A Second War Canadian Memorial Group to the RCEME
A Second War Canadian Memorial Group to the RCEME - Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-1945; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; and ERII Memorial Cross (F-57132 L/CPL H.J. GALLANT). Naming is officially engraved on the MC, the war medals are unnamed. Unmounted, MC with pinback bar suspension, extremely fine. Accompanied by extensivepaperwork containing one hundred and forty-five pages with copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate and Department of Veteran Affairs Death Notification. Footnote: Hervey Joseph Gallant was born March 25, 1910 in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. He completed Grade VII at the age of 15 but left school to join the work world. His civilian occupations consisted of three years as a workman installing air conditioning systems, four years as a truck driver, ten years doing odd jobs as a general labourer and two years as a cook in a restaurant. During this period, he also signed a Non-Permanent Active Militia of Canada Attestation Paper with the Cumberland Highlanders on June 22, 1929, at the age of 19, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, Mary Gallant, stating that he had served at the Cumberland Highlanders Camp in 1927, that he was single and that his trade was that of Clerk. However, it is unsure as to whether he was accepted for service. During WWII, he decided to leave his civilian occupations and join the Canadian Army. In a Medical Revision Board Certificate, dated May 27, 1943, Gallant was examined at Debert, Nova Scotia and it was noted that his medical history consisted of stomach and intestinal troubles, rheumatism, having bouts of gonorrhoea and syphilis in the past, along with trouble with his feet as he was standing doing sheet metal work in his last job. It was also noted that he had "bad nerves", that he "looks well, (and had) very bad teeth". Even with his history of medical issues, he signed his Attestation Paper with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps on July 8, 1943 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, stating that he was single (later changed to married) and that his trade was that of Sheet Metal Worker. While with the RCOC, he was Absent Without Leave for 36 hours from October 4 to 5, 1943 and qualified as a Driver I.C. (W) Class II (excluding motorcycles) on November 22nd. Two weeks later, he injured himself on December 3rd, as he hit his left little finger against a truck and couldn't straighten it during a Driving Instruction course and was treated accordingly. He was granted permission to marry Catherine Mary Callahan, whom he had known for two and a half years, on January 14, 1944 but not to marry until or after March 15, 1944. On February 19, 1944, while at the Canadian Ordnance Corps Training Camp at Barriefield, Ontario, Gallant came forth with a startling revelation. He declared that his correct name was Raymond Hervey Gallant and that he was born on March 29, 1911 and not Herbert Joseph Gallant, who was born on March 25, 1910. However, outside of two mentions in his service records, he is referred to as Herbert Joseph Gallant throughout his paperwork, including his post-war records and death notification. He was admitted to London Military Hospital (Westminster) in London, Ontario on May 1, 1944. On his Case History Sheet, dated May 9th, it noted that he had "pain above the left eye for the last two years" and that "since January, (the pains) have become more severe". He was hospitalized for forty days and diagnosed with "Sinusitis", then discharged to duty on June 9th. He was posted to S-9, Canadian Army Motor Mechanic School at London, Ontario on June 30th, qualified as a Fitter M.V. Group "C" on July 8th, then transferred from the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps to the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and posted to the General List on July 11th. Now with the RCEME, he was re-designated Fitter M.V. Group "C" with the rank of Craftsman. Gallant was admitted to Kingston Military Hospital, Military District No. 3 at Kingston, Ontario on July 15, 1944, his intestinal issues forcing his hospitalization. On July 21, 1944, he was officially diagnosed with enterocolitis (or coloenteritis: an inflammation of the digestive tract, involving enteritis of the small intestine and colitis of the colon), later referred to as "gastric enteritis", with his condition declared "Improved" on discharge. He was deemed fit enough for overseas service, as he embarked with the RCEME on August 30, 1944 for the United Kingdom, arriving on September 5th. Upon arrival, he was attached to the Canadian Ordnance & Mechanical Engineer Reinforcement Unit. Upon the ceasing of hostilities in Europe, he volunteered for the Canadian Army Pacific Force, signing his Supplementary Declaration of Service in the Pacific Theatre Form on June 23, 1945 while with I. B.W. RCEME. After eleven months service in the United Kingdom, he was struck off strength of the Canadian Army Overseas and embarked for Canada on July 29, 1945, disembarking in Halifax on August 5th and was never to see service in the Pacific theatre. While with the RCEME, he was taken on strength from X-4 List as a Craftsman on September 4th and re-classified as a Vehicle Mechanic (MV) on November 11th. He was to return to his Army roots, as he was struck off strength and transferred to the Special District Depot, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps on December 7, 1945, taken on strength as a Private and detailed for duty at Amherst, Nova Scotia on the 8th. He is documented as having been Absent Without Leave for 24 hours, from December 20 to 21, 1945. Gallant was re-classified from Storeman NT to Storeman T & D (December 26, 1945), re-classified from Storeman NT to Driver I.C. (January 1, 1946) and re-classified from Driver I.C. to Storeman T & D (April 8, 1946), having qualified as a Driver I.C., Driver Mechanic, Motor Mechanic and Fitter M.V. along the way and appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal on April 1, 1946. He is documented as being Absent Without Leave for a third time, this time for 19 hours from May 2 to 3, 1946 and admonished for the offence under Section 15 A.A. He was accepted for the Interim Force as a Private on April 20, 1946 at Halifax, by May was regarded as a Private/Lance Corporal, re-classified from Storeman T & D to Storeholder M.V. "B" on June 30th and achieved the rank of Lance Corporal on August 16th. As an Interim Force soldier, he expressed a desire for continued service in the Canadian Army (AF), as it was noted that there was a vacancy existing at 15 ROD for a Private Storeman. He was employed as a Storeman T & D and a Storekeeper M.V. Group "B" until he was discharged. Gallant was admitted to Royal Canadian Naval Hospital at Halifax on May 27, 1947. In his Case Medical Sheet, dated that day, it noted that the "Patient has been bothered with pain in the small of his back for about 3 months intermittently. The intervals between have been becoming shorter and the pain has increased. There is no history to suggest acute strain or trauma. The pain in the back is when he wakes up - no matter when - during the night or during the day. It is where he thinks the kidneys are situated. After he is up for a while he seems to have a residual tired feeling." The diagnosis was that of lumbosacral strain (later defined as fibrositis of erector spinal), combined with latent syphilis. He was reassessed a month later, on June 22nd, noting that the "The patient is much better - is free of his backache and has been seen by the psychiatrist. A diagnosis of anxiety state has been made and the condition explained to him at length. He feels the rest in hospital has done a great deal for him and with 7 days convalescent leave he should be able to adjust himself to such a degree that he will be free from these symptoms." and was discharged on the next day. His medical issues had become a concern for the RCOC, as he was struck off strength of No. 15 R.O.D. RCOC to No. 6 District Depot at Halifax on September 1, 1947. In a Medical Board Proceedings Report dated September 3, 1947, it was noted that Gallant suffered from "Hypertension". He was discharged from the Service under Routine Order 1029 (10) as "Unable to meet the required military physical standards" at No. 6 District Depot, Canadian Army, Rehabilitation Wing in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 30, 1947. He stated that his intended place of residence was St. Regis Hotel, Amherst. Gallant had served a total of fifty months in Canada and the United Kingdom, earning him the Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp for his WWII service, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, number 1053962 and paid a War Service Gratuity in the amount of $381.57. He later applied for a replacement Record of Service, as his original copy was lost in the St.. Regis Hotel fire of December 1951. He also received a replacement War Service Badge "General Service Class", number 1389602 and was told that another would not be issued. Gallant died on May 4, 1972, at the age of 62, the place not stated. His wife, Catherine Mary Gallant received his ERII Memorial Cross, which was despatched to her on July 5, 1973, the Army acknowledging that his condition extended to his war service.