Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham (1911-1987) commanded the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the campaign in Northwest Europe during the last year of WWII.. “Rocky”, as he was affectionately called, was recalled service in 1950 as the senior Canadian soldier in the Korean War. His masterful tactics, and determination that the Canadian Army would not shirk from its assigned duties, was instrumental in the success that the Canadian Army contributed to Korea.
Major General Rockingham began his military career in 1935 as a lieutenant in the Canadian Scottish Militia Regiment. During the Second World War he achieved the rank of brigadier. On return to Canada he assumed command of the 6th Canadian Pacific Force. When the Japanese surrendered he retired from the Regular Force and accepted a Reserve Force appointment as Commander 15th Canadian Infantry Brigade.
In August 1950, The Minister of National Defence recalled “Rocky” from civilian life to organize and train the 5,000-man Canadian Army Special Force to serve in Korea. He commanded the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade from 9 August 1950 to 27 April 1952. When he returned to Canada he served at National Defence Headquarters, then in 1953 appointed Commander, 3rd Infantry Brigade and in 1954 Commander, 1st Canadian Infantry Division. In 1957 he served as General Officer Commanding Quebec Command and in 1961, GOC Western Command.
General Rockingham died on 16 July 1987.