The Fearless

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Birchall †
4th (Central Ontario) Battalion Birchall

A few years ago it was thought that a soldier was a machine, and should never be allowed to think for himself; the South African War altered all that, as far as our Army was concerned; the soldier is now taught to use his brains and to take advantage of ground and cover, with results which have been amply justified during the present war. In other words, our men are regarded as intelligent human beings.

(Birchall, Rapid Training of a Company for War, 1915, 29)

Arthur Percival Dearman Birchall was one of three CEF colonels killed in action during the second battle of Ypres in April 1915. Born on 3 July 1877 in Gloucester, England, Birchall was a professional soldier and fourteen-year veteran with the British Army. Before the World War, he participated in an officer exchange program with the Canadian militia and relocated to western Canada. As a military instructor, he attempted to transform citizen militiamen into effective soldiers prepared for war.

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The Pensioner

Lieutenant Colonel R. H. Labatt
4th (Central Ontario) Battalion
Labatt

He was prominent in all manly sports, and for years a member of the champion Tiger football team. A successful oarsman and canoeist, Chairman of the Hamilton Club, an organization of outstanding ability, both in military life and in sport. His passing will be regretted by a very large circle. Personally he was the soul of honour and loved by all his friends.

(Trinity College School Record, 1919, 33)

Born on 24 Feb 1864 in London, Canada West, Robert Hodgetts Labatt was a member of the famous Canadian brewing family. A long time militiaman, he had volunteered as a private during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion. In August 1914, he was appointed commander of the 4th Battalion when the First Contingent assembled at Valcartier.

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The Grenadier

Lieutenant Colonel W. B. Kingsmill, D.S.O.
123rd (Royal Grenadiers) BattalionKingsmill

Feeling very confident that the Battalion will carry on in the future as it has done in the past, I wish one and all, A Happy New Year, and trust that it will please God to see our task completed, and that we will be back in Canada with those we Love in the not far distant future.

(Kingsmill, 123rd War Diary, 1 Jan 1918, 51)

Born in Toronto on 6 May 1876, Walter Bernard Kingsmill was a graduate of the Royal Military College and Osgoode Hall. He joined the 10th Royal Grenadiers in 1898 and became commanding officer of the militia regiment. In November 1915, he received authorization to raise the 123rd Battalion from Toronto.

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