Colonel Hank Elliot, a former QOR Honorary Colonel, landed with the first wave of assault troops on D-Day as a platoon commander with B Company. Blown slightly off course, his platoon landed under light opposition, and were able to outflank and neutralize some of the enemy positions which were engaging the rest of the QOR on Juno Beach. He was one of the few officers to fight with the Regiment through Northwest Europe to the end of the war without being severely wounded or killed.
Col Elliot passed away on 23 October 2003 in Orillia after a short illness. On 13 December, friends gathered at the Royal Canadian Military Institute to remember him. Speakers included Lieutenant Colonel The Honourable Barney Danson, PC OC, and Major General Lewis MacKenzie, MSC CD. LCol Danson served with Col Elliot in Normandy, and was a former Minister of National Defence. Col Elliot was MGen MacKenzie’s first company commander in the QOR.
Colonel Elliot was born in Toronto, Ontario on 12 April 1921 and attended Upper Canada College from 1931 to 1939.
Colonel Elliot enlisted in the Non Permanent Active Militia in 1940 and transferred to the Canadian Army (Active) in October 1941. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in January 1942. He served with his Regiment in Great Britain and Northwest Europe as a platoon and company Commander and later was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Commander, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. At the end of August 1945, he returned to Great Britain to attend Camberley Staff College. He was promoted Captain in July 1944 and Major in July 1945.
On his return to Canada, he reverted to the rank of Captain and was appointed General Staff Officer 3rd Grade, Directorate of Staff Duties, Army Headquarters. In November 1947, he was appointed General Staff Officer 2nd Grade, Directorate of Army Budget and in February 1951 was promoted Major and continued in his same employment. He was posted to 1 Rifle Battalion (later designated 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada) in Germany in October 1952. He was appointed General Staff Officer 2nd Grade, Headquarters 2 (British) Infantry Division, British Army on the Rhine in November 1953 and in February 1956 was selected to attend the Senior Officers’ School in Great Britain.
In April 1956, on completion of the course he returned to Canada and was posted to 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He was appointed Public Relations Officer, Headquarters, Central Command in April 1959 and served in this capacity until August 1961 when he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and assumed command of 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in Germany from Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Lithgow, CD.
Colonel Elliot was appointed Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General, Headquarters Eastern Ontario Area in January 1965. The following October he was appointed Commander, Camp Borden and Commander Target Area Headquarters, Toronto and promoted to the rank of Colonel in January 1966. He was appointed Commander Canadian Contingent and Deputy Chief of Staff United Nations Forces in Cyprus in July 1967.
After his return in Canada the following year, he was appointed Director of International Plans at Canadian Forces Headquarters until July 1970, when he was appointed Director of Equipment Requirements Land and Director of Infantry for the Canadian Forces.
In August 1971, he was appointed Canadian Forces Attaché to Israel and Canadian Forces Adviser to Cyprus. Colonel Elliot held these appointments until his return to Canada in 1975. Having reached compulsory retirement age, he retired from the Canadian Forces in December to that year.
On 14 March 1988, Colonel Elliot was appointed the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Upon completion of his tenure on 28 April 1991, he continued his support of the Regiment and the Militia with his acceptance as Honorary Colonel. He remained active in this position until 28 April 1994.