Allard, Jean Victor

Date of birth:
June 12th, 1913 (St-Monque de Nicolet/Quebec, Canada)
Date of death:
April 23rd, 1996 (Trois-Rivières/Quebec, Canada)
Nationality:
Canadian

Biography

Acting Brigadier Jean Allard was in command of the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade during the liberation of the Netherlands. On April 12th, 1945, he was warned by Sam Schrijver, a prisoner who had escaped from Kamp Westerbork that the camp was a prisoncamp. He was responsible for sending a six man patrol, together with Sam Schrijver to investigate. After the patrol had engaged the camp guards, they were able to ascertain that Westerbork was indeed a prisoncamp so he called off a planned shelling of the camp. Thanks to Sam Schrijver and the findings of the patrol, a catastrophy had been avoided. Initially the military were convinced that Westerbork was a military encampment.
Promotion:
1944: Lieutenant-colonel

Career:
1940 - 1941: Commanding Officer London yeomany;
1941 - 1942: Canadian Army Staff College, Kingston;
1943: Officer, HQ 5th Canadian Armoured Division / 1st Canadian Corps;
1943: Second in Command, Le Régiment de la Chaudière & Royal 22e Régiment (Italië);
1945: CO Royal 22e Régiment / Brigade;
1945: CO 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade (Nederland);

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Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit:
Royal 22e Régiment "The Van Doos", 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division (Royal 22e Régiment "The Van Doos", 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division)
Action:
Recommendation:
Major acting Lieutenant-Colonel Allard was acting Commanding Officer of the Royal 22e Régiment during the advance towards the Arielli River on 30 December 1943. The advance was carried out under the most appalling weather and ground conditions of rain and mud.
On making contact with the enemy Lieutenant-Colonel Allard carried out a reconnaissance well forward, in full view of the enemy and under intense enemy mortar and machine-gun fire, and received at least three slight wounds. Nevertheless he completed his reconnaissance.
As a result, he personally directed an attack by his unit which secured a dominating spur vital to any further advance, since it provided observation over the enemy dispositions on the Brigade front. That his unit was successful in this operation was due solely to the example of gallantry, drive and skill set by Lieutenant-Colonel Allard as his unit was tired, and under strength, having been badly cut up in a previous operation.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit:
Royal 22e Régiment "The Van Doos", 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division (Royal 22e Régiment "The Van Doos", 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division)
Awarded on:
January 20th, 1945
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Action:
Recommendation:
During the attack by 1st Canadian Division on the Gothic Line, and in the period following the breaking of the line, the Royal 22e Regiment were engaged in severe fighting and were subjected to very heavy shell fire. In all these engagements this unit was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jean Victor Allard, DSO.
On 19 September 1944, the Royal 22e Regiment was ordered to seize the southern part of the San Fortunato feature. The whole area of the Royal 22e Regiment objective was held by the enemy in great strength, but Lieutenant-Colonel Allard selected a part of it as a base for further operations. Then displaying great leadership and superb tactical skill, he proceeded to find, pin down and finally destroy one enemy detachment after another until the whole area was completely free of the enemy.
During the action, 56 of the enemy were killed and 3 officers and 246 other ranks taken prisoner. In addition, a large quantity of equipment, including 20 mortars, 15 heavy machine gun and 100 rifles were captured. One tank, Mark IV Special was destroyed and the enemy was forced to destroy one infantry gun.
On numerous occasions during the attack, Lieutenant-Colonel Allard crawled up to forward companies and platoons to see the situation for himself. There is no doubt that the success of the operation was due in a large measure to the outstanding leadership and the complete disregard for personal safety which was shown by Lieutenant-Colonel Allard. In these as in numerous other operations this officer has displayed sterling qualities of leadership and courage in accordance with the best traditions of the Canadian Army.
Details:
This award was obtained in the form of an Bar to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.

Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Brigadier
Unit:
6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division (6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division)
Action:
Recommendation:
At the landing in Sicily in the summer of 1943, Brigadier Jean Victor Allard was a Major and second-in-command of the Royal 22e Regiment. On 16 December 1943, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and placed in command of his unit. Throughout the stubborn grim fighting of the Italian campaign, he directed the operations of the Royal 22nd, firing the whole regiment with his boundless enthusiasm, and spurring them to even greater efforts by his example and untiring courage. From Ortona he led his men in the bitter relentless assaults upon the Gustav, Hitler and Gothic Lines, to St. Fortunato, and on to Cesena and Russe. The magnificent achievements of this battalion contributed in no small measure to the outstanding successes of the brigade and division.
In March 1945 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Commander of the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the Northwest European theatre. Here he handled his infantry battalions and supporting arms with such sound tactics and skill that the brigade never faltered in its onward drive, accomplishing all its tasks, and materially assisting the spectacular advance of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division.
In Holland, this officer's intelligent appreciation and aggressive determination were ably demonstrated in the battle of Bielen. AS the brigade advanced north from Hoogeveen, Brigadier Allard executed a wide right-flanking move, attacked the strongly-held town from an unexpected quarters, and dealt with the surprised Germans in a most efficient manner. This captured town provided a form base from which the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade launched an assault north on Assen. Later, Brigadier Allard passed his own formation through, and by a plan cleverly conceived and gallantry carried out, succeeded in capturing the all-important city of Groningen, thus splitting the German armies in Holland. That this momentous operation was accomplished with a minimum of casualties and at maximum speed, was to a considerable extent due to the courage, initiative and energy of this officer.
The division then returned to the attack in Germany, and the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade was prominent in the offensive which led to the capture of the strongly garrisoned city of Oldenburg. Although the advance was made over roads heavily cratered and blocked, and through an elaborate system of minefields, there was no slackening of pace; Brigadier Allard was everywhere, encouraging all who saw him by his calm confidence and inspiring them by his coolness and utter disregard for his personal safety. Once more, due to his unceasing efforts, success was rapid and complete in every operation in which his brigade participated.
This officer has distinguished himself by the extraordinary heroism which he has constantly displayed in many battles; throughout two arduous campaigns he has always given of his best, and the confidence of his superiors, and the respect of all his officers and men, are alike eloquent in his praise.

Details:
This award was obtained in the form of an second Bar to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Brigadier
Unit:
Canadian Military Attaché to Soviet Union
Awarded on:
June 13th, 1946
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Action:
This officer was first appointed to commissioned rank in the Three Rivers Regiment, Non-Permanent Active Militia, in 1933, and served in that unit until 1939. On the outbreak of war he immediately volunteered for active service. He was appointed to 12 Army Tank Battalion and very shortly after became Second in Command. He proceeded overseas in October 1940 and was recalled to Canada to serve in several important staff appointments. In June 1943 he again proceeded overseas on appointment as General Staff Officer Grade II (Operations) at Headquarters 1 Canadian Corps. He served with great distinction in the Italian campaign as Officer Commanding the Royal 22e Regiment, was twice wounded and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and later a Bar. On 24 March 1945 he was appointed to command 6 Canadian Infantry Brigade in the Northwest European theatre and served in that capacity until the cessation of hostilities. For gallant and outstanding service in this theatre Brigadier Allard was awarded the second Bar to the Distinguished Service Order. He recently was appointed Military Attache to the Canadian Embassy at Moscow. Brigadier Allard's service has been of a superior order and he is deserving of high recognition.
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Brigadier
Unit:
6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division
Awarded on:
July 26th, 1948
Bronzen Leeuw (BL)
Action:
Awarded for his part in fightings at Beilen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
Details:
Royal decree no.28 dated 26th July 1948.
Canada Gazette of 14 aug.1948

Sources