Lt. Col. MacDonald

Lieutenant Colonel D.J. MacDonald
Lord Strathcona’s Horse

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In the attack launched by a cavalry brigade he led the reserve squadron of the regiment to the attack. Though suffering acute pain from a wound in the ankle, he continued to direct operations and led his men forward until the position was finally secured. But for his outstanding courage, skill and dash the position could not have been held

(Lt. Col. MacDonald, D.S.O. Bar citation, 1 Jan 1918)

Donald John MacDonald was son of an Ontario MPP and farmer born on 25 July 1889 in Glengarry, Ontario. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (LdSH) on 22 September 1914 and proceeded to France on 4 May 1915. After less than a month he was wounded and returned to recover in England and was given rest leave to Canada. He rejoined the LdSH in the field in October 1915 and within a few months had been promoted to major. Continue reading

Brig. Gen. Hervey

Brigadier General C.L. Hervey
4th Battalion, Railway Troops

During my entire service in France I had in addition to my other duties to supply detachments for the moving of His Majesty’s naval siege guns, and certain guns of the Royal Artillery, and to devise the construct emplacements for same.

(Gen C.L. Hervey, US Engineers. 3rd Volunteers, Yearbook, 1918)

Chilton Longley Hervey was an engineering contractor born in Paris, Illinois on 27 April 1872. He served in the Spanish American War as a sergeant with the 3rd Volunteer Engineers. The son of United Empire Loyalists, Hervey moved to Ontario after marrying a Canadian in 1907. As a member of the Corps of Guides, he enlisted in the Canadian Railway Construction Corps in 1915.

Continue reading

Hon. Capt. Burnham & Lt. Col. Johnston

Honorary Captain J.H. Burnham, MP


Lieutenant Colonel T.J. Johnston
93rd (Peterborough) Battalion

I think that, as one who spent six months in England and a few days in France, I am called upon to say something on behalf of the soldiers…

 Knowing humanity as I do–and I have lived quite a few years now; and I may tell you that I was connected with the 93rd Battalion from its inception and was with it in England until it was dispersed and sent to France—a more sober, orderly, upright, and thoroughly decent lot of men I never saw, even amongst the politicians

 (J. H. Burnham, Debates 26 Apr 1917, 817)

Born on 12 January 1861 in Otonobee, Canada West, Thomas James Johnson was a militia officer with nearly forty years’ experience in the 3rd Prince of Wales’ Canadian Dragoons. In November 1915, he was authorized to raise the 93rd Battalion from Peterborough. Conservative MP John Hampden Burnham acted as honorary captain to assist with recruiting. A graduate of the University of Toronto with a Masters’ of Arts, Burnham was nicknamed “the philosopher” by colleagues in the House of Commons.

Continue reading

The Lumber King

Major General Aleck McDougall
224th (Lumbermen’s) Battalion

Many of these men have left families at home, and are looking forward to rejoining them at the end of the war, and it is a scandal that the minds of these people should be disturbed by the thoughts that our soldiers are in the midst of dire temptation and are falling victims to it, when as a matter of fact the behaviour of the men of this corps since its formation has been exceptionally satisfactory and it is my opinion when they return home they will demonstrate that their overseas activities have improved them in every way.

(MacDougall to Montreal Gazette, 25 Apr 1918, 10)

In February 1916, British Colonial Secretary Bonar Law requested the Canadian Government provide a special battalion of lumbermen for overseas service. Ottawa timber magnate Alexander McDougall, who had proposed a forestry unit, was quickly appointed commander of the 224th Battalion. Born in Renfrew, Ontario in January 1878, McDougall was an experienced woodsman and leading figure in the North American lumber industry. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Flag Hugger

Lieutenant Colonel A.E. Bywater
33rd Battalion

Considerable pressure is being brought to bear on adopting a new flag for Canada, in many cases by certain factions who were not over-zealous fighting Wars I and II and whose loyalty is often doubted.

Were a new flag to be adopted would it not be the most deadly insult and ingratitude toward the thousands buried in foreign lands, draped with the Union Jack and the thousands maimed and broken and hundreds of thousands who fought to keep that flag flying, a flag that has been baptized in the blood and sacrifices of our boys and now, next to the cross is a sacred emblem?

(Bywater, Globe and Mail, 17 Oct 1945, 6)

Arthur Edwin Bywater was a gentleman farmer and militia officer born in Colbone, Ontario on 7 April 1869. He first enlisted in the 21st Battalion before being appointed senior major with Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston’s 39th Battalion in March 1915. After the 39th was broken up, Bywater assumed command of the 33rd Reserve Battalion in England.

Continue reading

The Son-in-Law

Lieutenant Colonel Byron M. Green
164th (Halton and Dufferin) Battalion

Gen. Hughes was a fine martial figure in his uniform, and his girlish looking daughter looked even slighter than she would have done under other circumstances … “This is my girl – and she’s sent her husband to the front.”

I didn’t have to send him – he went himself,” Mrs. Green quickly retorted evidently jealous for the patriotism of her husband and the general smiled an indulgent acquiescence.

 (Toronto World, 7 Sept 1915)

Byron Malcolm Green was the son-in-law of Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes. He was born in Leeds County, Ontario on 10 January 1886 and married Hughes’ daughter, Roby Mary Caroline, in October 1912. He was a banker, accountant, and stock broker with financial ties to Montreal, Toronto, and New York. In 1915, he enlisted as a lieutenant with the 36th Battalion. Continue reading

Lt. Col. A.D. Cameron

Lieutenant Colonel A.D. Cameron, D.S.O., M.C.
38th (Cameron Highlanders) Battalion


He states when breaking horse on Salisbury Plains, horse threw its head up hitting him on nose. This was painful for some time, but was not treated. Since that time he has noticed that breathing through nose has been difficult.

(Medical History of an Invalid, 18 March 1919)

Born in Shanghai, China on 18 April 1891, Alexander Douglas Cameron was professional soldier with the Canadian Permanent Force. He joined Lord Strathcona’s Horse in October 1914, and despite an injury to the face from a horse, went to France with LdSH in May 1915.

Continue reading

The Publisher

Lieutenant Colonel R.F. Parkinson, D.S.O.
38th (Ottawa) Battalion

He was never too busy to find a job for a serviceman in need and dipped generously into his pocket times without number to tide a less fortunate comrade over a thin day. Even in recent years, “burned out” veterans who found themselves hard up had the habit of coming around the office to make a touch from

(Ottawa Journal, 4 Jan 1946)

Born on 1 January 1883 in Woodstock, Ontario, Robert Francis Parkinson was a newspaper publisher and managing director of the Ottawa Journal. He first joined the 22nd Oxford Rifles and then the 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles when he moved to Ottawa in 1908 to join the staff of the Ottawa Journal.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Rowland

Lieutenant Colonel T.P.T. Rowland
119th (Algoma) Battalion

Battalions on all sides of the 119th have been broken up and merged into other Battalions. But the 119th remains a unit and retains its name, its number, and its identity … The great pity of it is that the battalion cannot be kept together, that those, whom I might call the “Charter Members,” cannot continue together, go to the front together, and fight together. This is, however, impossible.

(Lt. Col. Rowland, The Sault Daily Star, 27 December 1916, 4)

Thomas Percival Turton Rowland was born on 10 April 1875 in Niagara-on-the-lake. He was a lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie with seven years in the Queen’s Own Rifles and two years in the 51st Soo Regiment. Beginning in November 1915, he organized the 119th Battalion from Algoma and Manitoulin Island. The unit provided reinforcement drafts in England from August 1916 until it was absorbed by the 8th Reserve Battalion in April 1918.

Continue reading