Topic: The RCR
The above United Press photo featuring Pioneers of the Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR) was discovered in a chance survey of offerings on ebay. The attached caption sheet reads:—
"Berlin:— This is good old mountain music, but nothing is the way one would expect it to be. First of all, these boys aren't in the Ozarks or the Appalachians—they're in Germany. Not only that, they never were in the Ozarks—they're all Canadians. They're specially -privileged, too—all winners in the beard-growing competition held by the three Pioneer Platoons of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, they may wear their beards until their return to Canada. All members of the Pioneer Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, serving in Germany, they are, left to right, front row: Sgt Joe York, Toronto, with a jug that's good when full and good for bass noted when empty; Pte Al Selig, Hantsport, Nova Scotia, with musical saw; and L/Cpl John Karmasinuk of Winnipeg, with accordion. In back row, left to right, are: Pte Ken Durant of Montreal, violin; Pte Allan Crane of Belle Isle, Newfoundland, harmonica; and Pte Don Johnson, Mimico, Ontario, with guitar." (United Press Photo; 28 Oct 1955)
Pioneers of the Regiment didn't get so much media attention until the viral appearance of the Lumberjack Commandos on the Internet:
One member of the jug band, however, has been seen by many members of the Regiment over past decades. Al Selig's photo, allegedly brought back from a professional photographer's window display in Cyprus by regimental members on a later tour after it was replaced, was to be found in the entrance to The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum:
Sadly, with the disbanding of the PIoneer Platoons in Canadian infantry battalions in 2002, no more will such glorious facial hair be seen on the parade grounds of the Regiment.