A dark green woollen rectangle.
The badge is a simple dark green rectangle, duplicating the badge of the Canadian 4th Division of WW1. Being of woollen cloth, this particular badge may date to before the end of 1942. The birth and early life of this Division were probably the most problematic of all Canadian formations in Second World War. The Canadian government's decision to mobilize the nine infantry battalions for a fourth infantry division was announced to Parliament on 27 May 1940 but there was considerable delay in organizing the divisional structure. The three brigade headquarters (10, 11 & 12) were formed between December 1940 and February 1941, Divisional HQ not until 10 June 1941, following the first of several major changes in organization. Authorization to form the divisional troops was given on 9 May 1941, but some were not raised until July and August. The delays in part arose from Britain's urgent request during January 1941 for completion of the third infantry division and the associated Corps troops slice, plus a new request for an armoured division and an Army Tank Brigade to be despatched to the UK before the end of 1941. As the formation of the armoured division was to have priority, completion of the 4th Infantry Division was suspended and it was 'milked' of personnel and whole units to furnish the new formation. Transferred to the new armoured division were 10th Field Company and 4th Field Park Company RCE, 24th Field Ambulance and 11th Field Hygiene Section RCAMC, together with details from Provost, Signals, Ordnance and Service Corps. The 17th Field Regiment was transferred as a whole to the new armoured division on 27th February 1941, followed by 4th Anti Tank Regiment. The 16th Field Regiment lost all its original Batteries, although only one, the 88th, went to the new armoured division, where it was re-designated an LAA Battery in 5th LAA Regiment on 27 February 1941. In a similar re-shuffle, 15th Field Regiment also lost all its original Batteries, 41st and 47th going to the armoured division and re-designated LAA Batteries in 5th LAA Regiment on the same date. It was not until May 1941 that authorisation was given to reconstitute 4th Division and 18th Field Regiment was raised that month to replace the departed 17th. It took until the end of 1941 before the Division was able to concentrate for training, only to be again thrown into turmoil by the decision to convert it to an armoured division. It formally became such on 26 January 1942 and shortly afterwards Major-General F. F. Worthington, the 'father' of Canadian armour, took command. The previous (1st, later 5th) Armoured Division had mobilized on an all-cavalry basis but this was not possible for 4th so all six infantry battalions in 10th and 12th Brigades, now re-designated as 3rd and 4th Armoured Brigades, had to convert to armour. One regiment left the Division to join 2nd Army Tank Brigade and was replaced by the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, converted to armour from its previous role as a coastal defence infantry battalion. The Princess Louise Fusiliers, hitherto another machine-gun unit on coast defence duties, was brought in to become the motor battalion for 4th Armoured Brigade. 11th Brigade was disbanded, the HQ becoming HQ 2nd Army Tank Brigade, one unit leaving to convert to armour in 2nd Army Tank Brigade and the remaining two re-deployed within the Division, the Lake Superior Regiment becoming the motor battalion of the 3rd Armoured Brigade, the Irish Regiment of Canada becoming the lorried infantry component of the Support Group. The reconnaissance battalion left the Division and converted to 2nd. Corps' armoured car unit. The newly-raised 18th Field Regiment was now surplus to requirements and also left the Division. The 16th Field Regiment received new Batteries and was re-designated 8th LAA Regiment on 26 January 1942. 15th Field Regiment was also assigned new Batteries and in February 1942 became the first Field Regiment to be fully equipped with Canadianmade 25 pounder guns. When they left for the UK in August that year they also became the first Canadian artillery unit to go overseas with its own guns. One positive result of these delays was that some Ram cruiser tanks were now becoming available in Canada for training in addition to the Canadian-produced Valentines. When the Division moved to the UK between September and November 1942 it therefore arrived somewhat more advanced in training in some respects than previous armoured formations, albeit far from battle worthy. By the end of 1942 it had received about half its entitlement of tanks, the balance being made up by the issue of 255 universal carriers to facilitate troop and squadron tactical training. The Division went through a further major upheaval in January 1943 when the composition of armoured divisions was changed from two armoured brigades and a support group to one armoured and one infantry brigade. Three armoured regiments were re-assigned. One became the Division's armoured reconnaissance regiment (as 29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (South Alberta Regiment)), one (the Sherbrooke Fusiliers) went to the 2nd Army Tank Brigade (now re-designated 2nd Armoured Brigade) and the third (the Elgins) became the Canadian Army's Armoured Delivery Regiment. The Division retained 4th Armoured Brigade and the 3rd was disbanded. The position regarding the necessary infantry battalions for the new Infantry Brigade (designated 10th) was less easy to resolve. Once again 4th Division found itself at the bottom of the priority table. On arrival in the UK, the Division had three infantry units, one motor battalion in each of the armoured brigades and one lorried battalion in the support group. In March 1943, two of these units (the Princess Louise Fusiliers (Motor) and the Irish Regiment of Canada (lorried)) were transferred to 5th Armoured Division, presumably in pursuit of the ongoing need quickly to bring an armoured division up to strength in battle worthy units. That left just the Armoured Brigade's motor battalion, the Lake Superior Regiment. To fill the 10th Infantry Brigade, units had to be shipped in from Canada. The Lincoln and Welland and the Algonquin Regiments had both been on Garrison duty in Newfoundland before being recalled to Canada and thence to the UK. Both joined 4th Armoured Division, but not before summer 1943, the former on 19 August. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada were recalled from Jamaica to Canada in May 1943, routed onwards to the UK at the end of July and assigned to 10th Brigade on 22 August. The new-look Support Group for armoured divisions was a machine gun and mortar unit for the support of the infantry brigade and this unit too was brought in from Canada. The New Brunswick Rangers was an infantry battalion previously stationed at Goose Bay, Newfoundland and did not arrive until September 1943 when it began conversion to its new role, being designated 10th Brigade Support Group. The Division's second field artillery unit, 23rd Field Regiment (SP) had also been on Home Defence in Canada and arrived in the UK at the end of July 1943, although it seems not to have joined the Division until October. Meanwhile, 4th Armoured Brigade was coping with conversion to Shermans. For an appreciable portion of its training time in the UK the Division was, therefore, a division in name only. It was not fit to take part in Exercise Spartan in March 1943 and its only divisional exercises were Grizzly II in October and Bridoon in November, in neither of which was the Division fully equipped. In February 1944 the command arrangements changed dramatically, with new Divisional (Major-General G. Kitching) and Brigade commanders and new CRA and CRE shipped in from Italy. The newcomers had little opportunity to bring their combat experience to bear on the Division because there was no time for full-scale divisional schemes. Rehearsal for specialist tasks was by then the priority, particularly assaulting over a tidal estuary. This was in anticipation that crossing the Seine near the coast would be a major task expected for the Canadian follow-up formations in the breakout battles. The Division rehearsed this during April –May on the Medway. There were yet more organizational changes to absorb before committing to action, albeit these were of a relatively minor nature. The Division's armoured regiments had exercised with all four 17pr. Fireflies in each armoured squadron in a single troop but were 'advised' that this was contrary to accepted doctrine in 21 Army Group and so had to dispose them one per troop. 5th Anti-Tank Regiment's two SP anti-tank Batteries (14th and 96th) were issued with the 17pr. M10 in exchange for the 3' version shortly before embarkation, and at some point the two towed batteries (3rd & 65th) were given converted Ram tanks as towing vehicles for their 17prs. The three LAA Batteries of 8th LAA Regiment (70th, 101st & 102nd) each had to find the personnel to field one troop of 20mm Polsten guns in addition to their three Troops of SP Bofors. (The 20mm Troops were ordered disbanded in early August 1944, although this was either not implemented or they may have been re-instated by the end of the war. One Bofors Troop per Battery was disbanded in mid September.) The Division was the last Canadian formation to enter Normandy from the UK. It relieved 3 Canadian Infantry Division north-west of Caen in the early hours of 31 July, coming under 2 Canadian Corps. The first action was a diversionary attack on Tilly-la-Campagne by the Lincoln & Welland infantry in the early hours of 1 August, the same unit attacking for real the following night. Both efforts were failures and cost casualties. Minor actions against Tilly involving infantry detachments and armoured squadrons on the afternoon and evening of 5 August also failed to yield results. The Division's first major operation was Totalize, the innovative attempt to open the way to Falaise by a night-time attack in eight close armoured columns, including the first use of armoured personnel carriers improvised from redundant SP field gun mounts, over ground prepared by heavy bombers. The Division's role was in the second, daylight, phase, where it was directed onto the area around Potigny. Totalize began on the night of 7 August and the Division moved forward the following afternoon, with 1 Polish Armoured on their left, but both failed to reach their objectives. In order to facilitate the advance planned for the following day, 9 August, an advance guard was ordered to push on overnight to secure one of the forward objectives, Point 195. This group, comprising the British Columbia armoured Regiment and two companies of Algonquin infantry, unknowingly became lost and by dawn were on the wrong hill, over three miles north east of their objective. They were all but destroyed during the day. The remainder of the Division reached approximately its original objectives during 9 and 10 August but on the evening of 10 August the operation was closed down in the face of fierce resistance. Operation Tractable was essentially a re-run of Totalize, but in daylight. The attack was launched just before noon on 14 August, the Division attacking on the left, directed south east across the Laison valley. After delays at the Laison stream, the advance continued to Rouvres, Maizieres and Ernes before swinging south to Olendon, Perrieres and Sassy. The advance was resumed the following day but with few gains beyond the village of Epancy. Between 16 and 20 August the Division pressed south east on a number of axes, ending with positions from St. Lambert north east to Camembert. During the day of 20 August, and the following day, the Division resisted fierce attacks from enemy elements attempting to break north east out of the encirclement. Also on 21st, the Division fought south eastwards to effect a junction with isolated elements of the Polish Armoured Division around Chambois and Coudehard. The 'Falaise Gap' was finally closed on this day. Also on that day, the Major-General H. W. Foster took over as Divisional commander following dissatisfaction by the higher command over the Division's performance in Normandy under Kitching. The pursuit north east to the Seine was taken up immediately and by 25 August the Division was in the Pont de l'Arche area south of Rouen, where it made contact with elements of 2 US Armoured Division. The Division crossed the Seine on 27 August and began to push north east then north to the Somme, which they crossed on 3rd September. After a brief pause to re-organize around Abbeville the Division resumed the advance on 6th, arriving at the Ghent Canal at Moerbrugge south of Bruges on 8th. After a stiff fight they were across the canal in strength by 10th. On 12 September the Division was ordered to begin operations to clear the south bank of the Scheldte estuary from the north-south Ghent-Terneuzen Canal westwards to the coast, an area of low-lying land soon to become known as the Breskens Pocket. An initial attempt on the southern sector of the pocket was made with an assault across the Leopold Canal near Moerkerke on 13 - 14 September, but this failed. The focus then switched east, the Division patrolling the Leopold Canal on its left and clearing the area to the east and north up to the Scheldte between Terneuzen and the Braakman inlet, secured by 21 September. On 9 October the Division sent its Armoured Recce Regiment and an infantry company east to the area north of Antwerp, coming in on 2 Canadian Division's right flank to assist their northward advance. The remainder of 4 Division had followed to the Antwerp area by 17 October and came under command British 1 Corps. Together with three other divisions, their role, Operation Suitcase, was to thrust northwards and cover 2 Canadian Division's rear as it attacked westward to take South Beveland. 4th Division attacked northwards on the morning of 20 October, directed on Esschen before swinging north west towards Bergen op Zoom. Esschen fell on 22 October but it took until 26th to capture Wouwsche Plantage to the north west. Bergen op Zoom fell the following day. The Division advanced north but had to fight hard to capture Welburg and Steenbergen on 3 and 4 November respectively. Together with parallel advances by 49th British, 104th US and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions, this cleared the enemy from the Hollandschdiep, the western sea approaches to the River Maas. The Division went into Army reserve around s'Hertogenbosch and Boxtel when relieved on 26 November. On 1 December 1944 Major-General Foster exchanged with Major-General C. Vokes from Italy in command of the Division. During the following three months there were no major operations but much vicious patrolling and small-scale actions. On 14 January 1945 the Division received orders to capture Kapelsche Veer, a small silted-up harbour on a secondary channel of the Maas to the west of s'Hertogenbosch. 1st Polish Armoured Division and 47 RM Commando had both failed to capture this position. Operation Elephant, 4th Division's attempt, was to be a well-supported and deliberate attack by 10 Brigade with armour support. The attack was launched in freezing conditions on the morning of 26 January and was a failure. The position was not finally taken until 30 January, after the Germans vacated their last posts. Towards the end of February 1945 the Division re-deployed east to take part in the follow-up Rhineland operation, Operation Blockbuster. On 25 February they were assembled in the area of Cleve with the task of passing through the assaulting formations to take a portion of the Calcar Ridge and positions at the entrance to the Hochwald Gap. For this purpose the Division had formed a number of mixed armour and infantry battle groups, with the Ram and Crusader towing vehicles of the 5th and 6th Anti-Tank Regiments' 17prs. being pressed into service as armoured personnel carriers, plus specialised armour and SP anti-tank support. There were five 'Tiger' Groups under command of 4th Armoured Brigade, two designed for assault, two for immediate follow-up and one for exploitation. 'Lion' Group, the Algonquins and the South Albertas, was of similar composition but in a single group, under 10th Infantry Brigade, intended to take the entrance to the 'Hochwald Gap', the narrow passage between the Hochwald and Balberger Wald. Four of the Tiger Groups began their attack mid-morning of 26 February and quickly captured the north end of the Calcar-Udem Ridge. The fifth Tiger passed through at about 1800, directed to the highest points of the Ridge, north east of Udem, all of which were secured by 2230. The constituent units of the Groups re-organized when relieved at midnight, the infantry reverting to 10 Brigade. Lion Group's advance to the Hochwald Gap started nearly an hour late, at 0515 on 27 February, and after initial success was stopped short of the Gap. A single company-squadron right flanking attack was all but wiped out. Attempts to break through later on 27th, using the infantry now released from the Tiger Groups, failed and frequent new attempts made in subsequent days took the Division through the Gap but not to their final objectives. The survivors from the forward units were withdrawn on the morning of 3 March. The Division moved forward to the area of the Sonsbeek –Xanten Road and on 6 March began operations directed at the small town of Veen, south of Xanten. Company and squadron-sized groups failed on the first day and a brigade-level attack over the next two days did little better, Veen being occupied only after the defenders withdrew on 9 March. The Division's final action west of the Rhine was on 10 March when Winnenthal was taken after strong resistance. By 1 April the Division had crossed the Rhine and was in place south of Doetinchem, ready to participate in the thrust north-east into Germany, Operation Haymaker. The first move was to the Twente Canal, crossed on 3 –4 April. 4th Armoured Brigade pushed on rapidly, reaching Meppen on the Ems River on 5 April, while 10th Infantry was still at Wierden, some 30 miles south-east, where resistance was not finally silenced until 9 April. The day before, 4th Armoured Brigade had forced a crossing of the Ems and pushed on north east to Sogel and Borger where they paused for rear echelons to catch up. 10th Brigade moved rapidly north and on 10th April was at the western end of the Kusten Canal. The advance resumed and on 14 April Friesoythe was captured and advance elements of 4th Armoured Brigade reached the Kusten Canal west of Oldenburg. Against persistent opposition, a crossing was forced between 17 –19 April. The bridgehead was steadily expanded against sporadically strong resistance and in bad going, with operations directed towards Bad Zwischenahn, which town the enemy evacuated on 30 April. The advance continued north in the general direction of Wilhelmshaven until the ceasefire was announced on 4 May. The Division concentrated near Almelo in late May and by the end of June had handed in all its tanks. Divisional HQ was disbanded on 27 December 1945.
Associated person: John Tiffin Murray Stewart b. 1917, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. d. 6 August 1964, 47 yrs., heart attack. Service record: Gunner M 4044 RCA. 1942: Reg. H2, HQ RCA, 1st Administration Corps. RCA CASF (Canadian Active Service Force) 1st Division. 1943: Reg. H3, 3rd Field Regt. RCA CASF 1st Division. 1944: 1st A Wing. No. 1 CARU (Canadian Artillery Reinforcement Unit). Family history: 11 December 1942, married Elfreda Joan, nee Knight, at Congregational Church West Wickham, Kent. 15 June 1945, returned Canada. 27 June 1946, joined by family (on board 'Letitia'). August 1948, all family return to UK ('Queen Mary'). Moved to family home, Cavendish Way, West Wickham, Kent. Subsequently bought house, Oak Avenue, Shirley, Croydon.
Bibliographical sources: FORMATION BADGES OF WORLD WAR 2: Britain, Commonwealth and Empire, Lt. Col. Howard N. Cole, Arms & Armour Press, 1973, ISBN 85368 078 7; DISTINGUISHING PATCHES: Formation Patches of the Canadian Army. Clive M. Law. (Private) Service Publications, Nepean, Ontario, 1996.
Associated people and organisations