David Vivian Currie

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David Vivian Currie
David Vivian Currie e010786345-v8.jpg
Born 8 July 1912
Sutherland, Saskatchewan
Died 20 June 1986(1986-06-20) (aged 73)
Ottawa
Allegiance Canada Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1939 – 1945
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit The South Alberta Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Victoria Cross

David Vivian Currie, VC, CD (8 July 1912 – 20 June 1986), was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Biography[edit]

Currie (left of centre, holding a revolver) accepting the surrender of German troops at St. Lambert-sur-Dives, France, 19 August 1944. This photo captures the actions that would lead to him being awarded the Victoria Cross.
David Currie plaque
Currie's gravestone

Born in Sutherland, Saskatchewan, Currie was educated at King George Public School, the Central Collegiate and Moose Jaw Technical School. He was trained as an automobile mechanic and welder.

In 1939 he joined the militia, before joining the Regular Army the following year. He was commissioned as a lieutenant shortly afterwards, before being promoted to captain in 1941. By 1944 he had reached the rank of major.

Currie was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in command of a battle group of tanks from The South Alberta Regiment, artillery, and infantry of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada at St. Lambert-sur-Dives, during the final actions to close the Falaise Gap. This was the only Victoria Cross awarded to a Canadian soldier during the Normandy campaign (6 June 1944 through to the end of August 1944), and the only VC ever awarded to a member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.

The then 32 year-old Currie was a Major in The South Alberta Regiment, Canadian Army during the Second World War. During the Battle of Falaise, Normandy, between 18–20 August 1944, Currie was in command of a small mixed force of tanks, self-propelled anti-tank guns and infantry which had been ordered to cut off one of the Germans' main escape routes.

After Currie led the attack on the village of St. Lambert-sur-Dives and consolidated a position halfway inside it, he repulsed repeated enemy attacks over the next day and a half. Despite heavy casualties, Major Currie destroyed seven enemy tanks, twelve 88 mm guns and 40 vehicles, which led to the deaths of 300 German soldiers, 500 wounded and 2,100 captured. The remnants of two German armies were denied an escape route.

Currie later achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his military career, he served as Sergeant at Arms in the Canadian House of Commons from 1960 to 1978.

He died in 1986 and was buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound, Ontario. The armoury in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan has since been named the "Lt. Colonel D.V. Currie Armoury" in his honour. Currie Avenue in the Montgomery Place neighborhood of Saskatoon was named in his honor.

External links[edit]