The Irish Champion

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Trihey
199th (Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish Rangers) BattalionTrihey

Moreover the confidence of those interested in the Regiment is absolutely in Colonel Trihey, Should his perhaps too hasty action result in his being deprived of its command and prevent his leading it to the front, the reward of the sacrifices he has made and is willing to continue to make, will be that he will be held up to the public as having deliberately deceived and misled these men.

(Trihey to New York Post, 3 July 1917Doherty to Borden, 9 Feb 1917)

Henry Judah Trihey was an amateur hockey player for the Montreal Shamrocks between 1897 and 1901. Regarded as one of the best forwards of his time, Trihey won two Stanley Cups with the team and played a crucial role in defending the championship during three challenge games. He was born on 25 December 1877 in Berlin, Ontario. After his hockey career, he became a barrister in Montreal.

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The Minister

Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Ballantyne
245th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) BattalionBallantyne

Mr. HUGHES: The hon. gentleman on his return from overseas, was one of the most wrathy men I ever met.

Mr. BALLANTYNE: Disappointed.

Mr. MCMASTER: The remarks of the ex-Minister of Militia may be very interesting, but I would ask him to speak a little louder, so that we all may get the benefit of them.

Mr. HUGHES: I was saying that the present Minister of the Marine and Fisheries, on his return from England was—I will not say the maddest man, but one of the most intensely disappointed men that it has ever been my privilege to meet.

(Debates, 10 Apr 1918, 597)

Born on 9 August 1867, Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne was a Montreal industrialist and millionaire through marriage. He raised the 245th Battalion in late 1916 and departed for England with less than three-hundred volunteers in May 1917. After the breakup of his unit, Ballantyne became one of the hundreds of unemployed senior officers in London.

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The Animal Lover

Lieutenant Colonel R. C. Andros, D.S.O.
1st Canadian Mounted RiflesAndros

His nervous condition is only fair he has been in trenches steadily for 33 months and is tired physically and mentally. Treatment in this country will not improve this man’s condition. The Board therefore recommends – Invaliding to Canada.

(Medical Board Report, I.D.O.E. Hospital, 1 June 1918)

Born on 7 February 1871 in Port Hope, Ontario, Ralph Craven Andros was a former North West Mounted Policeman and member of the 20th Border Horse Hussars. After his tour of duty in the NWMP, Andros moved to Montana and built a horse ranch near Fort Benton. He retired in 1910 and moved to British Columbia. In November 1914, he enlisted with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifle Battalion.

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The Unionist

Major Richard C. Cooper
7th (1st British Columbia) BattalionRCCooper

People’s thoughts are now turning to memorials to perpetuate the memory of our fallen, but unfortunately, their thoughts are turning to stone and iron to perpetuate flesh and blood. That is wrong. It is not worthy of the men who gave their lives that we might be free. I suggest that there is a greater, nobler, finer memorial to be erected to our fallen. I suggest that education is the only possible, adequate method of perpetuating the memory of the “immortals.”

(Cooper, Debates, 10 Mar 1919, 340)

Born in Dublin, Ireland on 31 December 1881, Richard Clive Cooper was a police constable in Rhodesia and South Africa where he was associated with the imperial projects of Cecil Rhodes. After serving in the Matabele War and the Boer War, he immigrated to British Columbia in 1906. Cooper enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel Hart-McHarg’s 7th Battalion in September 1914. He fought at Second Ypres before being recalled to Canada in order to aid training and recruitment efforts.

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The Rifleman

Lieutenant Colonel W. Hart-McHarg †
7th (1st British Columbia) BattalionHart-McHarg

There was much gloom and sorrow among the British Columbians that night for they all loved their colonel and they knew that there was very little hope for him. He died the following day at Poperinghe. Thus died one of the bravest of the Canadians, a splendid soldier, the champion sharpshooter of America, for that matter of the world. He had always displayed great coolness and daring, and British Columbia will always cherish and revere his name.

(Col. Currie, 15th Bn. The Red Watch, 1916, 233)

William Frederick Richard Hart-McHarg was one of three CEF colonels killed in action at the second battle of Ypres on 24 April 1915. A veteran of the Boer War, he was serving as second-in-command of the 6th Regiment at the outbreak of the Great War. The militia colonel, J. H. D. Hulme, stepped aside in order for Major Hart-McHarg to organize the 7th Battalion at Valcartier. Puzzled why Hulme would miss “the chance of a lifetime,” Hart-McHarg reasoned, “But with me it is different. I have only a couple of years to live in any case.”

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The Private

This site normally profiles majors, colonels and generals—but for Remembrance Day, I focus on a private soldier, my great-great uncle, H. J. Barrett.

Private Harry John Barrett
204th and 3rd (Toronto) BattalionsHJBarrett

Whist in the act of firing his Lewis Machine Gun during Military operations in the vicinity of UPTON WOOD, Private Barrett was shot by a bullet from the rifle of an enemy sniper and instantly killed.

(H. J. Barrett, Circumstances of Death, 30 Aug 1918)

Harry John Barrett was born in Peterborough, England on 31 March 1900. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1907 and worked as a labourer in Toronto. Despite being only one month over sixteen, Harry enlisted in the CEF on 26 April 1916. Claiming to be eighteen years old , he joined the 204th Beavers commanded by Parkdale MPP, Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Price. Harry’s older brother, George William Barrett, had signed up earlier in April with the 208th Irish Fusiliers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lennox, another Ontario MPP.

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The Shell Shocked

Lieutenant Colonel Irvine R. Snider
27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion
IRSnider

…this officer as the result of service in France and severe nervous strain has become very emotional and is unable to sleep well except for a short time each night. He is easily exhausted and has some muscular tremor. At present he is quite unfit for any mental or physical exertion and must have prolonged rest.

(Proceedings of Medical Board, 18 May 1916)

Irvine Robinson Snider was a Manitoba farmer, long-time militiaman and veteran of the Northwest Rebellion and the Boer War. He was born on 1 January 1864 in Nobleton, Canada West. In spring 1885, the twenty-one year old Snider joined the 90th Winnipeg Rifles as a private to put down Louis Riel’s insurrection. Fifteen-years later, he served with Lord Strathcona’s Horse in South Africa.

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The Myth Maker

Brigadier General Alex Ross, D.S.O.
28th (Northwest) BattalionARoss

…the barren earth erupted humanity. From dugouts, shell holes and trenches, men sprang into action, fell into military formations and advanced to the ridge–every division of the corps moved forward together. It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then, and I think today, that in those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation.

(Brig. Gen. Ross, History of the 28th Battalion, 1961, preface)

Alexander Ross was a Saskatchewan lawyer who rose from a militia lieutenant to brigadier general of the 6th Infantry Brigade. Born on 2 December 1880 in Forres, Harashire, Scotland, Ross immigrated to Regina in the Northwest Territories with his family at the age of six. After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a law degree, Ross became a barrister with King’s Counsel and joined the 95th Rifles. In December 1914, he enlisted as a company commander with the 28th Battalion recruited from Saskatchewan.

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The General

Lieutenant Colonel Robert James Bates
212th (Winnipeg Americans) BattalionBates

The distinctive thing about the battalions in the Legion, of course, is that they are all American, from the humblest private to the commanding officer. In the American army we have Negro regiments commanded by American officers, but the Canadians have placed all responsibility for the battalions in the Legion on American shoulders, and the Americans believe that they will consent to an American general at the head of a division if enough Yankees turn out to form one.

(The Outlook, 28 June 1916, 504)

Robert James Bates was a Canadian-born general in the Michigan National Guard. Born in 1868 in Feversham, Ontario, he moved to the United States with his family at the age of seven. He served for twenty-five years in the American army and was a captain with the 34th Michigan Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish American War.

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The Brooklyner

Major George C. Hart
97th (American Legion) Battalion

Major G. C. Hart, a big muscular soldier with a scowl engraved on his leathery face…

(J. W. Pegler, Altoona Mirror, 23 Nov 1916, 2)

George Clark Hart was a twenty-year veteran of the New York National Guard who fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American war and Mexico during the revolution. He was born on 16 April 1875 in Elmira, New York. He was also military drill instructor and disciplinarian at the Elmira Reformatory.

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