Sgt Ronald Ford "Andy" Anderson (Ret’d)

    • Sgt Ronald Ford 'Andy' Anderson (Ret’d)
    • RCE GVIR Badge
    • Sgt Ronald Ford 'Andy' Anderson (Ret’d)

    We regret to advise of the death of Sergeant Ronald Ford 'Andy' Anderson (Ret'd) on 3 November 2015 in the Toronto Western Hospital after quietly celebrating his 93rd birthday.  

    Ron was born in Toronto. He was a veteran of the Second World War and went overseas to England with the 2nd Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers in June 1941. Ron was an expert with explosives and is said to have trained hundreds of soldiers in demolitions in the days leading up to D-Day.  He attained the rank of sergeant in England and,upon volunteering for service in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, was accepted as a Platoon Sergeant on the basis of his Sapper skills.  He completed his jump course at Ringway, England in May 1944 and was taken on strength with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in September 1944.

    As part of the 6th British Airborne Division, Ron and the battalion sailed to Belgium on Christmas Day 1944 and joined the fighting in the closing days of the Battle of the Bulge - the only Canadian unit in that battle. From there, the Battalion was moved to the Netherlands and took part in active patrolling efforts in preparation for the Rhine Crossing.  After a period of rest in England, Ron jumped during Operation VARSITY aimed at establishing a firm bridgehead over the Rhine in Germany.  The battalion then marched eastwards to defend the area around the town of Wismar in an effort to block Soviet troops from continuing too far into the West. The Battalion remained there for several weeks after V-E Day, holding back the Russian Army while processing fleeing civilians, POWs and surrendering German military members.

    Following his return from war in June 1945, Ron joined the Toronto Police. He and his partner and lifelong friend, Constable Warren Shaddock, were the first responders to the fire aboard the cruise ship Noronic in the Toronto Harbour on 17 September 1949. The Noronic fire was one of the worst maritime disasters in Canadian history with 119 people killed. Ron jumped into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario amid blazing patches of oil and spend hours rescuing passengers who were jumping from the ship. Ron left the police force after ten years and became a traffic engineer and starting a long and distinguished career with the Township/Borough/City of Scarborough as Executive Assistant to four successive Mayors until he retired in 1986. He was a proud recipient of both the Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

    A celebration of Ron's life will be held on Wednesday, 25 May 2016, at 2:00 p.m., at the Royal Canadian Military Institute, 426 University Avenue, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ron's memory could be made to:

    Robert Land Academy
    (for its 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Museum)
    6727 South Chippawa Road
    Wellandport, ON L0R 2J0



    Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
    (please designate donation for the TWH Asthma & Airway Centre)
    585 University Avenue
    Toronto, ON M5G 9Z9 {khNov2015}


    Read Historica Canada's interview with Andy.