The Military Museums

Donald McDaniel

Donald 'Deep' McDaniel was born in Calgary in December 1916, the son of the late Dorsey McDaniel and his mother Daisy Rogers.

Donald McDaniel

Donald 'Deep' McDaniel was born in Calgary in December 1916, the son of the late Dorsey McDaniel and his mother Daisy Rogers.

Donald McDaniel

Early Years

Deep's early years were spent on the High River Wheat and Cattle Company’s Ranch some 20 miles southwest of the town of High River, Alberta. The ranch was an extensive operation, running over 2,500 cattle on some 20,000 acres of prime ranch land.

Deep’s ranching expectations were cut short in 1928 with the forced sale of the ranch due to low cattle prices and large bank loans. Having lost the farm, the family moved back to Calgary.

After graduating from Western Canada High School, Deep moved to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta where he graduated with a degree in Law in 1942. He was admitted to the Bar in 1943. This all came with a great deal of satisfaction to his father, who not having much formal education had been, with good reason, very suspect of the legal world.

Deep was a big, strong man, but jovial and fun loving individual. His hearty laugh could be heard at every gathering. He was very dedicated to the army and to army life at university. As soon as he was admitted to the Bar, he enlisted in the regular army.

In the meantime, he found his great love in one Mary Payne, a beautiful and well-educated girl from Red Deer, Alberta. They were soon married. After more training, Deep was off to England as an artillery officer. His strong sense of loyalty to his country was his guide to army life.

Shortly after his departure, Mary produces his son Forbes Roderick (McDaniel) Campbell. All of this was to his huge delight even away from his great love Mary.

Military Service

Deep continued his training in England; however artillery officers were not greatly needed during the invasion into France and Europe.

Anxious to get into action, he finally transferred to the Calgary Highlanders Infantry Battalion which was in action in Holland. In the meanwhile, his younger brother, Rod, had joined the reserve Battalion of that regiment in Calgary, all of which greatly pleased Deep.

Deep survived the Battle of the Walcheren Causeway, but a few weeks later while scouting a German position with his platoon, Deep was lost on December 7, 1944 in a mortar attack. This was a great loss not only to his wife, family and friends, but to his country – Canada – which he loved so dearly.

A great tribute to him was the fact that after the war was over, Deep’s friends literally adopted younger brother Rod in his replaced role for the rest of their and Rod’s life.

Deep’s son, Forbes, lived in Quesnel, British Columbia. He and his wife, have five children. Deep would have been very pleased and no doubt, a dotting grandfather.

Sponsored by HCol Rod McDaniel in honour of his brother, Lt Donald ‘Deep’ McDaniel (1916 - 1944)

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