Lieutenant Colonel Robert I. Towers
70th (London) Battalion
Lieut.-Col. Robert I. Towers, K.C., a member of the legal firm of Galt, Gooderham & Towers, died by his own hand in a room in a downtown hotel last night. With a bullet wound through the head the lifeless body of Col. Towers was found in the bathroom by the house detective. With one emptied chamber, a .22 calibre revolver lay at the colonel’s side.
(Toronto Star, 11 April 1930, 13)
A native of Sarnia, Robert Irwin Towers was born on 29 October 1876. He was one of the foremost lawyers in western Ontario, particularly concerning mining, admiralty and maritime law. As the retired commanding officer of the 27th (St. Clair Borderers) Regiment, Towers was appointed to raise the 70th Battalion from Essex, Kent, Lambton and Middlesex counties in summer 1915.
Despite the protests of Towers and his senior officers, the 70th Battalion was broken-up and absorbed into the reserves once it arrived in England in June 1916. After returning to Canada, Towers was appointed King’s Counsel. He moved to Toronto where he was active in various sports and social clubs.
Devastated by the sudden death of his friend and law partner, James O. Buckley, in January 1930, Towers sunk into a deep depression. Aggravated by business concerns after the stock market crash of November 1929 in addition to the personal loss, Towers took his own life on 10 April 1930.