Hugh Clifford Chadderton CC OOnt OStJ CLJ CAE DCL LLD was born in Fort William (Thunder Bay) Ontario, son of William Clifford Chadderton and Gladys Muriel (Blackburn) Chadderton.
He worked as a news editor for the Winnipeg Free Press and attended the University of Manitoba.
Chadderton enlisted on October 15, 1939 with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and went from a non-commissioned officer to company commander. He was four months in combat in France and Belgium.
Chadderton was one of 14,000 Canadians, with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 3rd Canadian Armoured Brigade, who landed on Juno Beach, Normandy, during D-Day June 6, 1944. By the end of the day casualties numbered 1,074 of which 359 were fatal. Chadderton was one of those who survived the fierce action.
From D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy, to VE Day, May 8th, 1945, the Canadian army fought in seven major battle campaigns i.e. the invasion itself, the capture of Caen, the Falaise Gap, clearing the coastal ports, the Scheldt, the Rhineland and the liberation of Holland.
By the time the 2nd British Army captured Antwerp on September 4th, Allied supply lines had been stretched beyond the limit. It now became critical that this inland seaport be opened to Allied shipping.
The Canadian Army had to silence the great coastal guns, on Walcheren Island at the mouth of the Scheldt, and to do this, had first to wipe out the German forces on both sides of the 80 kilometres of estuary from Antwerp to the sea: - the 2nd Division, the north bank, and the 3rd Division (Chadderton’s divisision) the south bank - the south bank being a huge, heavily defended area, called the Breskens Pocket.
The crossing of the Leopold Canal was crucial to the outcome of the battle. The assault was undertaken by the 7th Brigade including the Winnipeg Rifles, under appalling conditions. Aided by 25 flame-throwing wasps, it initially was successful, but it took seven days to gain a mere thousand yards. It was during this time that Mr. Chadderton as a company commander, suffered multiple wounds from a German grenade that eventually cost him his right leg below the knee from gangrene.
His amputation has led to a life-long career in veteran, amputee and rehabilitation causes.
Since 1965, he has been Chief Executive Officer of the War Amputations of Canada where he initiated the internationally-recognized Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, as well as numerous other programs for Canadian amputees.
He also holds the position of Chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada (49 member groups). His vast knowledge and expertise in the field of pension legislation has benefited all veterans.
Chadderton is well-known for producing the The War Amps NEVER AGAIN! documentary series. He has also written numerous articles on veterans’ issues, rehabilitation and amputation books.
For his contribution in both the war and civilian life, he has received numerous awards and honours including Companion of the Order of Canada in 1999 and Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France in 2004.