Lance/Corporal Ronald Eugene Emery – SB 7796 – ACTIVE SERVICE (Korean War)
On April 20, 1951 Ronald Eugene Emery completed the Attestation Paper for the Canadian Army Active Force in Toronto, Ontario. He was 19 years, 19 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for a period of 3 years in the Korean War. Ronald Eugene indicated that he was born in Peterborough, Ontario, and gave his birth-date as September 1, 1931. On his Attestation Paper, Ronald Eugene indicated, he had not been convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada. The Attestation Paper also shows that he was 6′ 1” tall and 160 pounds. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes, and blonde hair. With regards to his Trade or Calling, he lists Groundman. His next-of-kin is shown as his grandmother, Mrs. Christina Edwards of Lakefield, Ontario.
On April 18, 1951, as part of the Attestation Process; Ronald Eugene Emery underwent a Medical Examination at the Toronto Military Hospital (TMH). Based on the Examination, except for having to have 3 teeth removed, no physical issues or limitations were found and as such he was found fit to serve. On the same day, he underwent an interview with Captain R.C. Jones – Personnel Officer. In part the interview indicates: Ronald Eugene Emery completed Grade VIII in June 1947 at King George Public School in Sudbury, Ontario. He left school at the age of 15 to go to work and assist his father trapping; which he did from June 1947 to September 1948. From September 1948 to June 1950 he was employed at Canadian General Electric Company, in Peterborough, as a machine operator. From June 1950 to his enlistment date, he was employed as a Labourer with the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission (H.E.P.C.) located in Lakefield, Ontario. Ronald was described as a straight forward, aggressive young man. He lists boxing as his primary sport. The interview closes with Ronald Eugene stating that: “he wishes to make the Army a career and that he has no plans for marriage in the immediate future”.
On April 20 1951 Ronald Eugene Emery was taken-on-strength with No 6 Personnel Depot in Toronto as a Private (Pte) and he was assigned Regimental Service Number SB 7796. On April 24, 1951 Pte Emery was struck-off-strength from No 6 Personnel Depot to the Canadian Provost Corps (CProC) and taken-on-strength April 25, 1951 at Camp Borden, Ontario where he would continue his Basic Training and Corps Indoctrination. July 12, 1951. It was stated that ”Pte Emery will proceed on the public service (train) from the CProC School, Camp Borden to No 1 Specialist Training Unit, CProC Wainwright, Alberta on 13 July, 1951 for the purpose of proceeding on posting”. September 25, 1952 Pte Emery was struck-off-strength from No 1 Spec Training Unit to No 16 Service Detention Barracks (SDB) at Camp Petawawa, Ontario. September 28, 1951 he was attached for rations and quarters to No 23 Composite Brigade Group Workshop (Comp Bde Gp Wksp), Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME), Camp Petawawa; Pte Emery remained at No 16 SDB. On October 20, 1951 Pte Emery was upgraded to Pte 2nd Class. On December 3, 1951 Pte Emery faced Disciplinary Actions at No 16 SDB for: Creating a disturbance by fighting, in that he, at approximately 1830 hrs, was fighting in the Town of Pembroke; and Disobedience of a lawful command given by a superior Officer in that he at approximately 0850 hrs on December 1, 1951 refused to have his hair cut. For each of these transgressions he was fined $10:00.
On January 11, 1952 Pte Emery ceased to be attached for Rations and Quarters at No 23 Comp Bde Gp Wksp, RCEME at Camp Petawawa, when he was taken-on-strength to the Canadian Provost School located at Camp Borden to attend an 8 week Service Police Course, from January 14, 1952 to March 8, 1952. He successfully completed and passed, the following Courses: Military & Criminal Law, Traffic Control, Provost Subjects, General Subjects and Practical Phase. He was now eligible to draw pay of Service Police Gp 1. On March 10, 1952 Lt G.R. Tomalin made the following observations of Pte Emery: “A well disciplined soldier who has been a diligent student. His dress, drill and bearing are fair and his conduct good. A quiet, dependable person who should make an efficient Service Policeman”. Major R.W. Lee stated: “Suitable for employment as a Service Policeman”. The Chief Instructor of the Course gave him a Grade of ”Qualified B”. On March 11, 1952 Pte Emery was granted Leave from March 11, 1952 to March 18, 1952. On his return from Leave, Pte Emery was attached for Rations to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) at Camp Petawawa on March 18, 1952. On March 24, 1952 he ceased to be attached for Rations to the 3rd Bn RCR. On March 24, 1952 Pte Emery was posted from the No 16 SDB Canadian Provost Corps at Camp Petawawa to proceed by train to the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade CIB, Reinforcement Group (RG) Edmonton, Alberta, for the purpose of Reinforcement 25th CIB (RG), CProC, arriving on March 25, 1952. April 12, 1952 Pte Emery is shown as ”to X4 List* No 2 Canadian Administration Unit (CAU)”. On April 13, 1952 He was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army Far East [CA (FE)] from 25th CIBRG. On April 14, 1952 he embarked from Canada. There is an entry for April 15, 1952 indicating ”Granted for Allowance”. It is unknown what Allowance is being referenced. Pte Emery disembarked in the Far East on April 26, 1952.
* The X-4 List is for unposted reinforcements in the theatre of War belonging to the Unit or Corps.
Nothing in the File indicates where he embarked from, the ship he sailed on, or where he disembarked.
On May 2, 1952 Pte Emery embarked from Japan and disembarked in Korea on May 3, 1952. May 7, 1952 he was struck-off-strength from X4 List 2 CAU to the No 25 Cdn Pro Detachment (Det) C. May 8, 1952 Pte Emery was taken-on-strength to the No 25 Cdn Pro Det C. August 9, 1952 he qualified under Canadian Army Training School Specifications (CATS Specs) as a Service Policeman (Ser Pol) Gp 2 and to draw pay of Ser Pol Gp 2. September 1, 1952 Pte Emery was granted Special Leave plus 2 days Travel Time with a Ration Allowance (RA) of $20.00.
The File indicates on September 17, 1952 Pte Emery was admitted to No 37 Canadian Field Ambulance (CFA) Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) [sick] and placed on the X-3 List** from No 25 Cdn Pro Det on April 18, 1952. This is the first instance that he is referred to as a Lance Corporal (L/Cpl). April 18, 1952 he struck-off-strength deceased 13:15 hours.
** The X-3 List is for all ranks evacuated on medical grounds behind Regimental Aid Posts.
L/Cpl Ronald Eugene Emery was wounded on September 17, 1952 as the result of the discharge of a 9 mm pistol by a comrade. He was sitting on his bunk in a Section Squad Tent when he was struck in the neck. Following his wounding he was evacuated by ambulance to No 8055 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). He was then moved to No 8063 MASH, where he underwent an operation.
L/Cpl Ronald Eugene Emery, at the age of 21years, died of this wound on September 18, 1952.
On September 22, 1952 L/Cpl Ronald Eugene Emery was interred in the United Nations Military Cemetery, Tanggok, Korea.
A Board of Inquiry was held, involving an investigation and calling of witnesses. It was determined that the discharge of the weapon that struck L/Cpl Emery was accidental.
As a result of his Service, Lance Corporal Ronald Eugene Emery was awarded the following Medals:
United Nations Korean Service Medal;
Canadian Korean War Medal; and
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal – Korea. (awarded later)
He also qualified for the Korean Service Badge.
The Memorial Cross was dispatched to L/Cpl R.E. Emery’s mother Mrs. Olive Emery of Sudbury, Ontario, November 25, 1952. The United Nations Korean Service Medal, Canadian Korean War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal – Korea and the Korean Service Badge were dispatched to his grandmother Mrs. Christina Edwards of Lakefield on January 25, 1979.
L/Cpl Ronald Eugene Emery served with the Canadian Army Provost Corps a total of 1 year 5 months, of which 4 months and 15 days were in Korea.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:
The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable.
Ronald Eugene Emery was born in Peterborough on September 1, 1931, son of Herbert “Weller” Emery and Olive Edwards. Ronald may have been living with his grandmother in Lakefield at the time of his enlistment. On April 20, 1951 Ronald Eugene Emery went to Toronto, Ontario and enlisted to serve in the Korean War.
Lance Corporal Ron Eugene Emery served with the Canadian Provost Corps but sadly was killed in action in Busan, South Korea on September 18, 1952. He is remembered with honour in the United Nations Cemetery, Busan, South Korea.
THE RONALD EUGENE EMERY FAMILY OF DUMMER TOWNSHIP
Ronald Eugene Emery’s paternal great-grandparents were George Melvin Emery and Lucretia Lyle and lived in Asphodel Township, Peterborough County. Ronald Eugene Emery’s maternal great-grandparents were Duncan Drummond and Ellen Fortune.
Ronald Eugene Emery’s paternal grandparents were William “Herbert” Emery and Martha Jane Drummond and lived in Asphodel Township, Peterborough County. Herbert Emery died in 1978 and Martha passed away in 1961; both are buried in Westwood Cemetery, Asphodel Township, Peterborough County.
His maternal grandparents were John Augustus Roche Edwards and Christine Beatrice Wheeler King and they lived at 21 Nassau Street in Lakefield, Ontario. John Edwards died of tubercular meningitis in 1934 and Christine passed away in 1971; both are buried in Hillside Cemetery in Lakefield, Ontario.
Ronald Eugene Emery’s parents were Herbert “Weller” Emery and Olive Edwards. They resided in Peterborough and had a family of six children – Ronald Eugene, Douglas, Evelyn, Shirley, Paulette, and Sharron Emery. At the time of Ronald’s death in Korea, Weller and Olive Emery were living in Sudbury, ON. In 1968 they were living in Peterborough, Ontario.
Note: Ronald Eugene Emery is also remembered on the Memorial Wall in Sudbury Memorial Park.