The Worn-Out

Lieutenant Colonel Billy Evans, D.S.O.
52nd (New Ontario) BattalionEvans

Marked spells of general weakness, occasionally shortness of breath, easily fatigued, spells of nervousness with trembling of whole body. Has no confidence in himself and lacks concentrating powers.

(Medical History of an Invalid, 17 Jul 1919)

William Barnard Evans was a Montreal businessman with fourteen years’ service in the 3rd Royal Victoria Rifles. He was born in Toronto on 31 October 1875. On the formation of the 60th Battalion in spring 1915, he became second-in-command to Lieutenant Colonel Gascoigne.

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The Mountain Climber

Lieutenant Colonel W. W. Foster, D.S.O., M.L.A
52nd (New Ontario) Battalion Foster

Billy Foster was a very interesting and safe companion, who always wore well no matter what the circumstances or the dangers might be. He was what is called a good mixer and always had an interesting and appropriate tale of experience, or a story, for that pause during a discussion or controversy which, if not pleasantly broken, might result in serious contention.

When there are more men like him to protect and guide its Nations, the whole world will be a safer and better place for all mankind.

(A. H. MacCarthy, Alpine Journal, 1954)

William Wasbrough Foster was a mountaineer, president of the Alpine Club and among the first to climb Mount Robson and Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak. He was born in Bristol, England on 1 October 1876 and immigrated to Canada in 1894. Mount Colonel Foster on Vancouver Island is named in his honour.

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The Man Among Boys

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Daniel MacKay
196th (Western Universities) BattalionMackay_DS

The student, then, is working at high pressure and has no time for consideration of the subjects he is taught in the day. As a matter of fact he has no time to think for himself, and the consequence is that he must come out of the university more or less as a sort of stuffed fowl rather than a human being who can tackle a question and analyse it. We have found this not only with our own students but with students from elsewhere.

(MacKay, Medical Conference, 20 Dec 1924, 133)

Daniel Sayre MacKay was a Manitoba physician, graduate of McGill University, officer in the Cameron Highlanders and second-in-command of Lieutenant Colonel Snider’s 27th Battalion. The son of Conservative Senator William MacKay (1847—1915), Major MacKay was born in Reserve Mines, Nova Scotia on 20 January 1878. While serving overseas with the 6th Brigade headquarters, MacKay was selected to command the 196th raised from university students in western Canada.

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The Hockey Pioneer

Major Lennox Irving
&
Lieutenant Colonel E. J. Watt
240th (Renfrew) Battalion

We have the best type of manhood in the world in our brave troop fighting somewhere or everywhere in France. To appreciate even in the slightest degree, one mast see the heroes as they go Into the trenches, go over the parapet, facing fearful odds, and then see them at their rest camps preparing for a great attack.

(Maj. Irving, Ottawa Journal, 11 Aug 1917, 16)

Edgar John Watt was a stove and furnace manufacturer with twelve years’ experience in the 42nd Regiment. He was born in Lamarck, Ontario on 4 July 1884. After the formation of the 240th Battalion, former 42nd Regiment commanding officer, fifty-three year old Lennox Irving came out of retirement to serve as second-in-command.

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The Bulldog

Brigadier General Edward Hilliam
25th (Nova Scotia Rifles) BattalionHilliam

Colonel Hilliam who was now our commanding officer, says that the 25th battalion made his name; but the 25th boys are equally positive that he made the battalion. It was truly wonderful the confidence we placed in him and he never disappointed us. He was very strong on discipline, and when all is said and done that is most essential in the army.

(Lieut. Lewis, Over the Top with the 25th, 1918)

Born in December 1862 in Spalding, England, Edward Hilliam was a soldier, policeman, boxer and swordsman. He had belonged to the 17th Lancers in the British Army before immigrating to Canada to join the North West Mounted Police in 1893. In 1899, he volunteered to serve in the Boer War and during the campaign, earned a reputation as an excellent scout and was praised as “a bold and resolute leader.”

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The Birthday Boy

Brigadier General Victor Williams
8th Infantry BrigadeWilliams

 The whole front was a tangled mass of ruins. Only a few isolated posts were alive. General Mercer was dead. And General Williams, leg broken and spine twisted, yet fighting gamely against odds, with only a wooden wiring-stake for a weapon was being clubbed into submission by the butt-end of a Mauser in the hands of a German infantryman.

(Toronto Globe, 2 Jun 1928, 17)

Victor Arthur Seymour Williams was the most senior Canadian officer taken prisoner during the First World War. He was captured at the battle of Mont Sorrel on 2 June 1916, incidentally his forty-ninth birthday.

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The Queen’s Own

Major General Malcolm Mercer †
3rd Infantry DivisionMercer

It is now fully believed here that General Mercer is dead.

Nothing whatever has been heard of him since and it is now considered almost certain that his body lies in the shell torn area where the former front trenches were, but are now practically obliterated.

(Montreal Daily Mail, 6 June 1916, 1)

Malcolm Smith Mercer was the highest ranked Canadian officer killed in the First World War. He was born on 17 September 1859 in Etobicoke, Canada West. While a student at the University of Toronto, he joined the Queen’s Own Rifles in 1881. He became commanding officer of the Regiment in 1911 and was posted to the 1st Infantry Brigade when the First Contingent assembled at Valcartier in August 1914.

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The Ironman

Lieutenant Colonel Lorne McLaughlin, D.S.O. 2nd (Iron Second) BattalionMcLaughlin

Such loyal and ready support as this always goes a long way to foster the already good feeling which exists between your own battalion and the one which I have the honour to command. With very best wishes. (McLaughlin to Bart Rogers, 3rd Bn., 11 Nov 1917)

Lorne Tolbert McLaughlin was a farmer born on 14 February 1879 in Tyrone, Darlington Township, Ontario. He was a militia officer and member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 764. In March 1915, he enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston’s 39th Battalion from Belleville. After the 39th was broken up, McLaughlin transferred to the 2nd Battalion on the front. Continue reading

The Tory

Lieutenant Colonel B. O. Hooper, M.C.
20th (Central Ontario) BattalionHooper

Remembrance Day in a sane world should be to remember the character of the enemy.

Remembrance Day should not be a mockish, sentimental thing. If the English race would remember more of what happened, they would remember that they are dealing with a people that speak in a different language.

(Hooper, Globe and Mail, 11 Nov 1938, 15)

Bertram Osmer Hooper was a Hamilton banker and member of the 13th Royal Regiment. He was born on 20 August 1879 in Churchville, Ontario. He volunteered in November 1914 as a subaltern in John McLaren’s 19th Battalion. He distinguished himself at the front and won the Military Cross for a leading a daring trench raid in January 1916.

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The Disgruntled

Lieutenant Colonel Hercule Barré
150th (Carabiniers Mont-Royal) Battalion Barre

If it had been intended to punish me and my battalion for a breach of discipline, no more drastic measure could have been adopted than the order to break it up and disperse its men, without their Officers, through the cadres of four different English speaking battalions.

Even if the necessity of breaking the cadre were conceded, from every point of view, the dispersion of the men is indefensible.

(Barré to Edward Kemp, 14 Feb 1918)

Born on 31 March 1879 in Montreal, Hercule Barré was a Quebec advertising manager with eighteen-years’ experience in the 65th Regiment. Wounded in the leg while fighting with the 14th Battalion during the second Battle of Ypres, Barré was invalided to Canada on board RMS Hesperian. When a German U-boat torpedoed the ocean liner off the coast of Queenstown, Ireland, Barré assisted the crew in evacuating the ship and loading the lifeboats. Sam Hughes praised the major, noting that his “conduct was only keeping with his splendid service at the front.”

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