Kimpton, Percy Harry Allan
|Percy Harry Allan Kimpton|
|29 March 1921 – 13 September 2004|
|Place of birth||Toronto, Ontario|
|Place of death||Ottawa, Quebec|
Al Kimpton was born in Toronto on March 29, 1921, the son of Lt. Percy Francis Kimpton, and Clara Bulman of London, England. His parents had moved to Canada on the advice of their physicians as the drier Canadian air better for Percy’s breathing as well as Clara’s rheumatoid arthritis. His father’s service in the Great War and the fact he died when Al was only a teenager led to him developing a love of all things military, not only serving but collecting items wherever he could as well.
He joined 3rd Divisional Signals, a Reserve Force unit, on March 26, 1943, having had to challenge the recruiting office to allow him to join. At first rejected due to the fact that he had one leg shorter than the other due to an accident as a child when he was 2 years old. First wanting to join the Air Force along with his best friend Stewart ("Bud") Sherwood who had already joined, he was rejected. He then wrote to then Primer Minister Mackenzie King stating that he saw no reason why if rejected for permanent regular force deployment due to his disability that he could not serve in some fashion on this side of the Atlantic. Mackenzie King agreed, meeting with him over coffee in the Prime Minister’s Office on Parliament Hill and providing him a letter to take to the recruiting office who felt he would be best suited to 3rd Divisional Signals. Al loved everything about his military career despite only be able to be a reservist. He was an avid collector of all things military, but most especially Signals - the place where he was able to find a home.
Al rose through the ranks quickly, and was a Sgt by the time the Second World War ended. By 1968 he was promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and held the appointment of RSM 3rd Signal Regiment and proud as punch to be so. He had the honour of being the last RSM of 3 Sigs and the first RSM of the then renamed 703 (Ottawa) Communication Regiment.
His term of RSM came to an end November 3, 1973, short of him earning his second rosette for his Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) which was awarded for long service. After failing to get the short extension needed, he was left no choice to earn his much desired second rosette except to continue his service elsewhere. Although he never wanted to be an officer he joined 2332 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (affiliated with 703 Communication Regiment) and was Commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant in the Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC). He served as their Administration Officer until July 1975 and earned his second rosette for 32 years of service. Although he never liked the fact that he was an officer, he certainly enjoyed helping the younger generation in the cadets and they were extremely happy to have him as stated in memos found in his military file. "It is rare that someone with 30 years in the militia is willing to turn around and devote time and energy to the cadets" and so they were happy for his service!
Among his many accomplishments, Al was an amateur artist. His pencil drawings of everyone from Presidents, Prime Ministers, Royal family members, sports personalities and Hollywood stars accumulated a collection of hundreds of autographed photographs and letters of appreciation from those his sketched. As an eighteen year old he caught the attention of the then Queen Elizabeth.
For his "day" job, he started as a young man as an office clerk in the Department of Munitions and Supply. He remained a government employee and finished up his government career many years later in Income Tax as a forms designer. While at Income Tax he met his future wife, Doreen Irene McMenomy of Bowesville, Ontario whom he married on 18 May 1957 in Ottawa. Together they had one daughter, Deitra Claire, born 5 December 1959 in Ottawa.
Once retired from both the military and the government, Al went on to become an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion (Montgomery Branch 351, Ottawa) serving on the Poppy campaigns, as Treasurer, and other posts on the Executive, finishing up as Branch President. His wife Doreen was a great support to Al throughout his military and legion careers, being part of both the ladies auxiliaries in the unit and the legion branch.
Al died on 13 September 2004 in Ottawa Ontario and is buried at Capital Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Al's wife Doreen died 31 March 2018 in Ottawa Ontario and is now with Al.
References and Notes
- Lt Percy Kimpton served in the Great War in the 3rd Battalion The London Regiment Royal Fusliers, dying at a very young age as a result of mustard gas poisoning
- Deitra Kimpton, daughter.
- He was awarded first awarded the CD in 1955 after 12 years service. [Canadian Army Order 441 128-25 30 May 1955]
- Toronto Star article photo