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CWO Albert Belzile, MBE, CD
Albert Belzile was born in 1913 in St.Octave de Metis, Quebec. He joined the Canadian Army (Permanent Force) in August 1935 after serving briefly in the militia with Le Régiment de Montmagny. He was now a member of the Royal 22nd Regiment. It was somewhat expected that he would join the regiment as his older brother Charles Eugene Belzile had served with the original 22nd Bn CEF during WWI and was killed and buried in France in 1916. As a young soldier he took every course offered him, when war was declared in Sept 1939 he had already attained the rank of Sgt, a remarkable feat for only four years service. On the eve of the war, he married his sweetheart Pauline Fortin on Sept 6. He had met her through her two brothers who had joined the R22eR the same time he had.
With the Canadian Army in a massive building stage for the early part of the war, Sgt Belzile was now a small arms instructor, he was quickly promoted to WO2 due to his abilities. A confidant and understanding man, he had the presence necessary to do the job. By 1942 he was now promoted to WO1. He was transferred temporarily to Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Le Régiment de Montmagny and Le Régiment de Hull as their RSM, in turn instructing their junior and senior NCOs on becoming senior NCOs. Time was spent in Valcartier, QC, Camp Debert, NS, the England and back to Canada. On 4 Jan 1944 he was appointed member of the "Most Excellent Order of the British Empire". As RSM of Le Régiment de Montmagny, the unit left Quebec for Newfoundland as "W Force", he sailed for the UK a few months later and was taken on strength with various CITR units as the RSM overseeing the instruction and wellbeing of the soldiers.
In April 1946, he returned home to Canada. In the summer of 1946, he followed assesment course at Cadet Camp Borden. He then served in A & T Staff as a WO1 in Quebec Command, primarily overseeing training with the many militia units. In July 1950 at age 37 he took the Para Jump Course at Rivers, Manitoba. In Feb 1951 he transferred to CATS (Canadian Army Training School) in St.Jean Quebec as the RSM of the school. In May 1952 He left Canada for West Germany to serve as RSM the recently formed 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade in West Germany, as part of NATO. He returned to Canada in Feb 1953. In Nov 1959 he and his family departed for Camp Churchill in northern Manitoba. In 1961, he returned to Quebec and was posted to QC HQ "I" Staff. RSM Albert Belzile retired from the Canadian Army Oct 1963, having served 28 years.
Albert Belzile passed away Feb 1981.