Lieutenant Colonel Hume Elliot Dalton, DSO, EM, CD was born in Toronto on 13 October 1915, son of Charles Skeffington Dalton and Gertrude Beatrice Hobbs. Charles had served as a QOR officer before the First World War and joined the 83rd Battalion CEF in 1916.
Elliot joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada as a rifleman in 1930 and rose through the ranks, receiving his commission in 1938.
He then joined the 1st Battalion (Active Force) in 1940. By D-Day he was a Major commanding the QOR’s A Company – his brother Major Charles O. Dalton commanding B. He was wounded but continued through D-Day before being evacuated to England. After recovery he rejoined the Regiment through to the end of the war in Europe. He was Acting Commanding Officer for the last four months of the war. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for this service (see citation below.)
After the war, he commanded the Militia Battalion from May 1951-October 1952, and as Honorary Colonel from 1975-1984. His wife Marie was active in the QOR Chapter of the I.O.D.E.
He dies 13 January 1994 and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.
Distinguished Service Order Citation
“Major Dalton commanded “A” Company, 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada during the initial assault on the beaches of Bernier-sur-Mer in Normandy, 6 June 1944. He personally led his men ashore against the German strong points. So fierce was the attack of “A” Company, which he lead, that the German resistance was quickly overcome. Still at the head of his of his company, Major Dalton led them through the town of Bernier-sur-Mer, driving the enemy into the fields beyond. So quickly and with so much dash was this task completed, the reserve company of 1 Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada were able to land without a shot being fired at them from the beach defences.
Major Dalton was wounded in action on D+6 leading his company into an attack across the open fields of Le Mesnil Patrie. He returned to the unit from hospital 28 September 1944 and took over command of “B” Company, which company he led through the heavy fighting of The Scheldt Estuary and the capturing of the towns of Ijzendyke and Oostburg. On 18 December 1944 he was appointed Second-in-Command of the Battalion, which appointment he holds to date.
Major Dalton has carried out his duties efficiently and upon numerous occasions had commanded the Battalion in action with notable success. His disregard for his own safety, his devotion to duty and his personal courage have been a constant source of inspiration to the Officers and other ranks of this Battalion. As a soldier he leaves nothing to be desired. His personal bravery is unquestionable, and due to this bravery and spirit he has made a notable contribution to the success of 1 Battalion The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and the Canadian Army as a whole.”
London Gazette 24 January 1946 Pg 646