Archie (JR) Whamond (Provost Corps 1st CDN Army RCA) Military Police
My Grandfather Archie... is a true character. He immigrated to Canada with his family from Scotland in 1929 (see his fathers bio on this page) and settled in Alberta. Archie grew up as a "tough as nails" farm boy.
Archie enlisted the Canadian Army in 1939 as Military Police (Provost Corps). He was present during the Normandy invasion, and was present in and through the heavy fighting around Caen and then into Holland. Again, like his father.. Archie is a vet who would talk about his experiences.
One of the things that sticks in my mind the most is an experience that happened during the fighting in France. As an MP, one of his duties on the front line was directing columns of armor, making sure they take the correct roads & turn-offs (the retreating German troops were very adept at changing & removing signs to hinder allied movements). At this particular time he was directing a column of either Churchill or Cromwell tanks across a bridge. As the first tank neared the end of the bridge, a group of German anti-tank guns (hidden in a wooded crest on the opposite side of the river) opened up. First taking out the lead tank, and then the tank at the back of the column. In a space of maybe 10 minutes, there were 7 knocked Canadian tanks on the bridge. His stories about having to climb inside these burning vehicles after the battle to remove bodies was very vivid.
Another one of his main jobs was going after Canadian, British & US deserters. He had some very interesting and humorous stories about this.
The above photo shows Archie on his bike (he was proud of that) in Holland in 1945. The women with him is an unknown Dutch civilian.
Archie, now in his late 80's is still extremely active... he even still goes Moose hunting to this day. In stature, he is still huge.. I can only image how formidable looking he was as a young man. He’s the consummate "pack rat".. I have never seen anybody accumulate so much junk from going to yard sales & auctions. He has an entire garage filled to the rafters, its now to the point were he has had to build 3 or 4 of those minnie storage/garden sheds in his back yard just to store everything. My grandmother (Edna), just looks at him & shakes her head.
About 10 years ago.. I was lucky enough to him give me his Battledress tunic as a Christmas present!. This is the same tunic as is worn in the photo above!
Archie... "My hat is off to you". I can only hope to be half the man that you are.
Jan 2nd 2009.
I'm very sad to say that Archie passed away several days ago. He will be very much missed by his friends and family.