Roome, Richard Edward Graham, Brigadier, 1892-1985

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Roome, Richard Edward Graham, Brigadier, 1892-1985

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Brigadier Richard Edward Graham Roome was born on 1 May 1892 to George and Florence Roome in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. His early education took place in local public schools and he attended Halifax County Academy for secondary school. In 1913 he began a Bachelor of Arts program at Dalhousie University, but left in 1915 before completing his degree, to join the 2nd Heavy Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. In England he was commissioned with the Royal Field Artillery of the British Army in September 1915. During World War I Roome saw action first in France, where he was wounded, and later in India and Mesopotamia.

After the war Roome returned to Canada and co-founded Harris and Roome Ltd., a wholesale distribution company specializing in electrical items, hardware, and batteries. He served as vice president but remained active in the local militia, most notably helping to form the 87th Field Battery in Dartmouth in 1921.

With the onset of World War II Roome returned to active duty, training troops and visiting training camps across Canada. He organized the CANLOAN program, which enabled surplus Canadian officers to serve in the British Army, which by 1943 was suffering from a serious shortage of younger infantry officers. From 1940-41 Roome was posted overseas as the Commanding Officer of the 5th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery. In 1942 he returned to Canada, was promoted to brigadier, and placed in command of the Artillery of the 7th Divisions based in Eastern Canada. Roome’s stay in Eastern Canada was short; in 1943 he became Deputy Adjutant General for Officers and posted to National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa, where he also became chairman of the Officer’s Selection, Promotion, Reclassification and Disposal Board. In 1945 he was awarded the Commander of the British Empire medal for his service. Roome remained in Ottawa until the end of the war when he retired from active service.

In 1946 Roome returned to the Halifax area where he resumed work at Harris and Roome Ltd. and began commanding local militia units. He retired in earnest in 1951, but maintained his interest in military history, researching and writing a series of articles on the American Civil War for the Canadian Gunner.

Roome died in August of 1985 at age 93. He is known to have had one daughter, Lorna, with wife Helen (Jones).

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