Lieutenant-Colonel John M. Fotheringham, CD joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada as a Rifleman in 1985, and was commissioned to 2nd Lieutenant in 1986. He served as a platoon commander with 3 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment from December 1989 to May 1990, following which he was promoted to Lieutenant and appointed Regimental Adjutant of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, a position he held from 1991 to 1994. He commanded the Regiment’s 50-soldier guard in France for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and then assumed command of 60th Company, the rifle company, as well as OC of the operationally-tasked parachute company. Following two years as Deputy Commanding Officer, he was appointed Commanding Officer in June 2001 and held that position until September 2004.
Following command, he proceeded to 32 Canadian Brigade Group HQ where he commanded the Brigade Battle School, and was the Deputy Brigade Commander when he was asked to return to re-take command of the Regiment in December 2008. In the second tour of command, highlights included commanding the Regiment during its 150th anniversary, conducting a QOR battlefield tour in France and Belgium with veterans and serving soldiers in June 2010, dining with the Colonel-in-Chief, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and especially the safe return of over 50 riflemen from Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.
He comes from a long line of citizen soldiers. George Fotheringham served with the Ottawa Field Battery in the Fenian Raid of 1866. Lieutenant-Colonel Fotheringham’s grandfather, John P. Fotheringham, left McGill University to serve in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He returned, but his cousin, Lieutenant John B. Fotheringham did not – being shot down near Ypres, Belgium in July 1917, and having no known grave. Another relative, Pilot Officer Richard John Askwith, was shot down over Holland in April 1942, and is buried in Bergen-op-Zoom Cemetery. Lieutenant-Colonel Fotheringham’s father, Dr. John B. Fotheringham, served as a Pilot Officer with the RCAF Reserve.
Lieutenant-Colonel Fotheringham relinquished command, for the second time, in September 2010, and continues his association with the Regiment as chair of the memorials committee, and is also a director of the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.