The Irishman

Major General Louis Lipsett †
8th (90th Winnipeg Rifles) BattalionLipsett

General Lipsett is not only a fine soldier but a sympathetic Irishman, with the power of inspiring personal affection and devotion among those under him to a very unusual degree.

He inspires such confidence that I cannot imagine any man showing fear in his presence. To have Lipsett by your side would be enough to give a coward courage. “He never asks anyone to do a thing that he is not ready to do himself,” his men say. “He never forgets a man. He knows everybody’s name and all about us.”

(F. A. McKenzie, Through the Hindenburg Line, 1918, 9)

Born on 14 June 1874 in Ballyshannon, Ireland, Louis James Lipsett was a professional soldier with the Royal Irish Regiment. He served for five years in India on the Northwest Frontier. A veteran of the Tirah Campaign and the Boer War, he participated in an officer exchange program with the Canadian militia in 1911 and relocated to western Canada. After the outbreak of the Great War, he secured British Columbia coastal defences and assumed command of the 8th (Little Black Devils) Battalion, based in Winnipeg.

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The Shopkeeper

Lieutenant Colonel J. A. W. Allan
20th (Central Ontario) BattalionJAWAllan

Replying to the address of welcome, Col. Allan spoke briefly, thanking his fellow townsmen for their many expressions of kindness. He had visited England, Wales, Scotland, Belgium and France, where he was in the trenches for a short time. He thought the ultimate victory of the allies was beyond doubt, but much hard fighting remained.

(Toronto World, 25 Sept 1916, 2)

Born on 6 September 1864, John Alfred Walker Allan was a successful hardware merchant and mayor of Newmarket (1913—1914). He stepped down at the outbreak of the Great War to raise the 20th Battalion from his hometown and central Ontario. Commanding officer of the 12th York Rifles, Allan had also served in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

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The Imposter

“Colonel” Omar Leslie Macklem

Detroit—“Colonel” Omar L. Macklem who for several days has been lionized locally as a war hero, and who has figured prominently in military demonstrations here, today was ordered deported to Canada…

(New York Times, 6 Nov 1917, 3)

Entire vindication has been given Col. Omar Macklem, whose famous case aroused the interest of the whole country…

(Toronto Globe, 11 Dec 1917, 10)

After United States border officials deported Omar Leslie Macklem from Michigan in November 1917, Canadian military authorities charged the “bogus colonel” with impersonating an officer and forging cheques. Born on 12 June 1884 in Tilbury, Ontario, Macklem had enlisted as a private with the 33rd Battalion in March 1915.

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