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Harry Wickwire Foster
April 2, 1902 (1902-04-02)August 16, 1964 (1964-08-07)
Place of birth Halifax
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Major General
Commands held 1st Canadian Infantry Division
4th Canadian (Armoured) Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Silver Star

Officer of the Legion of Merit

Major General Harry Wickwire Foster, CBE, DSO, (April 2, 1902 - August 6, 1964) was a Canadian Army officer who commanded two Canadian army divisions during World War II. He served in both the Pacific and European theatres.


Early life

Born in Halifax, son of Major General Gilbert Lafayette Foster, director general of the medical services of the First World War. Educated at King’s College at Windsor, Nova Scotia as a cadet. Attended school at Berkhamsted, England; Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, Quebec; Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario; and McGill University, Montreal.

Military career

Joined Lord Strathcona’s Horse in 1924 and held the rank of Captain by 1934. Graduated from Staff College, Camberley in 1939 and was promoted to Brigade Major at the outbreak of the Second World War. Appointed to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and led Canadian troops in the Kiska campaign in 1943 (Operation Cottage), for which he was awarded the American Legion of Merit. In 1944 was promoted to Major General and led the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division and 1st Canadian Infantry Divisions during their liberation sweep across France and Belgium in the fall of 1944.

Major-General Foster was commander of both 4th Canadian Armoured Division (North West Europe) and 1st Canadian Infantry Division (Italy). In 1941, (then) Lieutenant Colonel Foster assumed command of 4th Reconnaissance Regiment--4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, the recently activated scout formation assigned to 1st Canadian Infantry Division in England.

Post war

After the war, presided over the court martial of Canada’s top prisoner of war, SS General Kurt Meyer. Organized and commanded Eastern Army Command. Upon retirement in 1950 took the civilian appointment of Chief Administrator of the Central European District, Imperial War Graves Commission. In 1959 married third wife Mona Leonhart (née Parsons) and was appointed honorary Aide-de-Camp to Governor General Georges Vanier.


Date Event
April 2, 1902 born
1924 Lord Strathcona’s Horse
1934 Captain
1939 graduated Camberley
1939 promoted to Major
1943 promoted Lieutenant Colonel; the Kiska campaign
1944 promoted Major General
1950 retires from army; War Graves Commission
1959 3rd marriage
August 6, 1964 dies



External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Major General George Kitching
GOC 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division
Succeeded by
Major General Chris Vokes
Military offices
Preceded by
GOC 1st Canadian Infantry Division
Succeeded by


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