Major George Donald Fleming came from a predominant family in Owen Sound. His family had many business interests in the town and owned a third of RBW Graphics, where George was one of its' directors.

Like most established men of his day, George was a member of the 31st Regiment, the local Militia unit where he was the officer commanding "A" Company.

With the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, Captain Fleming assisted in recruiting the different quotas of men that the 31st Regiment were requested to fill. He was often a hard task master during this time, earning himself the nickname "Old Brasso" for his "spit and polish" attitude.

With the raising of the 147th (Grey) Battalion, Captain Fleming would attest to it on, February 3rd, 1916. Promoted Major, George served with the Battalion in Camp Niagara and Camp Borden, before sailing with the unit in November, when it left for the battlefields of Europe.

While the Battalion was travelling to Halifax it was held up in Amherst, Nova Scotia, awaiting further orders. During this layover George would become a member of the "Glee Club" that was formed by Lieutenant Jucksch. The other members of the Club were the commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel McFarland and Major Dobie. These four singers would entertain their hosts and their comrades in Amherst and England, until they were broken up, due to service requirements.

Major Fleming would relinquish his rank, reverting to that of Lieutenant, so he could be assigned to a unit in France. He was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on December 24th, 1917. George quickly rose to the rank of Acting Major, where his business and organizational skills assisted him, as he eventually served as the unit's Adjutant. George would also be Mentioned In Dispatches for his war service.

At war's end George returned to Canada and was struck of strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 15th, 1919.

With the Otter Report, came the reorganization of the Militia in 1920 and the old 31st Regiment became the Grey Regiment in 1920. Ensuring that the deeds of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces were not forgotten, the Grey Regiment was assigned to perpetuate the 147th and 248th Battalions. Major Fleming would continue his Militia career, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and commanding the Grey Regiment for three years, from December 1921 to December 1924.

During the 147th Battalion Association reunions it never failed that George would meet the attendees at the door, handing out flowers to the men's wives, as well as to those widow's who attended the event. This kind act of endearment had the unintended effect of softening the image he had once held as "Old Brasso".

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret'd) George Donald Fleming passed away on November 12th, 1971, at the age of 82 and is interned at Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound.

Image and biography credit with thanks to George Auer.