Major-General Barry Wayne Ashton, CD, MBE was born in Macclesfield, Great Britain of the union between a Canadian soldier (South Saskatchewan Regiment) and a British war bride, Barry Ashton came to Canada aboard the Andes with his mother, landing in Halifax on November 17, 1944. They settled initially in Southern Saskatchewan but finally settled in Edmonton in 1947, where Ashton grew up, actively involved in Cubs, Boy Scouts, Air Cadets.
In 1961 Ashton joined the Militia as a Field Engineer with 25 Field Squadron. Completing his high school education in 1963, he enrolled in the regular Army in the Officer Candidate Program and was commissioned in 1964. He spent the next 32 years in the service of Canada, rising to the rank of Major-General.
In 1978 Ashton completed a Bachelor of Administration from Université de Sherbrooke while attending College militaire royal de Saint-Jean and in 1990 he completed a Master of Business Administration at Pacific Western University. He was also accredited as a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Barry married Carol Kneeland of Montreal on 31 July 1965. They have two children: Philip and Susan.
Since his retirement in 1996, he was active in a consulting business until 2010, and continues active in numerous volunteer activities.
Military Service Record:
- 1961-1964 – Enlisted with the rank of Sapper (Private) in 25 Field Squadron Royal Canadian Engineers (Militia) and continued with
- 1964 – Commissioned service in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (following one year of officer training)
- 1970 – Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
- Military service included overseas service on four occasions in Cyprus between 1967 and 1983
- 1979-1981 – a tour of exchange duty in Bielefeld, Germany at HQ 1st British Corps
- 1982-1984 – Commanded 2nd Battalion PPCLI in Winnipeg and Cyprus
- 1984-1985 – Royal Canadian School of Infantry
- 1985-1987 – Deputy Commander Combat Training Centre
- 1989-1991 – a tour on the International Military Staff at NATO HQ in Brussels as a strategic analyst for arms control which included participation with the NATO delegation at negotiations on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
- 1991-1993 – Commander, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Calgary
- 1993-1995 – Chief of Staff J3 (Director General Military Plans and Operations), National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa. Oversight of the planning and execution of Canada’s national and international operations.
- 1995-1996 – Deputy Force Commander, United Nations Peace Forces in the former Yugoslavia (a United Nations force 57,000 strong) in the rank of Major-General. Assisted in the resolution of the military conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia and contributed to the attainment of the Dayton Peace Accords and handover of the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia to NATO in December 1995.