Lieutenant Colonel Hugh F. Osler
174th (Cameron Highlanders) Battalion
It makes me mad to see hundreds of fit men, a great many of whom can undoubtedly be spared, walking about and going to picture shows, without any thought of enlisting, when ten thousand of their fellow Canadians are either giving up their lives or being wounded every month.
(Hugh Osler to Edmund Osler, 8 Nov 1916)
Born in Toronto on 17 November 1881, Hugh Farquharson Osler was the son of Edmund Boyd Osler (1845—1924), prominent financier, banker and Tory politician. The elder Osler was Conservative MP for Toronto West between 1896 and 1917. After graduating from the Royal Military College, Hugh moved to Winnipeg where he worked for a corporate investment firm.
Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Edgecombe
183rd (Orange) Battalion
The pursuit of Brother Edgecombe is one of the most contemptible things that has happened in the politics of any Province.
It is just another instance of the implacability of political leaders. They expect men to violate their consciences, to ignore their convictions, to surrender their own views on public questions for the good of the party.
(Winnipeg Free Press, 17 Feb 1915, 22)
William Thomas Edgecombe was a Winnipeg city alderman, Grand Master of the Manitoba Loyal Orange Lodge. He was born in Harbor Grace, Newfoundland on 15 August 1868. He held various positions in publishing, engraving and banking before moving to Winnipeg in 1893. Although not active in the militia, Edgecombe was selected to raise the 183rd Battalion.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr. George Clingan, M.L.A.
79th (Manitoba) Battalion
Col. Clingan made an eloquent appeal for recruits, “Don’t let your children-to-be say in the after years, ‘My daddy was too cowardly to fight in the big war.’”
(Winnipeg Tribune, 11 Mar 1916, 12)
George Clingan was a doctor and Liberal member for Virden in the Manitoba legislature between 1914 and 1922. He was born on 28 March 1868 in Orangeville, Ontario and graduated from the Toronto Medical College. After moving his medical practice to Manitoba, he joined the 12th Dragoons in 1898, rising to the rank of major. He raising the 79th Battalion from Brandon and sailed to England in April 1916.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Hastings
250th (Polish) Battalion
Col. Hastings, in an address to the recruits promised to help out any of them to the best of his ability it ever they got in trouble.
(Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Mar 1920, 1)
William Henry Hastings was a newspaperman, crown prosecutor and barrister in Winnipeg. He was born in Peterborough, Canada West on 29 December 1858. In September 1916, he attempted to raise the 250th supported by the local Polish-Canadian community. The Polish language newspaper in Winnipeg, Czas, lauded the creation of a special battalion to fight “the traditional enemies of Poland” as “an historical event.” However, the 250th failed to reach strength and later merged with Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Keenlyside’s 249th Battalion.
Lieutenant Colonel F. J. Clark
45th (Brandon) Battalion
In selecting Col. Clark for this purpose, a wise choice was made in Ottawa. Col. Clark has seen service In military affairs since 1885, when he fought In the 95th battalion during the Riel rebellion. In South Africa, he went through the conflict with profit to his country and honor to himself, and he wears the Long Service medal, attesting the value of his services during 31 years in his country’s duties.
(Winnipeg Tribune, 5 Feb 1915, 37)
Francis Joseph Clark had fought in the North West Rebellion and volunteered for the South African Campaign, though the war ended by the time he had reached Cape Town. He was born on 9 December 1860 in Nottingham, England, where he belonged to the Robin Hood Rifles. He immigrated to Manitoba in the 1882. Former commander of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Clark was authorized to raise the 45th Battalion from his home in Brandon in January 1915.
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Morley, M.C.
144th (3rd Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion
The trenches, too, have their lighter side. There are no more cheerful people connected with this war than the boys in the trenches. They make jokes about everything, especially the German shells. The officers are not excluded from their jokes. I recall one day in the trenches, when the word was passed among some of my own Tommies that some staff officers were coming down the trenches.
“Staff officers in the trenches!” exclaimed one of the boys, “Peace must have been declared!”
(Col. Morley, Canadian Club of Winnipeg, 8 Oct 1915, 86)
Arthur William Morley was a Manitoba lawyer and legislative clerk born on 9 August 1880 in Huntsville, Ontario. He moved west to study law in 1901 and set up a practice in Winnipeg after graduation in 1904. A member of the 90th Rifles since relocating to Manitoba, he volunteered with the 8th Battalion September 1914.
Lieutenant Colonel R. McD. Thomson †
43rd (Cameron Highlanders) Battalions
Robert McDonnell Thomson, officer commanding the 43rd Battalion, who died at Albert. France, Oct. 8 1916, as a result of wounds, and who was believed to be one of the wealthiest men in Winnipeg, died insolvent.
(Winnipeg Tribune, 28 August 1918, 1)
Born on 4 July 1869 in Hamilton, Ontario, Robert McDonnell Thomson was a veteran of the 1885 Rebellion and founder of the 78th Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Although on the reserve list at the outbreak of the Great War, Thomson raised the 43rd Battalion from Winnipeg and sailed for England in June 1915. The Cameron Highlanders deployed to France with 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division in February 1916.
Lieutenant Colonel Glen Campbell, D.S.O.
107th (Timber Wolves) Battalion
I had hoped that I would not have to rise and address the House to-night, because I have been, with other western members, attending hockey matches the last few days, and my voice is not as good as I would like it to be.
(Campbell, Debates, 21 Jan 1910, 2259)
Glenlyon Archibald Campbell was a frontiersman, pioneer, rancher, soldier and politician. He was born in Fort Pelly, North West Territories on 23 October 1863. He fought with the Boulton’s Scouts at the battle of Batoche during Louis Riel’s 1885 Rebellion. Fluent in Cree and other Native languages, he raised the 107th Battalion largely from western First Nations.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Daniel MacKay
196th (Western Universities) Battalion
The student, then, is working at high pressure and has no time for consideration of the subjects he is taught in the day. As a matter of fact he has no time to think for himself, and the consequence is that he must come out of the university more or less as a sort of stuffed fowl rather than a human being who can tackle a question and analyse it. We have found this not only with our own students but with students from elsewhere.
(MacKay, Medical Conference, 20 Dec 1924, 133)
Daniel Sayre MacKay was a Manitoba physician, graduate of McGill University, officer in the Cameron Highlanders and second-in-command of Lieutenant Colonel Snider’s 27th Battalion. The son of Conservative Senator William MacKay (1847—1915), Major MacKay was born in Reserve Mines, Nova Scotia on 20 January 1878. While serving overseas with the 6th Brigade headquarters, MacKay was selected to command the 196th raised from university students in western Canada.
Major George W. Andrews, D.S.O.
8th (Little Black Devils) Battalion
Until a few years ago, it was believed that to maintain peace you had to prepare for war and to have big armaments. Some people believe it to-day, but millions of people know that it is a lie; millions of women know that it is a lie; millions of soldiers know that it is a lie.
(Andrews, Debates, 2 Mar 1921, 474)
George William Andrews was born in Oxfordshire, England on 9 September 1869. He immigrated to Canada in 1890, settled in Winnipeg, worked in real estate and joined the 90th Rifles Regiment. He fought at Second Ypres with the 8th Battalion alongside his son, Captain George Frank Andrews. The elder Andrews was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in January 1916 but was soon forced from the field due to chronic asthma. One of his soldiers remembered him as “a grand old man” but regretted, “Too bad he was so old.”