Farewell Benny a Brother Apprentice
Rest in Peace Marcel “Benny” LeMarbre
14 Platoon RCASC (A) 1958-1960
How does one write about a Soldier like Benny, a Proud Family Man, Proud Canadian, a larger than life man.
Benny started his army career as a 16 year old Soldier Apprentice. He began in the RCOC School Montreal, as a first
Before heading off to Camp Borden to complete his Apprentice Trades Training as a Transport Operator. His chosen
career, saw him rise through the ranks from Private Apprentice to SWO of his beloved Helicopter Squadron.
He saw Service in NATO Germany both North and South, The Middle East on UN duties. He was a man that was a
professional soldier at all times. Never have I heard a bad word against him. He was the type of man who would give
you the shirt of his back, if you needed it. After his military time he devoted himself to Veterans causes, being a
member of the Legion, NATO Vets of Canada, UN Peacekeepers association and both his Corps and Apprentice
Benny had a love for the world, which he shared with anyone who shared his path in life. Benny served with
distinction and an unending supply of harmonious leadership. He simple loved the world and all its peoples.
When Benny retired he never forgot his military and was a keen member of many Veterans organisations.
He could always be found selling poppies for his Legion, attending meetings of interest to all Veterans.
Benny married his first true love Christa while on his first tour of Germany. A marriage which has lasted well over
half a century. They were both proud members and organisers of the Canadian German Club in both Ottawa and
Lahr. I leave you with these words.
Farewell my brother apprentice, we shall meet again at the RV Point of the advance party. Your family will be
cared for by your comrades, know that you will always be remembered.
Funeral arrangements will be available on the RCASC web Site
A collection of photos of the life of Benny LeMarbre.
Sorry to hear such sad news especially at this time of the year. Benny tu vas nous manquer a nous tous. You be in
our thoughts for ever.
A Memory from George Girling 16 pl
Friday was inspection day but we were out of bounds to staff. I am sure there were many envious guys
around, and pissed off staff. It kind of bothered us, after a night of drinking, to have the noise of the
inspection preparation on Friday Mornings, I distinctly remember Benny Lemarbre banging on a garbage
can lid, many times, trying to piss us off
Despite the apprentice shenanigans Benny was a true Friend for over ½ a century
A Memory from Lee Roberge
I was PERO in Lahr, Germany from 1978-81 when Benny came and introduced himself to me.
He was a corporal then, but a doer. He wanted to be involved in sports. Benny became the chief umpire for the CFE
softball league, he officiated in the broomball league and was an official with the CFE Hockey league. Among many
other activities he was involved in, I would always see Benny at weekend Volksmarch in various villages in and
around Lahr. Perhaps he liked trucking better than Physical Training, but he certainly would have been a great
organizer in the PE&R Branch. Guess our background as Soldier Apprentices enable a quick connection of ideas and
we developed a keen working relationship in Sports which lasted until I was posted out in 1981.
The next time I heard of Benny, I was located in the desert at El Gorah, Egypt. He had been the unit MWO for LCol
“Doc” Purich with whom I shared accommodation at El Gorah. LCol “Doc” Purich was the Commanding Officer of the
helicopter Squadron in Ottawa where Benny was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer. In El Gorah, LCol Purich was
the Air Operation Officer for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
After I retired, in the city of Ottawa in the early 1990’s, I ran into Benny at various functions of RCASC(A) from time
to time and of course at Soldier Apprentice Reunions in Camp Borden.
I am truly sorry to hear that Benny is ailing. Could you please tell me more about the nature of his illness. Please
keep me in the loop concerning developments with regards to Benny
A few more Photos over the years:
Benny and Christa passed the ½ century mark in their Marriage
Farewell my Brother
Here is Benny’s story from our Apprentice History Book as written by himself.
Joseph Benjamin Marcel Lemarbre
14 Pl 1958-1960
I was born in Maisonneuve quarter of Montreal east end 27 July 1940,my father at that time had corner
stores so we moved when he had better offers and he also had a milk run or a bread run with horses. But
the longest stay was in Rosemont at Iberville & Masson where I completed my seventh grade and my first
Army cadet Corps at Louis Hebert school, during that period I delivered groceries with my little cart at
Dominion & Steinberg on Fridays and Saturdays than as I got bigger I started to work at a drug store after
school delivering goods on my bicycle. I also did a stage at a Brotherhood school in Richeliieu Québec two
years, also than in the Army cadet corps of this school, this school did not turn me on, I missed the girls and
Montreal to much so returning home I was back in high school(Ecole secondaire) where I quit to go to work
full time, I first worked in a mirror shop where I learned how to silver plate the glass into mirrors, my dad
working than at Canadair I joined the Air cadet 588 Sqn. for a year, then went on to work with my grandfather on his barge in the St Lawrence River as a barge matelot, I was 16 then that is when I saw the
Apprentice poster and joined with my father completely against it, he said then" I will not send my son as
cannon flesh" typical Québéquois reaction I had to get the parish priest and a military counciller to clear
the way and finally getting him to sign. Since my birthday was in July they told me to stay with my grand pa
till June 1957 and come in it was a month before my 17 so I was not to long on the $ 55 pay, lucky me
Eh!!! From 4PD Longueil to the RCOC Apprentice school as a Franco RCASC learning English to Borden in
58 ,graduation to 3TPT Borden 59 moved to Gagetown where I was part of the Army Day Motorcycle
Display Team and played hockey defence for 3 truck won a few and scored a few it was a good year until
posted to Egypt UNEF 1 ,loved my UN tour wanted to stay longer but after almost 14 months they took me
out to 4 Coy RCASC Chabanel QC not a good posting I was in caca there from day one till. I finally got to 1
truck in Germany where I married Christa and started my family, back to Canada I went to Valcartier
arrived in December 65, late because of our new born daughter had to wait 3 months before she could fly
,arrived Valcartier from my parents in Montreal where we left the kids, in a snow storm my poor Christa
never had she seen so much snow they had to take us to our PMQ on a Ski Doo, by the way I had no car we
arrived by Voyager bus to Québec city than local bus to the base with 4 big suit case furniture & rest of our
belongings to come later (after the snow storm Ha! Ha!).Than it was to my new unit 2 FD Ambulance with
CSM Sieger and RCAMC RSM well known long distance runner Mr Latulippe, got my JLC it was a very good
posting my son Michael was born in Loretteville . I was trained on TTB the troop carrier ambulance
version . Back to Germany at Fort Henry in 67 for a brief stay got transfer to HQ 1 truck where I got my
Mcpl and the move to Fort Qu'Appelle, then to Lahr to come back to Soest for the close out. I remained in
Lahr till 73 after completing my Senior leader , I was posted to PARADISE CFS Lac St Denis 55 miles north of
Montreal where I went on my heavy equipment course in Chilliwack with the Engineer excellent nearly 4
month course than was promoted Sgt. It was back to Germany in 75 to S & T Coy 4 Svc BN as Platoon
Admin Sgt where I did a year at Base Tpt Heavy equipment section as NCO Ic with Jim Purcell as my WO
love this guy a real gentleman. back to S & T as acting A Platoon WO replacing Bill Courtice when he was
promoted to MWO ,bad time for me at this stage where I did not agree with my CSM policy and was not
in his clique, who became my career manager later and held me 7 years as a WO.Posted in 80 to CFB
Upland Base TPT for two years than to 450 Heavy Helicopter Sqn as the SWO for the next 6 years where I
saw lots of country and places like England, Scotland, Norway and numerous trips to US bases in the states
got my MMM from them as a super SWO that provided support, training and understanding above and
beyond the call of duties thus putting lots of controversies on my enemies in the Logistic family to bad so
sad Eh!!!.than it was back to Germany for a last stand as MWO Base Transport till I took my release under
the troops reduction plan. Stayed in Lahr as a civilian with a year`s contract with the Military Police as
traffic officer than decided to move back to Canada to Ottawa where we had rented our house. Retirement
was difficult at first I had to go back to work so I joined the 28 Svc Bn as MWO to 55 than served 10 as
Commissionaire till complete retirement at 65. Now that I am 70 looking back it has been a full and very
productive life, full of excitement, good and hard times but if it was to start all over again I would change a
few things but not to much. "Keep On Truckin" Benny" The Super Frog"
Forgot if you have questions or need some photos let me know...Forgot to mention I serve a total of 37
years including my militia year and I wore a uniform since I was 10 Army & Air Cadet. As an Apprentice in
Montreal I was 24 Platoon RCASC played hockey ,Basket Ball and organized party at the base Apprentice
Coy with the help of my sisters and their friends to the delight of all the Franco RCASC. In Borden I was 14
& 16 Platoon 16 was formed after a few months in the second year to accommodate the cooks they took
an array of truckers and clerk to make a platoon till we went back to our original platoon for graduation.
Most francs gathered in Montreal after graduation to celebrate at a hall that my parents had rented and
my oldest sister was the master of ceremony it was a great party than all went home for a well earned
The Apprentices gave me strength in overcoming some of my frustrations of life gave compared and an
everlasting family to this day I can never be thankful enough for this accomplishment. Many kids today
would surely profit from such a program unfortunately no one want to hear about they all say it would be
to costly I say if you save one life from despair and hopelessness you have accomplished something
AMEN Nil Sine Labore “Keep on Trucking”