Frederick (Fred) Albert Tilston was born on June 11, 1906, in Toronto, Ontario, and served as a Major with the Essex Scottish Regiment.
In March 1945, he was severely wounded as he led his “C” Company across dangerous ground under heavy gunfire to eliminate the resistance in Germany’s Hochwald Forest. Mr. Tilston refused medical aid until he could brief his last remaining officer on the plan of defence and to reinforce that it was absolutely necessary to hold the position. Only when that was done did he relinquish command and receive treatment for his wounds, which led to the loss of an eye and both legs.
Thanks to his courage, the position was held. For his valour and strong leadership, Mr. Tilston earned the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth’s highest military decoration for bravery.
Upon his return to Canada, he joined The War Amps Southwestern Ontario Branch and was a prominent member of the Association for the rest of his life. In October 1991, he was honoured at a ceremony held at the Key Tag Service for the official dedication of the Fred Tilston, VC Super Sheltered Workshop. A commemorative plaque was installed in the workshop recounting his courageous actions. At the time, the workshop was an innovative computer training facility for people with disabilities.
Mr. Tilston passed away on September 23, 1992.
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