Harold Robertson Scarff (Tim) Ellis was born on April 18th, 1916. He joined the 8th New Brunswick Hussars in 1940, going on to serve for the entirety of the Second World War.
In July 1941, Tim Ellis came to Camp Sussex for training. In time, he was eventually deployed with the Regiment in the Italian Campaign and was promoted to Major in command of "B" Squadron before the battle at Coriano Ridge.
Ellis proved to be a successful commander, whose tactical skill and initiative earned him the Distinguished Service Order, which was awarded to him on September 14th, 1944.
After the war, Tim was Honorary Lt.-Col of the Regiment from 1992-1995; he died May 10th, 2011.
As an Officer in the Canadian Army, Ellis was required to enroll in the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. Ellis personally completed his initial training at the University of Toronto. Cadets completed various courses in a variety of fields depending on their branch of the Armed Forces. As Ellis was in the 8th Hussars, much of his training involved driving and maintenance of mechanical vehicles, both tracked and wheeled.
Other courses included Principles of Instruction, Elementary Military Law, Field Service Regulations, and Basic Military Tactics.
Once deployed, however, training did not stop, and officers were expected to keep up with new developments in warfare, and acquire new skills.
In his book, This Hussar Remembers, Ellis recounts one lecture given by a British officer in a tank instructors course. "One of our instructors, an expert on carburetion, was a Captain (who must remain nameless) from one of the old English Cavalry Regiments gone Armoured and was a source of much banter within our group. Middle aged, always immaculately turned out in shining leather and gleaming brass, strolling about in a cloud of aftershave, he had the florid complexion and watery eyes which made up what the English called an "expensive face" and this topped off with a forage cap pushed wall-back on his head, the visor angled heavenward."
At the 8th Hussars Museum, we are fortunate to have acquired many of the training texts Ellis used during his time in the 8th Hussars. They provide valuable insight into his time as an officer.
Along with the lecture notes, Ellis would have been required to have been familiar with the maintenance of tanks and other tracked vehicles used by the 8th Hussars.
Titled "Exercise Book" Ellis used this to record notes while on an instructors course in Bovington in 1942, The book contains numerous hand written notes and hand drawn diagrams.
A booklet from the War Office outlining basic standards required to be met by British and Commonwealth soldiers in 1943. Infantrymen were required to hit 2/3 targets with a rifle at 200 yards, machine gunners were expected to perform a reload drill in ten seconds, and the infantrymen was expected to run a mile in 5 minutes 30 seconds or less to achieve full marks. A grade of 84% on the test was considered "Special" whilst 48% was "Standard."