Colonel Anthony J. Scotti, MC, CD
1915 - 1995
Colonel Anthony J Scotti, an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian
Provost Corps Association, passed away in hospital in Gainsville,
Florida, USA. He was among the few members of the Corps who
served throughout its entire being from inception in 1940 till
unification in 1968. Tony Scotti was a devoted and enthusiastic
supporter of the Association's purpose of fostering and
maintaining the traditions and comradeship of the Canadian
Colonel Scotti enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1940 and was assigned to the newly founded Canadian Provost Corps which was formed in June of that year to provide Military Police support to the ever growing Army in Canada and abroad. He was thus a "charter member" or "Original Provost" of an organization which would serve with great distinction in the years of war and peace until 1968 when it, the Corps, was absorbed in the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces. Tony Scotti contributed in great measure to the excellence of that portion of the military history of Canada. His first day in the Corps ( 15 June 1940 ) saw Corporal Tony Scotti embarked on the Duchess of Athol in mid-Atlantic en route to the United Kingdom. His final days in the Corps found him in the rank of Colonel as the penultimate Provost Marshal (Army) (January 1962 - July 1964) .
He served in Canada and overseas in the rank of Corporal and Sergeant. In July 1942 he was commissioned and served in many line and staff appointments in England, Italy and Northwest Europe. He was awarded the Military Cross a very significant recognition of his bravery in action (. The Military Cross is a Decoration for distinguished and meritorious service to "Fighting Services" in action) . He was also Mentioned in Despatches (MID). He commanded Number 5 Provost Company in Italy and was subsequently appointed as the Assistant Provost Marshal (the senior military police or Provost staff officer / advisor to the Division Commander ) 5 Canadian Armoured Division. His linguistic abilities were of inestimable value in these wartime assignments and would continue to be so in his post-war career assignments.
Tony returned to Canada in the rank of Major and was appointed Assistant Provost Marshal 6 Infantry Division. This was followed by service as the Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal in Calgary. In 1948 his skills as a staff officer were recognized in his appointment as the Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General ( the senior staff officer / advisor to the Camp Commander for all logistic and administrative matters and the direction of the staff assigned to the formation for those purposes) at Headquarters Camp Borden. This Army Base was the corner stone of the rebuilding of a post war Canadian Army and housed many of the Arms and Services training centres and schools. The significance of Tony's appointment to this senior staff appointment is thus readily apparent.
This was followed by his first tour on the staff of General Gruenther at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) . ( Tony subsequently filled a second tour at SHAPE in late 1964 as a Colonel in the Logistics Branch) He returned to Canada in August 1955 to assume the appointment of Deputy Provost Marshal in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at Army Headquarters in Ottawa.
In January 1960 Tony was appointed as the Commandant of the Canadian Provost Corps School in Camp Shilo Manitoba. Shortly after this appointment a decision was taken to relocate the School to Camp Borden and in the summer of that year he directed that successful undertaking. He immediately developed a vision for the School at its new site in Borden and led his staff in its attainment as an effective and efficient training centre in this new location.
At the present Canadian Forces Military Police Academy, the successor to the Canadian Provost School has, among many rooms dedicated to the leaders of our Corps, has a room named the Anthony J. Scotti Classroom. This classroom is dedicated to the training of Military Police in the use of computers. It is totally appropriate to dedicate this room to Tony's memory. The reason for this is his leadership and drive in having typing training included in the Military Police training, when the C Pro C School moved from Camp Shilo to Camp Borden in 1960. It was a wise and long overdue training issue which he championed then and initially saw its fulfillment at the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps School. The computer has replaced the typewriter both as an indispensable means of communicating and analysis in the Military Police arsenal of skills. Tony's wisdom in ensuring that key boarding was a requirement in MP training remains unchallenged. It is thus totally appropriate that the site of this training is the Anthony J. Scotti Classroom.
Tony was promoted to the rank of Colonel in January 1962 and appointed Provost Marshal (Army) at Army Headquarters in Ottawa. This appointment to be the Corps Director of an organization he had joined 22 years earlier as a private soldier is testament to his skills as a leader and a fine human being respected by both his subordinate and senior military colleagues alike.
BEGINNING THE RESURRECTION
One of the significant events in the post-war development of the Canadian Provost Corps and in effect its "resurrection" was the first Provost Marshal's Conference held at Camp Borden in 16 - 19 March 1949. Under the Chairmanship of the Provost Marshal (Army), Lieutenant Colonel James R Stewart, nine officers of wide experience in the Corps met to discuss a wide range of subjects including establishments, specific units, training, mobilization planning , channels of communication , wearing of sidearms, Corps accouterments and many other concerns essential to the long term development of high standards of performance and service. This conference " was also notable for the introduction of two other important features of Corps tradition , namely, a Corps March and a Corps Motto" ( "Through Night to Light" and Discipline by Example respectively).
Major Tony Scotti was among this group of nine "Wise Men" of the Canadian Provost Corps who set the course for the Corps at this important meeting. He went from this genesis of a peacetime Canadian Provost Corps to both participate in and lead the implementation of the many significant decisions which led to the distinguished reputation of the Corps and its many members.
Tony's participation and input to this "Resurrection" is one of his most significant contributions to Canada and the Canadian Army.
PRE AND POST MILITARY SERVICE
Tony was born at Shawinigan Falls, Quebec on 9 April 1915. He attended and graduated from Thomas D'Arcy McGee High School in Montreal.
Prior to joining the Army in 1940 Tony was a member of the Westmount, Quebec Police Department. His colleagues on that Force remember him as an first rate police officer. They also sing the praises of his culinary capabilities in the preparation of pasta and many Italian sauces.
When Tony left the Canadian Forces he joined the staff of the Government of Quebec and served as a security adviser to Robert Bourassa, then Prime Minister of Quebec at a time of rising concerns in that Province. He was deeply involved in the design and operation of what became known as "the bunker" a location for the Government of Quebec and its senior advisors in downtown Quebec City not too distant from the National Assembly Building. ( It is of interest that the security features and the name/ term "The Bunker" is still used by locals even now in 1995.)
In addition to his Honorary Life Membership in our Association Tony was a Life Member of the Canadian Society for Industrial Security and a Retired Member of the Canadian Military Police Association.
Tony is survived by his wife Mary, a daughter Carol and her husband Larry R Kohler, a daughter Annamaria and her husband William Mc Carthy, a brother Sylvio, a sister Estelle, two granddaughters Annika and Pia and a grandson Adam.
The funeral was held in Montreal on 13 November 1995. A number of members of the Association were in attendance. A eulogy which spoke of the great contribution Tony made to the Canadian Army in general and the Canadian Provost Corps in particular, as well as reminiscences of their long personal relationship, was delivered by Colonel Andy Ritchie, the past Colonel Commandant of the Association.
Prepared by James D (Jim) Lumsden originally for Watchdog in 1995.
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