William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

(In Peace Prepared)

The Plaque of the 2nd Battalion Voluntary Militia
The Plaque of the 2nd Battalion
Voluntary Militia
formed in Toronto on 26th April 1860
Regimental History, to us was a mystery;
Why do the “Rifles” have black horn buttons
and we wear jackets of Dark “Rifle” Green?
Because red coats and shiny brass buttons
in the northern bush, were easily seen?

Why’s the “Rifle” motto: “In Pace Paratus”
and what the hell does it mean?
Questions that were often yelled at us
Regimental History ‘twas always made a great fuss
to us Young recruits serving Country and Queen

You have to know the honours of battle
emblazoned on our Regimental drums.
You all carry “Rifles” Lads, these are not called guns!
In 1860 Toronto, The Queen’s Own “Rifles” were born
and on your buckle you all wear our Regimental deuce horn!!

You have to know the Regimental history of those who went before
You have to know the honours won in each and every war
Now that you wear a silver maple leaf badge on your green beret
You are now called a “Rifleman”, when you got this badge today!
In the Queen’s Own “Rifles” of Canada-God speed you on your way!

B Coy, 1st Battalion, QOR of C. Calgary, June 1959
Click on Photo to view larger version
Author’s Note: As a 17 year old and the 4th man over from the left in the second row, I can be seen here wearing my newly issued (1958) silver maple leaf hat badge. We had just exchanged our green berets for forage caps – the green berets went south to our neighbours who were forming a special unit – and needed green berets. It was a time of change I turned in my .303 rifle for a new semi automatic FN C1 Belgique Personal Weapon. The start of twenty years in the Rifle Family

Many in the picture are now gone to that big parade square in the sky.

Rat Randle (real name Don) said he was a rat crawling through the bunkers, trenches and fire pits of Korea. The nick name stuck. Rat died of cancer. He was one of those who went south to Nevada to watch the Nuclear Explosions up close.

One platoon Sergeant said he could see all the bones in his hand which he had over his eyes. I don’t think the exposure was too healthy as many of these lads who attended the Bomb Blast are now deceased. The Government of course won’t entertain anything was wrong with the testing and the guys were far enough away from ground zero etc.

Some of the lads were also used in experiments on the gas range at Suffield and many of those lads are “gone” – the mustard gas and other chemical gases were subject to leaks in the test suits and some of the lads died young whilst others are prematurely ill.

… the joys of serving your country