General Henry Duncan Graham (Harry) Crerar (1888 - 1965)
Historians identify Hamilton’s H.D.G (Harry) Crerar as “the most important Canadian soldier in WWII”. After working at the Canadian Tungsten Light Company on Cannon Street, he joined Hamilton’s 4th Field Battery for WWI; escaping death at Ypres and helping secure victory at Vimy Ridge. A quiet and modest man, he was tasked with raising and leading the greatest army Canada has known. As General Officer commanding the First Canadian Army during WWII, his force of 500,000 allied troops was legend; with Dwight D. Eisenhower citing Crerar’s exemplary skill and valour. Returning from battle in 1946, 20,000 Hamiltonians turned out to give him a thunderous welcome. He retired to Ottawa soon thereafter, and died there in 1965 his place in Canadian history well-earned.