B63612 Regimental Sergeant Major WOI Harry Fox, MBE was born in England in 1914 and came to Canada with his family in 1920. He worked at the T. Eaton Company on Queen St. in Toronto, from 1929 until his retirement in 1976. Continuing a family tradition of military service, Harry chose to enlist in one of Canada’s oldest militia units, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in 1932.
In 1935 (then) Cpl Fox accompanied a detachment of the Queen’s Own to England to visit the Regiment’s sister Regiment 2nd Battalion The Buff’s. At the time of the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he was a Sergeant. When the 1st Battalion, QOR of C was mobilized for overseas service in June 1940, Harry volunteered and became Company Sergeant Major (CSM) for Charlie Company. He served in this capacity at Borden, Newfoundland, Sussex, New Brunswick and in England until May 1942 when he was appointed as Acting Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM). Upon the death of RSM Alexander in September 1943 CSM Fox was promoted to WOI and appointed RSM of the Battalion. He served in that capacity until October 1943, when he volunteered and was sent on a draft to Italy to gain combat experience with the 1st Division. Harry joined the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in January 1944 and became a permanent replacement for their famous Regimental Sergeant Major, Angus Duffy. He served with the “Hasty P’s” throughout 1944 and 1945, and was with them in Holland in the spring of 1945.
Harry returned to Canada with his “adopted” regiment in the fall of 1945 and moved back to Toronto. He was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Dec 15 1945 and was persuaded to come back to The Queen’s Own Rifles as RSM in 1947 and served for a year before retiring from military service.
In 2005 Harry’s memoirs were published, written by former Regimental Padre Capt C Cameron, titled Born Lucky, One D-Day dodgers story.
RSM Fox died at age 97, on May 23rd, 2011 and was buried with full military honours by a combined funeral party from the Queen’s Own and Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment.
Born: 1914, England
Trade: Worked for T Eaton Company Toronto
Married: Catherine Fox
Died: 23 May 2011
Timeline of service:
- 1932, joined QOR;
- 1935, with detachment of QOR that visited 2nd Bn The Buffs, England;
- 1940, June, volunteered for active service with 1st (OS) Bn QOR of C and appointed CSM C Coy;
- 1942, May 9, appointed acting RSM;
- 1943, Sep, appointed RSM;
- 1943, Oct, joined draft of personnel posted to Italy to gain battle experience;
- 1944, Jan, appointed RSM Hast and PE Regt;
- 1945, (fall) returned to Canada;
- 1945, Dec 15, awarded MBE;
- 1947, 25 October – WOI Harry Fox, MBE retired as Regimental Sergeant Major and was succeeded by WOI J. Barnes (Regt Hist).
To read some wartime reminiscences by Harry Fox follow the link here.