The Blinded

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Perrett
68th (Regina) BattalionPerrett

Lt. Col. Perrett was severely wounded by splinter from bomb which entered head. He was adm. YPRES Dressing Station.

(5th RW Bn., War Diary, 29 Sept 1917, 13)

He has risen above his misfortune, however and has determined to “carry on” at home…

(Morning Leader, 10 Aug 1918, 17)

Thomas Edwin Perrett was a school inspector, teacher and principal. He was born on 13 February 1871 in Pembroke, Ontario and moved west in the 1890s to teach in Manitoba. He later became superintendent of schools in the North West Territories and principal of the Regina Normal School. In spring 1915, Perrett enlisted as a major with Lieutenant Colonel Edgar’s 68th Battalion, raised from Regina and Moose Jaw.

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The Unlucky

Lieutenant Colonel Victor C. Buchanan, D.S.O. †
13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) BattalionBuchanan

We then start to dig in where Col. Buchanan and Maj. Peterman had been buried but find their dead bodies. They must have died instantly. Apparently something must have exploded the gasoline and the shock brought in the weakest part of the dugout.

(Lieut. H.A. McCleave, 13th Bn., Diary, 28 Sept 1916)

During heavy German bombardment on the evening 26 September 1916, a shell struck the 13th Battalion headquarters. The explosion killed several senior officers including Lieutenant Colonel Victor Carl Buchanan. It was his forty-seventh birthday.

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The Dentist

 Lieutenant Colonel E. F. Armstrong
159th (1st Algonquins) Battalion
EFArmstrong

I feel a little timid, but I know that you, Sir [Speaker of the House], are very sympathetic towards a young member who has had very little experience in public speaking and is addressing this House for the first time. But I am sent here by people of the north…

(Armstrong’s maiden speech, Debates, 22 Feb 1926, 1234)

Born 14 July 1878 in Flesherton, Ontario, Ernest Frederick Armstrong was a dental surgeon and mining prospector. He moved north as a young man and became an early settler of Cobalt. In the small mining community, he set up a dental practice and became chief magistrate.

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The Toothless

Major John L. Youngs, M.C.
110th (Perth) BattalionYoungs

On August 15th, last, patient presented with very severe form of Trench Mouth. I extracted the four worst teeth and treated the balance. Teeth responded splendidly to treatment and became quite tight. On Sept. 4th, a lower denture was inserted and patient discharged.

Today, I find the natural teeth quite firm, and practically satisfactory. His denture is fairly satisfactory but I think as good as the average lower denture.

(Medical History of Invalid, 11 Dec 1917)

Lieutenant John Lant Youngs was a Stratford building contractor and member of the 28th Regiment. He was born on 11 December 1873 in Oxford County, Ontario. He served as company second-in-command to Captain T. G. Delamere when both enlisted with the 1st Battalion in September 1914.

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The Professional

Brigadier General A. H. Bell, D.S.O.
31st (Bell’s Bulldogs) BattalionBell

Do not allow any factors to induce you to take an action contrary to the dictates of your own judgment and conscience. In many long years of military life my experience has taught me that a soldier who does so spends the balance of his career in making a series of errors, each in the vain attempt to correct the one immediately preceding, and all resulting from his first violation of sound practice.

(A.H. Bell to H.W. McGill, Medicine and Duty, 2007, 21)

Arthur Henry Bell was a professional soldier and veteran of the Boer War. Born on 16 September 1871 in King’s County, Ireland, Bell served with the Leinster Regiment, the Cape Mounted Police, the Matabele Relief Force, and the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was the commanding officer of Lord Strathcona’s Horse in Calgary.

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The Berserker

Major Axel “Rass” Rasmussen †
97th (American Legion) BattalionRasmussen

Rasmussen was a big, handsome man; fearless in war and pitiless to four-flushers anywhere, any time.

(J. W. Pegler, Evening News, 26 June 1918, 2)

“But so far I’ve always found that a man has time to get down to avoid the fragments— if he moves fast. If it’s got your initials on it— well, no one but a prime so-and-so wants to live forever!”- Maj. Rasmussen

(E. S. Johnston,  Americans vs. Germans: the First AEF in Action, 1942, 33)

Axel Thorvald Rasmussen was one of the American Legion’s most famous members. The thirty-eight year old, Danish-born resident of Oregon was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. During the Mexico Revolution, he fought in support of General Obregón’s army. Regarding his previous fights as “mere skirmishes,” in 1916, Rasmussen traveled to Canada in order to join Lieutenant Colonel Wade Jolly’s 97th American Legion.

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The Principal

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Hagarty
201st (Toronto Light Infantry) Battalion

Hagarty

I saw a mock funeral to day up to the 201 Batt they are being split up tomorrow, their Col. lost his job as they have less than 600 men. They dug a grave and buried a dummy representing their Col. They hated him, he was a whiskey soak, so on top of the grave they put a cross, a whiskey bottle, cig or some branches for flowers. Some reporters took a picture of it so likely it will be in the papers.

(L. E. Johns, 161th Bn. to Mother, 20 Sept 1916.)

Edward William Hagarty was principal of Harbord Street Collegiate from 1906 to 1928 and  member of Orange Order Lodge No. 344. He was born on 7 September 1862 in Brantford, Canada West. He served four years with the Queen’s Own Rifles while an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. An influential figure in the cadet movement for twenty-five years, Hagarty was selected to raise the 201st Toronto Light Infantry in January 1916.

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The Brantford Brothers

Brigadier General Dr. E. C. AshtonDrAshron

I picked out Col. Ashton as a fighting officer. I did not know what he was as a medical officer but I knew he was a good fighting officer.
(Sam Hughe
s, Debates, 6 Feb 1917)

Major A. Nelles Ashton
36th Battalion

ANAshton

Like his brother, he is every inch a soldier.
(Brantford Expositor, Dec 1915, 5)

Ernest Charles Ashton and Alfred Nelles Ashton served in the 38th (Dufferin Rifles) Regiment for a combined forty years. Born on 28 October 1874, E. C. Ashton was the regiment’s commanding officer and a prominent doctor in Brantford. His younger brother, A. N. Ashton, born on 14 March 1879, was principal of the Mohawk Institution. Their father, Rev. Robert Ashton (1843—1930), was chaplain of the Dufferin Rifles and long-time superintendent of the Mohawk Institution.

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The School Builder

Lieutenant Colonel J. B. Mitchell
100th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion

Mitchell

His figure is as erect as of yore in defiance of his 88 years. He embodies the spirit of those Scarlet Riders who brought law and order to the plains, brought joy to law-abiding folk and spread dismay among the lawless. This picturesque personality is Col. J. B. Mitchell, clear-eyed, soft-spoken, alert as becomes those who are still interested in current events and “tomorrow.” His long service in military and civilian life has not drooped those massive shoulders, nor bowed the finely-posed head. Lacking but two inches of six feet, he is so well sot up that an observer would scarcely suspect his weight to be 200 pounds. That’s what athletic training and outdoor life will do for a busy man.

(Col. G. C. Porter, Winnipeg Tribune, 30 Nov 1940, 36)

James Bertram Mitchell was Architect and Commissioner of School Buildings and Supplies in Manitoba from 1892 until his retirement in 1928. Born on 14 October 1852 in Gananocque, Canada West, Mitchell was an adventurer, policeman and civic leader. At the age of fourteen, he volunteered as a bugler in the militia and participated in the Fenian Raid of 1866. During the second Fenian invasion scare in 1870, he guarded the Welland Canal at Cornwall. In 1874,  he joined the North West Mounted Police.

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