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eMedals-A 19th Battalion Military Cross Group for Gallantry on Hill 70

Item: C3756

A 19th Battalion Military Cross Group for Gallantry on Hill 70

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A 19th Battalion Military Cross Group for Gallantry on Hill 70

A 19th Battalion Military Cross Group for Gallantry on Hill 70   Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Officer (OBE) GRI (silver gilt, un-marked); Military Cross, GRV (silver, un-named); British War Medal (CAPT. R.W. CATTO.); Victory Medal with MID Oak Leaf (CAPT. R.W. CATTO.); Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; and War Medal 1939-1945. Naming on the First World War pair is officially impressed. Un-mounted, most with original ribbons, the OBE in a hardshelled case (marked "M.B.E." on the lid and maker marked "Royal Mint" on the inside lid), the MC in its hardshelled case of issue, gilt wear evident on the VM, contact marks on the BWM, near extremely fine. Accompanied by his CEF For Service At The Front Badge (bronze and enamels, numbered "278695" on the reverse, 22.3 mm, screwback) and his General Service Badge (sterling silver, marked "STERLING" and numbered "658805" on the reverse, 14.5 mm x 22.2 mm, screwback).   Footnote: Ronald Wallace Catto was born on June 9, 1893 in Toronto, Ontario, the son of James Alexander Catto and Edith Caroline Catto (nee Ellison). He attended the University of Toronto from 1911 to 1915, while working part-time in the offices of J.M. Lyle, Wickson & Gregg, and Darling & Pearson, graduating with honours from the Department of Architecture in 1915 (B.A.SC.). He is listed on the University of Toronto Roll of Service 1914-1918. Catto went overseas shortly thereafter and enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps in August 1915, his father listed as his next-of-kin. He was named Temporary Lieutenant and posted to the General List on May 24, 1916, then joined the Army, taken on strength at the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot. He left for the French theatre on September 20, 1916, arriving the next day and joining his new unit, the 19th Infantry Battalion. He was appointed Acting Captain on November 12, 1916 and named Temporary Captain on April 12, 1917. Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Ronald Wallace Catto, 19th Infantry Battalion was awarded the Military Cross for actions taken during the Battle of Hill 70, on August 15, 1917, the announcement appearing in the Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette 30340 of Tuesday, October 16, 1917, on Tuesday, October 18, 1917, page 10712. This was followed by the publication of his citation, which appeared in the Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette 30561 of Tuesday, March 5, 1918, on Thursday, March 7, 1918, page 2945 and in the Canada Gazette on April 13, 1918: "Lt. Infy. (A./Capt.) Ronald Wallace Catto, For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in commanding his company during an attack. He led them with great dash and personal gallantry, capturing seventy prisoners and inflicting severe losses on the enemy. After consolidating he beat off three determined hostile counter-attacks, in which more prisoners were taken and many of the enemy were killed. His coolness and sound judgment under trying conditions and his energetic initiative contributed much to the success of the operations. His example was a splendid inspiration to his men." The citation was amended in the Canada Gazette of April 20, 1918, page 3654 and re-amended in the Canada Gazette of May 11, 1918, page 3916. In an article that appeared in the University of Toronto newspaper, "The Varsity", on September 26, 1917, it was noted that Captain Ronald Wallace Catto had written a recent letter to his father, Mr. James A. Catto, of 211 Roxborough Street, Toronto, stating "I have a surprise for you", but not outright stating that he had won the Military Cross. While with the 19th Infantry Battalion, in addition to the aforementioned actions at Hill 70, Catto participated in actions at Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Lens, Passchendaele, Somme, Valenciennes and Vimy. Catto was attached to the the 5th Infantry Brigade for Instruction, from January 2 to August 30, 1918, then posted to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters as a Staff Learner, from August 31st to September 3rd, before being re-attached to the the 5th Infantry Brigade. Later that Fall, he was posted to the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade as a Staff Learner, from October 24, 1918 to January 18, 1919, at which point he proceeded to England, to 4th Canadian Division Headquarters in London and was posted to the 1st Central Ontario Regimental Depot at Witley, followed by a posting to the 3rd Reserve Battalion on February 24, 1919. He was struck off strength of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, embarking for Canada on August 12, 1919, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia shortly thereafter. Catto was struck off strength upon general demobilization on April 23, 1919 at Military District No. 2 in Toronto, credited with having served in England and France with the General List, the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot, the 19th Infantry Battalion, the 4th Infantry Brigade, the 5th Infantry Brigade, the 11th Infantry Brigade, 4th Divisional Headquarters and the 1st Central Ontario Regimental Depot, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A". For his First World War service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with MID Oak Leaf. After the war, Catto moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1919, where he formed a partnership with J. Will Wilson as Wilson & Catto, Architects & Engineers and was active in Detroit from 1919 to 1922. During this period, he married Marjorie Ruth Myers (born September 16, 1895) on January 21, 1920 in St. Marys, Blansford Township, Perth County, Ontario, a short drive from Detroit. Catto returned to Toronto in 1922 and opened an architectural office under his own name, assisted by his younger brother Douglas E. Catto. In 1925, the brothers formed a new partnership of Catto & Catto and specialized in residential and commercial design. Ronald W. Catto was an articulate advocate of apartment house construction in the 1920's when the public perception of this new building type was obscured by examples of tenement house construction in other cities. His lengthy essay in support of courtyard apartment prototypes appeared in the Toronto Star Weekly, on February 27, 1926. He also demonstrated a keen interest in retail shop design and wrote extensively on the subject in 1933 (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Journal, Volume X, November 1933, pages 178-185). He was among a dozen architects invited to make a radio broadcast on contemporary architecture in 1935 and presented his views on commercial building aesthetics (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Journal, Volume XII, February 1935, page 33). After the dissolution of the brother's partnership in 1939, Ronald and Marjorie Catto moved to Ottawa, residing at 413 Riverdale Avenue, maintaining an architectural practise. He served with the Canadian Infantry during the Second World War with the Veterans Guard of Canada, was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel on April 15, 1942 and was stationed at Farnham, Quebec on October 19, 1942. Lieutenant Colonel (Acting Colonel) Ronald Wallace Catto, MC, Veterans Guard of Canada, Ottawa was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Officer (OBE), one of many recipients named for New Years' Awards, the announcement appearing in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 37408 of Friday, December 28, 1945, on Tuesday, January 1, 1946, page 135: "The King, on the occasion of the New Year, has approved the award of 440 honors to members of the Canadian Army. The list, as announced today by National Defense Headquarters, included: Six officers appointed companions of the Order of the Bath; Twenty-nine officers appointed Commanders of the Order of the British Empire; Seventy-five appointed officers of the Order of the British Empire, and 107 officers and 50 warrant officers are appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire. Four additional Members of the flame Order (civil division). Twelve officers appointed Members of the Royal Red Cross while 24 more are appointed Associates of the Royal Red Cross; 133 other ranks are awarded the British Empire Medal." For his Second World War service, he was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the War Medal 1939-1945. Catto retired from practising architecture after 1950 and died in Bracebridge, Ontario on December 27, 1965, at the age of 72, his death notice appearing in the Globe & Mail on December 30, 1965, page 25. (C:17)  
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