RIP: Comrade Leslie “Les” Newman

Comrade Les Newman, 1939 – 2024. Photo credit: Sue Guerin.

Westmount, Quebec: 24 February 2024: The RMR Foundation regrets to announce the death of Comrade Leslie “Les” Newman, a longtime active member of RMR Association (Branch 14), Royal Canadian Legion. His obituary reads:

Leslie Newman of St-Eugène passed away on Tuesday February 13th 2024 at the age of 84. Beloved husband of Linda Taylor. Father of Debra, brother of Douglas and Laurence (Barbara). Also survived by nieces and nephews. 

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Desforges Funeral Home, 188 rue Principale, Grenville, QC (819) 242-2113. 

A private service will be held at a later date. 

Les had been highly active in the RMR Family’s social life as well as the Branch 14 activities. Originally serving as a Bandsmen, he was instrumental in helping training multiple generations of Cadets in drumming. Les made an impact on multiple generations of RMR soldiers, as well.

It is not an exaggeration to state that the success of the annual Poppy Campaign hinged a great deal on his active and regular participation. He made a tremendous personal sacrifice every day of the 2-week annual Poppy Campaign, driving over 160 km daily to serve a 10-hour shift at the RMR Association’s poppy kiosk in Alexis-Nihon.

Comrade Les Newman, fourth from right, participates in the ceremonial opening of the 2017 Poppy Campaign with her Worship Christina Smith, Mayor of Westmount, presiding.

He was always willing to lend an ear to help a fellow Legion comrade, a Cadet, a soldier, an NCO, or an officer talk through whatever problems they were facing, gently offering his perspective earned over years of experience. Wherever there was a RMR social gathering, Les was there – quietly mingling with all ranks and enjoying the camaraderie of the regimental family. He was in his element at these events and he will be sorely missed.

Typical of his involvement with the Branch and with the greater RMR Family, pictured in September 2021, Comrade Les Newman (far left) looks on while Comrade Sue Guerin, President of the RMR Association (Branch 14), presents a cheque for the museum to the RMR Foundation’s president, Colin Robinson.

Lest We Forget.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Elizabeth Hollett Picardreply
March 1, 2024 at 6:29 am

Les Newman will surely be missed as he was always there to lend a helping hand in all aspects of the Legion life. May he Rest In Peace. And he will never be forgotten.

WO Molly Patterson, CDreply
March 1, 2024 at 11:17 am

Les Newman was a dear friend and comrade. When I joined Branch 14 as an RMR Corporal in 1982, he talked me into becoming a member of the Legion Fife and Drum band and he taught me to play the Glockenspiel. During my 12 years in the band, Les was always there cheering me on through various events, including many very cold ones for the St Patrick’s day parades on Ste Catherine’s St. We also spent many Friday nights in the old Legion dugout setting the world right over a beer or two. I last saw Les at the 100th anniversary celebration for Branch 14, and I am so happy we got to spend some time together once again, his kind and gentle spirit will remain with me always, we have lost a big piece of Branch 14. RIP my friend Les, your memory will live on in all of us as we continue to remember you.

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