Daniel Charles Spry, born in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, on February 4th, 1913; died in
1989. Canadian Army Officer.
H.D.G. Crerar (left) and Major-General
D.C. Spry (centre) discussing
with Marshal Bernard Montgomery
(right) before launching Operation
Blockbuster, the offensive against
the Hochwald Forest, February
by Barney J. Gloster. Department
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-129759.
An avid follower of the Boy Scouts Movement
in his youth, Dan Spry was educated at Dalhousie
University in Halifax in the early 1930s.
In 1932, he joined the Princess Louise Fusiliers,
a regiment of the Canadian Militia, and
in 1934, the Royal Canadian Regiment of
the Permanent Force.
When war broke out in Europe, Spry was
in command of a battalion of the Royal Canadian
Regiment. In 1943, the Royal Canadian Regiment
took part in the invasion of Sicily and
of continental Italy with Spry, by then
a Lieutenant-Colonel, as Commanding Officer.
On December 18th, 1943, Spry was appointed
Commanding Officer of the 1st Infantry Brigade
and promoted to the rank of Brigadier.
On July 13th, 1944, Spry took charge of
the 12th Infantry Brigade, created to regroup
several Canadian units already serving in
Italy. He started organizing and training
the 12th Brigade but was transferred to
the Normandy theatre on August 18th, 1944,
to succeed Major-General Rod
Keller, Commander of the 3rd
Infantry Division, wounded in action. Spry
took part in the last phase of the Normandy
campaign, in the liberation of coastal cities
between the mouth of the Seine and the Pas
de Calais (September 1944), and in the Battle
of the Scheldt (September-November 1944).
With winter drawing to an end, the 1st Canadian
Army launched a new offensive and the 3rd
Infantry Division was involved in the Battle
of the Rhineland (February-March 1945).
On March 22nd, 1945, Spry was relieved of
his command and sent to England as commander
of the Canadian Reinforcement Units.
In 1946, Dan Spry was appointed as Vice-Chief
of the General Staff at National Defence
HQ in Ottawa.