The Monocle

Lieutenant Colonel G. E. Sanders, D.S.O.
2nd Pioneer Battalion

I would sooner see a man go around and murder people outright than have him peddling this sort of thing [cocaine]. It is apparently the greatest danger and menace against which we must contend. Once addicted to the habit, a man is never cured and is no longer a human being but a beast.

(Sanders, Calgary Herald, 15 Jan 1913, 12)

Born in Yale, British Columbia on 25 December 1863, Gilbert Edward Sanders was a graduate of the Royal Military College and a Calgary police magistrate. A former Northwest Mounted Police inspector, he was also a veteran of the 1885 Rebellion and the Boer War, where he won the D.S.O. Notorious for his harsh sentences, corporal punishment and blatant bigotry, Sanders once remarked, “the cells were the proper abode for many of the coloured men.”

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The Interned

Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Doughty, D.S.O.
31st (Alberta) BattalionDoughty

Looks somewhat tired and languid. States that he does not feel up to the work. Feels nervous and irritable at times. Does not sleep as well as prior to enlistment. Is troubled with nocturnal emissions. Also has occasioned dizzy spells. States that he feels that he requires a rest.

(“Medical History of an Invalid,” 9 Jul 1919)

Born in India on 25 January 1881, Edward Spencer Doughty was second-in-command with the 31st Bell’s Bulldogs Battalion. Twice wounded in the field, he assumed command of the battalion when the original commander, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Bell, was promoted to brigadier general on 23 April 1918.

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The Accident-Prone

Lieutenant Colonel E. Leprohon
233rd (Canadiens-Français du Nord-Ouest) BattalionLeprohon

Lieut-Colonel Leprohon is already one of the veterans of this war, but not satisfied with what he has already done, he is off to the front again in charge of the French-Canadians.

(Vancouver World, 31 Aug 1916, 16)

Gassed at Ypres in summer 1915, car-wrecked in 1916, train-wrecked in 1917 and ship-wrecked in 1918. A reserve officer with the 65th (Carabiniers Mont Royal) Regiment, Edouard Leprohon was born in Montreal on 16 November 1866. In August 1914, he volunteered with the 14th Battalion and earned a promoted from lieutenant to captain to major. He was invalided to Quebec for recovery in late 1915. Eager to get back to the front, he first enlisted with the 150th before receiving authorization to raise a French-Canadian battalion based in Edmonton.

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The Town Founder

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Lyon
192nd (Crow’s Nest Pass) BattalionLyon

A most interesting visitor to Blairmore during the week was Mr. Harry E. Lyon, well known by the real old-timers of the town, having been connected with the drafting of the plans of the original Blairmore, being in real estate and later becoming the town’s first mayor, etc…

(Blairmore Enterprise, 27 October 1944, 4)

Henry Edward Lyon was a real estate promoter, mayor of Blairmore, Alberta, and a member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2224. Born on 17 December 1874 in Richmond, Ontario, he moved west in 1898 to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway.  He soon established himself as a local community leader. He owned the first automobile in the district, was active in organizing amateur hockey and joined the 23rd Alberta Rangers.

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The Usurped

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Osborne
9th BattalionOsborne

Some little time after it had been at Valcartier I am informed that as Colonel Osborne sat in his tent one morning another gentlemen, Colonel Maynard Rogers, entered the tent and said to Colonel Osborne; “I am in command of the 9th Battalion.”

(Frank Oliver, Debates, 6 May 1916, 3549)

Born in Port Stanley, Canada West on 13 May 1860, Frank A. Osborne was commanding officer of the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers. After the declaration of war against Germany in August 1914, Osborne offered his services to the Militia Department and raised the 9th Battalion from Alberta. According to Liberal MP Frank Oliver, once the unit arrived at Valcartier, Samuel Maynard Rogers, Jasper Park superintendent and Boer War veteran, usurped power from Osborne.

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The Jack-of-All-Trades

Lieutenant Colonel John G. Rattray
10th (Fighting Tenth) BattalionRattray

But when I find myself honored by such frenzied attacks by the Rabbi Samuel, the chief Hebrew apologist of Jewry and Jewish morals, and this attack signed by the Canadian Jewish committee (what’s in a name!) a short statement of my side of the story would appear necessary…

If it is personal attack, it is apparent in every paragraph that the Hebrews are ‘out to get Colonel Rattray.’

(Rattray to Winnipeg Free Press, 13 Jan 1922, 19)

John Grant Rattray was a schoolteacher, militia officer, hardware salesman, newspaper publisher, businessman, town reeve, insurance agent, soldier, police chief, political campaigner, civil servant, veterans’ official and sportsman. Born on 15 January 1867 in Banffshire, Scotland, he immigrated to Manitoba in the 1880s. As commanding officer of the 20th Border Horse, he organized the 10th Battalion at Valcartier when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled in September 1914.

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The Veteran

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. W. W. Nasmyth
89th (Alberta) BattalionNasmyth

Another Calgary battalion has departed on its way to do its ‘bit’ for the Empire under the command of Lieut.-Col. W. W. Nasmyth, veteran of South Africa and hero of St. Julien. And amid the cheers of thousands who crowded the depot to see them off, the 89th battalion pulled away from Calgary, en route to the battle front in Flanders.

(Strathmore Standard, 31 May 1916, 8)

Born on 5 January 1866 in Mount Forest, Canada West, William Wylie Nasmyth was a Youngstown, Alberta physician and veteran of the Boer War. In September 1914, Nasmyth and his younger brother James volunteered as officers with the 10th Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Russ Boyle. Fighting together at St. Julien during the second battle of Ypres on 22 April 1915, the brothers found themselves surrounded by the German attackers. Dr. Nasmyth suffered a gunshot wound in the lung while his brother was killed.

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The Home Wrecker

Lieutenant Colonel L. J. Whitaker
3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles

The plaintiff [Mr. Hill] charges that the defendant [Col. Whitaker] alienated his wife’s affections and has broken up his home.

(Lethbridge Herald, 10 May 1917, 4)

Louis James Whitaker was a Fort Saskatchewan dry goods merchant and commanding officer of the 19th Alberta Dragoons. He was born in Staffordshire, England on 19 September 1870. He had belonged to the Manchester Volunteers before immigrating to Canada. In December 1914, he was appointed to command the 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles from Alberta. After landing in France in September 1915, he served for four months in the trenches before the 3rd CMR was disbanded on the reorganization of the Mounted Rifles Brigade.

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The Welshman

Lieutenant Colonel A. Pryce-Jones
113th (Lethbridge Highlanders) Battalion

Why is it that we never hear our O.C. condemned for little things which are common in other units?

Answer: The men are just beginning to realize that he is every inch a gentleman, every fiber a soldier and above all, every ounce a man. Always ready to listen to any man’s story and just under all circumstances, he cannot but hold the respect of the men under his command.

(Lethbridge Highlander, 16 Sept 1916, 7)

Born in Newton, Wales on 26 May 1870, Albert W. Pryce-Jones was the son of Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones, a former Conservative member of the British House of Commons. He attended Cambridge University, became a noted sportsman and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He moved to Canada in 1910 and established the department store Pryce-Jones Ltd. in Calgary.

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The Liberal

Lieutenant Colonel George B. McLeod
63rd (Edmonton) BattalionGBMcLeod

Every consideration should be given to the question of sentiment and it is well to encourage the idea of community of interest among the people of a certain locality. If a certain battalion is known as an Edmonton battalion, or an Alberta battalion… those who remain behind and those who have gone forward, have an interest in what that battalion is doing that he otherwise would not have had, and ignoring of that fact has tended very greatly against rapid recruiting in many parts of the country.

(Frank Oliver, Debates, 8 May 1916, 3589)

George Brown McLeod was born in Guelph, Ontario on 3 March 1870. He moved west in 1901 in order to pursue business interests in Edmonton. A member of the 101st Fusiliers, McLeod first enlisted as a captain with the 31st Battalion. He later became second-in-command of the 51st before receiving a promotion to lieutenant colonel in order to raise the 63rd from Edmonton.

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