Lt. Col. Arthurs, M.P.

Lieutenant Colonel James Arthurs, M.P.
162nd (Timber Wolves) BattalionArthurs

But they wanted to go. One member of this House, Col. Arthurs—I read the most touching letter I have seen for many a day—is in the trenches. He had reduced his rank and gone over in spite of his son’s remonstrance from the trenches ordering his dad to get out.

(Sam Hughes, Debates, 6 Feb 1917, 574)

James Arthurs was a hardware merchant, self-styled gentleman and Conservative MP for Parry Sound (1908—1935). He was born on 3 October 1866 in Toronto. He raised the 162nd Battalion from his home county and proceeded to England in November 1916. Despite age restrictions on senior officers, the fifty-year old Arthurs reverted to captain and joined the 1st Battalion on the front in February 1917.

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Lt. Col. Hamilton

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Hamilton
126th (Peel) Battalionhamilton

I am quite sure that the officer commanding the Peel battalion, Colonel Hamilton, who has returned home, never thought that the breaking up of his battalion was any stain upon his military record. It was a policy adopted for military reasons, and a great many battalions had to come under the rule.

 (Blain, Debates, 13 Jul 1917, 3377)

Frederick John Hamilton was a municipal politician, member of Orange Lodge No. 163 and militia major. Born on 14 July 1869 in Port Credit, Ontario, he was a six-term town alderman with twenty years’ experience in the 36th Regiment. In early 1916, he was authorized to raise the 126th Battalion from Peel County.

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Hon. Col. Cockshutt

Honorary Colonel W. F. Cockshutt, M.P.WFCockshutt&
Lieutenant Colonel M. E. B. Cutcliffe
125th (38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles) BattalionCutcliffe

The voluntary system as carried out, I think, has been a great credit to our people.

If it failed in any place, it failed because it was not pushed with sufficient vigour by the natural leaders of the people. And who are those leaders? The members of this House. The man who represents a constituency in this House is the first citizen in his riding, and he is the man who should have taken responsibility for recruiting in that riding.

(Cockshutt, Debates, 22 Jun 1917, 2601)

Authorized in November 1915, the 125th Battalion was initially to be raised by William Foster Cockshutt, Conservative MP for Brantford (1904—1908, 1911—1921). Recognizing his own limitations and lack of military experience, the sixty year-old parliamentarian turned over leadership to Captain Mostyn Elton Bluett Cutcliffe, senior officer of Dufferin Rifles.

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The Chief

Lieutenant Colonel A. T. Thompson
114th (Brock’s Rangers) Battalionthompson

The ancestors of these men fought for Great Britain in every battle on the Niagara frontier in the War of 1812, and were with General Brock in large numbers when he fell at Queenstown Heights. To this day they venerate his memory, and the name for which I ask, Brock’s Rangers would greatly add to our prestige with them, and gratify them exceedingly.

(A.T. Thompson to Militia Department, 25 Mar 1916)

 Andrew Thorburn Thompson was editor of the Canadian Military Gazette and Liberal MP for Haldimand and Monck (1900—1904). Born on 27 May 1870 in Indiana, Ontario he belonged to a prominent Ontario Liberal Party. His father had been a provincial politician and his grandfather had fought in the War of 1812. A member of the 37th Haldimand Rifles since 1893, Thompson took command of the 114th Battalion after the death of the original colonel, E. S. Baxter on 15 February 1916.

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The Idler

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Sharpe, M.P.P.
176th (Niagara Rangers) Battalion

dsharpe

A large number of officers who will not go to the front, who it is known do not intend to go to the front, and who are deriving pay from the Government simply as officers being practically on a holiday.

(W. M. German, Debates, 6 Feb 1917, 560)

Criticizing the Borden Government’s recruitment system, William Manley German, Liberal MP for Welland referred to the conduct of Donald Sharpe’s 176th Battalion, based in St. Catharines. Sharpe was the Conservative member for Welland in the Ontario provincial legislature. He had won a by-election on 29 June 1914, one day after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

 

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The Farmer

Lieutenant Colonel T. Bart Robson
135th (Middlesex) Battalion
Robson

Experience teaches that a recruiting meeting in the Country has to be of the nature of an entertainment in order to draw the crowd.

(Robson, 14 Feb 1916)

Born in London, Canada West on 24 January 1859, T. Bartholomew Robson was a farmer with thirty years’ experience in the militia. As commanding officer of the 26th Middlesex Light Infantry, he was authorized to raise the 135th Battalion from Middlesex County in November 1915. When the unit arrived in England in August 1916, it was broken up and the troops were divided among the 116th, 125th and 134th Battalions.

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The Favourite Son

Major General Garnet Hughes
1st Infantry Brigade
HughesG

I was importuned, threatened and bullied. I was told that Garnet Hughes would get the 1st Division, that there was a combination in England and Canada for him, that neither I, nor any man could beat; that his father wanted him to get the position and that God help the man who fell out with his father.

(Currie to E.O. McGillicuddy, c. 1925)

 Garnet Burk Hughes was the son of Militia Minister Sir Sam Hughes. Born in Toronto on 22 April 1880, he was a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and a railway engineer. In 1913, he formed the 50th Regiment (Gordon Highlanders) with Arthur Currie. Although Hughes and Currie volunteered together in August 1914 on good terms, their friendship would not survive the war.

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The Civil Servant

 Lieutenant Colonel J. R. Munro
8th Canadian Mounted Rifles
JRMunro

If Canada’s oldest civil servant (In point of years in Government employment) fails to write his memoirs as his friends are urging, invaluable Canadiana and a unique record of old Civil Service days in Ottawa, and of historic episodes in the environs of the House of Commons in the Eighties and Nineties, will be lost.

(Ottawa Journal, 3 Feb 1944, 5)

John Routh Munro was born in Ottawa on 12 August 1874. He was a venerable civil servant with the Trade and Commerce Department and a commanding officer of the 5th (The Princess Louise) Dragoon Guards. He raised the 8th Mounted Rifles from Ottawa beginning in January 1915.

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The Conducting Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Percy Domville
164th (Halton and Dufferin) Battalion
Domville

He has been a faithful officer for many years. I have had no report as to what his misdeeds were as Conducting Officer… His is a sad and serious case as he has a wife and two children and his job with the Westinghouse people was filled when he was away.

(Gen. Mewburn to Gen. Ashton, 8 Apr 1918)

 A native of Belfast, Ireland, Percy Domville was born on 4 June 1867. After immigrating to Canada, he became a mechanical engineer in Hamilton and joined the 13th Regiment. He spent thirty years in the militia and was appointed to the Shell Commission in Ottawa after the outbreak of the Great War.

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The Enabler

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. David C. McKenzie
141st (Border Bull Moose) Battalion
DCMcKenzie

It is unfortunately clear that members of the battalion are using drugs, and I am of the opinion that neither Lieut. Col. McKenzie nor Captain George are making any effort to check this pernicious and demoralizing habit.

(Gen. H. N. Ruttan to GOC, MD 10, 21 Apr 1917)

 Born on 30 October 1871 in Hamilton Ontario, David Croal McKenzie was a militiaman, municipal politician and physician. He started a medical practice in the Rainy River District after graduating from the University of Toronto in 1897 and established the first private hospital at Fort Frances in 1902. He was later a six-term mayor of Fort Frances (1906, 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1919).

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