Georges Vanier

From Kaiserreich


Georges-Philéas Vanier (born in Canada on April 23 1888) is a Canadian army officer and war hero. He is currently the top ranking French Canadian in the army.

Early Life

Georges Vanier was born on April 23 1888 in Montreal, to an Irish mother and a French-Norman father, who raised Vanier to be bilingual. After graduating from high school, he attended Loyola College, receiving in 1906 a Bachelor of Arts degree in church devotional fellowship and then went on to earn in 1911 his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Montreal campus of the Université Laval. Vanier was called to the Quebec Bar that year and, though he took up the practice of law, he considered entering the Catholic priesthood. But with the outbreak of the Weltkrieg, he decided that offering his service to his king and his country should take priority and thereafter enlisted in the Canadian army.

Military Career

Vanier took on a prominent role in recruiting others, eventually helping to organise in 1915 the French Canadian 22nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, of which he was commissioned as an officer, and which later, in 1920, became the Royal 22e Régiment. After Vanier received in 1916 the Military Cross for his efforts, he continued fighting in the trenches. In late 1918, he led an attack at Chérisy, and was shot in the chest and both legs, resulting in the loss of his right leg. His recovery was lengthy and he spent most of it in France, refusing to be evacuated while his fellow soldiers remained fighting until the surrender of France in 1919 when he was transferred to Portsmouth.

With the cessation of hostilities in 1921, Vanier was again awarded the Military Cross and given the 1914-15 Star for his bravery, along with being appointed to the Distinguished Service Order. He thereafter returned to Montreal and once more found employment practicing law. Following the events of the 1925 British Revolution, in 1926 Vanier decided to return to the army and joined the Royal Command Staff under Edmund Ironside. The reorganization of the Canadian Army that began in 1927 was focused on the experience of Vanier who pioneered the counter to Ludendorff's stormtroopers known as "Reverse Infiltration".

Vanier is now one of the most respected and influential officers in the Army and he is also quite popular among the people, even if a few English Canadian still dislike his French origins. Many Canadian officers would like to see him replace Ashton as the new Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Canadian Army, a decision which will be probably taken soon.

Personal Life

On 29 September 1921 Georges Vanier married Pauline Archer and the couple had five children.

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