Brigadier-General EMD Leslie DSO, CD (1918-1979)
The son of another distinguished Canadian Gunner, Brigadier-General Edward Murray Dalziel “Teddy” McNaughton was born in Guildford, Somerset, England in October 1918. Educated in the United Kingdom and at Montreal’s Loyola College, he enlisted as a Gunner in the 1st Field Battery of Ottawa. Earning his commission in 1938, he enrolled in the Permanent Force in the following year, initially serving with “B” Battery, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.
Lieutenant McNaughton went overseas in December 1939 and served in the United Kingdom as an Instructor-in-Gunnery at the Canadian Army School of Artillery (Overseas), in Italy with the 5th Medium Regiment and in North-West Europe as Brigade Major, Royal Canadian Artillery, 5th Canadian Armoured Division. Promoted to Major in 1942, he was Mentioned-in-Dispatches on three occasions and awarded the United States’ Bronze Star. In 1943, he was selected to attend the Camberley Staff College.
He returned to Canada in 1945 to train with the Pacific Force (6th Canadian Division) and later returned to Europe for duty with the Canadian Army Occupation Force in Germany.
In 1951 he was promoted and appointed to command the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA), subsequently leading the regiment to Korea in the spring of 1952. By 5 May the 1st Regiment was fully in place and in action supporting the Commonwealth Division. Lieutenant-Colonel “Teddy” Leslie’s (he had changed his name to comply with the terms of an inheritance) leadership, technical gunnery skills and personal courage were the example for his officers and men. His brilliantly conceived fire plans were cited on numerous occasions by his supported arm commanders as the decisive factor in their operations. His consistent, unflagging efforts to provide the best possible fire support were recognized in the award of the Distinguished Service Order. He led his regiment home to Winnipeg after firing more than 300,000 rounds. Relinquishing command in 1955, he was assigned to Army Headquarters, Ottawa.
After training at the US Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, he was appointed Staff Planner with the NATO Standing Group in Washington. In March 1961, he was promoted Colonel and assumed command of the Royal Canadian School of Artillery at Camp Shilo, Manitoba. His considerable leadership skill and love of artillery were put to good use – he had a profound influence on the many thousands of gunners who passed through the school. August of 1966 brought promotion to Brigadier and appointment as Commander 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group in Petawawa.
In the summer of 1968, Brigadier-General Leslie was appointed Chief of Staff of the United Nation’s Force in Cyprus, the first Canadian officer to hold that position. His energetic and professional manner rapidly earned the respect of other national contingents and the trust of the opposing factions.
Returning to Canada in July 1972, he commanded Canadian Forces Base Borden until his retirement to pension in November of that same year. In January 1975, he accepted the appointment of Colonel Commandant, The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, a task he undertook with characteristic zeal until his death on 3 August 1979.
Brigadier-General Leslie was a passionate advocate of Canada. He was deeply committed to his profession, to his Regiment and to his soldiers. He is remembered fondly by three generations of Canadian Gunners for his unique character, love of life and dedication to his “Gunner Family”.