This scene is fictional, though--as with any place where I've invented things in Two Generals--it's based on a few completely factual pieces of information.
The first was a funny thing one of my uncles told me when I was just starting to talk about doing the book. Apparently, many of my grandfather's fellow soldiers had trouble remembering his name(s), so to a lot of people he became known simply as "Joe". Sure enough, once I got into my research phase, I came across an instance in Capt. J. Allan Snowie's Bloody Buron where he's referred to as "J. Chantler". That's the kind of personal detail that simply had to be in the book, so I've speculated as to its having originated with a senior officer in this scene.
Speaking of other officers, I made the decision early on that I would try not to name them when they appeared as characters. The reason being, quite simply, that I'm only one man and had my work cut out for me just trying to get Law and Jack's stories right. If other real-life characters were going to come much to the foreground, I'd have felt compelled to get their stories right, as well--which would have meant tracking down their familes, doing more interviews, digging through still more letters, diaries, etc., than I already had on my plate.
The senior officer depicted here is both an example of and an exception to that rule. While he's not named here, he will later be referred to as Law's company commander, and later still as Captain Stark. So anyone who cares to can correctly identify him as Vince Stark, who was indeed the "B" Company commander and did, as is related later, get shot in the back in the anti-tank ditch in Buron. Those details, at least, I managed to get right because they're important to Law and Jack's stories. Otherwise, I don't know much about the man. I'm hoping maybe because of the book I'll hear from descendants of his, assuming there are any.
And, of course, Law and Jack really did start training on March 29th, according to both my grandfather's diary and the War Diary of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada.
One other note: someone told me that the salute depicted here is inaccurate; that the Canadians in WWII used the palm-out British salute and hadn't yet changed to the American palm-down version in use today (and used here). So far, I haven't been able to verify it (anybody know for sure?) but if it's true I'll likely change it for future editions.
EDIT: See the comments for this post for a decisive conclusion to the "palm up or down?" salute question.