Major John Frederick “Si” Sininger, MiD, CD (Ret’d)

    • Major John Frederick “Si” Sininger, MiD, CD (Ret’d)
    • RCE Badge EIIR
    • Major John Frederick “Si” Sininger, MiD, CD (Ret’d)

    We regret to advise of the death of Major John Frederick “Si” Sininger, MiD, CD (Ret’d) at the Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford General Hospital in Abbotsford, BC on 21 October 2003 at the age of 84. Si served 29 years with the Royal Canadian Engineers and the Canadian Military Engineers.

    Si was born at the Little Horseguard District near Alhambra, AB. In June 1940, at the age of 22, he enlisted in the Canadian Army Active Service Force and joined the 78th Battery Royal Canadian Artillery in Red Deer, AB. He served with the Artillery until his transfer to the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1942. His first tour with the RCE was with No 1 Chemical Warfare and Mortar Companyin Owen Sound, ON as a Platoon Sergeant and instructor in mortars and chemical warfare. When that unit disbanded in August 1943, he was posted to the 2nd Canadian Division as a member of 1 Field Park Company, RCE in England.

    Promoted to Company Sergeant Major, Si landed in France on D-Day plus 1 and served with that unit through France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany until the cessation of hostilities in Europe. He took part in the Battle for Carpiquet Airport and the Battles of Caen and the Falaise Gap. He marched through Dieppe after the city was liberated and then advanced through Belgium to Antwerp and the Scheldt Estuary. In Spring 1945, he saw action at the Twent Canal, Appeldorn and Hangelow, NL as the Allies crossed the Rhine into Germany. For his exemplary service and devotion to duty Si was Mentioned in Dispatches and received a special citation from Field Marshal Montgomery.

    Repatriated to Canada with 13th Field Company, RCE in October 1945, he was assigned to the Administration and Training Staff responsible for organizing and setting up the RCE Militia units in Alberta.In 1947 he was posted to 23rd Field Company RCE at Camp Chilliwack, BC as that unit’s first post-war Company Sergeant Major. In May 1948 he was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Training Wing, Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering. He earned his Parachutist Wings in 1948 and during the Fraser River flood that same year, was the co-ordinator of military and civilian relief workers at Rosedale, BC. Promoted to Warrant Officer First Class in 1950, he was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of RCSME as one of the younger peacetime RSMs in the Canadian Army. He held the double position of RSM of RCSME and Camp Chilliwack for eight years.

    In 1958, Si was appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major of The Royal Military College, Kingston, the Canadian Army’s most senior and prestigious RSM appointment.  He served in that position until 1961.

    Upon leaving RMC, he was commissioned to the rank of Captain and posted to RCSME, Camp Chilliwack where, during the period 1961-65, he served as Recruit Squadron Training Officer, Second-in-Command and Acting Officer Commanding. He was promoted to the rank of Major in 1966 and appointed Officer Commanding Recruit Training Squadron followed by command of Field Engineer Squadron. Si retired in 1969.

    Si was one of the driving forces behind the opening in 1957 of the RCE Museum in Chilliwack as well as being a founding member and organizer of the Royal Canadian Engineer (Retired) Sapper Association in Chilliwack. In honour of his outstanding and dedicated service to the Royal Canadian Engineers, the main auditorium at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering in CFB Chilliwack was named “Sininger Hall”. After the closure of CFB Chilliwack his memory was perpetuated by the naming of “Sininger Place” in the Garrison Crossing complex in Vedder Crossing, BC.

    Si was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #15 in Abbotsford BC. At his request there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life will be held at the Rhombus Hotel in Chilliwack on 1 November 2003. {gdFeb2016kh}