Trooper George Diggon
George Montague Diggon was born in Toronto in 1917, but grew up in the Killyleagh area near Innisfil, Ontario.
George was raised by foster parents William and Sadie Walker on their farm, and grew up believing that his name was Jack Walker. It wasn't until his late teenage years that George discovered his true name and parentage. Some years later George moved to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and was working at the Cyanamid Company when the Second World War broke out.
Governor General's Horse Guards
Not long after, George enlisted with the Governor General's Horse Guards (GGHG), a regiment formally created as a cavalry unit in 1936 through the amalgamation of the Governor General's Body Guard and the Mississauga Horse.
The mobilization of Canadian Forces saw the creation of the Canadian Armoured Corps which included motorcycle reconnaissance regiments, which were chosen because they were inexpensive alternatives to armoured cars, which the Canadian Army in 1940 did not have and could not get quickly.
The GGHG reached Camp Borden in August 1940 and discovered they were no longer in the cavalry and were now tasked with learning how to ride motorcycles.
In January 1943, the Horse Guards were renamed as the 3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (Governor General's Horse Guards), equipped with armoured vehicles and tasked as the reconnaissance regiment for the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, a part of the 1st Canadian Corps.
In December 1943, the Regiment landed in Italy where they relieved the British 7th Armoured Division, and during the following winter, the Regiment replaced much of the worn out British armour with new Sherman M4 tanks.
In May 1944, the 5th Armoured Regiment took part in the Liri Valley Offensive and the breakthrough of the Hitler Line. It was during this offensive that George was wounded, when he was hit by a bullet which shattered his lower jaw.
George was evacuated to a field hospital and once he was well enough, he returned to England and eventually back to Canada to convalesce. Later that year, on 24 October, 1944 as the Regiment made its way up the Adriatic Coast to cross the Savio river, George's good friend Sergeant Alexander Chambers was killed in action.
In 1945, George would eventually reconnect with Alex's widow Mary Quinn Chambers in Toronto and they later married. Mary was always called "Molly". When the war ended, George returned to Niagara Falls.
After the war, Molly recalled how members of the Regiment looked as they whipped through the streets of Toronto during the fall and winter, often losing control of their machines as they slid out in the snow or after hitting the streetcar rails.
George and his wife expanded their family with daughter Rae and sons Daniel, William and Cameron. The Walkers retired from farming in 1944 and moved into Cookstown, where William Walker died in 1955. George continued every year to bring his family back to visit "Grandma Sadie".