Lieutenant Colonel Reg Pellatt
83rd (Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada) Battalion
Esprit de corps is love of Regiment, and should permeate throughout all ranks. It is born of the knowledge that, when in the Queen’s Own, a man is a member of one of the oldest and finest regiments in the Canadian Militia, and a Regiment which, whenever Canada has called, has answered that call, living up to its splendid motto IN PACE PARATUS (In peace prepared) in the truest sense of the word.
(R. Pellatt, A Guide to Riflemen, 1924, 22)
Born on 30 June 1885 in Toronto, Reginald Pellatt was the son of Major General Sir Henry Mill Pellatt (1859—1939), commanding officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. An influential financier and forty-year member of the QOR, the elder Pellatt had completed his famous estate of Casa Loma in 1913.
A graduate of Upper Canada College, Reg Pellatt followed his father in both his business career and the militia. He joined the QOR in 1901 and became a broker on the Toronto stock exchange. Appointed to organize the 83rd Battalion in spring 1915, the twenty-nine year old militia officer was one of the youngest commanders in the CEF. Within ten days, Pellatt raised over 900 men for the 83rd, largely drawn from the 2nd Queen’s Own. After the 83rd was absorbed into the reserves in England, Pellatt transferred all of battalion assets to a trustee board in order to set up a fund for war widows and soldiers’ next-of-kin.
Pellatt was acting commander of the 12th Reserve Battalion until he proceeded to France in January 1917 as a staff officer with the 3rd Division. After the war, Pellatt’s father lost most of his fortune and was forced to sell Casa Loma. Reginald Pellatt remained closely connected to the Queen’s Own, serving as commanding officer from 1925 to 1930 and honourary colonel from 1951 to 1956.
He died on 28 July 1967.
Further Reading: http://qormuseum.org/soldiers-of-the-queens-own/pellatt-reginald/