Lt. Col. Burton

Lieutenant Colonel R. de H. Burton
Newfoundland Regiment
de H Burton

Lt Col. Burton was also with them and he was looking remarkable well and his hand was now quite well though one of his fingers has been slightly bent. He said he was pleased to be among us again, and I must say he certainly looked it.

(Lt. O.W. Steele, diary, 11 Jan 1916)

Born in England on 8 September 1861, Reginald de Hardwicke Burton, was a former major with the Middlesex Regiment and Boer War veteran. He had been severely wounded at the Battle of Spion Kop in January 1900 and was placed on retired army pay in 1909. On 13 November 1914, he came out of retirement to take command of the Newfoundland Regiment. In August 1915, the unit left England for Egypt before deploying to the Gallipoli Front.

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Lt. Col. Clegg

Lieutenant Colonel E.B. Clegg
Newfoundland Regiment & 9th Reserve Battalion

While I have no wish to make comparisons, I believe that they are not surpassed by any unit in the camp for all round smartness on parade, steadiness in the ranks and general intelligence, while their physical fitness appears to be excellent.

 Newfoundland may be proud of her sons; they will no doubt give a good account of themselves, should they get into the stress of war.

(Lt-Col. Clegg to Governor Walter E. Davidson, 4 Nov 1914)

Edward Boucher Clegg was born in Peterborough, Canada West on 16 November 1864. He had served in the militia for thirty-one years and commanded the 57th Peterborough Rangers. On arrival in England with the First Contingent in October 1914, he was assigned as temporary commanding officer of the 500-man strong Newfoundland Regiment.

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Lt. Col. Franklin

Lieutenant Colonel W.H. Franklin, D.S.O.
Newfoundland Regiment and 1/6th Royal Warwick Regiment

One gets heartily sick of this kind of fighting & the conditions are very trying. The line is much livelier the past 4 weeks & it looks as if the Germans would try one more big effort on this front soon, hope they will, as it would make our job easier. We are not far from the Somme so the past 2 weeks have been more trying.

 The present policy seems to be nightly raids from both sides. So far we have succeeded much better than the enemy at this game. I wish I had the Nflds were as they would be splendid at that kind of work.

 (Maj. W.H. Franklin to Governor Walter E. Davidson, 4 Feb 1916) 

Born in Lancashire, England in 1871, William Hodgson Franklin had immigrated to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1891 and helped to organize a regiment on the outbreak of the Great War. He was commissioned as a captain but on arrival in England in October 1914, he transferred to the 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. He deployed to France as a major with the 6th Battalion, Royal Warwick Regiment in March 1915. After a year, he assumed command of the battalion.

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Lt. Col. Flick

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Flick
1/7th Bn., Essex Regiment & 1/6th Bn., Devonshire Regiment

Dear Kate,— I must write you a few lines to say how much I regret my conduct towards you last evening. I can only say in my defence that a serious money loss made me ill-tempered and impatient. I hope I have not hurt you very much. Write and say you forgive me, and when you will meet me again. —Charlie

 (Illustrated Police News, 18 June 1898, 10)

In June 1898, London tailor Daniel O’Sullivan sued Lieutenant Charles Leonard Flick of the Honourable Artillery Company “for damages for the seduction of his twenty-five-year-old daughter, Kate,” with whom Flick had had an illegitimate daughter. The above letter was entered into the court record by the plaintiff’s counsel. As a result of pregnancy and alledged assault, Kate O’Sullivan had been unable to assist her father’s tailoring work. The jury found in favour of the plaintiff for £150.

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Brig-Gen. Sweny

Brigadier-General W.F. Sweny
4th Bn., Royal Fusiliers (City of London)

The marriage of my father to Alice Roy took place October 28, 1885, and would have occurred at an earlier day had not opposition been made to this step on the ground of the deceased wife’s sister’s relationship, which in England, though not in Canada, was then a legal bar … [she wrote] “I consider that for me there can be no higher ideal than to become a mother to my sister’s two boys and to make their home what no other woman in the world could make it.” She always called herself our mother, instead of our aunt. 

(W.F. Sweny quoted in Montreal Gazette, 20 Feb 1925, 6)

Born in Belfast on 25 June 1873, William Frederick Sweny was the son of Colonel George Augustus Sweny, a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. After the death of his mother in 1880, he and his brother were cared for by his aunt who married his father in Toronto in 1885. After Sweny graduated from RMC, in 1893, he was commissioned in his father’s old regiment, the Royal Fusiliers (City of London). He served in South Africa and Egypt before he was attached to the Canadian militia in January 1914. He transferred back to the British Army at the outbreak of the Great War.

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Lt. Col. Wilson

Lieutenant Colonel Alex Wilson
33rd (London) Battalion


I know more about Colonel Wilson, as a military man, than his own brother does. To my mind, he is one of the finest fellows living, even though he is a Grit … I picked him out against the wishes of everyone in London, and I am afraid they have made the old man’s road somewhat hard. He is very hard of hearing which, to my mind, accounts for all the trouble on his part.

 (Sam Hughes to Robert Borden, 12 Nov 1915)

Born on 17 November 1855 in Seaforth, Canada West, Alexander Wilson was pharmacist with thirty-five years’ experience with 33rd Huron Regiment. A noted marksman, Wilson was a five-time member of Canada’s Bisley team and won several Dominion Rifle Association awards. By the time he was appointed to lead the 33rd Battalion in late 1914, he was, however, past his prime.

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Lt. Col. Jamieson

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Jamieson
260th Battalion, Siberian Expeditionary Force

I do not think that the war will end in any way but as the Allies wish. It is impossible for it to end otherwise but to accomplish this end it will require the assistance of all available men between the ages of eighteen and forty. With the magnificent army of men that have gone to the front there are needed the additional half million …

It isn’t really boasting when I say that nearly every good idea since 1925 has come from the Conservatives.

(Northern Tribune, 20 June 1935, 1)

Born on 18 May 1875 in North Gower Township, Ontario, Frederick Charles Jamieson was commanding officer of the 19th Alberta Dragoons and veteran of the Boer War. He moved to Edmonton in 1895 and started a law firm with Alexander Rutherford, who became the first premier of Alberta. In August 1914, Jamieson led the 19th Dragoons to Valcartier and took command of the 1st Divisional Calvary Squadron.

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Lt. Col. Goodday

Lieutenant Colonel C. Goodday
Lord Strathcona’s Horse

The Regiment saddled up & “stood to” ready if needed to assist in or take advantage of a counter attack being delivered on the eastern side of the river. At 8 pm orders were given to oft-saddle and rest for the night. Major C. Goodday having rejoined from leave took over the command of the Regt.

(LdSH war diary, 31 March 1918)

Born in London, England on 25 October 1880, Claud Goodday was a British Columbia cricket player and self-styled gentleman. He had been commissioned as a lieutenant and adjutant with the Fort Garry Horse in 1913 and went overseas with Lord Strathcona’s Horse in October 1914. He swiftly rose through the officer ranks and was a major by August 1916. He temporarily assumed command after Lieutenant Colonel D.J. MacDonald was wounded on 30 March 1918

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The Golfer

Lieutenant Colonel A.E. Griffin, D.S.O.
5th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops

His hobby is golf. In it he finds physical exercise and mental relaxation from the enterprises, some of which have been the most important railway construction jobs in the British Columbia mountains.

(Vancouver Sun, 16 Jan 1921, 11)

Born in Ontario on 17 September 1877, Atholl Edwin Griffin was a Vancouver civil engineer and contractor in the firm of Jack Stewart. In November 1916, he was commissioned in Stewart’s Canadian Railway Troops and given command of the 5th C.R.T. For two years service in France carrying out important construction operations, he received the Distinguished Service Order. The experience, however, wore down his health and required rest leave. particularly spring 1918 following the German offensive.

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Maj. Pearson

Major A.G. Pearson
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

After practically all the garrison at the front trenches had been killed or wounded by enemy shell fire, L/Cpl Pearson with a few men still held on and fortunately although wounded himself managed to bring out the survivors in safety after a new position had been taken up.

(Pearson, DCM citation, 14 Jan 1916)

Born in Endon, Staffordshire, England on 16 August 1880, Alfred Glynn Pearson was shipping agent who enlisted as a private in Winnipeg in December 1914. He was one of the few non-commissioned volunteers to rise through the ranks and command a battle by the end of the war. While serving as a corporal with the PPCLI, he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal and a promotion to lieutenant. After recovering from shrapnel wounds, Pearson rejoined the PPCLI in spring 1916.

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