Dunkelman, Benjamin

Brigadier Benjamin (Ben) Dunkelman, DSO (1913 – 1997) was a Canadian who served in The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada during the Second World War.

His father was David Dunkelman, the founder of the Canadian men’s retailers, Tip Top Tailors.

Educated at Upper Canada College in Toronto, Dunkelman enlisted with The Queen’s Own Rifles and saw action at Caen, Falaise, and the Battle of the Scheldt.

After the war, Dunkelman returned to Canada, but again decided to travel to war, this time to fight for Israel in the spring of 1948. He arrived there at a time when the Israeli army was short of officers with combat experience, and he became the commander of the 7th Brigade, the country’s best-known armoured brigade.

There is a bridge on the Lebanese border called Gesher Ben in Dunkelman’s honour. His story is told in the film Ben Dunkelman: The Reluctant Warrior.

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