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Page 195 text:
No. 1941, LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GEOFFREY WALSH,
c.B.E., D.s.o., c.D.
For a number of highly energetic men the normal span of lifc is all to short to encompass the experiences
they want to enjoy, to meet the challenges their spirit demands, to see solid results of their planning, Cer-
tainly one of these, Geoffrey Walsh, has piled into his fifty-five years a great wealth of successful and satisfy-
ing experiences, as a student, as an inquiring subaltern, as an engineer in peacetime in military construction
and as a commander in wartime making his important contributions to victory. At the date of this writing in
1965 Geoffrey Walsh is a lieutenant-general, the senior ranking Canadian Army Officer in active service, and
the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff.
General Walsh was born in Brantford, Ont., on 19 August, 1909. He entered RMC from St, Catherines
Collegiate in August, 1926, and graduated in 1930. He was a good boxer and rifle shot and an excellent rider,
winning his Spur and Crown. He held the rank of Sergeant in his final year,
On graduation he was commissioned in the RCE. He studied at Nova Scotia Tech and later at McGill
where he obtained his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1933. He served in England at the School of Military
Engineering at Chatham to complete a well balanced and thorough engineering education.
After various appointments in Eastern Canada he returned to RMC as Engineering Works Officer in 1937.
He found a number' of works problems to be solved that were recurring in his day as a cadet and he went to
work. In the summer of 1939 he was promoted to the rank of Major and was posted to Toronto as District
He went overseas with the 1st Pioneer Battalion, RCE, in June, 1940, and in July was given command of
the 3rd Field Company. His technical knowledge and driving force were the reasons for his appointment as
Chief Instructor of 1 Canadian Engineer Holding Unit late in 1940.
General Walsh again commanded the 3rd Field Company, RCE, in 1941 and in this capacity took part in
the Spitzbergen operation in Norway and personally supervised the demolition of the German-operated coal
mines and other shore installations. Later in the year he was appointed Brigade Major, H,Q., RCE Troops.
He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in April, 1942, and was appointed Commander, Royal
Engineers, QCREQ, with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in England. He served with this Division in both the
Sicilian and Italian campaigns. In early 1944 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief
Engineer, 2nd Canadian Corps, and later served in Northwest Europe. In September he was appointed Chief
Engineer, First Canadian Army, and served in this appointment until the end of the war.
General Walsh returned to Canada in August, 1945, and was appointed Deputy Quartermaster General at
Army Headquarters in October. In April, 1946, he was made first commander of the Northwest Highway
System. He was given the immense task of organizing the NWH System fAlaska Highwayj in preparation for
Canada's taking over of this vital highway from the Americans. The Highway has some 1500 miles of roadbed
and numerous bridges to be maintained under winter as well as summer conditions, In addition was the task
of Army and Air Force vehicle maintenance and other engineering projects, Physical fitness was an essential
quality in the engineer that handled this job.
General Walsh attended the National Defence College, Kingston, Ont., in 1948, and late in that year was
appointed Commander, Eastern Ontario Area. In Jtuie, 1951, he was selected to be first commander of the
newly-organized 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade, and led that formation in Europe. This force still serves
with NATO. Upon his return to Canada in January, 1953, he was appointed Director-General of Military
Training at Army Headquarters.
On 1 September, 1955, General Walsh was promoted to the rank of Major-General and appointed Quarter-
master General of the Canadian Army, and served in this capacity until 2 July, 1959, when he was appointed
General Officer Commanding, Western Command, at Edmonton, Alta. On 1 October, 1961, he was promoted to
the rank of Lieutenant-General and assumed the appointment of Chief of the General Staff.
The reorganization of the Canadian Armed Forces, involving initial integration at the higher general
staff levels, was the great problem at Ottawa Headquarters in 1964. In the reorganization General Walsh was
appointed on 1 August, 1964, the Vice-Chief of Defence Staff.
Many honours have come to General Walsh, In Italy he won the D.S.O.g for his service in Northwest Europe
he was awarded the C.B.E,g the French Government decorated him with the Legion of Honour, the United
States with the Legion of Merit, and the Netherlands Government with the Orange Order of Nassau with Swords.
He was twice mentioned in Despatches.
The RMC Club is very proud of the extent to which ex-cadets like General Walsh have provided leader-
ship in times of national crises and the part played by ex-cadets in so many fields of the national economy.
They serve to inspire recent graduates and serving cadets to similar accomplishment.
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