Lt. Col. G.H. Kirkpatrick

Lieutenant Colonel G.H. Kirkpatrick
11th Canadian Mounted Rifles & 72nd Battalion

The outstanding fearlessness of the new C.O., Lieut-Col. G. H. Kirkpatrick, D.S.O., also calls for special notice. This was the first occasion on which he had complete command of the Battalion in an action, and his courage and coolness were an inspiration to all ranks.

(History of the 72nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, 1920, 150)

Guy Hamilton Kirkpatrick succeeded Lieutenant Colonel J. A. Clark in command of the 72nd Battalion on 5 September 1918. Born on 5 November 1875 in Kingston, Ontario, he graduated from the Royal Military College in 1896 and fought in South Africa with Lord Strathcona’s Horse. His father, Sir George Airey Kirkpatrick (1841—1899), had been a Conservative MP and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Kirkpatrick pursued various mining interests in Somaliland following the Boer War. After moving to British Columbia, he joined the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders of Canada on its formation in 1910. Beginning in spring 1915, he raised the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles. After the regiment was broken up in England to provide reinforcements, Kirkpatrick took command of the 24th Reserve Battalion in January 1917. Four months later, he reverted to the rank of major and joined the 72nd Battalion on the front.

When Clark was promoted to brigadier general, command of the 72nd passed to Kirkpatrick.  The official Seaforth Highlanders history noted that in compiling the battalion war diary, Kirkpatrick “was untiring in his efforts in this direction, and convinced all concerned of the importance of this memorial of a strenuous time.” He continued as commanding officer of the militia regiment from 1919 to 1924.

He died in Vancouver on 19 December 1963.


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