12 Service Battalion Museum

MUSEUM CHRONICLES
HISTORICAL & TRADITIONAL ANECDOTES
of 12 SERVICE BN and PREDEESSORS


Pte FF Thompson – Military Cross

By Larry Watkins

INTRODUCTION: Previous chronicles told the stories of Combat Service Support personnel acting in an Infantry role. CSS personnel are trained in defensive tactics. It is not their normal role to perform offensive tactics – However, militarily speaking; “offence can be a good defence”. Like the other chronicles, this Chronicle is about pride and heritage of the Service Battalion predecessors and the Honours and Traditions won by their personnel.

Pte FF Thompson, MM, CD was awarded the Military Medal during a defensive operation in the German village of SOGEL, at first light on the 10 Apr 1945.Forest Francis Thompson was born on June 02,1924, in Shannonville (near Belleville) Ontario. His World War 2 service started when he joined the RCAMC CA(A) on 18 Sep 1942. He was “Taken on Strength” (TOS) of the Canadian Army Overseas on 14 Sep 1943 and arrived in the United Kingdom on the 20 Sep 1943. On 27 July 1944 he landed in France as a member of the 12 Light Field Ambulance RCAMC. Later on the 22 Sep 1944 he transferred to the RCASC and was posted to the 12 Lt Field Ambulance as a RCASC Driver. Pte FF Thompson was demobilized from No3 District Depot on 17 Nov 1945. His address on discharged was 104 Toronto Street, Kingston Ontario.

In 1945, Pte Forest Francis Thompson was an RCASC member attached to an RCAMC Field ambulance unit and performed transportation and dispatch duties, as well as generally assisting the RCAMC personnel.

Thompson’s Military Medal citation reads:
At first light on the 10 Apr 45, the Germans put in a strong counter attack on the village of SOGEL, Germany MR 8751. The Advance Dressing Station of the 12 Cdn Lt Fd Amb was situated in a building called the Hotel Jensen. It was shortly apparent that the enemy had infiltrated from the NORTH, SOUTH and EAST.

The enemy paratroopers occupied buildings all around the Advance Dressing Station and proceeded to snipe the personnel as they worked on casualties. Defence parties were organized. Pte Thompson, a dispatch rider immediately volunteered to assist in the clearing of the houses. Armed only with a sten gun he moved from house to house, personally accounting for several Germans. On no less than three occasions he went back for more ammunition for his party, crossing and re-crossing the bullet swept streets with complete disregard for his personal safety. When the clearing parties reached a house in which the enemy seemed to be firmly established with automatic weapons, Pte Thompson placed himself in an exposed position and by accurate fire support enabled the remainder of the party to dispose of the enemy. When four tanks arrived to assist the medical personnel, Pte Thompson returned to his unit to assist them in evacuation of causalities.

The initiative and daring of this solider, above and beyond his normal duty, is a splendid example of bravery and deserving of high praise and commendation.

Signed: B.L. Montgomery
Field Marshal
Commander-in-Chief
21 Army Group

The following commanders signed and approved the recommendation, during its progression to the Commander-in-Chief:

  • A.D. MacPherson Lt Col OC 12 Cdn, Lt Fd Amd RCAMC
  • R.W. Moncel Brig. Comd 4 Cdn Armd Bde.
  • C. Vokes Maj Gen. GOC 4 Cdn Armd Div
  • G.G. Simons Lt Gen. GOC 2 Cdn Corps
  • H.D. Crear, Gen. GOC-in-Comd, 1st Cdn Army

On 11 Jun 1946 Thompson re-enlisted in the Canadian Army Reserve Force as a Sergeant in the No. 1 Field Ambulance CA(RF). During the Korean conflict, Thompson joined the RCASC CA(R) on 14 May 1951 as an A/Sgt. He was confirmed in rank of Sgt on 14 Aug 51.

Throughout the next 22 years Thompson served as an RCASC member: at the RCASC School and various Field Ambulance units until 1952, 6 years at the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston – he then became a member of 3 Tpt Coy, RCASC in Camp Gagetown, until Apr 1963 when he transferred to the EBS Bn (Experimental Service Bn). During this period Sgt Thompson was promoted to the Staff Sergeant on 1 Apr 1960. On 4 Sep 1965, S/Sgt Thompson was promoted to Warrant Officer (WO2), TOS’d HQ Sask Mil District (Regina) and appointed QMS.

MWO Thompson was posted to CFB London on 12 Jan 1970. He was honourably released 24 Feb 1973.

It is noteworthy to know, throughout his service, from the time of receiving the Military Medal until his retirement in 1973 – Thompson never made much reference to this award.