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Biography 

Brigadier William Scott Murdoch, OBE, MiD, CD, Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau (with Swords) (Holland), 

Ipperwash Army Cadet Camp 1964-July 15, 1966


MURDOCH, William Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, MBE - Officer, Order of the British Empire - Infantry (General Staff Officer I, Headquarters, 1 Canadian Infantry Division) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 15 December 1945 and CARO/6276 dated 18 December 1945.

Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch assumed the appointment of General Staff Officer Grade I at Headquarters 1 Canadian Infantry Division at a most critical time [9 December 1944]. It was at a moment during the battle for the Lamone River in Italy when an attempted crossing by 1 Canadian Infantry Brigade had been repulsed. Also at this time, the Divisional Command was changed [from Major-General Chris Vokes to Major-General Harry Foster]. As a result of this change of divisional commanders in the midst of battle, a heavy responsibility devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch. However from the very commencement of his duties, his outstanding capabilities and sound judgement won him the confidence and esteem of the whole division. Throughout the succeeding battles fought by 1 Canadian Infantry Division in Italy and again during the operations in Holland, Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch was very decidedly a contributing factor to the many successes of the division. His decisions proved faultless, his pleasant, cheerful manner was never altered even by the most difficult circumstances, and he showed such devotion to duty that he became an example to the whole of the Divisional Staff. His able direction inspired the confidence of the divisional commander who was thus enabled to leave his Tactical Headquarters on many occasions to make personal visits to the leading brigade headquarters.

MURDOCH, William Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, MBE - Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau (with Swords) (Holland) - Infantry (Headquarters, 1 Canadian Infantry Divison) - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 22 December 1945 and CARO/6291 dated 24 December 1945. Endorsed by Major-General H.W. Foster, General Officer Commanding, 1 Canadian Division; approved by General H.D.G. Crerar, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief First Canadian Army on 21 July 1945.

When 1 Canadian Infantry Division assaulted westward across the Ijssel River on 11 April 1945, the object of the attack was to drive the enemy from Holland and thus enable food supplies to be shipped to the hunger stricken people in western Holland. Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch, as General Staff Officer I of 1 Canadian Infantry Division, was called upon to work for very long periods without sleep and under the most trying conditions, coordinating the operational plans. During these periods Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch's expert organizing ability and the fact that he at all times correctly interpreted his Commander's intentions were instrumental in the rapid collection and disarming of the enemy.

Throughout the operations in northwest Holland Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch's thorough grasp of situations at all times relieved his Commander of all detail and allowed him to devote his whole time to planning, knowing that his orders were always being carried out correctly. Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch's task was made unusually difficult during this period by the fact that the prime consideration at all times was to spare the Netherlands's civilian life and property.

MURDOCH, William Scott, Major - Member, Order of the British Empire - Infantry - Awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 1 January 1945 and CARO/5244 dated 5 January 1945.

This officer served in the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Non-Permanent Active Militia from 1933 to 1 September 1939 when he was appointed to the Canadian Army (Active). He participated in the Spitzbergen Raid in 1941 as a staff Officer and recently was Senior Staff Officer of the force that proceeded to Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. Much of the credit for the successful completion of these operations was due t the skill and devotion to duty displayed by this officer. On 20 November 1943 this officer was granted the acting rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was appointed to command the Royal Rifles of Canada. On 21 August 1944, at his own request, he reverted to the rank of Major in order to again proceed overseas. Major Murdoch has at all times shown a high sense of duty, determination and leadership both as a staff officer and unit commander. The personal example set by this officer has been an inspiration to all who have served under him.

MURDOCH, William Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, MBE - Mention in Despatches - Infantry - awarded as per Canada Gazette dated 6 October 1945 and CARO/6114 of that date.