Lt. Col. Kirkpatrick

Lieutenant Colonel J.R. Kirkpatrick
55th (New Brunswick and P.E.I.) Battalion

I know lots of men who would go, but they are not prepared to serve under mushroom officers who don’t know their duty. An officer, to be a good officer, must be trained not picked up politically or otherwise because he has an uncle or an aunt or somebody connected with the titled people we have around. I am speaking now more particularly of my own province.

(Senator James Domville, Debates, 4 May 1916, 413)

Born on 18 December 1863 in Debec Junction, New Brunswick, James Renfrew Kirkpatrick was a farmer and long-time militiaman. He had served for nearly thirty years in the 67th (Carleton Light Infantry). As commanding officer of regiment, he travelled to Valcartier in August 1914 during the formation of the First Contingent.

In early 1915, Kirkpatrick was selected to raise the 55th Battalion from the Maritimes. When it arrived in England in November 1915, the battalion provided reinforcements for the front. In July it was absorbed by the 40th Battalion. By 1917 it was redesigned the 26th Reserve Battalion under the command of Lieutenant A. G. Vincent.

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