Warrant Officer First Class
(Regimental Sergeant Major)
RSM William T. (Bill) Dunbar
On the 02 August 1940 Private WT (Bill) Dunbar's unit (PPCLI) arrived in Scotland, later arriving in Southern England where his unit provided assistance to citizens endangered by the Blitz during the Battle Of Britain. By January 1941 he was a Corporal with No.7 Provost Company (C Pro C) where his duties encompassed convoy escorts, patrol duties on their Norton Motorcycles and identifying Nazi sympathizers who liked to guide enemy bombers over their targets by shining lights up the chimneys of isolated farm houses to get the pilot's attention. During the summer of 1941 he had been promoted to the rank of sergeant and departed No7 Provost Company to join No.1 Line Of Communications Provost Company (L Of C Pro Coy), sailing to Naples, Italy in Oct/Nov 41 to support the First Canadian Division operations. It is believed that his base of operation was in Avellino, Italy because it is known that he participated in the evacuation of locals during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 31 March 1944 and was also connected with an Army Court Of Inquiry in Avellino on the 7 February 1945.
In March of 1945 his Provost unit left Italy out of the Port of Leghorn for Marseilles, France, then moving out to Belgium and onto the Netherlands through the Rhone Valley, by way of Cambrai. He was promoted to WO1 in May of 1945 and was appointed to the position of Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM) of No.1 L Of C Pro Coy, where for a period when his unit was void of commissioned officers, he temporarily assumed the responsibilities of the Commanding Officer and Deputy Area Provost Marshal (DAPM). Quite a journey for someone who started out as an infantry private some five years previous.
Shown above in one of the few pictures that his family have of him in his uniform, taken on 14 February 1946 on his wedding day, following his repatriation to Canada.
The foregoing information about RSM Dunbar was submitted by his son, Mr Sandy Durban.