The Legacy

Lieutenant Colonel G. T. Denison †
2nd Division Cyclist CompanyDenison

Lieut.-Col. Denison’s death is a great personal loss to me as an old friend. It must be a splendid satisfaction to his family to know he upheld the traditions of the first military family in Canada. As to the loss to Col. Denison, I can only say that when I left him this morning he was bearing his grief like a Christian gentleman and a soldier.

(Crown Attorney Seymour Corley, Toronto Star, 15 May 1917, 2)

On 8 May 1917, George Taylor Denison IV was killed in action at the battle of Fresnoy. His father, Toronto police magistrate Colonel George Taylor Denison III (1839—1925) was a long-time Conservative militia leader, imperialist activist and patriarch of one of the city’s most influential Loyalist families. When the death of Denison was announced during a session of his father’s police court, the elder judge sat motionless before quietly exiting to his chambers. He was later heard to remark, that his son “would wish no better death than to die for his country.”

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The Bermudan

Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Carpenter
Royal Canadian RegimentCarpenter

Colonel Carpenter, who had resided in Bermuda since the early days of the war, was deservedly popular in the community. He had a great charm of manner and his splendid courtesy and generous disposition won for him a great circle of friends. Until quite recently he was in the best of health and could daily be seen taking his vigorous early morning walk to the South Shore where he loved to bathe.

(Royal Gazette, 27 Oct 1933)

Albert Edward Carpenter was born on 2 September 1866 in Hamilton, Canada West. He joined the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1889 and served in the Boer War. He commanded the regiment from January until August 1915 while on garrison duty in Bermuda. When the R.C.R. departed for Halifax to sail on to England, Carpenter was unable to join his men in the field due to ill health and overage.

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The Fatalist

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Jones, D.S.O. †
21st (Eastern Ontario) BattalionJones

I have a presentiment that I am going into this fight probably to be killed.

(Lieut.-Col. Jones to W. R. Givens, Renfrew Mercury, 6 Sept 1918)

Elmer Watson Jones was killed in action on 8 August 1918 during the first day of the battle of Amiens. He had succeeded Brigadier General W. S. Hughes as commander of the 21st Battalion on 18 July 1916. A native of Brockville, Jones was born on 23 March 1874. He had served for eight years in the 41st Regiment and joined the 21st Battalion in charge of “A” company. He received a field promotion to second-in-command in January 1916.

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The Young Man

Major Bernard C. Pittman
212th (Winnipeg Americans) Battalion

Ability not age is the dominating factor in promotions over there. Major Bishop of the Canadian aviation corps, the most brilliant aviator in the British army is 18 years old. There is a brigadier general in the British army who is 28. This general enlisted from civil life as a private and worked his way to the top.

This war has proven that only young men and those of good physical ability can stand the strain of battle. Look at the order of General Pershing sending home all brigadier generals over 45 years of age.

(Pittman’s speech, Ellensburg Daily Record, 23 Jan 1918, 1)

Bernard Cleveland Pittman was born on 21 March 1887 in Independence, Missouri. In late 1915, the young National Guardsman travelled to Winnipeg to join the 101st Battalion and offered to raise an all-American company. After the formation of the 97th American Legion he went to Toronto to became the battalion junior major. When a regional American battalion was formed in the west, Pittman headed back to Winnipeg to take command of the 212nd.

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The Horseman

Brigadier General R. W. Paterson
6th (Fort Garry Horse) Battalion Paterson

I told him [Col. MacDonald] the whole story of the Bde. and how they would like to be under command of a Canadian. He intends seeing the Bde. before going back to London. I told him everyone swears by Col. Paterson.

(Lt-Col. Beers, Diary, 15 July 1917)

Born on 22 October 1876 in Guelph, Ontario, Robert Walter Paterson founded the Fort Garry Horse in 1912. He had moved to Manitoba in 1902 and worked as a bank manager and manufacturer. In August 1914, he organized the 6th Battalion from Western cavalry militia units, including the Fort Garry Horse, 18th Mounted Rifles, 20th Border Horse, 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse and 32nd Manitoba Horse.

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The Polo Player

Lieutenant Colonel Bart McLennan, D.S.O. †
42nd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) BattalionMcLennan

His death is an irreparable loss, not only to the Battalion, which he loved, and for which he rendered such brilliant and devoted service, but also to the Brigade and Division. All ranks who had the privilege of serving under his command had learned to love him as a friend and counsellor, and to admire him as a brilliant and gallant soldier and gentleman.

(42nd Bn. War Diary, 3 Aug 1918, 4)

Bartlett McLennan succeeded Major S.C. Norsworthy as commander of the 42nd Battalion on 6 April 1917. Born on 10 November 1868, McLennan was a graduate of the Royal Military College and president of the Montreal Transportation Company. He advanced philanthropic initiatives in the city and promoted amateur sports as a means of social progress. An enthusiastic sportsman, McLennan was an accomplished equestrian, hunter and polo player.

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The Grand Master

Lieutenant Colonel Milton K. Adams
155th (Quinte) BattalionMKAdams

Officer states that he is completely deaf in right ear and that in damp weather he has considerable pain and tenderness in ear. He complains of a constant foul and unpleasant discharge from antrum, discharge often abundant.

(“Medical History of Invalid,” 10 Sept 1918)

Milton Kerr Adams was an Orangeman, Grand Master of the Loyal True Blue Association and commanding officer of the 16th Regiment. He was born in South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, Ontario on 29 July 1872. After the outbreak of the Great War, Adams became treasurer of the local Patriotic Fund. He resigned this position in November 1915 when he was authorized to raise the 155th based in Picton. At a recruitment rally in April 1916, ninety-two year old former Prime Minister Sir Mackenzie Bowell delivered an address to encourage enlistment.

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The Cadet Instructor

Lieutenant Colonel R. K. Barker
95th (Toronto) Battalion Barker

Man looks unwell.

Complains of weakness, loss of weight, loss of sleep, loss of nervous control. Accounts for this by loss of food and sleep.

(“Medical History of an Invalid,” 7 November 1923)

Rybert Kent Barker was a military instructor in Toronto and veteran of the Boer War. Born on 21 September 1869 in Kingston, Ontario, he had served with the Queen’s Own Rifles from 1880 to 1910 and commanded “C” company in South Africa. Prior to being appointed commander of the 95th Battalion, he was a cadet drill instructor with the 2nd Military Division.

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The Welshman

Lieutenant Colonel A. Pryce-Jones
113th (Lethbridge Highlanders) Battalion

Why is it that we never hear our O.C. condemned for little things which are common in other units?

Answer: The men are just beginning to realize that he is every inch a gentleman, every fiber a soldier and above all, every ounce a man. Always ready to listen to any man’s story and just under all circumstances, he cannot but hold the respect of the men under his command.

(Lethbridge Highlander, 16 Sept 1916, 7)

Born in Newton, Wales on 26 May 1870, Albert W. Pryce-Jones was the son of Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones, a former Conservative member of the British House of Commons. He attended Cambridge University, became a noted sportsman and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He moved to Canada in 1910 and established the department store Pryce-Jones Ltd. in Calgary.

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The Northman

Lieutenant Colonel R. A. Gillespie
226th (Men of the North) BattalionGillespie

An ardent lover of outdoor life and successful participant in many manly sports, a natural leader of men, understanding thoroughly the life and character of the Western man, the Colonel with his splendid military knowledge, especially in machine gun and musketry, is eminently fitted to command any Canadian Battalion, but particularly one containing so large a percentage of Western men as the 226th.

(226th Overseas Battalion, C.E.F, 1916, 3)

A native of Winnipeg, Robert Alexander Gillespie was born on 24 January 1881. He was a trained druggist and chemist. In 1912, he had helped to organize the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry. Gillespie joined the 61st Battalion as junior major until he received authorization to raise the 226th from northern Manitoba in November 1915. Dubbed the “Men of the North,” the 226th officers considered their volunteers “physically superior” to the other battalions

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