CORMACK, Eric W
Colonel Cormack was born in Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland; January 7, 1899. He was educated at Edinburgh University and the University of Alberta.
He achieved numerous Athletic awards in Cricket and shooting. In running along with Eric Ciddel (Olympic Runner), their team established the medley one mile relay race record for over ten years. He received his officers training while serving with the R.O.T.C. Cadet Corps. He later joined the 35th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, but was discharged due to age requirements. In 1917, he joined the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery, and was commissioned 2ND Lieutenant and acting Captain, while serving in France. He was wounded twice in Belgium in 1918 and was awarded the Croix De Guerre.
Upon immigration to Canada he joined the Canadian Officers Training Corps as Captain at the University of Alberta. He served as Major in the Royal Canadian Artillery, (Militia), 78th Field Battery, Red Deer, Alberta from 1928 - 1939. At the start of World War II in 1939 he went to Winnipeg serving as Chief Gunnery Instructor.
On January 4, 1941 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assumed command of the 16th field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (active); later transferring to the 8th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He sailed to England in 1942 to serve with the Anti-Aircraft Defense of Britain.
In late June 1944 he sailed to France; and in August his Regiment assumed the unofficial, but widely known name of "Cormack's Commando's". He was wounded in October 1944.
Shortly before the Nazi Surrender, Colonel Cormack assumed command of all the artillery in the 4th Canadian Armoured Division under the acting rank of Brigadier.
After the war ended, in 1946, he escorted some 750 war brides to Canada. He then returned to his farm at Alix, Alberta, retaining many military links. He was asked to reorganize the reserve artillery units in western commanding November 1949, at which time he moved to Edmonton and accepted a post in the Expensions Department, at the University of Alberta. He commanded the 10th Manning Depot at the Prince of Wales Armouries, Edmonton in 1955. He assumed command of the 20th Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (reserve) in 1962. He was created the Honourary Colonel of the Artillery in Northern Alberta which included the 78th Field Battery, Red Deer. He retired in 1977 under the rank of Full Colonel.
He joined the Legion of Frontiersman-Canadian Division in 1956 where he received the Efficient Service Medal, Canadian Division Medal, Centennial Medal, Australian Medal of Merit, Provincial Command Medals of Merit, and Honorary Life Member before retiring as Alberta Commandant in 1981.
He joined the Royal Canadian Legion in 1926 serving on various committees and held the positions of Zone Commander, Past Zone Commander, Past President of Branch #150, as well as Honourable President of Branch 277. His Legion awards included the 50 year medal, 60th Anniversary Medal, Certificate of Merit and life Member. In November 1987, the Sherwood Park Legion received their new charter and was officially renamed "The Eric W. Cormack Branch 277 of the Royal Canadian Legion;" in his honour.
He was involved with the Navy League Cadets and in 1971 the Navy League Corps was named after him.
The Cormacks assisted in founding the Robin Hood School in Sherwood Park. The Eric Cormack Center for the mentally challenged, in Edmonton, was also named after him.
Order of Canada 1981
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE.)
Royal Order of Orange Nassau with Crossed Swords (Dutch)
Great War Medal
Allied War Medal
Croix de Guerre (France)
Defense of Britain
1939 - 1945 Star
France Germany Star
Canadian Volunteer Medal with Bar
General Service Medal
Efficiency Decoration (20 years service)
Canadian Decoration (12 years)
Queen's Coronation Medal
Queen's Jubilee Medal.
Alberta Distinguished Award 1977
Legion of Frontiersmen, Efficient Service Medal
Legion of Frontiersmen, Canadian Division Medal
Legion of Frontiersmen, Canada Centennial Medal
Legion of Frontiersmen, Australian Medal of Merit
Legion of Frontiersmen, Provincial Command Medals of Merit
Honourary Doctor of Law Degree 1983
Born 7 January 1899, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Died 19 November 1987, Canada