Hardy N. Ganong

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Hardy Nelson Ganong
Born April 18, 1890
St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada Canada
Died February 24, 1963(1963-02-24) (aged 72)
Route 1, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada
Buried at St. Stephen Rural Cemetery
Allegiance Canada Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1909 - 1945
Rank Major General
Commands held 3rd Infantry Brigade
8th Infantry Division
6th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I: Vimy Ridge
Other work Director, New Brunswick Civil Defense

Major-General Hardy Nelson Ganong CBE, EDV (Apr 18, 1890 - February 24, 1963) was a Canadian sportsman and a military commander who served in both World War I and II.

Early life[edit]

The son of Edward Morrison Ganong and Margaret A. Lunn, Hardy Ganong was born and educated in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He was a cousin to the family that founded Ganong Bros. chocolate makers and after completing his schooling went to work in this business.

World War I[edit]

In 1909, Hardy Ganong joined the Canadian Militia, then following the outbreak of World War I enlisted in the Canadian Army. He was sent overseas as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force where he served on the battlefields of France as a member of the 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles. He was wounded in the autumn of 1916 during the battles for Vimy Ridge but recovered and returned to duty. Demobilized in 1919, he returned home where, in 1920, he married schoolteacher Mildred Viola Thomas of Calais, Maine with whom he had three children.

World War II[edit]

During peacetime, Ganong remained as a member of the militia and by the time World War II broke out he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Made commander of the Carleton and York Regiment, he led the regiment as the first Canadian military unit to ship to England for battle duty. In March 1941, Ganong took command of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade and in late 1942 was promoted to Major General. Sent back to Canada, he was appointed General Officer to organize and command the 8th Canadian Infantry Division of the Home Service Divisions. Stationed for a time at Prince George, British Columbia, in October 1943 he was placed in command of the 6th Canadian Infantry Division headquartered on Vancouver Island where he was in charge of preparations for participation in the invasion of Japan.

Ganong was awarded the Efficiency Decoration for his years of voluntary military service and in 1944 was made a commander of the Order of the British Empire. In December 1944, with Canadian participation in the invasion of Japan cancelled and a Pacific coastal defense no longer deemed necessary, he was assigned to command the Allied troops in Newfoundland where he remained until his retirement in 1945. His son, Russell Edward Ganong, also served during the war with his father's old Carleton and York Regiment. He was killed during the Italian Campaign on March 18, 1944. He was survived by his wife, Mary Mackenzie, and an infant son, Hardy MacKenzie Ganong, born September 29, 1943.[1]

Later life[edit]

Out of the army, Ganong served as honorary aide-de-camp to Governor Generals Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, the Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey and Major General Georges P. Vanier. From 1955 to 1962 he was the full-time civil defense co-coordinator with responsibility for the organizing and training of all civil defense forces for the Province of New Brunswick.

Politics[edit]

A St. Stephen town councilor for two years, Ganong was the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the 1949 Canadian federal election for the riding of New Brunswick Southwest. Of the 12,336 ballots cast, he lost by 58 votes to the Liberal incumbent, A. Wesley Stuart. He ran unsuccessfully against Stuart a second time in 1953.

Sporting and business interests[edit]

Ganong was also an active member of the executive committee of the New Brunswick Boy Scouts Association and served as the provincial movement's president. Among his other activities, he was vice-president of the N.B. Division, Canadian Red Cross, president, N.B. Boy Scouts Association, director, Charlotte County Board of Trade, Board member, Connors Bros. Ltd., and president of the New Brunswick Fish and Game Protective Association.

An avid curler, Ganong was president of the St. Stephen Curling Club for thirty-five years and president of the New Brunswick branch of the Royal Canadian Caledonia Curling Club. He was also voted president of the New Brunswick Curling Association for 1935–1936 term, and made its honorary president from 1941 to 1945. As a player, Ganong was 2nd stone on the St. Stephen team that won the 1930 Ganong Cup, a trophy donated by cousin Arthur Ganong given annually to the winner of the provincial curling championship. His team's win earned them the right to compete for the national title in the Brier Cup.

As much as he was enthusiastic about the sport of curling, Ganong was equally as passionate about harness racing. St. Stephen had a racetrack and he wrote a column on the sport for the local Saint Croix Courier weekly newspaper. He was also a racing judge at meets throughout New Brunswick and Maine and for two seasons was a judge at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Death[edit]

Ganong and his wife died in February 1963 as a result of an auto accident during a winter snow storm on Route 1 in Charlotte County, New Brunswick while returning home from the city of Saint John. They are buried at the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery.

References[edit]