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Milton Fowler Gregg

Milton Fowler Gregg
VC, PC, OC, CBE, MC & Bar, ED, CD
Gregg as a junior officer in 1917.
Minister of Labour
In office
7 August 1950 – 20 June 1957
Prime MinisterLouis St. Laurent
Preceded byPaul Martin Sr. (acting)
Succeeded byMichael Starr
Minister of Veterans Affairs
In office
19 January 1948 – 6 August 1950
Prime Minister
Preceded byIan Alistair Mackenzie
Succeeded byHugues Lapointe
Minister of Fisheries
In office
2 September 1947 – 18 January 1948
Prime MinisterWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King
Preceded byErnest Bertrand (acting)
Succeeded byJames Angus MacKinnon
Member of Parliament
for York—Sunbury
In office
20 October 1947 – 10 June 1957
Preceded byHedley Francis Gregory Bridges
Succeeded byJohn Chester MacRae
5th Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons
In office
1934–1944
ClerkArthur Beauchesne
Preceded byHarry Judson Coghill
Succeeded by
Personal details
Born(1892-04-10)10 April 1892
Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada
Died13 March 1978(1978-03-13) (aged 85)
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Resting placeSnider Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery, Snider Mountain
Political partyLiberal
SpouseErica Deichmann Gregg
Alma materAcadia University
Military service
Branch/serviceCanadian Expeditionary Force
Years of service1914–1943
RankBrigadier
UnitThe Royal Canadian Regiment
CommandsWest Nova Scotia Regiment
Battles/wars
Awards

Brigadier Milton Fowler Gregg, VC, PC, OC, CBE, MC & Bar, ED, CD (10 April 1892 – 13 March 1978) was a Canadian military officer and a First World War recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. In later life, he was a Member of the Canadian Parliament, cabinet minister, academic, soldier and diplomat.

Early life

Gregg was born in 1892 in Mountain Dale, Kings County, New Brunswick, the son of Clarissa E.(Myles) and George Lord Gregg. During the early stages of World War I he enlisted in the Canadian Army with The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in September 1914 while still studying at Acadia University. He graduated with a Master of Arts in 1916.

Victoria Cross

At the age of eighteen Gregg joined the 8th New Brunswick Hussars militia regiment. Gregg served during the First World War as a sergeant in the medical corps and later as an officer of The Royal Canadian Regiment. During combat on the Western Front in 1917, his actions earned him the Military Cross and in 1918 further valour added a bar to the Cross. Near Cambrai, Nord, France on 28 September 1918 his actions during the Battle of the Canal du Nord earned him the Victoria Cross. The citation for Gregg's Victoria Cross reads:

Lt. Milton Fowler Gregg, M.C., R. Can. Regt., Nova Scotia R. – For most conspicuous bravery and initiative during operations near Cambrai, 27th September to 1st October, 1918.
On 28th September, when the advance of the brigade was held up by fire from both flanks and by thick, uncut wire, he crawled forward alone and explored the wire until he found a small gap through which he subsequently led his men and forced an entry into the enemy trench. The enemy counter-attacked in force and, through lack of bombs, the situation became critical. Although wounded Lt. Gregg returned alone under terrific fire and collected a further supply. Then rejoining his party, which by this time was much reduced in numbers, and in spite of a second wound, he reorganized his men and led them with the greatest determination against the enemy trenches, which he finally cleared. He personally killed or wounded 11 of the enemy and took 25 prisoners, in addition to 12 machine guns captured in the trench. Remaining with his company in spite of wounds he again on the 30th September led his men in attack until severely wounded. The outstanding valour of this officer saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue.[2]

Victoria Cross stolen

On the evening of 24 December 1978, Gregg's medal set was stolen from the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ontario. The medal set which had been placed on permanent loan to the museum by his widow Erica Deichmann Gregg included the Victoria Cross, the Order of Canada in the grade of Officer and the Military Cross with one Bar.

Later career

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From 1934 until 1939, Gregg was the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Commons. Following the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Gregg served overseas for two years with the West Nova Scotia Regiment and then commanded officer training centres at various military facilities in Canada and retired with the rank of brigadier in 1943. In 1944, Gregg was appointed the commanding officers of CANLOAN officers at Sussex Military Camp prior to their deployment to the British Army.[3] He was later named the first honorary president of the CANLOAN Army Officers' Association, a veterans association of CANLOAN officers.[4]

In 1944, Gregg was appointed President of the University of New Brunswick, serving in that position until 1947 when he was elected to Parliament as Liberal member for the York-Sunbury riding. Gregg served in the cabinets of Prime Ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent for almost 10 years as the Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Minister of Labour.

Defeated in the 1957 election, Gregg went on to become the United Nations representative in Iraq, the UNICEF administrator in Indonesia, and the Canadian High Commissioner in Georgetown, British Guiana. He retired in 1968. He died on 13 March 1978 and is buried at Snider Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery [5] in Snider Mountain, New Brunswick.

Honours

Ribbon Description Notes
Victoria Cross (VC)
  • 6 January 1919
Order of Canada (OC)
  • Officer
  • 22 December 1967
  • Invested 26 April 1968
  • [6]
  • [7]
Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Commander
  • Military Division
Military Cross (MC)
  • With 1 Bar
1914–15 Star
British War Medal
WWI Victory Medal
Defence Medal
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
War Medal
King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
  • 6 May 1935
King George VI Coronation Medal
  • 12 May 1937
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
  • 2 June 1953
Canadian Centennial Medal
  • 1 July 1967
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal
  • 6 February 1977
  • Both British and Canadian Versions
Volunteer Long Service Medal for India and the Colonies
Canadian Efficiency Decoration (ED)
Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)
Commissionaires Long Service Medal

[8]

Scholastic

Honorary degrees
Location Date School Degree Gave Commencement Address
 Nova Scotia 1921 Acadia University [9]
 British Columbia 26 October 1951 University of British Columbia Doctor of Laws (LL.D)[10][11] Yes
 Ontario 20 May 1977 Royal Military College of Canada Doctor of Military Science (D.Sc.Mil)[12] Yes
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (September 2021)

Legacy

After his death, the Milton Fowler Gregg VC Memorial Trust Fund Bursary was created in his name. It is offered annually to students entering the Royal Military College of Canada Division of Graduate Studies and Research.

The Mons Box Trophy was created by then Brigadier, The Honourable Milton F. Gregg, VC, CBE, OC, MC, ED, CD. It is awarded to the platoon commander who has exhibited the highest qualities of leadership and who is therefore, the junior officer most fit to command the men who have been placed in his charge. The Mons Box, a ceremonial cigar box, was presented to then Lieutenant Gregg by the Burgomaster of Mons, Belgium in November 1918. In addition, all members of the Canadian Corps who had reached the Mons area by Armistice Day were presented with a souvenir medallion of the City of Mons. Duplicates of this medallion are affixed to the box. Brigadier Gregg presented the Mons Box to 2 RCR on 1 June 1973. It has been presented annually since then to the winning platoon commander on the first appropriate battalion function after 1 June. The winner of the Mons Box is determined by a selection committee consisting of the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant, Company Commanders and any previous winners of the Mons Box serving in 2 RCR. These previous winners are no longer eligible to compete. All Subalterns, who have spent at least eight consecutive months of the previous year as a platoon commander, are eligible for the award. The Mons Box is displayed in the silver cabinet of the Saint Andrew's Barracks Officers' Mess in CFB Gagetown. It is placed in front of the current winner during all Mess Dinners and it contains the after dinner cigars. Each winner of the Mons Box receives a souvenir trophy.

The Brigadier Milton F. Gregg, VC, Centre for the Study of War and Society was created at the University of New Brunswick in 2006 to further Canadians' knowledge about conflict, and is devoted to excellence in the study of war as a complex social phenomenon. Marc Milner is the first Director. The centre incorporates the UNB History and UNB Military and Strategic Studies Programs.

Electoral history

1957 Canadian federal election: Fredericton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative John Chester MacRae 13,356 49.46 +6.71
Liberal Milton Fowler Gregg 13,018 48.21 -4.49
Co-operative Commonwealth Lawrence Bright 628 2.33 -2.21
Total valid votes 27,002 100.00
1953 Canadian federal election: Fredericton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Milton Fowler Gregg 12,888 52.70 +3.90
Progressive Conservative Ewart Clair Atkinson 10,455 42.75 -1.91
Co-operative Commonwealth Charles Watson 1,111 4.54 -1.99
Total valid votes 24,454 100.00
1949 Canadian federal election: Fredericton
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Milton Fowler Gregg 12,158 48.80 -2.47
Progressive Conservative Ewart Clair Atkinson 11,127 44.66 +10.65
Co-operative Commonwealth Murray Young 1,628 6.53 -8.19
Total valid votes 24,913 100.00
By-election on 1947

On the death of Francis Bridges

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Milton Fowler Gregg 12,237 51.27 +3.05
Progressive Conservative Ernest William Sansom 8,119 34.01 -10.31
Co-operative Commonwealth Murray Young 3,514 14.72 +7.27
Total valid votes 23,870 100.00

References

  1. ^ "No. 37408". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1945. p. 134.
  2. ^ "No. 31108". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 1919. p. 306.
  3. ^ Hayes, Geoffrey (2017). Crerar's Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939–45. UBC Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7748-3486-5.
  4. ^ "The CANLOAN Scheme". war-experience.org. Second World War Experience Centre. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  5. ^ WikiMapia latitude/longitude 45° 50.402'N 65° 37.950'W
  6. ^ Order of Canada citation
  7. ^ "Milton Gregg's Order of Canada Citation". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Milton Gregg's Medals". Victoria Cross Online. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Acadia University Honorary Degrees". Acadia University. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  10. ^ "University of British Columbia Honorary degrees". The University of British Columbia. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Milton Gregg's Honorary Degree Citation". The University of British Columbia. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Royal Military College of Canada Honorary Degree Recipients". 19 July 2016.
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Milton Fowler Gregg
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