This Spring I was contacted by Mr. Ralph Langdon, the son of Major Howey Langan [ret’d]. Howey served with the RCD from 1951-1976. Ralph informed me that his father had passed a number of years prior but he had some of his father’s military memorabilia that he thought should be returned to the regiment. Ralph made a promise to his father that he would do this in May 1965 and the promise was fulfilled in May 2018. I made a journey out to Ralph’s home in Chilliwack to retrieve the items destined for the regiment. The items consisted of a leather covered riding crop, carried throughout his career; leather covered riding stick; used continually from his days on the National Equestrian Team before WW II and a bamboo riding stick.

These items were given to Ralph’s father by Major General Churchill Mann CBE, DSO, CD. The General was the first Colonel of the Regiment serving from 2 September 1958 - 21 November 1964. There are many interesting stories

concerning the General in Dragoon in The Centennial History of the Royal Canadian Dragoons 1883-1983 [pages 267, 286 and 436-438]. In the early 1960’s there was a governmental movement afoot to reduce one of Canada’s Brigades and reduce the number of tanks to only those of the regiment serving in Germany. The remaining regiments of the Corps would be converted to reconnaissance. Many years later when the reduction of the brigade did happen, the Dragoons survived the reduction. The regiment rotated to Germany in 1970 and remained a tank regiment for sixteen further years as part of the NATO Brigade.

In June2018 I attended the RCD Association reunion in Ottawa and was able to present these regimental artifacts to the Colonel Commandant Royal Canadian Armoured Corps [Colonel Georges Rousseau a member of our regiment]. He, in turn, will pass them to the new Commanding Officer following the change of command on 29 June. A special thanks to Ralph Langdon for returning his father’s military memorabilia and that of Major General Churchill Mann’s to the regimental archives.

Darrell M Dean CD

BGen (ret’d)
BGen Dean presents MGen Mann's riding sticks to Col Rousseau
Col Rousseau and BGen Atkinson pose with MGen Mann's riding sticks
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