B63562 Regimental Sergeant Major (WOI) Edwin Wesley Hartnell MBE was born in the United States in 1907, son of John Wesley Hartnell and Laura Jennete Miller, and emigrated to Canada in 1910 with his family when he was three years old. Although at 5 ‘ 5″ he was listed as too short, he was able to enlist in the Queen’s Own in 1927. By 1931 he was a Sergeant and it was in this rank that he was transferred to the 1st (Overseas) Battalion of the Regiment in 1940 for service in WWII. After the death of RSM Alexander and RSM Fox leaving for service with the 1st Division in Italy, Hartnell was appointed as RSM in Oct 1943 in England. He oversaw the vigorous training the Battalion had to undergo before D-Day and was RSM all the way from Normandy to the end of the war.
In December of 1944 he was awarded the Commander-In-Chief’s Certificate for Good Service and in June of 1945 he was appointed as a Member of The Order of the British Empire. The Citation reads as below:
Citation for Order of British Empire (MBE)
B63562 Regimental Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer First Class) Edwin Wesley HARTNELL is Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. The smartness, efficiency and soldierly qualities of this Warrant Officer at all times impress all ranks who come in contact with him. Regimental Sergeant Major HARTNELL’s organization and administration of the ammunition supply within the battalion has been a model of efficiency and has never failed regardless of all elements and difficulties. This has been achieved because of the boundless energy, initiative and ability of Regimental Sergeant Major HARTNELL to get on with the job. His sense of responsibility in the training and discipline of all non-commissioned Officers of the battalion is such that he imbues in even the newest member a part of his own outstanding spirit and pride in his regiment, at the same time maintaining their discipline at a very high level.
Sgd (HDG Crerar) Gen
First Cdn Army
Hartnell died on 23 April 1969 at Wasaga Beach Ontario.