Tilston, Frederick “Fred” Albert, born 11-06-1906 in Toronto, Ontario, attended De La Salle College “Oaklands”, an all-boys military prep school in Toronto, Ontario and was a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Pharmacy. H got a job in pharmaceutical sales in Toronto.
Tilston, joined the Canadian Army and served in the Essex Scottish Regiment in an administrative role. By early 1945, he held the rank of acting Major. During the Battle of the Rhineland, he volunteered to go forward and lead an infantry company in an attack on German positions in the Hochwald Forest just west of the Rhine River.
On 01-03-1945, near Uedem, Germany, he led “C” Company in a 500-yard attack across muddy terrain soaked by recent rain and snow, through barbed wire and enemy automatic weapons fire. After being slightly wounded by shell fragments in the head, he personally destroyed one enemy machine gun position with a hand grenade, and led the men of C company on to a second German line of resistance when he was wounded for the second time in the hip. He struggled to his feet and led his men forward where the Essex Scottish overran the enemy positions with rifle butts, bayonets and knives in close hand-to-hand combat. While consolidating the Canadian position against German counterattacks and on his 6th trip from a neighbouring unit bringing ammunition and grenades to his company, which had been depleted to about 25% of its usual strength or 40 men, Tilston was wounded for the 3rd time in the leg.
He was found almost unconscious in a shell hole and refused medical attention while he organized his men for defence against German counter-attacks, emphasized the necessity of holding the position at all cost, and ordered his one remaining officer to take command. For conspicuous gallantry and steadfast determination in the face of battle, Fred Tilston was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Death and burial ground of Tilston, Frederick “Fred” Albert.
Due to his wounds sustained in the fighting, he lost both his legs and an eye. He joined The War Amps Association (a non-profit organization of “amputees helping amputees” in 1945.
In November 1983 meanwhile 77 years old Fred Tilston returned to to his old battlefields in Hochwald, Germany.
He returned to his former place of business as vice-president in charge of pharmaceutical sales.
He resided in Toronto, Ontario until his death on 23-09-1992, age 86. He was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Erskine Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the Roman Catholic section.23. His headstone is located in Plot 23 in the north west corner.