By Cassie MacDonell
Local Journalism Initiative
“There had been many questions over time people couldn’t answer, many people wondering about this and that. We tried to put it together. We learned a lot, it’s incredible,” said John Cochrane, one of three co-authors of Montreal’s Cavalry – The History of the Royal Canadian Hussars.
The book Cochrane referred to describes the 208-year history of the Royal Canadian Hussars and the Montreal Cavalry units that preceded it, all the way up to 2020. Events are described from the unique perspective of the calvary soldier, some of which take place in the Eastern Townships. The 1,000-page, 2-volume book took seven years to create. “There was no comprehensive history,” said Cochrane. Until now.
Cochrane grew up on Ontario Street in Sherbrooke. “When I was young, I delivered the Sherbrooke Record near my home,” he added. As a Bishop’s University graduate, and later McGill, he went on to become a professional accountant, retiring from the profession in 2017.
Cochrane served in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, joining the Sherbrooke Hussars in 1971. The reasoning? “I wanted to drive a truck,” he laughed. Cochrane recalled going to the Sherbrooke YMCA when he was younger, watching convoys of trucks passing by. “Some of my friends joined, and I said, well why not. I wanted to learn how to drive and get involved.