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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment
Exercise 'POND JUMP
Canada 1961
In June 1961 the Battalion went to Canada for 'Exercise Pond Jump', this was a five week exercise on the Canadian Eastern Seaboard. The Battalion was the first British Unit to use the Canadian training facilities and it was a curtain raiser to future visits of British troops to Canada, and was the latest in a series of Strategic Reserve and R.A.F. Transport Command air mobility trails designed to practice long distance movement equipping from overseas resources, and operations in unfamiliar terrain.

It was here that the Battalion were nicknamed the 'Wonders' by the Canadians as the short Regimental title was 1 DERR. The Battalion  trained and lived under canvas in the camp Gagetown area, in 427 square miles of dense woods, rivers and lakes, hills and scrub-covered plains forming the largest training ground of its kind in the Commonwealth.

The first Exercise in which the Battalion joined its hosts, 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, was a defensive scheme in which the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada tried to penetrate the Brigade position. Then came 'Velvet Glove' in which the Battalion counterattacked with Brigade support and finally 'Mixed Foursome' involving 6000 troops. Two battalions of the French speaking 22nd Regiment (Van Doos), the 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch of Canada and the Duke of Edinburgh's. This was a week long test of operational efficiency under simulated nuclear attack, the Infantry being supported by the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and the Royal Canadian Dragoons, a squadron of the Royal Canadian Navy 'Banshee' jets provided tactical air support and strikes.

During this time the Battalion took part in a 'Military Tournament-at-arms winning the Forced March Prize and the physical fitness competition.

The Battalions last ceremonial parade was beating retreat at Camp Gagetown. Two days later there was a touching farewell at Fredericton Airport, the band of the Black Watch of Canada playing 'Will Ye No come back again' as the Commanding officer Lt Col BALLANTINE M.C. shook hands with the Commander of the Canadian 3rd Infantry Brigade Brigadier DANBY D.S.O.

The Brigadier said :-

"The visit was one hundred per cent successful, the Battalion has proved its self a first class unit. Discipline  right across the brigade group has been outstanding and I attribute the largely to our visitors.


Advance party of 14 Senior N.C.O.s of the Battalion pictured  in 'The Star Chronicle' Wainwright Alberta, Pictured Bill WILLOUGHBY, Eric MARTIN, Eric MILLARD, Bill WRIGHT, Taffy MORRIS and Ray POVEY

The MT arrive in Canada

MT Arrive in Canada, Ron COLE Leading

Bill HART, ABLETT ?, Ron COLE, Don COCKSHAFT all M.T. arrive in Canada

The M.T. Platoon arrive in Canada with Ron COLE leading

The CO 1st DERR arrives in Canada

The CO addresses the locals on arrival

Lt Col BALLANTINE arrives in Canada

Lt Col BALLANTINE addresses the locals

The CO arrives

Two DERR Drummers working as a team

Lt Col BALLANTINE on arrival of Battalion in Canada

2 DERR Drummers work as a team to make a bed, prior to going up country


DERR arrive

Morris HUGHS MT Section under Instruction

The Battalion arrive in Canada.


Morris HUGH'S of the M.T. Section under instruction. Morris now lives in Bradford on Avon

Soldier front cover

Patrol in Canada

L/Cpl MILTON (RAPC Att) and Pte Bill HART of the D.E.R.R. with Roger "Black Haw" Ranco a Penobscot Indian

A patrol of the 1st Battalion D.E.R.R. emerging from a covered Bridge whilst on Exercise in Canada

RSM HODGES supervises the construction of a sentry post

R.S.M. HODGES supervises the building of a Sentry post. Holding the barrier is Pte Alan FENTON, killed a few weeks later in a Traffic accident. Members of 'B' Coy look on.

Replica colour

Lt SPENCE recives cup

Lt Col D.E. BALLANTINE M.C. C.O. 1st D.E.R.R. presents a replica of the 49th Foots Colours to Ontario's Premier

Lt SPENCE  receives the Trophy from Maj Gen BOGERT D.S.O. G.O.C. Eastern Division for the victory in the forced march Competition.


Morris Highs MT Section destroying Canadian army property

Pte A WILSON, 1 DERR kneels for a demonstration of tomahawk scalping by Chief Paul SAPPIER.

Morris HUGH'S of the M.T. practicing his driving skills (Wrecking) more like !!



A Soldier of the 1st Bn DERR on Exercise in Canada trying to decipher the local signs (In French) The Commanding Officer Lt Col BALLANTINE looking decidedly uneasy about the ride to come
DERR Soldiers talk to Canadian Soldiers Pat COONEY and Sid ROE

Soldiers of the 1st Bn DERR talk to canadian Soldiers

Pat COONEY and Sid ROE sit it out in a wood. Sid was later Killed in Malta and is buried there


Sgt DICKS (On the left) to Lt HARVEY,"Sir you really are my hero"



Pte HARVEY, Cpl SMART and Pte WARD with two raccoons


The Officers 1st Bn DERR in Canada

The Officers, 1st Battalion Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment in Canada

Drum Major FORD, 1st Bn DERR

Drum Major Ford and two D.E.R.R. Drummers 'Pose' for the cameras

Corps of Drums

The Corps of Drums 'Beating Retreat' at a Ceremony at Chryslers Farm, Near Morrisburg, Ontario, when the Prime Minister of Ontario opened the Battlefield Memorial Park commemorating the War of 1812. in which the 49th Regiment played a major role.

The Website team would like to thank Ron COLE and Patrick COONEY for their assistance in providing photos for this page.


                             Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 23 May 2003.