign where he commanded the training camp for newly arrived soldiers, insisting that they be trained to combat standards. He returned to England in command of the Canadian Infantry Training Brigade. At the end of the War he was tasked to plan and organize the headquarters of the brigades that would be created for the Occupation of Germany.

In civilian life Eric Haldenby was one of Canada’s leading architects. After he returned to Canada in 1919 he studied Architecture at the University of Toronto ON, and graduated with a BSc degree. He formed the firm Mathers and Haldenby in 1921. He designed Toronto landmarks including the Bank of Nova Scotia building at King and Bay Streets, the United States Consulate on University Avenue, the David Dunlap Observatory, and many buildings on the University of Toronto grounds – most notably the Regimental Memorial of the 48th Highlanders of Canada that sits at the head of Queen’s Park. He was chair of the Regiment’s Diamond Jubilee (1951) and served as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel (1952-62) and Honorary Colonel (1963-66).

Commander of the order of the British Empire (CBE)

Brig Haldenby has made a very valuable personal contribution to Canada’s War effort having, in addition to his distinguished record of the last war and loyal service in the Canadian Non Permanent Active Militia, commanded an Infantry Battalion, an Infantry Brigade and a Reinforcement Group.  In all of these tasks he has augmented his military experience with a depth of purpose and infectious  enthusiasm that has made him not only an example but a personal friend of both officers and men.

When 1 Can Base Rft Gp commanded by Brig Haldenby arrived in Italy and established itself at Avellino, conditions were most difficult and the all important factors of morale, discipline, training and the soldiers’ welfare presented a very great problem if the reinforcement for the Canadian Forces were to go forward to the field ready to take place in battle.  Brig Haldenby by his cheerful leadership, determination and understanding has developed and maintained a most desirable and noticeable keenness throughout his entire Command; this and the soldierly bearing of his troops has caused much favourable comment from the Commanders in the field and given them confidence that their casualties would be adequately replaced.

Military Cross (MC)

This officer has been with the Battalion since July 1916.  At the Somme operations he won the divination of his men through remains on duty at final objective after being wounded.

Since December last year he has acted as Assistant Adjutant and Adjutant, and went through the operations at Vimy Ridge and Hill 70 in the latter capacity.  His work during these attacks was most efficiently and conscientiously carried out.  At Vimy Ridge he followed the third wave through heavy hostile shelling and established Battalion Headquarters, and was in communication with the Brigade by wire throughout the operations.

At Hill 70 he carried on in a most efficient and commendable manner and was in no small measure for the absolute lack confusion so often present after even a successful attack.

LG 30450

Narrative (Draft) prepared on 2-Mar-17 (MID – not awarded

This Officer joined the Battalion in July 1016 end has on soveral occasions since that rendered distinguished service. As a Platoon Commander the example he has set both in leading his men over the
parapet, and in patrolling are well worthy of mention, During the period in which he acted as Company Commander he showed great ability in this position and proved a most capable and efficient officer, combined with grout coolness and determination.

CG 31 dated 29-Jul-44 page 322
Mention in Dispatches (MID)

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of Mention in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished services in the field.

Awarded for services in Italy while Commanding Canadian Reinforcement Centre Avellino.

48th First Bn (WW 2)
Service number

Data source(s)

Regimental History (Vol 3)- Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929–1956
Lt-Col Haldenby Eric Wilson (MC, VD, ADC)
Regimental History (Vol 3)- Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929–1956
Brig EW Haldenby - Cmd 9 Inf Bde
Regimental History (Vol 3)- Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929–1956
Brig EW Haldenby MC,VD - To Comd Cdn Base Reinforcement Depots
Regimental History (Vol 3)- Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929–1956
p.805 “THE EVE OF THE JUBILEE THE 60th Birthday of the Regiment was now near (1891-1951). Throughout the spring a tremendous organizational effort was underway by a Diamond Jubilee Reunion Committee, under the chairmanship of Brigadier Eric Haldenby.”
Regimental History (Vol 3)- Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada 1929–1956
Brig. E.W. Haldenby - Cmd 9 Cdn Int Bde
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