It is with great sadness that The War Amps announces the death of Cliff Chadderton, 94, who served as the Association's Chief Executive Officer until 2009.
News of his death was announced this evening, in a press release from the War Amps.
"Cliff was a truly remarkable advocate who dedicated his life to protecting the interests and rights of veterans and their families," said the Chairman of The War Amps Executive Committee Brian Forbes, who had the privilege of working with Mr. Chadderton for over 35 years as Association Solicitor and as his personal Legal Counsel.
Known to Canadians simply as "Mr. Veteran," Cliff Chadderton was recognized both nationally and internationally as an influential developer of innovative programs and services for war, civilian and child amputees, and as founder of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program.
"Cliff was an inspirational leader of the veterans' community in Canada and once he took on a crusade, his tenacity and determination were legendary," said Forbes, noting that his first priority in all the initiatives that he led was to ensure that veterans and their families attained deserved compensation and benefits for the disabilities they suffered in the defence of their country.
A D-Day veteran, Mr. Chadderton lost part of his right leg in October 1944 while in command of a company of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles battling for the Scheldt Estuary in Belgium and Holland.
Following the war, he held several positions in The War Amps before his appointment as Executive Secretary (later Chief Executive Officer) of the Association in1965. He was also Chairman and, at the time of his passing, Honourary Chairman, of the National Council of Veteran Associations (60 member groups).
In recognition of his work, he received numerous awards, including Companion in the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, induction into the Canada Veterans Hall of Valour and the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour of France, the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Royal Bank Award for Canadian Achievement and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
He was, however, proudest of the CHAMP Program, which provides child amputees with funding for artificial limbs and education, counselling, seminars and Matching Mothers. It remains the only program of its kind in the world.
Determined that the programs started by returning war amputees would endure, Mr. Chadderton had the foresight to begin many years ago to develop a strong team to continue the "amputees helping amputees" philosophy well into the Association's second century. On his retirement from The War Amps in 2009, its National Board of Directors, adopting his proposed operational plan, appointed Brian Forbes and David Saunders, long time Chief Operating Officer, to serve as the Executive Committee of The War Amps, supported by an Executive Subcommittee consisting of Danita Chisholm, Executive Director of Communications & the Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, Lorraine Cornelius, Executive Director of Public Awareness and Darlene Quesnel, Executive Director of Internal Operations.
"Cliff Chadderton's legacy will be recognized for years to come in the ongoing work of The War Amps through the many charitable programs he established to support the amputee community in Canada," said Forbes.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. The War Amps has established a memorial web page which includes a photo gallery that can be viewed at waramps.ca.