Guy Granville Simonds was born on April 23rd 1903 in Bury St. Edmunds in England. He was the son of a British Army officer who emigrated to Canada. Simonds studied between 1921 and 1925 at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston. When the 2nd World War began he was a major in General Mc. Naughton’s staff, who was in command of the 1st Canadian Division. This division arrived in England in December 1939. In July Simonds served for a few months with the from Dunkirk (France) evacuated 1st Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery until he was asked in November 1940 by General Mc. Naughton to set up an intensive trainings program for Canadian officers. Simonds first combat experience came in Italy, when he had to take over the command of the 1st Canadian Division in Sicily after General Salmon died in April 1943. Here he took part in the battles for Nissoria, Agira and Regalbuto. Due to his convincing leadership during these battles he was noted by General Bernhard Montgomery and thru this he also became the youngest General in the Canadian Army. Afterwards he was for a short time the commander of the 5th Canadian Army, until he was send back to England in January 1944 to take over the command of the 2nd Canadian Corps. With this Corps he landed on UTAH-Beach and soon afterwards they were involved in the heavy battle of Caen. During the battle of Caen and the battles for Normandy afterwards he gained great respect for his outstanding armoured infantry and anti tank tactics. Shortly after the fall of Caen, General Crerar became very ill and Simonds had to take over the command of the 1st Canadian Army just before the Battle of the Scheldt began. Simonds was 41 years old and was know as a ruthless man with a great sense of responsibility. After the heavy fighting for the Scheldt pocket Simonds gave the command of the 1st Canadian Army back to General Crerar and stayed till the end of the war under General Crerar’s command. After the war General Simonds stayed in the Army and became a very respected teacher at the Royal Military College of Canada. Simonds passed away on May 15th 1974 in Toronto.
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