Long time Perth resident Lt. Col. John E. Beswick (Ret’d) passed away at Lanark Lifestyles on January 12, 2023, …two months shy of his 104th birthday. He was born in London England on March 22, 1919. A World War ll veteran with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, John enjoyed three careers: the military, Ottawa Regional Government and a 49-year retirement. (taken from his obituary).
To view obituary: click here
UPDATE 1 – 20 Feb 23:
The Beswick family has requested support from the Regimental Family to have a presence at his funeral, currently scheduled for the weekend of 24-25 June 2023. The NCR Chapter of the Association will be leading the coordination of our formal effort.
In addition to the more formal Regimental presence that is currently being coordinated, the family has extended an invitation for participation by Regimental Family members interested in attending. More information will follow
Here are the details for John Beswick’s celebration of Life:
Date & Time: Sunday, 25 June starting at 1100
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, 165 Dufferin Road, Perth, ON, K7H 3B3
LCol John Ernest Beswick was born 19 Mar 1919. He emigrated from England in 1926. He was initially posted to C Sqn in 1942 and served in the RCD throughout Sicily, Italy and North West Europe campaigns ending as the QM. John re-enlisted after the war, again as a Dragoon serving to at least 1968 retiring as LCol. He was awarded a Mention in Despatches (MID) as per Canada Gazette # 44 dated 3 Nov 1945. John was awarded and made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as per Canada Gazette # 50 dated 15 Dec 1945.
The MBE citation reads: Capt John Ernest BESWICK as Quartermaster of the Royal Canadian Dragoons during the period 6 Jun 44 to 8 May 45 successfully carried out three major reorganization and re-equipment programs, which had been ordered to fit the regiment for varying roles. In each case, though notice was short, these tasks were quickly completed without any dislocation of the regiments activities and although large quantities of major types of equipment and controlled stores were involved.
In addition Capt BESWICK was responsible for normal maintenance and supply during all the regimental actions of this period, both mounted and dismounted, under trying conditions. During the Gothic Line battle when a squadron echelon was put out of action through heavy casualties, Capt BESWICK immediately reorganized and led this group through enemy held territory, under fire, for three miles to bring urgently required supplies to the squadron. Later during the crossing of the LAMONE RIVER, this officer repeated his very brave performance by taking supplies to a squadron, which was pinned down by heavy fire in a very exposed position.
In the North West European theatre the regiment has had on many occasions very long lines of communication; by unremitting effort and often with little sleep, Capt BESWICK insured at all times a steady flow of supplies to forward squadrons. This enabled the speed of advance to be maintained and contributed in very large measure to many successes against a strong and well-organized enemy. By his exceptional qualities of character, cheerfulness, energy and knowledge of his duties this officer has rendered to his regiment and the Army as a whole inestimable service over a long and arduous period.
He was awarded the CD as per CAO 354 dated 28 Sep 1953.
John is mentioned on pages 391-392 in the regimental history book Dragoon.
Today was a memorable day as we paid respects to one of our last Second World War veterans, LCol John Beswick in Perth.
Enclosed are some photos of the event: