Brigadier General Christopher (Kit) de Lavelle Kirby, CD was born in Lahore, Punjab, India in 1924 and arrived in Calgary, Alberta in 1933.
General Kirby’s first encounter with the military was through Sea Cadets and then as a Trooper (later Lance Corporal), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps to Assistant Instructor, Battle Drill, at OTC, Brockville in 1943. Then to 2 Canadian Armoured Corps Reinforcement Unit in Aldershot, England from 1943 to 1944, followed by pre-OCTU in Blackdown and OCTU at Sandhurst, 1944–1945.
Returning to Canada he joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Camp Borden in 1945 followed by a three years at Queen’s University, Kingston where he graduated with an Arts degree in 1949.
He then served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry from 1949 to 1952 followed by a posting as the Adjutant, Royal Canadian School of Infantry from 1951 to 1952 before joining the 2nd Canadian Rifle Battalion (which became 2nd Battalion, QOR of C) where he served as a platoon commander from 1952 – 1954. He then served at The Queen’s Own Depot, Calgary before becoming a student on the Canadian Army Staff College in 1954.
He was then posted as a Staff Captain “Q” at HQ, Central Ontario Area from 1956 to 1957. He then had several positions with 2 QOR as a Rifle Company Commander, Battalion Operations Officer in Victoria, Germany and Calgary during 1957 – 1960.
He then became the GSO2, in the Directorate of Operations in Army HQ (1961 – 1964) before being posted and promoted to command 1 QOR in Victoria and Cyprus from 1965 to 1966. This was followed by a posting as GSO1, Directorate of Operations at NDHQ (1967 – 1968).
General Kirby then attended the Imperial Defence College, London, England in 1970. He then became the Assistant Commandant, Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, Kingston from 1971 to 1972. He then was the Senior Canadian Military Officer, 1CSC, in Indo China from 1972 to 1973.
Returning to Canada he was promoted and posted as Commander, CAST Combat Group and 2 Combat Group, Petawawa, North Norway, Schleswig-Holstein, Zealand from 1974 – 1976.
General Kirby then Commanded the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College from 1977 to 1979, retiring from active service in 1979. Settling in Kinston, Ontario, where he now lives, he was the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, The Brockville Rifles from 1983 – 1993.