Bert Hoffmeister

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Bertram Meryl (Bert) Hoffmeister
File:Bert Hoffmeister.jpg
Major-General B.M. Hoffmeister, General Officer Commanding 5th Canadian Armoured Division, in the turret of the Sherman tank "Vancouver" near Castrocielo, 23 May 1944
Born May 15, 1907
Vancouver, British Columbia
Died December 4, 1999 (age 92)
Allegiance Canadian
Service/branch Canadian Active Service Force
Years of service 1939-1945
Rank Major General
Unit 1 Canadian Infantry Division patch.png1st Canadian Division
5 Canadian Armoured Division patch.png5th Canadian Division
Canadian Army Pacific Force
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Order of Canada (OC) ribbon bar.pngOC
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.pngCB
Order BritEmp rib.pngCBE

Major General Bertram Meryl (Bert) Hoffmeister, OC, CB, CBE, DSO and Bar, ED (15 May 1907 – 4 December 1999) was a Canadian Army officer, businessman, and conservationist.


Bert Hoffmeister

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, he was a sales manager with the Canadian White Pine Co. Ltd. in Vancouver. He enlisted with the Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM, the Canadian Army Reserve Force) in 1927. He was promoted Captain in 1934. After he was promoted to Major, in 1939, he was made officer commanding a company of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada who went to England in 1939.

He attended the Canadian Junior War Staff courses at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.

In 1942, he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel. In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order while fighting in Sicily.[1] He received a bar to the DSO the following year[2]

In October 1943, promoted to Brigadier General, he was named commanding officer of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, who fought in the Italian Campaign. In March 1944, he was promoted to Major General and made General Officer Commanding the 5th Canadian Armoured Division. After VE-Day, he was made General Officer Commanding the 6th Canadian Division (Canadian Army Pacific Force) which disbanded after the atomic bombings of Japan. Hoffmeister retired from active service in September 1945. That same year, he was made a Grand Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau with swords as well as a Companion of the Order of the Bath [3] and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[4] In 1947, he was made a Commander of the Legion of Merit.

After the war, in 1949 he became President of MacMillan Bloedel Limited and was its Chairman from 1956 to 1958. From 1958 to 1961, he was British Columbia's Agent General in London. From 1961 to 1968, he was Chairman of the Council of Forest Industries of British Columbia, an association for the British Columbia interior forest industry. From 1971 to 1991 he was the founding Chairman of the Nature Trust of British Columbia, a non-profit land conservation organization.

In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour.