Canadian Orangemen also played a prominent role during the Second World War.
Colonel Graham Thompson Lyall VC
Served with: 19 Lincoln Regiment, Ontario; 81 Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force; 4 Canadian Mounted rifles; 102 (North British Columbia) Battalion, CEF; 3 AA Division Workshop Company, Royal Army Ordinance Corps.
Graham Thompson Lyall was born on 8 March 1892 in Manchester, England. He studied mechanical engineering and immigrated to Canada in 1912, settling in Welland, Ontario before moving to Chippawa, where he was employed by the Canadian Niagara Power Company in Niagara Falls.
After the outbreak of war in 1914, Lyall enlisted with the 19th Lincoln Regiment in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. While stationed at St. Catherine’s he joined LOL No. 720. In September 1915, Lyall was accepted into the 81st Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and sailed for England with his battalion in May 1916. Once there, he entered Officers’ training school.
On graduation, Lieutenant Lyall was posted to the 102nd (North British Columbia) Battalion, CEF. This battalion took part in the Battle of Ypres (1917) and the Battle of Amiens (1918). He was awarded his VC in 1918 “for most conspicuous bravery and skilful leading during the operations north of Cambrai.”
Lyall was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George in 1919. The following month he married Elizabeth Moffatt Frew and settled in Airdrie, Scotland. Throughout the inter – war years, Lyall worked for a construction company. On the outbreak of WWII in 1939, he joined the 3rd AA Division Workshop Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. In 1941, he was promoted to Colonel and served in North Africa.
Graham Lyall died of a heart attack on 28 November 1941 in North Africa and is buried in Halfaya Sollum Cemetery, eleven miles from the Libyan border.
‘The Tunnel King’ – Captain Wallace Floody
Flight Lieutenant Clarke Wallace Floody enlisted in the Royal Canadian Airforce at the outbreak of war. In 1941 his Spitfire was shot down over France and he was captured and sent to a succession of prisoner of war camps, ending up at Stalag Luft III near Zagan in Poland. It was there that Wally employed the mining skills that he had learned before the war and was instrumental in digging escape tunnels.
The largest escape was immortalised in the 1963 film The Great Escape, where the character played by Charles Bronson was inspired by Wally, who was a technical advisor to the director. Wally was a member of Imperial LOL No. 2767.
Faith amidst the Firefight
Honorary Captain John Weir Foote VC
Served with: Canadian Army; The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and the Canadian Corps of Chaplains.
Awards: Victoria Cross
Loge: LOL No. 46, Fraserville.
John Weir Foote was born in Madoc Ontario on 5 May 1904 and went on to be educated at the University of Western Ontario, Queen’s University in Kingston and at the Presbyterian College and McGill University in Montreal. In 1934 he became a Presbyterian Minister and went on to serve congregations in Fort-Coulonge, Quebec and Port Hope, Ontario. In that year he also joined Fraserville LOL No. 46.
In December 1939, Foote joined the Canadian Army and was posted to The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment). On 19 August 1942 his regiment was in the thick of the fighting as part of the abortive Dieppe Raid. Operation Jubilee, as it was properly called, was supposed to demonstrate that Allied forces could take and hold a port on the French coast. It was a disaster, with over half the landing force being killed or captured. Foote demonstrated tremendous courage under fire, attaching himself to a First Aid Post and rescuing wounded soldiers under constant fire from the enemy. When orders came to retreat, Foote volunteered to stay behind to minister to the wounded and those who could not escape. Part of his citation reads;
On several occasions this officer had the opportunity to embark but returned
to the beach as his chief concern was the care and evacuation of the wounded.
He refused a final opportunity to leave the shore, choosing to suffer the fate
of the men he had ministered to for over three years.
Captain Foote would remain with his men as a Prisoner of War until 5 May 1945. He remained with the army until 1948, earning the rank of Major. After the war he entered politics and became a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, a position he held until retirement in 1957. In 1964 he was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of his old Regiment.