Col. David Lloyd Hart, Montrealer and Dieppe hero, laid to rest

The longest-serving officer in the Canadian army was laid to rest Sunday.

David Lloyd Hart of the Royal Montreal Regiment died last week at the age of 101.

Born in Montreal in 1917, Hart enlisted in the army reserves in 1936, along with his brother, three years before the Second World War began.

"He'd actually joined before the war, because he knew the war was going to be coming, and he wanted to be ready," said Colin Robinson, a fellow member of the Royal Montreal Regiment who spoke with CJAD 800's Andrew Carter on Monday. "He was already in the armed forces when the war broke out and was one of the first to get mobilized and sent overseas."

Hart was a 25-year-old communications operator by the time Canadian troops were called upon for the disastrous raid on Dieppe, France in August of 1942. Out of nearly 5,000 Canadians that took part in the raid, more than 3,300 were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

A few months later, he received the Military Medal for gallantry for what he did there, from King George VI himself at Buckingham Palace.

"What David did...he was a signaller. He was a vital communication link with a radio set between the higher headquarters and the troops that were on the ground," Robinson said. "And what he had to do, which really set him apart, is he had to request permission...he had to fight for permission to be able to turn off his radio set from the frequency with the higher headquarters, in order to be able to communicate vital information about pulling off the beach to the troops...and it's estimated he saved several hundred Canadian soldiers' lives."

He was later named an honorary colonel, and remained connected to the Royal Montreal Regiment until the end of his life.