Many a happy family met their heroes coming home from the war. In the photos below, you can see the emotional looks on the faces of the families upon seeing their loved ones return safely.
In the bottom photo, Major Robert McCallum meets his three and a half year old daughter for the first time.
Photos from the Windsor Daily Star.
After the jubilation of coming home the Regiment carried on. With the end of the war, Lt Col Steward passed command of the Regiment to Lt Col D. C. O’Brien MBE ED CD who a major had been assigned to the Ontario Regiment and later as second-in-command of Number 2 Canadian Armoured Corps Re-enforcement Unit. Warrant Officer R. W. H. Purdy EM was appointed the Regimental Sergeant-Major. Bob Purdy saw service with the Active Service component of the Regiment in England and went on to fight in North-West Europe during the war.
After the war, the returning veterans formed the Essex Regiment (Tank) Regimental Association. The first reunion was held on the 23rd of November, 1946 at the Prince Edward Hotel in Windsor.
Program from the 1950 Reunion signed by Clarence E. Bell who joined the Regiment on 23 November, 1942 and on the right is a photo of Trooper Bell, Lt Cocker and Trooper Anderson from the Windsor Daily Star.
The Association was strong and in 1958 it was decided to transform itself into a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Many veterans of the Regiment and other special old friends became charter members of Lieutenant-Colonel D.C. Warnica Branch (578) including General F.F.Worthington, the Father of the Canadian Armoured Corps. The first president was Stan O’Showy who had joined the Regiment in 1937. He was a Second World War veteran who had fought with the Essex Scottish in North-West Europe, being wounded twice. Stan would go on to become the Regimental Sergeant-Major of the Windsors in 1962. Unfortunately, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 578 succumbed to to low membership and in 2005 it closed its doors for the last time.
When a field grade officer retired from the Regiment, they received a token gift of a silver cigarette case similar to the example below.
In April of 1946 the 30th RECCE Regiment was renumbered and renamed to the 22nd Reconnaissance Regiment (Essex Regiment) CAC. This name would not last long as on the 4th of February, 1949 the name was changed to the Windsor Regiment (22nd Reconnaissance Regiment). The Regiment had adopted the name of its home city. Although the name changed, the Regiment continued to wear the Essex Regiment (Tank) cap badge into the mid-1950s. They did however, adopt distinctive shoulder titles for their uniforms. In the photos below you can see a group of Windsor Regiment soldiers marching out of the Armoury on University Avenue wearing the Essex Tank badge with their new Windsor Regiment shoulder titles. Here is a WO II battle dress from the period. You’ll notice the Tudor or King’s Crown rank badge with the new Windsor Regiment shoulder title.
When the Regiment adopted of the name “The Windsor Regiment (22nd Reconnaissance Regiment)” in 1949, King George VI was the reining monarch so the badges of the Canadian military reflected that in the Tudor or “king’s” crown that surmounted the insignia of regiments. In the early 1950s, Army Headquarters requested that the Regiment design new badges to reflect the new Regimental name. Below are two ideas for the new badges.
By the time the new badge was decided upon, Queen Elizabeth had ascended the throne and the crown was changed to a St Edward or “queen’s” crown.
Here is the approval of the design of the new badge. It should be noted that the collar badges stayed essentially the same with the St Edward’s crown replacing the Tudor crown.
Only a few years later, in 1950, Canada went to war once again, although on a much smaller scale than in 1939. War on the Korean Peninsula saw members of the Regiment head to the far east. Many members of the Regiment volunteered for active service. Two members, Don Doan and Emery Beven fought with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at the Battle of Kapyong where they won the U. S. Presidential Citation.
In 1954 Lt Col H.S.W. Alexander, now commanding officer of the Windsor Regiment, was picked for a United Nations mission to the India-Pakistan border region. He had applied two years previous. After his tour he brought back 4 lances which were a gift from the 12th Pakistani Calvary Regiment based in Naushara near Peshawar. He presented the lances to the Regiment and they are still used to this day during formal parades.
Change is a constant in the military and in 1954 the unit went from being the 22nd Reconnaissance Regiment to the 22nd Armoured Regiment. The Regiment traded in their Stuart light tanks for the heavier M4A2E8 Sherman tank.
One of our M4A2E8 Shermans. Notice the happy, smiling tanker?