Lieutenant Colonel Fred McRobie
244th (Kitchener’s Own) Battalion
I desire to pause here to pay just tribute to the memory of that man who organized the army which will yet win victory for Britain and for the allied nations; I mean Lord Kitchener.
To his standing as a great soldier, as the virtual head of the British army at the time; to his military ability, to his indomitable will, which had been tested on so many occasions, the people of the United Kingdom and the whole Empire looked in the day of trial, and they did not look in vain.
(Robert Borden, Debates, 22 Jan 1917, 27)
On 5 June 1916, while transporting British War Minister, Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, on a diplomatic mission to Russia, the HMS Hampshire struck a German mine near the Orkney Islands. Earl Kitchener and his staff drowned in the violent sea along with 643 crew and passengers. One day later, the 244th Battalion was authorized from Montreal under the command of Frederick Mackenzie McRobie. Sir Sam Hughes dubbed the new unit Kitchener’s Own and called on recruits to avenge the War Minister’s death.
Lieutenant Colonel John G. Rattray
10th (Fighting Tenth) Battalion
But when I find myself honored by such frenzied attacks by the Rabbi Samuel, the chief Hebrew apologist of Jewry and Jewish morals, and this attack signed by the Canadian Jewish committee (what’s in a name!) a short statement of my side of the story would appear necessary…
If it is personal attack, it is apparent in every paragraph that the Hebrews are ‘out to get Colonel Rattray.’
(Rattray to Winnipeg Free Press, 13 Jan 1922, 19)
John Grant Rattray was a schoolteacher, militia officer, hardware salesman, newspaper publisher, businessman, town reeve, insurance agent, soldier, police chief, political campaigner, civil servant, veterans’ official and sportsman. Born on 15 January 1867 in Banffshire, Scotland, he immigrated to Manitoba in the 1880s. As commanding officer of the 20th Border Horse, he organized the 10th Battalion at Valcartier when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled in September 1914.
Lieutenant Colonel W. W. Stewart †
86th (Machine Gun) Battalion
The cost of this tremendous war cannot be stated in terms of the Stock Exchange, for life and happiness mean infinitely more than dollars and cents.
Who can assess the value of a genial disposition, a kindly, sympathetic nature, a forceful personality, a large heart, a noble, earnest spirit?
(The Canadian Machine Gunner, June 1917, 12)
Born on 1 June 1871 in Covington, Kentucky, Walter Wilson Stewart immigrated to Canada with his family as a boy. He pursued a career in architecture, working in Hamilton and Cleveland, Ohio. In the Canadian militia, he served for two years with the 13th Regiment and twelve years with the 91st Highlanders. Beginning in 1915, he organized the 86th Battalion based in Hamilton with former 4th Battalion commander Robert H. Labatt.