PITT, Reg “Archie”

An erudite Welshman, Reg joined the RN at age 16. During WW2 he survived a torpedo attack off the coast of France and also served in the Pacific. In 1949 he transferred to the RCN as an OS and nine years later regained his former rank of CPO. During his tours at Cornwallis, CMR and RMC, Reg made a personal contribution to the physical fitness of thousands of young men and women. On retirement in 1969 he instructed at Brentwood College on Vancouver Island. He now lives in the Victoria BC area.

More on Archie from Bill Oliver and the RMC Newsletter

The following article was first published in the1968 review, p189.
By IV Year, CWSO 7543 Joseph Arthur Day

There is a small group of men who have made RMC what it is today.  Most are never recognized for their contributions. A few, such as Colonel Sawyer, Colonel Gelley, and Major McLeod, are outstanding examples of those who have been recognized.  Although recognition can come in many forms, the greatest honour the cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada can proffer is to ask such a man to join their class. 

        CPO Pitt and 1968 Grads

“The members of the Class of 1968 upon graduation from the Royal Military College of Canada are proud to present this scroll in recognition of his personal dedication to their mental, physical and moral development to Chief Petty Officer R.G. Pitt thereby establishing him as an honourary member of their class” 

This announcement, made in the Cadet Mess on the night of May 13 during the Sports dinner, was greeted with a completely spontaneous, enthusiastic ovation from the assembled cadets. 

The man the cadets of RMC are proud to honour has, during his 5 years at the college, made an invaluable contribution both to the college and to every individual who has come into contact with him.  The Chief is an untiring supporter of the college and college sports.  He has attempted to instill into every cadet his personal code of courage, sportsmanship and duty. 

The Chief joined the Royal Navy at 16 and served under (then Captain) Louis Mountbatten.  During WW II, Chief Pitt became a PTI, survived a torpedo attack off the coast of France, married his childhood sweetheart, and served in the Pacific.  After that hectic history, he transferred to the Canadian Navy in 1949 where he found himself an ordinary seaman.  Nine years later he regained the rank of chief Petty Officer, which had held in the Royal Navy.

Chief Pitt came to RMC a fencing master, a superb soccer player, a gymnast, boxer, swimmer and all-round athlete.  He seems to have had no problem in staying ahead of all us “younger fellows”.  He has been amazingly active in the college and local area.  In 1967 he was awarded the Centennial Medal by the Federal government. 

I don’t think any of us will forget Chief Pitt, his “Shit or Bust”, and his enthusiasm.  The Chief demanded the utmost in effort and courage from every individual and he always got it.  We are better men for it.

Editor’s (Bill) note:  CPO (ret’d) Pitt is now 87 years old. On retirement in 1969 he moved to B.C. and instructed at Brentwood College a spectacular oceanfront setting on the east coast of Vancouver Island.  Brentwood College is an independent, university preparatory school for boys and girls, grades 8 to 12.  From all reports, the “Chief” thrived in this environment and the high school students for over a 20 year period “loved him”. 

Bill Oliver recently spoke with Archie's son Tony who advised us that …..”physically, dad is fine; however, he is suffering from vascular dementia and would not recognize visitors….” 

Ex cadets and current cadets may recognize the Pitt / Porter Cup given annually at the RMC Athletics Award Banquet to the MVP on the Women’s soccer team.