Maj Gen R. O. G. Morton,
CBE, CD, MiD
Born at Toronto 1 August 1895, Ralph Otter Geoffrey Morton was the grandson of Sir William Otter. He spent six years at St. Andrew's College from 1907 to 1912 before heading to Royal Military College where he received his “Certificate of Military Qualification” in October 1914.
He initially joined the militia as an artillery officer, but transferred to the active force in September 1916 and went overseas with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. He arrived in France in January and served for four months before contracting Scarlet Fever and would spend much of the next year recovering. Nevertheless he managed to return overseas in July 1918.
After the war, Captain Morton joined the permanent force and continued to serve as an artillery officer. He attended the Gunnery Officer Staff Course in 1923 and the Staff College at Camberley in 1929. During the interwar period he held a variety of staff positions and commands with the horse artillery through Military Districts 10 and 11.
When WW2 began, he was a Lieutenant Colonel serving with National Defense Headquarters and was sent overseas in June 1941. In February 1942 he was promoted directly to Brigadier and was appointed CRA of the 5th Armoured Division. He later went on to be deputy commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and eventually command 1st Army Headquarters in the summer of 1944. In November he was sent back to Canada where he spent the next two years as Deputy Commanding Officer of Military District 10.
His post-war appointments included General Officer Commanding of Prairie Command and Quebec Command, the later coming after a promotion to Major General in 1948. In 1950 the French government made him an Officer of the Legion of Honour for his role in the liberation of France 6 years earlier. He was awarded his Canadian Decoration on October 2, 1950 which was followed by two bars. He resigned his command in November 1951 and retired to the supplementary reserve the following December.
In retirement he enjoyed one of his hobbies - travel. In 1960 he embarked upon a yearlong vacation in Europe where he died on November 15th, 1961 at Palma, Spain possibly due to sequelae from scarlet fever. He was 66 years old.
"This officer was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Artillery Permanent Active Militia on 19 October 1914. He served both overseas and in Canada during the war 1914-1919. This officer has served continuously with the Canadian Army since 1914 and in September 1939 held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was General Staff Officer Grade I at Military District No.10, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In October 1940 he was appointed General Staff Officer (Training) Grade I, National Defence Headquarters where he remained until proceeding overseas in June 1941. After holding several General Staff appointments overseas this officer was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Commander, Royal Canadian Artillery, 5 Canadian Armoured Division on 31 January 1943. On 13 January 1944 Brigadier Morton was posted to 3 Canadian Infantry Division Increment as Deputy Divisional Commander; on 16 June 1944 he was appointed Deputy Commander on Headquarters Deputy Commander First Canadian Army and on 31 August 1944 he was detailed to command Headquarters Army Troops Area, First Canadian Army. Brigadier Morton held the last appointment until 19 September 1944. He returned to Canada in October 1944 and on 28 November of the same year was appointed District Officer Commanding, Military Distract No.10 which appointment he still holds. Brigadier Morton was Mentioned in Despatches for outstanding service. His long, faithful and efficient service is considered worthy of recognition."