12 Service Battalion Museum


The Colonel Sherman Armoury

By Larry Watkins

INTRODUCTION: On the 10th of April 1988, our Battalion moved to and made our home at the new Col Sherman Armoury, in Richmond BC.  This was the first Armoury specifically designed for a Militia Service Bn. This chronicle will provide a biographical sketch of the officer whose name honours the Armoury.

Col Sherman Armoury
The Colonel Sherman Armoury

Colonel Norman Clarence Sherman, OBE,CD was born at Brighton, Ontario on 4 September 1888.  He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1910 and was commissioned in the Canadian Ordnance Corps in 1911.

During World War 1 he served in Canada as an Inspector of Ordnance and in 1918 he was part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Siberia.

Returning to Canada he was appointed Ordnance Mechanical Engineer in the newly named Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps of Central Canada.  In 1933 he commanded the Ordnance (E) Training Centre at Kingston, Ontario which in 1937 he moved to new workshops at Barriefield Camp where he was appointed the first Canadian Chief Ordnance Mechanical Engineer.

In 1941 a Canadian Ordnance Training Centre was established at Barriefield, Ontario and Col Sherman became the Commandant.  This was the foundation of the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineer School.  Col Sherman served overseas with the 5th Canadian Division during World War 11 and returned to Canada to become Command Electrical Mechanical Engineer at Headquarters Pacific Command in Vancouver, BC.

For his wartime service he was awarded the Order of the British Empire.  He retired from active duty in 1946 after more than 35 years of service to Canada.  He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration with three clasps.  He became Honorary Colonel of 8th Technical Regiment RCEME and when that unit was absorbed into the Vancouver Service Battalion on 15 February 1965, he continued as Honorary Colonel of the new unit until 1967.

Colonel Sherman died at Vancouver on 14 January 1971.