Milton Fowler Gregg was born on April 10, 1892, in Mountain Dale, Kings County, to Elizabeth Celia (Myles) and George Lord Gregg. After attending local public school and the Provincial Normal School in Fredericton, he studied at Acadia University and Dalhousie University. Before enlisting, he worked as a teacher in New Brunswick. At 18, Gregg joined the 8th New Brunswick Hussars militia regiment.
In September 1914, Gregg enlisted as a private in the 13th Battalion (Black Watch) and sailed overseas, serving as a stretcher-bearer in France. In 1916, while recovering from a wound in an English hospital, he was recruited for the Imperial Officers’ Training School, earning a commission as a Lieutenant and a posting with the Royal Canadian Regiment upon graduation. He received the Military Cross for his actions at Lens in 1917 and a Bar to his Military Cross in the Battle of Arras in 1918, during which he was wounded again.
On September 28, 1918, near Cambrai on the Canal du Nord, Gregg’s courage and bravery earned him the Victoria Cross. When the brigade’s advance was hindered by fire from both flanks and thick, uncut wire, he crawled forward alone, finding a small gap through which he later led his men to breach the enemy trench. Amid a critical counter-attack due to a lack of bombs, the wounded Gregg returned under intense fire to collect more supplies. Despite a second wound, he reorganized his reduced party and led a determined attack against enemy trenches, which he ultimately cleared. Gregg personally killed or wounded 11 enemies, took 25 prisoners, and captured 12 machine guns. Despite his injuries, he continued to lead his men in attack until severely wounded on September 30. His exceptional valor saved many lives and ensured the advance continued.
Post-war, Gregg entered business before working for the Soldiers Settlement Board and selling advertising for the Halifax Herald. In 1934, he was appointed Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons in Ottawa. During World War II, he served with his old regiment, the Royal Canadian Regiment, in England until April 1942, before being promoted to Colonel and becoming commander of the Officers’ Training School in Brockville, Ontario. In 1943, he was made Brigadier and Commandant of the Canadian School of Infantry in Vernon, British Columbia, holding the position until war’s end.
After World War II, Gregg served as President of the University of New Brunswick and was elected to Parliament in 1947. Over a ten-year parliamentary career, he held positions as Minister of Fisheries, Veterans Affairs, and Labour. After losing the 1957 election, he served as the United Nations’ representative in Iraq, the administrator of UNICEF in Indonesia, and the Canadian High Commissioner in Georgetown, British Guyana, retiring in 1968.
On December 22, 1967, Gregg was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the award in a ceremony on April 26, 1968.
Gregg and his wife, Erica Deichmann Gregg, a renowned potter, lived at Thorne Cottage in Fredericton for over 20 years. The University of New Brunswick established the Brigadier Milton Fowler Gregg, VC, Centre for the Study of War and Society to promote excellence in studying war as a complex social phenomenon. His medal group is displayed at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario.
Gregg died in Fredericton, on March 13th, 1978. He was buried at Snider Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery, Snider Mountain.
The University of New Brunswick opened the Brigadier Milton Fowler Gregg, VC, Centre for the Study of War and Society which is devoted to excellence in the study of war as a complex social phenomenon. His medal group is held by the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario.
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