Est. in 1946 by Our War Veterans.
General Bernard L. Montgomery
Photographer: Keating G (Capt) Imperial War Museums public domain photograph E 18980.
Canadian Forces veterans built their homes in the Saskatoon neighborhood community of Montgomery Place during the years 1946-77. Montgomery Place was established with small agricultural land holdings outside the city of Saskatoon under the Federal Government’s Veteran’s Land Act (VLA) for men and women returning from World War II (1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945) and the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953).
According the Library and Archives Canada, the “British and French Governments encouraged former soldiers to settle in Canada.” More than 140,000 veterans applied for grants and loans under the Veteran’s Land Act 1942. The Soldier Settlement Act of 1917 “to those who framed the Veteran’s Land Act of World War II, which avoided many of the problems inherent in the 1919 legislation.”Soldier Settlement
The 1942 Veteran’s Land Act was put forward to assist thousands of returning soldiers needing accommodation following the war. Grants and loans were made available to veterans wishing to construct their own home. Initially, qualified veterans could receive a maximum of $4,800, “of which $3,600 is the maximum for land and buildings and $1,200 is the maximum for chattels. But the maximum indebtedness the veteran assumes is $2,400.” A veteran wishing to be settled on a small holding near a village, town or city, in order to secure employment, an apply for assistance to build a home on the small acreage. Veterans could apply for a loan to be put toward fencing, a well, sundry tools, small implements, household equipment. 10 per cent of the land cost is due the Directory, and 2/3 of the land and improvement cost needs to be repaid over the next 25 years at an interest rate of three and a half percent.
In life, each of us falls a serious chance, some do not realize the full significance of the moment and miss him. Others, focused and dedicated, grab the opportunity with both hands and use it to the full, and the good people always show scruples in the choice of means to achieve their goals, they do not come on the head those who stand in their way.~Field marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery
Generally “Land Settlement” refers to settlement on the land for full-time farming operating a wheat farm, mixed farm or dairy. The Veteran’s Land Act of 1942 aimed to provide for those veterans who had no experience nor background to undertake an agricultural operation. Assistance was offered with the aim that a “small holding settlement or part-time farming coupled with industrial, commercial, or other employment from which it is expected the main income will be derived. In this way, veterans established in a small holding settlement close to employment opportunities they could follow the trade or profession of their expertise and not feel obligated to start out in a full-time agricultural operation where they have no skill or experience.
In this way veterans held enough land in a small holding to “erect a home, landscape, and work to his own advantage…the majority of small holders are carrying on year by year with a planned property improvement. Each year further use and pleasure is being derived from the opportunities afforded by these generous-sized properties. There is family enjoyment from ample play yards, game areas, and flower gardens and pleasure to be derived from planting your own trees, shrubs, and flowers. Savings can be realized from the well planned home garden, and in many cases substantial incomes are being derived from special crops such as bush fruits, and perennial vegetables. Many of the small holdings home owners realized sufficient income to meet their taxes, or other expenses through vegetable or fruit crops grown on their property.”S-P 08-25-52 I.L. Holmes, acting district superintendent for the V.L.A. in Saskatoon said, “the over-all picture would lead to a lowering of general overhead costs.”S-P 08-25-52
By October 31, 1945, over 500,000 acres had been purchased across Canada by the Veterans Land Act Administration, of which 20,424 acres were purchased as small holdings at a cost of $4,306,280, and of these 12,392 were already in use. By the end of 1945, it was expected that 80 VLA homes would be completed in Saskatchewan, of which 25 were in the Saskatoon area. The following year, 1946, six houses were to be readied for occupancy.
“The morale of the soldier is the greatest single factor in war.”
~Field marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery
The Veteran’s Lands Act aimed at settling the veteran’s as part-time farmers or small agricultural holders who could supplement their income with chickens, vegetable growing, fruit trees, and gardens on their half acre lots. (Property lots in the Montgomery Place neighbourhood have frontages of 30-meters (100 feet). Several lots are close to half an acre. This compares to other neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, where property lots average 7.5 meters (25 feet) frontages in inner city areas, and 15-meters (50 feet) in other areas of the city. )
In 1963, Montgomery Place was expanded, and an additional 78 small land holdings of half an acre each were added. Under the revised VLA arrangements, “if title was secured and the plan approved, a war veteran making application for assistance to establish a small holding could receive a maximum of $12,000SP 5-19-62 in the form of a loan with which to erect a home. The maximum loan amounts were increased regularly to ease financial burdens upon the veterans due to inflation. The VLA arrangement came to an end in 1971, and non-veterans have also made residence in the Montgomery Place community. Over the course of the VLA operation over 125,000 veterans settled successfully.
Discussions to amalgamate the community of Montgomery Place with the city of Saskatoon began in 1954, and the neighborhood incorporated within the city January 1, 1955. A special property tax agreement was enacted protecting the veteran residents. This tax agreement expired in 1979, and full city property taxes were assessed. However, by this year, 50 of the landowners had subdivided parcels of land into smaller lots and sold them.
The Veterans Land Act was a program offering servicemen a welcome back home and an opportunity to re-establish themselves into civilian life. The Government supported this period of adjustment and desired to “put the veteran in as good or a better position than he enjoyed if he had not enlisted.”S-P 7-17-45
Located southwest of the 11th Street and Dundonald Avenue intersection in Saskatoon, the neighborhood of Montgomery Place streets and roadways memorialize the war effort; Caen Street, Arnhem Street, Normandy Street, Ortona Street, Merritt Street, Dieppe Street, Mountbatten Street, Currie Avenue, McNaughton Avenue, Rockingham Avenue, Haida Avenue, Simonds Avenue, Cassino Avenue & Place, Crerar Drive, Crescent Boulevard, Lancaster Boulevard & Crescent, Bader Crescent.
|Arnhem Street||Battle of Arnhem|
|Bader Crescent||Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader ( February 21, 1910 – September 5, 1982) Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter ace|
|Caen Street||Battle for Caen|
|Cassino Avenue and Place||Battle of Monte Cassino|
|Crerar Drive, Crescent, Boulevard||General Henry Duncan Graham “Harry” Crerar (April 28, 1888 – April 1, 1965)|
|Currie Avenue||“Major David Vivian Currie, (8 July 1912 July 8, 1912)
Sutherland, Saskatchewan – 20 June 1986)”
|Dieppe Street||Battle of Dieppe|
|Haida Avenue||HMCS – HAIDA|
|Lancaster Boulevard and Crescent||Avro Lancaster Bomber|
|Lt. Col. Drayton Walker Park||Lt. Colonel Drayton Walker (1900-1975)|
|McNaughton Avenue||General Andrew George Latta McNaughton,( February 25, 1887 – July 11, 1966)|
|Merritt Street||Lt. Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt ( November 10, 1908 – July 12, 2000)|
|Montgomery Place and Montgomery Park||Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery ( November 17, 1887 – March 24, 1976)|
|Mountbatten Street||Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; ( June 25, 1900 – August 27, 1979)|
|Normandy Street||D -Day, the Normandy Invasion|
|Ortona Street||Battle of Ortona|
|Rockingham Avenue||Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham ( August 24, 1911 -1988)|
|Simonds Avenue and Lt. Gen. G.G. Simonds Park||Lieutenant-General Guy G. Simonds (April 23rd, 1903 – May 15th, 1974.)|
Field Marshall B.L. Montgomery (1887-1976)
Photographer Julia Adamson
The neighborhood of Montgomery Place, Montgomery Park and Montgomery School all take their name from Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery (1887-1976). According to a plaque erected within the neighborhood, “Montgomery was one of the most inspirational British military leaders of the Second World War. After significant victories over German General Erwin Rommel in North Africa (1942-1944), he was promoted to Field Marshal in command of British and Canadian troops. Montgomery presided over the Battles of Arnhem and Normandy and accepted the formal surrender of the German military at Luneburg Heath on May 4, 1945. His flair for command and the absolute belief in his infallibility made him a legendary, if not always popular, leader.” The BBC reports that Winston Churchill felt that his victory at the Battle of El Alamein was the turning point in the Second World War.
I have always maintained that the army – not just a certain amount in one place people with such a number of tanks, guns, machine guns, etc., and that the strength of the army – not just the sum of its parts. The real strength of the army is and must be much more than this amount. Extending the power it gives morale, morale, mutual confidence in each other commanders and subordinates (in particular this applies to the high command), a sense of camaraderie, and many other subtle spiritual factors.
Raw materials, which have to deal with the general – the people. The same is true for civilian life. I think the managers of large industrial concerns are not always aware of this report, it seems that the raw materials – is iron ore, cotton and rubber – not people, and goods. In talking with them, I would not agree with this, and claimed that their main raw material – the people. Many generals also misunderstand this important moment, not aware of what is behind them, and this is one of the reasons that some of them were not successful.
In battle, the army should be as strong as steel, and make it possible, but just as she began to acquire its best quality only after a lot of preparation, and provided that its composition properly selected and processed. Unlike steel army – very delicate instrument, which is very easy to damage, its main component – the people, and to have a good command the army, you need to understand human nature. In humans lies a huge emotional energy, it breaks out, and need to use it for the intended purpose and to give out so that warms the heart and stirs the imagination. If the commander is to the human factor is cold and impersonal, it has not achieved anything. But if you manage to win the trust and loyalty of your soldiers, if they feel that you care about their interests and security, then you become the owner of priceless assets, and the greatest achievements are you on the shoulder.
The morale of the soldiers – the most important factor in the war, and victory in battle – the best way to strengthen their morale during the war. Good general who wins the battle with minimal losses, but maintaining a high morale and a great loss if the battle is won and the soldiers know that the victims brought knowingly and that took care of the wounded, and the bodies of the fallen gathered and interred with dignity.
Some people think that the morale of the English soldier is highest, if you provide it with all necessary allowances, surrounding clubs, canteens, etc. I do not agree. My personal experience is that they are all determined to win when they are asked to stay in the most severe conditions.”
Lt Colonel David Vivian Currie
Library and Archives Canada MIKAN ID number 4233303 public domain image.
Lt. Colonel David Vivian Currie (1913-1986) is honoured by the naming of Currie Avenue. “Lt. Colonel David Currie is the only Saskatchewan born holder of the Victoria Cross. Born in Sutherland and raised in Moose Jaw, Currie joined the 29th Canadian Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment in 1939. An
unflappable and, apparently, unstoppable individual” Currie and his troops defended St. Lambert in the battle of Falaise Gap in August, 1944. Down to 60 men and 12 tanks, Major Currie held the town against repeated German counter-attacks for 36 hours. In 1966 he became Sergeant at Arms of the House of Commons” reports the memorial erected in his honour.
General Andrew McNaughton
Library and Archives Canada public domain image MIKAN ID number 4232580
General Andrew McNaughton was memorialized in the title of McNaughton Avenue. “General Andrew McNaughton first attained prominence in the First World War as a Brigadier General in command of the Canadian artillery at the age of 31. By the Second World War he was head of the National Research Council, but returned to the army as commander of the First Canadian Division. He was instrumental in keeping Canadian troops together as one army, rather than distributed amongst British units. He later served as Minister of Defense and as a delegate to the United Nations.”
Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds (1903-1974)
Library and Archives Canada public domain image MIKAN ID number 4232760
Simonds Avenue identifies the achievements of Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds (1903-1974). “Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds commanded the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns. He then led the Canadian Corps through the Normandy Invasion and the taking of the Islands in the Scheldt Estuary covering the approaches to Antwerp, Belgium. Lieutenant General Simonds subsequently became Chief of the General Staff from 1951-1955.”
Julia Adamson photographer
Rockingham Avenue extols Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham (1911-1988). Montgomery Place community residents remember Rockingham thusly; ” Brigadier General John Rockingham commanded the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the campaign in northwest Europe during the last year of World War II. “Rocky”, as he was affectionately known, would be recalled to service in 1950 as the senior Canadian soldier in the Korean war. His masterful tactics, and his determination that the Canadian Army would not shirk its assigned duties, were instrumental in Canada’ contributions in Korea.”
Montgomery Place Monument, Saskatoon
Photographer Julia Adamson
Merritt Street remembers and pays tribute to Lt. Colonel Cecil Merritt, who is eulogized as “Lt. Colonel Cecil Merritt (1908-1991) Lt. Col. Cecil Merritt won the first Victoria Cross given to a Canadian in WWII for gallantry and inspired leadership during the disastrous raid in Dieppe. He landed with the South Saskatchewan Regiment at Pourville on August 19, 1942. To capture important high ground to the east, they had to cross the Scie by a bridge under heavy fire. Seeing the situations, Merritt walked on to the bridge, waved his helmet to encourage his men, and shouted: “Come on over, there’s nothing to worry about here.” After hours of heavy fighting, Merritt and his men were taken captive. Merritt was commended for his leadership while a prisoner.”
“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”~Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader
Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader.
UK Royal Air Force Museum public domain image
Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader (1910-1982) was honoured similarly with a plaque which reads, “A hero of the Battle of Britain whose name came to define triumph over adversity. Bader joined the RAF at 20, and lost both legs in a crash in 1931. Discharged in 1933, he pestered the RAF until re-instated in 1935. His disability proved an advantage in dogfights, as he was immune to blackouts caused by blood rushing to a pilot’s legs during tight turns. Bader devised innovative battle formations which led to 22 kills before he was shot down. Captured in France, he would make many escape attempts, forcing the Germans to take away his artificial legs each night. Bader was knighted for his work on behalf of the disabled.”
” “Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.”~Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader
Seated center H.D.G. Crerar, 1st Canadian Army (First Canadian Army generals group picture)
Photographer Ken Bell Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, public domain image number PA-137473.
Crerar Drive, Crescent Boulevard acknowledges the impact on the war effort by Lt. General Harry D. Crerar (1888-1965). Montgomery Place residents recalls, that “as the Canadian Chief of Staff, Crerar wanted a distinctly Canadian corps, bringing together armoured and infantry divisions in a unified fighting force. In the past, Canadian regiments had been apportioned out to British armies, depending on the needs of the moment. Crerar created the First Canadian Corps. It consisted of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, 5th Canadian Armoured Divisions, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade and supporting units. After D-Day, Canadian troops led by Gen. Crerar distinguished themselves fighting against some of Hitler’s crack divisions.”
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Public domain image from the U.S. Federal Government National Park Service employee.
Mountbatten Street shows respect for “Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten (1900-1979). A British Royal, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, received the surrender of 680,879 officers and men of the Imperial Japanese Forces. He also supervised the ill-fated raid on Dieppe where almost 70% of the fighting force was killed, wounded or captured. With the American joining the war, he and Gen. George C. Marshall created the first integrated Allied headquarters in 1942. Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by the provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army, who had planted a bomb on his pleasure boat.”
Montgomery Place Monument
Photographer Julia Adamson
Lt. Col. Drayton Walker Park honours “Lt. Colonel Drayton E. Walker (1900-1975) born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Drayton Ernest Walker achieved prominence as both a veteran and an educator. He left a teaching career to serve with the Saskatoon Light Infantry in 1939, fighting in the invasion of Sicily. He became commanding officer achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Injured in 1943, he received the Distinguished Service Order. Walker returned to Saskatoon where he became Principal of Bedford Road Collegiate and later the first Principal of Mount Royal Collegiate. He retired in 1966 after a 3 year term as Principal of the Armed Services School in Marville, France.”
Public Domain Image by Elodie Marnot
Dieppe Street received its title paying homage to Dieppe, “a French resort town, Dieppe was the site of a Canadian – British amphibious raid on August 19, 1942. The plan was to destroy several German installations and leave immediately. The timing depended strictly on sunrise with troops having to retreat before the high tide. It failed. Of 5,000 Canadian troops to land 900 were killed and 1,300 were taken prisoner. Many lessons were learned from this ill-fated attack, including the importance of prior air bombings and support of assault troops with artillery fire. These valuable tactics were implemented in subsequent raids, contributing to the success at Normandy two years later.”
Arnhem Street received its appellation to give tribute to The Battle of Arnhem. “On Sept. 17, 1944 the Battle of Arnhem, in Holland, was the last and most crucial phase of Operation Market Garden. It was the biggest airborne military operation ever mounted and was designed to bring the war in Europe to a quick end. The plan was to take control of 8 bridges along the German-Dutch border. British troops were deliberately dropped 8 miles from the bridges. It was impossible for them to reach their target before the Germans knew of the attack. Nearly 6,000 from the 1st Airborne Division were captured and 1,174 killed. Almost 1,900 men escaped. The battle was immortalized in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far.”
Dr. Charles Fraser Comfort public domain image CN 12245 Canadian War Museum.
Similarly another sign honours the Battle of Ortona, the namesake for Ortona Street. “The Loyal Edmonton Regiment fought at the Battle of Ortona during World War II. Canadian troops met German troops at the Moro River just outside the Italian town of Ortona, and fought their way into town during eight bloody days in December, 1943. 1,375 Canadian troops lost their lives securing the town. The Allies also used this seaport battle as a diversion to delay and prevent Hitler from sending troops up to France or on to Rome, where the survivors of the brutal battle eventually wound up.”
Library and Archives Canada public domain image reference number PA-190111 and under the MIKAN ID number 3520665
Normandy Street received its designation recalling D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. “On June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in France. Canadian sea and airmen were among the first into action. Their high casualty rate reflected the specific tasks of the Canadian Army during the campaign and the fact that it continually faced the best troops the enemy had to offer. D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, which led to the end of WWII, was one of Canada’s most significant military engagements. The armies of the Nazi regime had suffered a resounding defeat. In the process, Canada’s troops had been forged into a highly effective army.”
A plaque within the community commemorates Caen Street, “Caen, a town in the Normandy region of France, was captured by Canadian and British troops following D-Day in 1944. After two days of vicious battle, during which company casualties frequently reached 25%, the Allies clawed their way in and declared Caen their own. The Germans still occupied much of the surrounding area including the airfield to the west and the high ground ridge to the south. Much Canadian blood would be shed during the following weeks in order to finally seize these key positions.”
Public Domain Images from the Army Quartermaster Museum Collection at MOUT Image Collection
The Battle of Cassino is memorialized in the naming of Cassino Avenue and Cassino Place. The plaque reads “The town of Cassino, Italy and the nearby Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino were the scene of one of WWII’s most fierce battles. Monte Cassino overlooked the road the Allies needed to travel to reach Rome. German artillery placed around the Abbey prevented any use of the road by Allied troops. Finally, after five months of repeated attempts to dislodge the Germans by ground assaults, air strikes and one of the largest artillery barrages in history, a combined force of Polish and Canadian troops succeeded in taking the Abbey. Monte Cassino Abbey was reduced to rubble, but has been largely rebuilt.”
Avro Lancaster PA474
Public domain image from the photographer Adrian Pingstone
Lancaster Boulevard & Crescent pay tribute to the Lancaster Bomber. Montgomery Place honours this plane thusly; “The Lancaster Bomber was built by the A.V.Roe Company during World War II. It was a favourite with bomber crews due to its strong reliable performance and was said to be “a delight to fly.” Along with the Halifax Bomber, it was the mainstay of the RCAF. Some 7,378 planes were manufactured, with 403 being built in Canada. During the war it flew 156,023 sorties and dropped 608,612 UK tons of bombs, more than all the rest of the British bombers combined. Its service life extended far beyond World War II, with many converted for peacetime use.”
HMCS Haida (G63)
Public domain image from the photographer (Rick Cordeiro)
The reputation of HMCS Haida is observed in the title given to Haida Avenue. “The destroyer HMCS Haida served Canada during the Second World War. Named after the native people of the Queen Charlotte Islands in BC, she escorted merchant ships to Russia on the Murmansk run and was on the scene when the Scharnhorst was sunk. In a little more than four months in the English Channel the convoy of ships she serviced in, sank or helped destroy two large torpedo boats, two destroyers, a U-boat, trawler, minesweeper, cargo ship and patrol boat. HMCS Haida is proudly displayed in Toronto.”
“Every soldier must know, before he goes into battle, how the little battle he is to fight fits into the larger picture, and how the success of his fighting will influence the battle as a whole.” ~
Bernard Law Montgomery
Article Written by Julia Adamson
Veterans Who Built Homes in Montgomery Place under The Veterans Land Act 1948-1977 ALPHABETICAL LISTING BY SURNAME
Although my team doctrine requires sufficiently detailed explanation, in principle they can be reduced to one word: leadership.
In his memoirs, Truman said that of course he got the following stories: “The leader – a person who has the ability to make other people do what they do not want, and still experience the pleasure.”
Leadership may be too complex a phenomenon to fit it in such a short definition. On the other hand, the word is often used somewhat loosely, not realizing its full value. I give a definition of leadership: “The capacity and the will to rally men and women to achieve a common goal, and personality, able to summon the confidence.”
This ability alone is small, the leader must have the desire and the will to use it. This means that his leadership is based on truth and the peculiarities of his personality: the leader can not lie about the purpose and needs to have a strong character.
Not everyone understands the need for truth. Leader has to speak the truth to his subordinates. If he does not, they soon find out that he lied to them, and no longer trust him. I have not always told the soldiers in the war the whole truth. This is not was necessary, moreover, it would place at risk kept secret.
I told them all they needed to know to successfully complete their task. But I always told them the truth, and they knew it. Thus was worked out and strengthened mutual trust. Good military leader subdues the tide. It should just let things be strong for him, and he immediately ceases to be a leader.
Where is he going?
Whether he will go to the end?
Does he have this ability and the necessary data, including the knowledge, experience, and courage?
Will it be in this case, to share power and go whether to decentralize command and control, after having built the system of organization with the specific decision-making centers, providing fast and effective implementation?
Crucial role played by the problem of “solving” the plan. The current trend – to avoid making a decision, to play for time in the hope that all by itself. A military leader has no other option but to be decisive in the battle and show calm in critical situations. Well guided by these principles and political leader.
I am of the opinion that a leader must know what he wants. It must clearly define their target, and then focus on its achievement, it should bring to everyone what he wants and that is the basis of his strategy. He should provide strong leadership and give clear guidance. It is required to create what I call the “atmosphere”, and in this atmosphere will live and work his subordinate commanders.”~