Lt. Col. Patterson

Lieutenant Colonel W.R. Patterson
4th Canadian Mounted Rifles


J.M. Patterson, ex-Mayor of Paris this morning expressed doubt that it is his son, Lt.-Col. W.R. Patterson who was yesterday reported to have been raised to the rank of Brigadier. Lt.-Col. Patterson is in command of the 4th CMR, while another officer, Lt.-Col. R.W Paterson, attached to the Fort Garry Horse, is the on who has received promotion. Similar confusion has arisen before as both officers have won the D.S.O.

(Brantford Courier, 5 June 1918)

William Reginald Patterson was born on 1 December 1884 in Paris, Ontario where he father was later three time mayor. The younger Patterson worked in his father’s grocery and glassware store before enlisting in the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, which by the end of the war he would command. Their very similar last names and reversed initials meant he was frequently confused with Brigadier Robert Walter Paterson of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade.

After receiving a promotion to major and the DSO for gallantry, Patterson assumed command of the 4th CMR in May 1917. In his final address to the regiment two years later, he remarked:

We have left many of our best and bravest comrades on the battlefields of France and Belgium, but we have not forgotten them nor the great sacrifice … You are now entering an entirely ne life, with altogether different problems, and I feel certain that the same spirit and determination which carried you so triumphantly through the greatest battles of history, will enable you to successful overcome difficulties of civil life.

Patterson offered to help any service member in this transition and shared his address in Paris, Ontario for any correspondence from his now former soldiers.

He died in his hometown on 18 June 1953.


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