WWII Group of Six, Private R.L. McLarty, Essex Scottish Regiment, Royal Canadian Regiment
WWII Group of Six, Private R.L. McLarty, Essex Scottish Regiment, Royal Canadian Regiment - 1939-1945 Star; Italy Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; War Medal 1939-1945; and Efficiency Medal with Canada scroll, George VI (PTE. R.L. McLARTY ESSEX SCOT.). Naming is officially impressed on the EM, the others are un-named. Un-mounted, original ribbons, dark patinas on the silver medals, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Trial Documents, Medal Awards Card, Discharge Certificate and Application for the Efficiency Medal. Footnote: Ralph Leonard McLarty was born on December 8, 1914 in Kingsville, Ontario. His father a cranesman with C.I.L., his mother was a homemaker and he had two older brothers (both of who were married by 1939) and no sisters. He had three years of high school at Sandwich Collegiate, completing the third form and failing the exams. He finished school at the age of 17 and had to stop his education due to the fact his mother was ill, forcing him to stay at home to look after the house, including the cooking, for the next five years. He initially enlisted with the Essex Scottish, Non Permanent Active Militia on April 6, 1932 and remained with them until 1939. He was married to Dorothy Knapp McLarty and they had two children together (both boys). He later worked at a Wholesale Hardware firm as a Shipping Clerk and held that job for eighteen months at $15-$25/Week, until the employer went bankrupt in mid-1938. McLarty was able to get employment as a light delivery truck driver for less than a year but was forced on relief. He remained on relief until he enlisted for war service with the Essex Scottish, signing his Attestation Paper as a Private (A 21117) on September 4, 1939 in Windsor, Ontario, at the age of 25, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Dorothy Knapp McLarty of Windsor, stating that he had previous military service with the Essex Scottish in 1933, that he was Married, that his trade was that of Shipping Clerk and was promoted to Acting Corporal the same day. McLarty reverted to the ranks at his own request on January 15, 1940. Ten months after he enlisted, he was part of the Canadian Active Service Force that left for the United Kingdom on July 17, 1940, arriving overseas at Gourock, Scotland on August 2nd and attached to the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters. He qualified as a Clerk Group "C" (T.T. Report) on July 6, 1942. McLarty ran afoul of the authorities on September 13, 1942, as he was charged with "Stealing property of a person subject to military law and selling same, converting the proceeds to his own use." His trial took place on November 24, 1942, where he was awarded nine months detention and forced to forfeited 278 days pay. He was posted to No. 3 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit on January 31, 1943, with a brief three day attachment to No. 2 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit, from February 1st to 4th, all while in detention at Headley Downs Detention Barracks. Almost three months after his trial, his sentence was reviewed by a court. In his Review of Sentencing Report, dated February 15, 1943, it was noted he had a "Clear conduct sheet" and that his conduct while under sentence was "Good". The recommendations to reduce his sentence appeared bleak at best. Although his Commandant said that McLarty was "a good type and can be useful to the Army" and felt that nine months was "too severe.", his Company Commandant however, felt differently and recommended that McLarty "should serve the full sentence". He went on to state that "the soldier was a Company clerk and as such was satisfactory, but in no other way". He referred to his habits of borrowing money from civilians and other soldiers with no thought of returning it and pointed out that McLarty had been suspected of theft on a number of occasions and emphasized that he "Does not want him back." It was also noted that articles were missing from the orderly room. The Confirming Officer recommended "that he serve the full sentence" and that the "sentence is quite appropriate, and he should serve it in full." The only defence that McLarty could bring forward was that extenuating circumstances existed: his apparent domestic troubles at home, which might have brought about a mental stress, leading to his apparent change of character (marital issues with his wife). Middle ground was reached for the 27 year old, as the Court determined that he be granted 89 days Remission of Sentence and that his earliest day of release would be May 24, 1943. McLarty was transferred to the Royal Canadian Regiment, joining as a Clerk, disembarking the United Kingdom on September 13, 1943 and arriving in the Mediterranean Area on the 24th. He arrived with his new regiment on November 15th but sought hospitalization a month later, when he was admitted to No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance on December 11th, then transferred to No. 18 Casualty Clearing Station the same day. Two days later, he was transferred to No. 98 General Hospital on December 13th, then to No. 11 Convalescent Depot on December 24th for three weeks, before arriving at No. 1 Canadian Convalescent Depot on January 14, 1944, his final stop before he was discharged on the 31st. He had a history of bronchial and kidney troubles that came to the forefront while in the Italian theatre, likely brought on by stress in regards to things at home with his wife. He left Italy six months later, on July 31, 1944, arriving in the United Kingdom on August 13th. McLarty returned to Canada on P.O.W.E. and Compassionate Grounds, after having served four years overseas. He had a great deal of domestic trouble and had applied for compassionate leave two years previous to October 1944, his permission to do so finally granted in Italy by Lieutenant-Colonel Ritchie, Royal Canadian Regiment. He had a Divorce suit and an Alienation suit in progress and wanted to have his leave extended, as he needed to complete everything and have it settled before resuming his duties, in order to "continue efficiently without worry or trouble" on his part. McLarty was discharged by reason of "being unable to meet the required Military Physical Standards" at Wolseley Barracks, on March 9, 1945, No. 1 District Depot in London, Ontario, at the age of 30, credited with having served in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Central Mediterranean Area. The examiners determined that he was physically fit for medium industrial work and that he should be fit for for full time employment after his domestic difficulties were settled. In his Service Interview Summary, dated March 8, 1945 at No. 1 District Depot in London, Ontario, it was noted that the Divorce Court had ruled that he had to pay $65.00/month for the upkeep of his two children. The Army examiner thought it to be too excessive, in respect to his prospective earning power and noted that McLarty had a "somewhat naive and trusting outlook and (that he) responds readily to direction, which he requires in order to realize his best work." and he recommended that McLarty seek employment in an office doing clerical work. He was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Italy Star, the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and the War Medal 1939-1945 for his Second World War service. During the war, Corporal McLarty applied for his Efficiency Medal on October 6, 1942, having served with the Essex Scottish since 1932, the award being approved on June 29th.