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Okanagan Military Museum

MILITARY BIOGRAPHIES

MAJOR ROBERT B. HADGRAFT


Photo: Sgt David Snashall,DND

1939-45 Star Canadian Volunteer Service Medal 1939-45 War Medal Canadian Forces Decoration

Robert Bruce Hadgraft is serving as the President of the Okanagan Military Museum Society having been first elected to the position in 1995.

Born in Toronto, Bob received his BA (Honour) degree in Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1950 with benefits received as a veteran of WWII. During the war he served in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in a variety of ships of the fleet including the WWII Flower class corvette HMCS CHICOUTIMI.

At the end of the war thousands of sailors and civilians in Halifax gave vent to the many stressful years of war by flooding into the streets in a massive impromptu celebration that turned into a riot. Bob was caught up in these Victory in Europe (VE) Day riots and years later he appeared on the nationally televised quiz show Front Page Challenge for his role in that event.


Thousands of naval personnel and civilians in the
streets of Halifax during the VE Day celebrations

In the post-war years Bob maintained his connection with the armed forces serving thirteen years with the 1st Locating Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery (Militia)and achieving the rank of Major. He is a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, a trustee of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust and an active Associate Member of the British Columbia Dragoons Regimental Officers Mess.

Bob's degree in Chemistry served him well in his civilian career as he was employed in the chemical industry for a total of forty-two years, working for twenty-two years in Canada and twenty in the United States. He served in senior executive positions of chemical companies including positions as a Senior Vice President and President of Reichhold Chemicals, Inc of Raleigh, North Carolina. Amongst his accomplishments was the privilege of having a street (Hadgraft Blvd) in Chicamauga, Georgia, named in his honour by the city fathers. In support of the development of future chemistry students he established one 3rd year undergraduate and two graduate student scholarships at his Alma Mater, the University of Toronto school of chemistry.

Bob has been married to the former Jean Ingram since 1949, with their three children Susan, Robert and James living in North Vancouver, North Carolina and Kelowna respectively. Bob and Jean are great supporters of the museum and local community.

 

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