Major General F.O.W. Loomis
13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion
We have laid the bodies of many of our best under rows of little wooden crosses. We love those comrades who have fallen; we remember their deeds, and recall their deaths with pride and joy, and we know that their souls go marching with us. We know that the spirit of devotion that animated them remains with us, and we feel that the enemy has no battalions, no gas, guns, shells, nor bombs which will dampen or deter this spirit of determination — the Canadian Spirit.
(Loomis to W. F. Gibson, The Listening Post, 1 Dec 1917, 3)
Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis was a Montreal manufacturer and member of the militia since 1886. He was born in Sherbrook, Quebec on 1 February 1870. As commander of the Royal Highlanders, Loomis led the 13th Battalion to France in February 1915. He guided the Highlanders through the first major action at Second Ypres and was promoted to command the 2nd Brigade in January 1916.
While on leave to Canada around Christmas 1917, Loomis recalled his time as a battalion commander:
When I was in command of the 13th Battalion, I was in close touch with your work, and you can have no idea of the change in the mental attitude of the men when your parcels arrived. Nothing has a better effect on the men at the front than the knowledge that they are remembered by those here in Canada, and I think that you ladies, of the Highland battalions, have perhaps done more than any others.
(Montreal Gazette, 15 Jan 1918, 4)
After Major General Lipsett transferred to the British Army in September 1918, Loomis was promoted to major general in command of the 2nd Division. He explained of trench warfare:
I think, that our men are in a more happy frame of mind when there is a little shelling going on (not too close) as then he is not afraid of anything worse, but when things are quiet his imagination gets working and this war has produced such devilish methods of killing and torturing people that it is pardonable for them to wonder if the Germans are hatching some new fiendishness.
He died from heart disease on 15 February 1937.