Toronto Police Military Veterans Association (TPMVA) president Dana Gidlow presented a cheque to the 7th Toronto Artillery Foundation at this year’s Remembrance Day celebration at police headquarters on November 10.
Retired Lt. Col. Barry Downs received the cheque on behalf of the foundation of which he’s the honourary Lt. Col.
“This is quite an honour as we have a very close relationship with Toronto Police,” he said. “Our foundation provides things to soldiers that governments don’t. They include comfort-type items that we provide to support our military personnel when they are operating in places like Afghanistan.”
TPMVA historian Matt Scarlino read the names of the fallen while Gidlow recited the poem,They Shall Not Grow Old.
“Many of the men paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives and we will always remember them,” said Gidlow,
Constable Paul Breeze, who spent 12 years with the British military before joining Toronto Police, playedThe Last Post and George Johnstone of the Toronto Police Pipe Band performed Flowers of the Forest.
Hugh Ferguson Sr., father of Superintendent Hugh Ferguson Jr. who was the Master of Ceremony, readIn Flanders Field.
Toronto police officers who have served on peacekeeping and training missions, along with war veterans, gathered in the Grenville lobby for this year’s Remembrance Day service, marking the 99th year of the first Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Retired Staff Sergeant Gord Barrett and William Talbot paid tribute to family member and close friend Frederick Topham by laying a wreath in his honour. Topham was Barrett’s great-great-uncle.
A medical orderly who parachuted with his
battalion into a strongly defended area east of the Rhine during World War Two,
Topham was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious
award for gallantry. He died in 1974.