Lt. Col. Tait

Lieutenant Colonel John S. Tait
29th (Tobin’s Tigers) Battalion


Major J. S. Tait, acting-lieutenant-colonel since Colonel Tobin went to a higher post, had a narrow shave two days ago, being buried by a shell. Although badly shaken up and suffering from shell shock, he has refused to leave the boys and is sticking to it.

(Vancouver World, 6 Oct 1916, 3)

Three months after succeeding Lieutenant Colonel Tobin in command of the 29th Battalion, John Spottiswood Tait was buried by a shell explosion on 10 September 1916. Suffering serious burns and broken limbs, he was dug out and sent to hospital. Tait was born in Portbello, Scotland on 6 June 1875. He belonged to the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders and enlisted in the 29th Tigers as senior major in November 1915.

29thTaitAfter several months in hospital, he resumed command of the 29th Battalion in December 1916. His return was, however, brief. Still suffering from the effects of his injures and shell shock, Tait remained unfit for duty. By 22 January 1917, he had returned to England and command passed back to Lieutenant Colonel John Munro Ross.

After the war, Tait resumed his manufacturing career in British Columbia by forming a plastics and construction company. He died on 17 July 1951, two weeks after his forty-eight-year-old, Lieutenant-Colonel J.M.S. Tait, son who had commanded the Seaforth Highlanders during the Second World War.

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