The Dragoon

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. van Straubenzee †
Royal Canadian DragoonsStraubenzee

It was the C.O.’s intention to ride with “B” Sqdn. Whilst he was walking to his horse from a point where he had been reconnoitring, he was killed by a shell.

(R.C.D. War Diary, 9 Oct 1918, 9)

Born on 17 June 1876 in Kingston, Ontario, Charles Turner Van Straubenzee was a professional soldier and veteran of the Boer War. In 1897, he joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons as a lieutenant and distinguished himself in numerous battles during the South African campaign. He was promoted to major in 1911.

Enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1914, van Straubenzee served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in France until 27 June 1916. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in command of the Canadian Light Horse. On 13 March 1917, he returned to the Dragoons, succeeding C. M. Nelles in command.

He was killed at Le Cateau on 9 October 1918 during one of the last cavalry charges of the war. Command of the Dragoons passed to Major T. Newcomen. Taking over 200 casualties in troopers and horses, the Dragoons nevertheless captured Le Cateau and captured 400 German prisoners.

Militia Personnel file number: 386-3

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