Obituary of Farran DSO, MC
Major Roy Alexander Farran, DSO, MC two bars, passed away at the age of 85 years. One of the most highly decorated soldiers of World War II, Roy was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross – two bars, Africa Campaign Star, France/Germany Campaign Star, Italy Campaign Star, General Campaign Medal, Queen’s Gold Jubilee Medal, Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, Canada 125 Medal, Officer and Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour – France, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Officer of the Order of the United States Legion of Merit, the Italian Gold Medal, Italian Partisan Star of the Garibaldi, and the Greek War Medal. A true child of the commonwealth, Roy spent his youth in India until he returned to England and attended the Royal Sandhurst Military College. His colourful Military career saw action in the Western Desert, Crete, Italy, France, Norway and in post-war Palestine. As an early member of the Special Air Services (SAS), Roy pioneered behind-the-enemy lines operations. In August, 1941, Roy escaped from a German prisoner of war camp in Greece to return to fight in the Battle of El Alamein in North Africa. His biographical chronicle, “Winged Dagger” was a post-war bestseller and is today considered a military classic. In 1949, Roy worked in Southern Rhodesia where he met his Canadian born wife, Ruth Harvie Ardern. He left his Herefordshire farm in England to immigrate to Canada in 1950 where he started a dairy farm in Springbank. Roy was an accomplished journalist and spent many years with the Calgary Herald and established the North Hill News in 1951. He was the publisher of many Alberta weeklies under his motto “without fear or favour”. He was an Alderman for Calgary North Hill from 1961 – 1969. He was an MLA from 1971-1979 holding the cabinet portfolios of Telephones and Utilities and Solicitor General. Roy was well known for his columns in the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald and his lively talk show on CFAC radio. Roy was active in the community and held directorships with the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Hospital Board, Fanning Centre, Calgary Zoo, Calgary Winter Club, and many others. He was the energy behind the creation of Fish Creek Park and Nose Hill Park. As an accomplished author, he wrote nine books. A linguist, he spoke seven languages and was a long time supporter of the Alliance Fran_aise. He was Chairman of the Alberta Racing Commission for 14 years and was a passionate horseman and outdoorsman. He was a model father sharing his wisdom, adventures, horses and his love of the outdoors. Roy will be forever loved and remembered by his children, Sally (Tim), Peter (Wanda), Terry and David (Margaret); his grandchildren, Christopher, Sean, Meaghan, Kristy, Allyson, Leigh and Thomas; great-grandchild Elliott; and long-time friend Andre Lorent. He was predeceased by Ruth, his wife of fifty-four years, and his brothers, Rex, Ray and Kit. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (5340 – 4th Street S.W.) on Monday June 12, 2006, at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Eulogio Estaris, Presider. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Special thanks to his compassionate caregivers, Anna Lisa, Dory, Belinda, Lynette, Wendy, Donna and Jeannete. If friend’s so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Roy Farran’s name directly to the Calgary Military Museums Society, to the attention of Ms. Ranjit Gill, Museum of the Regiments (The Military Museums), 4520 Crowchild Trail S.W., Calgary AB, T2T-5J4, Telephone: 403-240-9723. In living memory of Roy Farran, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.