Lieutenant Colonel W.G. Ketcheson
80th (Hastings) Battalion
While not possessed of a very high academic education, Lieut. Col. Ketcheson has the qualities most essential in a Commanding Officer, i.e. – the ability to handle men and a strong personality.
(80th Bn. inspection report, 1916)
Born on 29 March 1862 in Hastings County, Canada West, William Gilbert Ketcheson was a member of an old United Empire Loyalist family. His ancestor, Colonel William Ketcheson (1759—1848) had immigrated to Hastings County after the American Revolution and later served in the War of 1812. With 8 children, 71 grandchildren and 59 great-grandchildren, many of his descendants assumed prominent positions in the county.
Authorized to raise the 80th Battalion from Bellville in summer 1915, Ketcheson was the commanding officer of the 49th Rifles. He had belonged to the militia since 1886 and owned a one hundred acre farm in Sidney. Recruited from eastern Ontario, Ketcheson’s battalion departed Canada in May 1916. In England. The unit provided reinforcements until it was disorganized in September 1916.
Ketcheson went on an instructional tour with the 43rd Cameron Highlanders in August 1916. He was struck off strength in June 1917 and returned to Canada.
He died in 1955.