C. Churchill Mann CBE DSO CD was born in Nutley, New Jersey USA, son of Clarence C. Mann and Florence Chisholm (Dowling) Mann. His parents brought him to Canada in 1910 when he was six years old. He was educated at Upper Canada College in Toronto and at the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario.
In 1927 he joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons and in 1939 enrolled in the Staff College at Camberley, England. Next he was appointed to the staff of General Andrew McNaughton’s 7th Corps.
Just before the August 19, 1942, raid on the French port of Dieppe, Mann was promoted to Brigadier General and was appointed Deputy Military Force Commander aboard HMS Fernie at Dieppe. After some months in command of the 7th Infantry Brigade, General Harry Crerar chose Mann as his Chief of Staff for the impennding invasion of Normandy, France.
Apart from running one of the Allies most efficient headquarters, Mann found solutions to some difficult tactical problems. One of these occurred during preparations for the great Canadian night attack down the Caen-Falaise road, when armoured personnel carriers were to be used for the first time.
Less than 48 hours before the attack, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris forbade the use of bombers to provide the main fire support because of the danger of hitting friendly troops. Mann proposed an "artificial bomb line" of coloured smoke shells, which he was convinced could be seen from the air at night.
After dark that evening the method was tested and approved by bomber crews in the air; Harris agreed and the brilliantly succesful attack went ahead.
Later in the Northwest Europe campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary and open the port of Antwerp for badly needed supplies, the success of the complex tri-service operations including the assault on Walcheren Island and the major operations in the assault of the "Rhineland" owed much to Mann’s skill and ingenuity.
After the war he was promoted to major general and vice chief of the General Staff at Ottawa Headquarters. It was a frustrating time as there was great pressure to reduce Canada’s wartime army to its former impotence with no discernible international role.
Mann did much to restore waning morale by focusing the army’s attention on airborne operations in the Arctic; and he led the conversio of its regular infantry battalions to parachute units by qualifying as a jumper himself.
He was awarded the Distinguished service Order (DSO) for his role in the Dieppe Raid. He was twice "Mentioned in Desptches" and was awarded the United States Legion of Merit decoration. He also received the "Order of Orange Nassau" from the government of the Netherlands.
In 1930 he married Eleanor Victoria McLaughlin. They had two children of their own and adopted three more.
In 1949 he retired to his farm at Newmarket, Ontario, to raise Aberdeen Angus cattle and thoroughbred horses. He died at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on January 14, 1989. He was survived by a daughter, Shirley Wren of Kingston, Ontario, and a son, Michael Mann of Toronto.