MAJOR GENERAL H.A. YOUNG, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., C.D.
I felt highly honoured when I was asked to write a Foreword to this book which gives an excellent account of the memorable story of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in the Second World War.
It was my great privilege to have been associated with the regiment on three occasions during the War. The first was in 1941 when I was G.S.O. 1 of the 2nd Canadian Division. Even at that time when the trianing of the unit had been disrupted from the date of arrival in England, by counter invasion duties on the South Coast, it was apparent that the South Saskatchewan Regiment was going to be a unit of high calibre.
I took over the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, just after Dieppe, in 1942, and I recall most clearly my visit to the South Saskatchewan Regiment. Veterans of the raid showed no indication of having become unnerved. On the contrary, there was evidence of the satisfaction of the men who had done their job and confience that given an opportunity they were better man for man than the enemy. As you read this charming book, you will see that this spirit of the Dieppe veterans soon permeated the whole unity and subsequent events in battle proved in a superlative way, its realism.
Units of the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade came from widely different geographical areas in Canada. The Fusiliers Mont Royal from Montreal, the Camerons of Canada, from Winnipeg, and the South Saskatchewan Regiment from Southern Saskatchewan, made up the Brigade. It was a matter of great interest to me throughout all my experiences with the Brigade to see the friendliness which obtained the English speaking and French speaking Canadians. The Southern Saskatchewan Regiment always played an important part in this atmosphere of comradeship.
My return to the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade in 1944, a couple of months before the Normandy Operation, again brought me in close contact with the South Saskatchewan Regiment. It was most heartening to see what an excellent unit it had become and I was proud of the association with them when we landed in Normandy. I think the words of Alexander Pope could well be applied to every officer and man of the unit that day: "Without a sign, his sword the brave man draws And asks no omen but his country's cause."
The real test of the unit's qualities came when we were involved in the heavy fighting beyond Caen around mid-July. The bulk of the German armour was drawn on the British and Canadian fronts. Fighting was most severe; in fact, I have heard from officers who have served in numerous sectors during the Second World War and there seems to have been agreement amongst them, that the fighting between Caen and Falais was equal to, if not the severest of any in which Canadians participated. In any case, the South Saskatchewan Regiment carried an important brunt of this fighting in the wheat fields of Normandy, which must have given them nostalgic feelings as theythought of similar fields back in Saskatchewan. It has been most pleasing for me as I talked with Brigadeers I commanded after I left in 1944, to learn of the continued high standard of the South Saskatchewan Regiment. All paid tribute to a very fine unit and one whose excellent fighting qualities continued to the last day of the War.
Lieutenant-Colonel G. Bruce Buchanan, in this fine history of the unit, has described in a most colouful and interesting manner the march of the South Saskatchewan Regiment.
25 June, 57.