Strathconas commemorate Moreuil Wood
eFP BG Latvia Roto 2301
Warrant Officer Ayrton Balfour
As the Strathconas closed out the culminating Crystal Arrow Exercise in Latvia during Op REASSURANCE Roto 23-01, they could not proceed without taking time to pause and commemorate the Battle of Moreuil Wood. WO Ayrton Balfour coordinated and executed a Moreuil Wood Parade which included fellow Allied Nations within the Battle Group, and a few VIP visitors such as Col V.G. Kirstein (Commander, Task Force Latvia) and LCol M.D.C. Johns (CACSC) .
Members of D Squadron deployed in Latvia were honoured and humbled to share one of the Regiment’s greatest Battle Honours with all soldiers within the TF LVA AO. Many soldiers from the Patricias, Italian Contingent and Spanish Contingent alike remarked on the heroic deeds of Lt Flowerdew and C Sqn on that fateful day in March 1918. All experienced goosepimples during the war cry “It’s a Charge Boys, It’s a Charge!” and were inspired by the actions of this true Cavalry Charge.
The Parade consisted of a speech written by WO Balfour (Master of Ceremonies) and a few words and prayer led by BG Padre Lt(N) Christian Pichette. With no Guidon available, the Strathconas were proud to fly the Regimental Flag from the antenna on one of ISR Platoon’s LAVs. Included in the vehicle display was the not so valiant TAPV. With the LAV and TAPV on Parade, WO Balfour was able to observe two critical periods throughout the history of the Regiment. One being the horses of WWI as the mounted steeds of the Regiment. Today’s mounts, the LAV 6.0 and TAPV. Further, one can only wonder what steeds Canada will present the Armoured Corps in the future.
Following the Parade, in true Strathcona fashion, Strathconas, past attach-posted support trades, Blackhatters of all cap badges, and fellow Armoured Company Comd teams from the multi-national contingents were invited to some refreshments. To the despair of some and delight to most, the presence of Drambuie in Latvia is mostly theoretical. However, high quality Scotch and Tullamore Dew were enjoyed by all (staying cognisant of the 2-drink limit), as well as an array of sandwiches, meat/cheese platters and veggie platters. It was an unexpected coincidence that the Reserve Force members attach posted to the ISR Platoon consisted of some member of the Fort Garry Horse, who also fought in the First World War as members of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade.