Deuce Horn

Deuce Horn and Lt Col Wild Bill MatthewsThe Mascot, Deuce Horn a huge Great Dane joined the 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles in Camp Ipperwash, Ont in 1952. He originally belonged to Second Lieutenant Bissette who left the Battalion to become a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Canadian Navy. Bissette died in Nova Scotia in 1953 while piloting his Sea Fury Air Plane.

When Lt Bissette left the Queen’s Own Lieutenant Colonel Matthews took custody of Deuce Horn and made him the Queen’s Own Mascot. When the Battalion left for Korea, Deuce Horn embarked with the main body. They boarded the SS Marine Lynx and en route Deuce Horn was put into a cage on the main deck. For some reason or other, every time an American sailor would pass by his cage would growl and bark until the sailor was passed his so called turf. He had no problems with members of the Queen’s Own and would wag his tail and allow the Queens Own near him but not the Americans. Must have been the uniform. Because of his good conduct while on the ship the Commanding Officer promoted Deuce Horn to Lance Corporal.

Deuce Horn 1953 Ipperwash
Camp Ipperwash, 1953

After arriving in Korea, Deuce Horn went missing for about two weeks and it was feared that he ended up in one of the Kimchi pots that were famous at the time for cooking up a good stew. Deuce Horn suddenly appeared at the Officers mess in a state of physical disarray. He was exhausted and passed out in front of the fire place. Once he recovered to a state where he could be held accountable for his action he was charged with being AWOL (absent without leave) and escorted before the Commanding Officer by then Lieutenant Ron Awful Werry. He was reduced to the rank of Rifleman and sentenced to 14 days CK (confined to kennel). He must have learned his lesson as he never went AWOL again during his tour of duty.

Rfn Deuce Horn and Sgt George Purchase
Rfn Deuce Horn and Sgt George Purchase

Upon his return he went on to Gordenhead (British Columbia), from there he went with the Queen’s Own Rifles to Germany to serve with NATO at Fort MacLeod, Hemer, Germany. Deuce Horn died from cancer in February 1958. His grave digging was supervised by DSM George Collins and the task completed by Master Corporals Seeley, Arsneault, Jim Carroll and the six pallbearers shown in the photo below. It is said that the ground was like digging in dry clay, it was hard as a rock to work with. The 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles were on parade for the funeral. The burial site is along the fence that separated the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and the QOR of C on the far right side of the ball field. A cement marker was placed on the grave by the sergeant from Pioneer Platoon,  Sergeant Rocky Merritt and Master Corporal Frank Melton was in charge of the task.

Mascot of 2 QOR of C

Deuce Horn was not just any old dog
A True Rifleman he went for his morning jog
When he was on the square and on parade
He’d sit at attention, very quiet he stayed

Deuce served at Ipperwash and in Korea
At Gorden Head and at Fort McLeod
He would sit still upon the square
As the RSM shouted quite loud!

Stormin’ Norman was doing Battalion CB when he mended Deuce’s Foot
doing pack drill with Rifleman Norm, the Deuce drilled in fine form
Major McCullough asked Norman to be the Battalion Dog Man
He turned down the dog handler request, now he thinks it was a bad plan

Some say the Deuce went AWOL over in Korea
Others say that he just got lost looking for the media?
But after two weeks he again showed up
As Regimentally frisky as a new born pup!

Deuce lost his hooks – got 7 days confined to Kennel
For his absence from the lines
And Sgt Jack Gallant just shook his head
As the defaulters were marking time

Another unit’s Regimental Mascot, is a long bearded white goat
Deuce was a Regimental mastiff – he’d thrust out his chest and gloat
He is buried o’er there in Germany, near the fence at Fort MacLeod
Buried with pomp and ceremony, of the Deuce, we were all very proud!

©Copyright December 3, 2006 by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
Funeral of Rfn Deuce Horn, Mascot 2nd Battalion Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, February 1958

3 thoughts on “Deuce Horn”

  1. I read this story online. LCol Ron ‘Awful’ Werry was my commanding officer in the 80’s with the Little Black Devils. I was his Drum Major.

    As a young rifleman in the 70’s I had noticed this mysterious QOR major with the handle bar moustache in District HQ at Minto Armoury.

    I met his father Walter Werry, a WW1 8th Bn vet, when I first became involved in the LBD association board.

    After reading the article I telephoned Awful. His wonderful wife Eve had passed away and Awful was living alone and had a care giver.

    Ron and I spent an hour catching up and he told me the story of Deuce Horn.

    Awful was sitting down in the Officers Mess eating when the AWOL Deuce Horn appeared and tried to eat from Awful’s plate.

    Awful shoved Duece Horn away from his meal, at which time the Commanding Officer commented ” Mr. Werry you give Duece Horn your plate, you can get yourself another plate.”

    Awful was very shortly tasked with escorting Deuce Horn before the CO.

    Awful passed away a few months after our telephone conversation.

    Awful’s funeral service was packed. In typical Awful Werry form, Awful had a sealed letter to be opened and read at his service.

    The joke contained in the sealed letter broke the crowd up.

    That is the way I will always remember Awful Werry in my minds eye.

    A true gentleman with smile and that twinkle in his eye.

    Mike ‘Drums’ Nickerson


  2. I was on this funeral parade in Germany, I first met Deuce Horn in Gordon Head Camp in Victoria, one Sunday afternoon lying out on a blanket. Fell asleep, and woke up to someone pushing me, it was Deuce Horn sharing my blanket..Great Great Dog…


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