Fonds 109 David J. Robertson, Capt. Ret’d, fonds

David J. Robertson, Capt. Ret’d, fonds. — 1936-1987. — 2 cm of textual records. — 13 photographs. — 3 slides. — 25 negatives. — 1 sound recordings.


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Agency History

David James Robertson was born at Clive, Alberta (Ponoka area) in 1928, the oldest son of Alexander Reid Robertson from Dundee, Scotland and Harriet Elvira Wiltse of Grand Falls, North Dakota, USA. His father immigrated to Canada in 1912 and his mother came from the States in 1919.

“Robbie” showed an early interest in medical and military affairs. He took his Junior First Aid Course at age 8, and by age 17 was a member of the 17 Field Dressing Station Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) militia. In 1947 he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps as a Private. He trained as a hygiene technician at Camp Borden, Ontario, and in 1949 married Marie Alma Kathleen Kennedy from Toronto.

After spending some time training the Special Forces soldiers going to the Korean War, in 1951 Corporal Robertson himself went to Korea with the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group which was part of the First Commonwealth Division. He was the NCO in charge of an ADS (Advanced Dressing Station) Night Shift, then a CCP (Casualty Clearing Post) supporting the Royal 22nd Regiment. In 1952 he returned to Canada.

Back in Camp Borden, Sergeant Robertson taught Preventive Medicine for five years until he was sent to Germany as a brigade hygiene technician for the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group in 1957. In 1959 he was transferred back to Canada where he added the skills of medical accountant, senior NCO for an army cadet hospital in Vernon, B.C., and small arms instructor, and RCAMC instructor’s course to his resume. He also spent 13 months in Indo-China as a hygiene technician and medical assistant for the Canadian Delegation before returning to Borden as an instructor in Preventive Medicine at the RCAMC school. He also taught at the Nuclear Biological-Chemical Warfare School.

In 1967, Robertson was commissioned as a Lieutenant and sent to National Defence Headquarters as a Career Manager Medical Other Ranks. In 1970 he was promoted to the rank of Captain and returned to the Training School, now called the Canadian Forces Medical Services School (CFMSS). The remainder of his career was spent teaching Preventive and Nuclear Medicine. After his retirement in 1977, Capt. Robertson moved to Grande Prairie, AB and put his military training to use in the public sector as a safety inspector in the oil field. He has four sons: David born in 1949, Donald in 1951, Steven in 1955 and Charles Anthony (Tony) in 1957.

Custodial History

Records donated by Dave Robertson, Captain (Retired) in 2002.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a listing of personal history for Capt Robertson’s family; certificates showing his activities and training from a child of eight to his career in retirement; his Canadian Armed Forces Pay Books; souvenirs of the trip to Korea and the Ebisu Hotel in Tokyo. Photographs are of the Robertson family, Dave’s career in the military and his service at an Advance Dressing Station in Korea. The audio tape is a Dave Robertson recording regarding his family’s military history.

Notes

Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Table of Contents

Series 109.01Family and Childhood
Series 109.02Military Career
Series 109.03Korean Service
Series 109.04Retirement

 

Series 109.01Family and Childhood. — 1936-1947. — 5 items. — 4 photographs. — 1 negative. — 1 sound recordings.

The Alexander Robertson family had six children, of which David Robertson was the oldest. His siblings include a half-brother, Donald Ellsworth Wiltse, 1926; Grace Mary (Cecil Fowler) 1929; Jessie Ellen (Hauger), 1934; Gwendolyn Gwinovere (Tarrent), 1937; Alexander Reid Jr., 1941 and Catherine, 1948. The Robertson Family was, by circumstance and choice, a military family. Alexander Reid Robertson, Sr. joined the 10th battalion in 1914, served in France and Germany in WW I. In WW II he was the Regimental Sargeant-Major at basic training schools in Camrose and Dundurin, SK. He then worked as a Veterans’ Land Agent in Peace River and Grande Prairie. His stepson, Donald Elsworth Wiltse, born 1926 in Lacombe, served in the Pictou Highlanders in WW II, in the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry in Korea in 1951, and in Canada at Calgary and Esquimault, for a total of 26 years. David James Robertson showed an early interest in medical and military affairs. He took his Junior First Aid Course at age 8, and by age 18 was a member of the 17 Field Dressing Station Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. He joined the armed forces in 1947 and served for 30 years, until 1977. Alexander Reid Robertson Jr., born in Ponoka in 1941, was in the air cadets in Grande Prairie from age 12-18 and joined the army through the Officers Candidate Training Progarm. He became a member of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Armoured Regiment and served in Calgary, Germany, Egypt and other countries in the Middle East. Later he was an instructor at the Joint Nuclear Biological and Chemical School, retiring after 25 years of service. Together, father and sons served a total of 93 years for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The series consists of records from David’s childhood: a first aid certificate from 1936, a copy of his personal history form listing the members of his family and their birth places and dates, his certificate of discharge from 17 Field Dressing Station, a news clipping regarding his brother’s award as top cadet, and 5 images of the Robertson family.

 
David James Robertson, Age 5, 1933 c.
1 negative; b & w; 35 mm
David James Robertson (far left) with his half-brother, Donald Elsworth Wiltse, and his sister Grace at their grandparents home in Lacombe, Alberta c. 1933.
Location: 0109.01.1
Alex Robertson, Top Air Cadet, 1955 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 3
Alex Robertson of Grande Prairie received recognition for the highest marks in Western Canada during a training course at Camp Borden.
Location: 0109.01.2
Robertson Family, 1973
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 3
Gwen Robertson Tarrent, Dave Robertson, Grace Robertson Fowler, Alex Robertson and Jessie Robertson Hauger in the summer of 1973.
Location: 0109.01.3
Kennedy Family, 1975 c.
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 4
Ellen and Bob Kennedy with nephews Donald and Steven Robertson, and their daughter Sharon Kennedy.
Location: 0109.01.4
Grace & Cecil Fowler, Beaverlodge, 1975 c.
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 4
Grace and Cecil Fowler in the garden of their Beaverlodge home.
Location: 0109.01.5
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Series 109.02Military Career. — 1947-1977. — 1 cm of textual records. — 9 photographs. — 3 slides.Dave Robertson began his military career in 1946 when, at the age of 17, he joined the RCAMC Militia. In 1947 he enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Private with the medical branch. He trained in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps school in Borden, Ont. as part of the 37 Field Ambulance, RCAMC and in Manitoba as a parachutist. While there he assisted with the disaster caused by the Red River Flood in 1950. Cpl Robertson returned to Borden as an instructor for Special Forces being sent to Korea, and in 1951 he was posted to 25 Field Ambulance in Korea. He served as a medical assistant in Korea and in 1952 went back to Borden as base hygiene technician. In 1957 he was posted to the Canadian Infantry Brigade Group in Germany as the brigade hygiene tech, working out of the hospital in Iserlohn. Following this was a posting in Vancouver in 1959, and in the Canadian Delegation of the Truce Commission in Vien Tien Laos in 1961. He returned to Borden as staff sergeant, Canadian Forces Medical School until 1967, when he was commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant and posted to the Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa as a Career Manager in the Medical Personnel division. He was promoted to Captain in 1970 and went back to Borden as the Officer in Charge of the Preventive Medicine Training Section. Capt Robertson retired in 1977 after 30 years of service.The series consists of pay books from 1952-1961; a personal history completed for the Department of National Defence; documents showing his qualifications, activities and awards from Sergeant to Captain, a clipping regarding the Canadian Forces Medical Services School parade honouring Capt Robertson on his retirement, and 10 photographs taken at different stages of his career.
 
Rest and Relaxation during the Korean War, 1951
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 6
Six Canadian soldiers from the Korean War relaxing at Ebisu Hotel in Tokyo. The hotel was the R&R centre for the first commonwealth division made up of English, Austrailian, New Zealander and Canadian soldiers.
Location: 0109.02.01
Sgt D.J. Robertson, Instructor, 1954 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 4 x 5
Sgt Robertson using a cross-section of a soaker pit as a teaching tool at the Royal Canadian Army Military College at Borden, Ontario.
Location: 0109.02.02
Enroute to Germany by Boat, 1957
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3
Sgt Robertson, enroute to his new assignment as Brigade Hygiene Technician in Germany, relaxing with six fellow travelers.
Location: 0109.02.03
Sgt Robertson, Preventive Medical Technician, 1962 c.
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
“Captain Borden” (Sgt. Robertson) relaxing behind his desk at the Canadian Forces Medical Training Centre, Borden.
Location: 0109.02.04
Sgt Robertson in Indo-China, 1965 c.
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Sgt Robertson during his tour of duty in Indo-China. A monkey is perched on his back.
Location: 0109.02.05
Capt Robertson at National Defence Headquarters, 1968
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
Capt. Robertson in his office at the National Defence Headquarters when he was career manager of medical personnel.
Location: 0109.02.06
Capt. Robertson, Medical School Portrait, 1970
2 photographs; b & w; 5 x 7
Formal Identification Portrait of Capt. D.J. Robertson while he was at the Medical Training Centre at Borden.
Location: 0109.02.07
Nurses Basic Training, 1970 c.
1 photograph; colour; 3 x 4
Nurses pajama party during Nurses Basic Training at the Canadian Forces Medical Training Centre at Borden.
Location: 0109.02.08
Capt. Robertson in his Mess Kit, 1970 c.
1 slide; colour; 35 mm
Formal, full-length portrait of Captain David James Robertson in his mess kit.
Location: 0109.02.09
Canadian Forces Medical Services School, 1972
1 photograph; b & w; 6 x 10
Attendants at the Canadian Forces Medical Services School in 1972. Capt Robertson is on the far right.
Location: 0109.02.10
Presentation by Colonel McCullough, 1973
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
Sgt Robertson receiving a golfing award from Colonel McCullough, commandant of the Canadian Forces Medical Training Centre in Borden.
Location: 0109.02.11
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Series 109.03Korean Service. — 1951-1952. — 6 items.– 24 negatives.The Korean War broke out in 1950, and in 1951 the First Commonwealth Division was formed of units from England, Australia, India, New Zealand and Canada. Cpl Robertson became an instructor for the Special Forces, and in 1951, he himself was posted to the Advance Dressing Station at 25 Field Ambulance in Korea. After qualifying as a medical assistant, he was promoted to Sargeant and moved to a Casualty Clearing Post supporting the Royal 22nd Regiment of the Van Doos, then moved back to the Advance Dressing Station to run a field hospital. Sgt Robertson returned home in 1952.The series consists of one pay book for 1951-1952, souvenirs of the trip to Korea and the Ebisu Hotel in Tokyo where soldiers from the First Commonwealth Division went for rest and relaxation, and 25 photographs showing facilities and staff at the Advance Dressing Station of 25 Field Ambulance in Korea.
 
Serving in the Korean War, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Cpr Robertson and Sgt Ed Carver at 25 Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.01
25 Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Ambulance leaving the Advanced Dressing Station, under its Canadian Flag, for the Casualty Clearing Post.
Location: 0109.03.02
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Soldiers in Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson and another member of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps sparring.
Location: 0109.03.03
Advanced Dressing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Three tents at the Advanced Dressing Station where patients were processed (1st tent), treated (2nd tent) or hospitalized overnight (3rd tent).
Location: 0109.03.04
Advanced Dressing Station Dug-Out, 25 Field Ambulance, Korea, 1952 c.
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson in the entrance to the dug-out at the ADS. The dug-out was used for protection from enemy fire.
Location: 0109.03.05
Advanced Dressing Station Dug-Out, 25 Field Ambulance, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Close-up of Cpr Robertson in the entrance to the protective dug-out at the Advanced Dressing Station.
Location: 0109.03.06
Advanced Dressing Station during the Korean War, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Casualty being transferred from the ambulance to the Advanced Dressing Station, by Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.07
25 Field Ambulance at the ADS, Korean War, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Three medical officers from the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in front of two ambulances during the Korean War.
Location: 0109.03.08
Day Crew at the 25 Field Ambulance Advanced Dressing Station, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Day Crew at the Advanced Dressing Station.
Location: 0109.03.09
Day Crew at the 25 Field Ambulance Advanced Dressing Station, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps Day Crew at the Advanced Dressing Station.
Location: 0109.03.10
Personnel at the Advanced Dressing Station, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson, Sgt Ed Carver and a medical officer at the ADS. A 2 1/2 ton truck can be seen in the background.
Location: 0109.03.11
Personnel at the Advanced Dressing Station, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson, Sgt Ed Carver and a medical officer at the ADS. The “76” sign at the side is a tactical sign for field ambulance 25th brigade treatment centre.
Location: 0109.03.12
25 Field Ambulance at ADS Base, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Cpr Robertson in front of the ambulance at the ADS base.
Location: 0109.03.13
25 Field Ambulance at ADS Base, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson in front of the ambulance at the ADS base.
Location: 0109.03.14
Corporal David James Robertson, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Corporal David James Robertson ran the Advanced Dressing Station for 25 Field Ambulance, and later the Casualty Clearing Post for the Royal 22nd Regiment in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.15
Maintaining the ADS Base, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Maintenance worker painting machinery at the ADS base.
Location: 0109.03.16
Advanced Dressing Station Dispensary, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson dispensing tablets from an open rack in the ADS treatment tent.
Location: 0109.03.17
Advanced Dressing Station Dispensary, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
Cpr Robertson dispensing tablets from an open rack in the ADS treatment tent.
Location: 0109.03.18
Corporal David James Robertson, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Corporal David James Robertson ran the Advanced Dressing Station for 25 Field Ambulance, and later the Casualty Clearing Post for the Royal 22nd Regiment in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.19
Inside the Treatment Tent at the ADS, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
A Medical Officer examining a patient in front of the medicine rack in a tent at the Advanced Dressing Station for 25 Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.20
Inside the Treatment Tent at the ADS, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm.
A Medical Officer and clerk behind the admissions desk in the Advanced Dressing Station for 25 Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.21
Corporal David James Robertson, Korea, 1951
1 negative; b & w; 4 x 5 cm
Corporal David James Robertson ran the Advanced Dressing Station for 25 Field Ambulance, and later the Casualty Clearing Post for the Royal 22nd Regiment in Korea.
Location: 0109.03.22-24
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Series 109.04Retirement. — 1951-1952. — 0.5 cm of textual records.After his retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces, Capt Robertson applied the training he had received as a medical and health officer to a civilian career in the Petroleum Industry.The series consists of various certificates for safety and first aid courses taken to keep his training relevant while in the oil field.
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