Lt. Col. Latta

Lieutenant Colonel W.S. Latta
29th (Vancouver) Battalion
Latta

He led his battalion in an attack against a village, outstripping the troops on his left, as well as the guns and tanks. In this difficult, situation he handled his battalion with such skill that he reached his final objective with, comparatively small loss. He has at all times displayed fine leadership in action until severely wounded.

(2nd Bar D.S.O. Citation, Gazette, 4 Dec 1918, 4380)

Born in Ayr, Scotland on 14 April 1879, William Smith Latta was a British Columbia bookkeeper and member of the 6th Duke of Connaught Regiment. He was commissioned into the 29th Battalion at the rank of major and succeeded Lieutenant Colonel John Munro Ross in command on 23 July 1917. Multiple times decorated for bravery, he received the Distinguished Service Order and two Bars.

He became director of the Soldier Settlement Board in the 1930s. In the Second World War, his son John Blandford Latta distinguished himself with the RAF during the Battle of Britain. He went missing in action on 12 January 1941 and was presumed killed.

The elder Latta died in Victoria on 16 September 1966.

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