The Conducting Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Percy Domville
164th (Halton and Dufferin) Battalion

He has been a faithful officer for many years. I have had no report as to what his misdeeds were as Conducting Officer… His is a sad and serious case as he has a wife and two children and his job with the Westinghouse people was filled when he was away.

(Gen. Mewburn to Gen. Ashton, 8 Apr 1918)

 A native of Belfast, Ireland, Percy Domville was born on 4 June 1867. After immigrating to Canada, he became a mechanical engineer in Hamilton and joined the 13th Regiment. He spent thirty years in the militia and was appointed to the Shell Commission in Ottawa after the outbreak of the Great War.

In early 1916, Domville was authorized to raise the 164th Battalion from Halton and Dufferin Counties. To stimulate enlistment, he warned men of the counties “If conscription is necessary they may not get credit for their service.”

164thDomvilleDue to the difficult recruiting environment, the unit never reached full strength and did not sail for England until April 1917. When he went on an instructional tour of the front with the 15th Battalion in late June 1917, Major Byron Malcolm Green, the son-in-law of Sir Sam Hughes, took command of the 164th.

Although found unfit for a field position due to overage, Domville was selected for conducting duty in command of troops returning to Canada. Due to allegations of inefficiency and incompetence after his first voyage he was relieved in April 1918.

Having given up civil employment during the war, he appealed for reinstatement as a conducting officer but was denied.

He died in 1951.

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