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Upon graduation from the Royal Military College in 1952 Major-General Herbert C. Pitts, MC, CD was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). Within six weeks he had arrived in Korea and was assigned to 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a Platoon Commander. With the arrival of the 3rd Battalion, he remained with that unit and was later awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and leadership in action. He returned to Canada just before the ceasefire, having transferred to the Infantry Corps.

In 1954 General Pitts joined the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada where he remained for three years including the Suez deployment in 1956 followed by a posting to HQ, 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade and he departed for Germany shortly thereafter. In 1960 he attended the British Army Staff College in Camberley and then was posted to the Army Council Secretariat in Ottawa. In 1962 he was promoted Major and joined the 2nd Battalion, QOR in Calgary. Thereafter he was again posted to Germany as Brigade Major from 1964 to 1967.

In 1967, General Pitts was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel to command the 1st Battalion, QOR in Victoria until 1969 whereupon he was assigned as an Exchange Instructor to the United States Army Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following this posting he attended the National Defence College in Kingston until promotion to Colonel to command the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Edmonton from 1971 to 1973. He was promoted Brigadier-General in 1973 and posting to National Defence Headquarters. He remained at NDHQ for five years and as a Major-General served in various capacities until his retirement in 1978 after 30 years of dedicated service.

Following retirement he served in various capacities including Colonel of the Regiment, the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Infantry Corps and Honorary-Lieutenant Colonel of The Queen’s own Rifles of Canada. His accumulated uniformed service being 44 ½ years. He also served as National Commissioner of Scouts Canada.

After retirement he was awarded numerous honours and awards and resided in Victoria, B.C. with his wife Marianne.

He died 27 September 2018. He will not be forgotten.


  1. David Dulmage (moe)

    He was the only Commanding Officer I would laid down my life for. I Told him so in 2017 brought tears to his eyes.

  2. Louise Mary-Anne De Bruijne

    Jac heard about the passing of his 2 dear friends, General Pitts & Ranger
    Chink Widemaier. He is hanging in there having had several strokes. He often talks about his early days with QOROC.

    • Mike Cuvelier

      Thank you for your comments, just to let you know, Ranger Widemaier is still very much alive. He’s dealing with a knee replacement at the moment though.

      Thanks again

    • Hazel widenmaier

      Gentlemen just to keep you up to date Chink is alive and getting better daily he had a right knee replacement done takes a while to heal but he is on the home stretch cheers Hazel Widenmaier

  3. Ranger Chink Widenmaier

    Rest In Peace General
    You’ll be remembered always as a
    A gentleman A leader and a friend held in the highest regard will always be remembered, never forgotten.
    Irreplaceable, gone to the fields of glory we all Salute you.


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