Land Force Central Area - Dept of National Defence

Land Force Central Area - Dept of National Defence

September 09, 2011 09:00 ET

Canadian WWII Veterans to Receive Historic Recognition and Freedom of the City of St. Thomas

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

The armoured personnel carrier, or APC, was a revolutionary World War II invention that reshaped the modern battlefield and unbeknownst by many people it was a Canadian creation.Now, the soldiers who first used it in battle, little known even in military history circles, will finally receive long-awaited recognition.

Veterans of the once-secret 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (1 CACR) of World War II, known as the "Kangaroos", will be presented with an historic Guidon and honoured with a parade granting them the Freedom of The City of St. Thomas, Ont., on September 10, 2011, during the Veterans' final reunion, held in conjunction with The Elgin Regiment Association and 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins) of the Canadian Army.

Called the "Kangaroo" from the code name of the Army workshop that produced it, the APC was the brainchild of Canadian Lieutenant-General Guy Simmonds in August, 1944, in preparation for Operation TOTALIZE. It was produced mainly with Canadian-made Ram tanks from which the turret was removed, leaving room for a dozen soldiers protected from bullets and shrapnel. It was then used in every major battle of the Canadian and British armies until the end of the war. It has evolved into a category of combat vehicle used by almost all armies in the world today. A restored Ram Tank "Kangaroo" (CT#40892), on loan from the Canadian War Museum, will be on parade in St. Thomas, Ont., on September 10, 2011.

1 CACR is the only Canadian Army unit never to have served in Canada. It was formed in Holland in October, 1944, and disbanded there in June, 1945. Many of its first members came from the 25th Armoured Delivery Regiment (The Elgins), today known as 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins), who are the host unit for the reunion of their veteran predecessors and who perpetuate 1 CACR's 14 battle honours. These are emblazoned on the 1 CACR Guidon which signifies a soldier's duty to Crown, Country and Regiment and provides a visual memorial to those who served under it and inspiration for future generations.

"This recognition has been a long time coming" said Mr. William Miller of the Kangaroo Veterans Association. "For the veterans and their families these honours will give closure to a very long and important story" he said.

To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

Image 1: The Guidon to be presented to 1CACR

Image 2: Photograph of "Kangaroo" (CT#40892) on loan from the Canadian War Museum which will be on parade in St. Thomas, Ont., September 10, 2011.

Contact Information

  • Editors and Producers:
    For additional information please contact:
    Kangaroo Veterans Association (Calgary)
    Mr. Bill Miller
    403-226-4037 or Cell: 403-605-0059

    The Elgin Regiment Association (St. Thomas)
    Mr. Wayne Dale
    (519) 709-3253

    Headquarters Joint Task Force (Central)
    Land Force Central Area
    Captain John-Hugh MacDonald
    Public Affairs Officer
    Cell: 416-629-8277