The Benefactor

Lieutenant Colonel W. E. S. Knowles
129th (Wentworth) BattalionKnowles

I am afraid there are some of your letters unanswered, but we are having some of the longest days that the militia have ever been called on to perform. The old time camp of instruction was like a Sunday school picnic by comparison.

(Maj. Kemmis to Knowles, 12 Sept 1914)

William Edward Sheridan Knowles was a barrister, former mayor of Dundas (1894—1895) and commanding officer of the 77th Regiment. He was born in Wentworth County, Canada West on 3 October 1862. In December 1915, he was authorized to raise the 129th Battalion from his home region. 129thCOAfter arriving in England in August 1916, the 129th was divided between the 123rd and 124th Battalions before the remnant was absorbed into the 12th Reserves in October. The fifty-three year old Knowles returned to Canada in February 1917. A nephew, Lieutenant R. M. Knowles, was killed in action in August 1918.

Knowles died on 28 August 1931. In his will, he donated most of his $225,000 estate to the town of Dundas for municipal beautification, specifically to preserve the area around Webster’s Falls.

His daughter later contested the will but was unsuccessful in blocking the transfer of the estate to the town.

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