The United Farmer

Lieutenant Colonel Doug Carmichael, D.S.O., M.C.
116th (Ontario County) BattalionCarmichael

He wears two decorations on the breast for doing things to the Germans, which, according to King’s regulations and the best methods of procedure, should have been planned by him and executed by some mere sub. But he was one of those majors and colonels, rare in any army, who actually led his men—personally led, out in front. He has many raids to his credit. He showed up well in all battles.

(Morning Leader, 18 Mar 1922, 36)

Dougall Carmichael was a Grey County farmer with ten years’ experience with the 35th Simcoe Foresters. He was born on 8 November 1885 in Collingwood, Ontario. Standing five-foot-five, he joined Lieutenant Colonel H. A. Genet’s 58th Battalion and rose to second-in-command.

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The Defence Minister

Lieutenant Colonel G. R. Pearkes, D.S.O., M.C., V.C.
116th (Ontario County) BattalionPearkes

What kind of war must we be prepared to fight? With the introduction of nuclear weapons and the anticipated production of long-range ballistic missiles, it is obvious that the methods of waging any future war have clearly changed from those of World War II. Looking into the future is at best a risky business, but our military advisers must plan ahead, and it is their present opinion that a third world war would commence with a sudden ferocious thermonuclear attack of great intensity…

(Pearkes, Debates, 5 Dec 1957, 1900)

George Randolph Pearkes was a solider, politician, and winner of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British Empire. He was born on 28 February 1888 in Watford, Hertfordshire, England and immigrated to Alberta in 1906. He joined the North West Mounted Police and fought with the 2nd and 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Pearkes began his military career as a private; he retired as major general.

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The Methodist

Lieutenant Colonel Sam Sharpe, D.S.O., M.P. †
116th (Ontario County) BattalionSSharpe

But it is awful to contemplate the misery and suffering in this old world & were I to allow myself to ponder over what I have seen & what I have suffered thro the loss of the bravest & best in the world, I would soon become absolutely incapable of “Carrying on.”

(Sharpe to Muriel Hutchison, 21 Oct 1917)

Samuel Simpson Sharpe was a militia major and Conservative Member of Parliament for Ontario North (1908—1918). Born on 13 March 1873 in Zephyr, Scott Township, Ontario, he was a graduate from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall. During his university days, he was a champion tennis player and became a prominent solicitor in Uxbridge.

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The Veteran

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. W. W. Nasmyth
89th (Alberta) BattalionNasmyth

Another Calgary battalion has departed on its way to do its ‘bit’ for the Empire under the command of Lieut.-Col. W. W. Nasmyth, veteran of South Africa and hero of St. Julien. And amid the cheers of thousands who crowded the depot to see them off, the 89th battalion pulled away from Calgary, en route to the battle front in Flanders.

(Strathmore Standard, 31 May 1916, 8)

Born on 5 January 1866 in Mount Forest, Canada West, William Wylie Nasmyth was a Youngstown, Alberta physician and veteran of the Boer War. In September 1914, Nasmyth and his younger brother James volunteered as officers with the 10th Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Russ Boyle. Fighting together at St. Julien during the second battle of Ypres on 22 April 1915, the brothers found themselves surrounded by the German attackers. Dr. Nasmyth suffered a gunshot wound in the lung while his brother was killed.

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The Best Friend

Lieutenant Colonel J. V. P. O’Donahoe, D.S.O. †
87th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) BattalionO'Donahoe

You, Officers and men of the 87th have lost a gallant leader. And I have lost a trusted and dear friend. The whole Canadian Corps has lost a tried and able soldier.

(Brig-Gen. Odlum’s eulogy, 87th Bn. War Diary, 12 May 1918, 30)

On 8 May 1917, James Vincent Patrick O’Donahoe succeeded Major H. LeR. Shaw as commander of the 87th Battalion. Born on 27 May 1881 in Brockville, Ontario, O’Donahoe had served as a major with the 60th Battalion in France. In January 1917, he assumed command of the 199th Battalion for a tour of Ireland following Harry Trihey’s controversial resignation.

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The Police Chief

Lieutenant Colonel James Kirkcaldy, D.S.O.
78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) BattalionKirkcaldy

For conspicuous gallantry and resourceful leadership. When one of his companies was held up by machine-gun fire, he took charge and overcame the opposition. Later, by aggressive fighting, he got his battalion forward, and formed a defensive flank, using a rifle himself and directing machine–gun and trench-mortar fire, and drove the enemy from their positions. His courage and fighting spirit were an inspiration to all.

(Kirkcaldy D.S.O. Citation, London Gazette, July 1918, 133)

James Kirkcaldy was born in Abdie, Scotland on 18 May 1866. After serving for over seven years in the Imperial Forces, he immigrated to Canada in 1891 and settled in Brandon, Manitoba. Shortly thereafter, the six-foot Scotsman was appointed the town’s chief of police, a post he held for the next thirteen years (1892—1905). A former member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and serving major with the 99th Rangers, in August 1914, Kirkcaldy enlisted in Louis Lipsett’s 8th Battalion at the rank of major.

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The Old Timer & The Whippersnapper

Lieutenant Colonel Wellington WallaceWallace&
Major William Otter Morris
Morris234th (Peel) Battalion

Born in 1854 in Tipperary, Ireland, Wellington Wallace immigrated to Canada in 1878. He was a bank manager, militiaman and veteran of the Northwest Rebellion. He fought with the Queen’s Own Rifles against Cree Chief Poundmaker at the battle of Cut Knife on 2 May 1885. The son of a North West Mounted Police Inspector, William Otter Morris was born in Fort Battleford on 24 May 1885 and named after the Canadian commander at Cut Knife, Colonel William Dillon Otter. The thirty-year old Wallace and the two day old Morris were both present in Battleford when Poundmaker and the Cree surrendered on 26 May 1885. Over thirty years later, Morris succeed Wallace as commander of the 234th Battalion.

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The ’85er

Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston
39th Battalion JAVPreston

Marched the remainder of the way to Batoche today and joined Middleton’s command, arriving early in the afternoon. The field still bears all the marks of battle, with some dead half-breeds and Indians. Middleton’s men had been fighting practically night and day four days, and when it was over most of them went to sleep and nothing had been done towards clearing the field of burying the dead, which duty devolved to us in large measure on our arrival.

(Lieut. Preston, Diary, 13 May 1885)

John Alexander Victor Preston was a lawyer, Orangeman, and court official in Dufferin County. He was born on 4 December 1863 in Manvers, Canada West. Preston joined the militia at the age of thirteen and volunteered to put down the Northwest Rebellion of Louis Riel at twenty-two. He served as a lieutenant in the Midland Battalion under the command of Colonel A. T. H. Williams and fought at the battle of Batoche (9-12 May 1885).

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The Home Wrecker

Lieutenant Colonel L. J. Whitaker
3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles

The plaintiff [Mr. Hill] charges that the defendant [Col. Whitaker] alienated his wife’s affections and has broken up his home.

(Lethbridge Herald, 10 May 1917, 4)

Louis James Whitaker was a Fort Saskatchewan dry goods merchant and commanding officer of the 19th Alberta Dragoons. He was born in Staffordshire, England on 19 September 1870. He had belonged to the Manchester Volunteers before immigrating to Canada. In December 1914, he was appointed to command the 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles from Alberta. After landing in France in September 1915, he served for four months in the trenches before the 3rd CMR was disbanded on the reorganization of the Mounted Rifles Brigade.

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The Westerner

Lieutenant Colonel Sam Donaldson, M.P.
188th (Prince Albert) BattalionDonaldson

If you had 300 or more of these Indians at the Front they would make good snipers as they are crack marksmen and they are as tough as any class of people I have ever met in this country.

(Donaldson to Sam Hughes, 25 Nov 1915)

Samuel James Donaldson was a veteran of the 1885 Rebellion, a former member of the North-West Mounted Police, farmer, sportsman and politician. He was born on 12 March 1856 in Appleton, Canada West. Saskatchewan and its People (1924) noted, “his varied activities and numberless experiences serve to make his life story one of the most interesting of any of Canada’s native and adventurous sons.”

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