Lt. Col. Rexford

Lieutenant Colonel I.P. Rexford
87th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) Battalion

As a Rotarian who has held for the last 35 years the classification of “corporate executor” in the Rotary Club of Montreal, I was horrified to read in an article in THE ROTARIAN for October a recommendation by the author that a person should designate his wife as sole executrix to avoid the coast of a bond and “keep the commission in the family.”

 Surely the author must know of the many tragedies which have followed where a man has named his wife as sole executrix, a person usually entirely without experience in administrating an estate and managing investments.

 (Rexford, “Re: Making a Will”, The Rotarian, Jan 1950, 55)

Born on 14 September 1884 in Quebec, Irving Putnam Rexford was a Royal Trust Company manager and member of the Rotary Club with ten years’ experience in the Canadian Grenadier Guards. In September 1915, he joined the 87th Battalion organized by Colonel Frank Meighen.

After Meighen received a promotion to brigadier general, Rexford assumed command of the 87th. Shortly after arriving in England in June 1916, Rexford was however replaced by Lieutenant Colonel R. W. Frost. The 87th deployed to France in August under Frost’s command as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division. Rexford requested resignation to return to the Royal Trust Company.

After returning to Canada, he attended an anti-conscription rally organized by Montreal Mayor and MP Mederic Martin. When Labour MP Alphonse Verville suggested that invalid soldiers had been kept in England to conceal public knowledge about their injuries, Rexford shouted out, “It is not so!” The crowd immediately swarmed Rexford and a fellow soldier. Mayor Martin and the police tried to escort them away for their own safety. As the pair made an escape on a streetcar, an angry mob of 5,000 gave chase, hurling rocks at the windows.

Rexford became president of the Royal Trust Company after the war and continued charitable work through the Rotary Club. He died in Montreal on 5 March 1955.


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