I am delighted to be asked to write a further Foreword to the reprinting in 1980 of our Regimental History "The March of the Prairie Men" written by Lt. Col. G. B. Buchanan, M.B.E. and first published some twenty years ago.
Col. Buchanan joined the Regiment as a Private soldier. At the end of the War in Europe he was acting in command of the Battalion. His intimate knowledge of its men and of its history is combined with a well founded pride in its accomplishments and an affection for all who served the Regiment.
The result is this History which has delighted all its readers. It has lead to a demand for its reprinting in the 40th year from the outbreak of the war and of the mobilization of the 1st Battalion, The South Saskatchewan Regiment (CASF).
Now, "forty years on" and from the vantage point of very successful annual Re-unions of the Regimental Association (Parent and Western Branches) it is not difficult to understand the pride shown in the Regiment's outstanding Record during the adventurous years 1939-45.
In 1965, through, as many will think, a shortsighted policy at NDHQ in Ottawa, the Reserve Army Unit of the Regiment was "stood down" as an "active" unity.
Nevertheless, so real has been the comradeship of its war time members -so great their pride in the Regiments' record as described in these pages - that the Regiment continues to "live". Its History (of which a reprint has been demanded) will inspire, in case of need, the present and future young men of Saskatchewan, should they be called on to defend their country as were their fathers and grandfathers.
The Regiment succeeded (as indeed, all good regiments do) because of the character of its men and because of the leadership given it both before nad during the Second World War. We, who served it, can name many of those men and most of their leaders; and Col. Buchanan does this in his History.
I am an "adopted son" of the Regiment and was active with the Battalkion for only a short five months in 1942. That character and that leadership were there when I joined. I could see it and feel it then.
It carried us through our "Baptism of Fire" at Dieppe where my own pride in the Regiment was firmly sealed by the steadiness and bravery of its men in a difficult operation of war.
It continued and was enhanced by each of its actions in Normandy and in North West Europe in 1944-5. These actions are commemorated in our "Battle Honours" on our Colours. It was upheld by all the officers and men who took part in these battles.
The sprit of the Regiment is still alive in the individual members of the Regimental Association and in the pages of this vivid history.
Colonel Buchanan has caught and recorded forever that "Spirit".
The fact that a Reprint has been demanded "forty years on" is a tribute to the Regiment; to those who werved it and made it possible; and to the people of Saskatchewan who supported it.
In particular it is a tribute to "Buck" himself, who just as in action and then as Historian has always exemplified the qualities of which we are all so proud.
15 September, 1979
LT. COL. - LATE THE SOUTHERN SASKATCHEWAN REGIMENT CECIL MERRIT