Cliff Chadderton named CEO
In 1965, H. Clifford Chadderton was named CEO of The War Amps. He was a Second World War veteran who lost his leg while battling for the Scheldt estuary in Belgium and Holland in October 1944.
As a long-standing War Amps member, Chadderton was mentored by former Association President Sidney Lambert and was intimately familiar with the plight of the war amputee through his active involvement in Association initiatives. He is also credited as the “spark plug” behind the Civilian Liaison Program that was started in 1962.
Under Chadderton’s leadership, the Association made the transition from a solely veteran-oriented organization to a charitable institution that effectively represents all amputees in Canada.
During his time as CEO, many of The War Amps well-known programs were established, including CHAMP, PLAYSAFE, Matching Mothers and JUMPSTART.
Known to Canadians as “Mr. Veteran,” Cliff Chadderton held the position of CEO of The War Amps for 44 years, from 1965-2009, and was renowned as Canada’s most influential developer of innovative programs and services for war, civilian and child amputees, and as a tireless advocate for veterans.
In 1939, he enlisted with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and went from a non-commissioned officer to company commander. A D-Day veteran, he lost part of his right leg in 1944 while in command of a company of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles battling for the Scheldt estuary in Belgium and Holland.
Cliff joined The War Amps upon returning to Canada. An active member, he held a number of positions within the Association until his appointment as CEO.
On behalf of both the NCVA and The War Amps, he appeared before hundreds of tribunals established by Veterans Affairs Canada in the pursuit of improvements to pension benefits and allowances on behalf of individual veterans and their families, with particular focus on the prioritization of the seriously disabled veteran. An expert in the history and evolution of veterans legislation in Canada and throughout the world, he appeared regularly before committees of the House of Commons and Senate, presenting papers and recommendations regarding legislative amendments for the betterment of Canadian veterans.
He also made it a mission to preserve the integrity and reputation of Canadian veterans, giving a voice to their concerns over the controversial television series The Valour and the Horror and the Billy Bishop documentary The Kid Who Couldn’t Miss.
During his life and career, he received numerous awards, including Companion in the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, induction into the Canada Veterans Hall of Valour and the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour of France, the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Royal Bank Award for Canadian Achievement and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
He considered the creation of the CHAMP Program, however, to be his greatest achievement. Both CHAMP and the solid foundation of programs for amputees that was established under his leadership will stand as his lasting legacy.
Cliff Chadderton passed away in 2013 at the age of 94. His passing was marked by countless tributes across the country, including national TV networks and newspapers. He was also honoured in the House of Commons by MP Steven Fletcher and Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino, which received a standing ovation from the House. In 2016, a lake in the Duck Mountains in southwest Manitoba, his home province, was named Chadderton Lake in his honour.