Lieutenant Colonel L.F. Page, D.S.O.
50th (Calgary) Battalion
Col. Page was essentially a line officer. Wherever the storm was thickest there he was sure to be found. No officer that was ever with the battalion was better known to the men generally, because he toured his front religiously. He never shirked a duty or danger, and never spared himself, and he expected those under him to live up to the same brand of soldiership and manhood.
(Red Deer News, 11 Jun 1919, 1)
A native of England, Lionel Frank Page was born on 17 December 1884. He was a Red Deer, Alberta rancher and member of the 15th Light Horse. He enlisted as a subaltern with the 5th western Cavalry in September 1915, rose to become second-in-command and went on to command the 50th Battalion.
He distinguished himself at Second Ypres when all the officers in his company were killed or wounded. On soldier reported, “He got us out of a place where it look as if it was impossible to get out alive, and he did this with the nerve of an old veteran. After this we would follow him anywhere.”
In March 1917, Brigadier General Hilliam, who had been impressed with the young officer when both served in the 5th, appointed Page to command the 50th Battalion. Victor Wheeler recalled in his memoir, Page “enjoyed our complete confidence and had inspired us by his example of fearless leadership under fire.”
Another under his command attested to Page’s personal leadership qualities:
He was extraordinarily brave himself and the mere fact of his personal bravery seemed to reach down into the other ranks in the battalion. I can’t believe there isn’t a tremendous amount of importance to be attached to the personal bearing of the commanding officer of a battalion.
His superior officers equally appreciated Page’s bravery. By the end of the war he had won the Distinguished Service Order and two Bars.
During the Second World War, Page became major general on the Canadian Army List. He died in Halifax on 26 August 1944.