Brigadier General Eric McCuaig, D.S.O.
13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion
One night, too, the officers staged a concert in the local theatre, all the talent being drawn from their own roster. By sacrificing his moustache, Lieut-Col. McCuaig scored a tremendous hit in a charming female role…
(The 13th Battalion Royal Highlanders of Canada, 1925, 203)
George Eric McCuaig assumed command of the 13th Battalion after an explosion killed Lieutenant Colonel Victor Buchanan and many of his senior officers. A native of Toronto, McCuaig was born on 2 September 1885. He graduated from McGill University, worked in Montreal as a stockbroker and belonged to the Black Watch.
Lieutenant Colonel R. A. de la B. Girouard
178th (Canadien-Français) Battalion
There is a fine fibrillary Tremor of hands & tongue on Exam.
Insomnia with frequent migraine over left side & is all the time “nervous.” Is unable to walk a mile at ordinary Military rate. Says he notices he is very irritable at times & has “fits of depression.”
(Medical History of Invalid, 24 Apr 1919)
René-Arthur de la Bruère Girouard traced his family linage to the earliest French settlers in the 17th Century and was a direct descendant of Governor Pierre Boucher (1622—1717). A native of Quebec City, Girouard was born on 29 January 1882. He joined the Royal Leister Regiment at eighteen but left the army to work as a civil engineer and supervise track construction of the Pacific Railway in British Columbia.
Lieutenant Colonel F. A. deL. Gascoigne, D.S.O.
60th (Victoria Rifles of Canada) Battalion
My own future is uncertain, but I can only hope that some day, we shall be together again, and I would ask for nothing better than to have you all back under my command but whatever comes, I shall never forget the many happy and glorious days I have spent with the old 60th Battalion.
(Gascoigne’s Farewell Address, 60th Bn. War Diary, 29 Apr 1917, 8)
A native of England, Frederick Arthur DeLong Gascoigne was born on 2 April 1866. After immigrating to Canada, he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Quebec. In 1886, he enlisted as a private with the 3rd (Victoria Rifles) Regiment. After nearly thirty-years’ service in the militia he became commanding officer in 1914. Although illness prevented him from joining the First Contingent, in April 1915 Gascoigne was authorized to raise the 60th Battalion from Quebec.
Lieutenant Colonel Billy Evans, D.S.O.
52nd (New Ontario) Battalion
Marked spells of general weakness, occasionally shortness of breath, easily fatigued, spells of nervousness with trembling of whole body. Has no confidence in himself and lacks concentrating powers.
(Medical History of an Invalid, 17 Jul 1919)
William Barnard Evans was a Montreal businessman with fourteen years’ service in the 3rd Royal Victoria Rifles. He was born in Toronto on 31 October 1875. On the formation of the 60th Battalion in spring 1915, he became second-in-command to Lieutenant Colonel Gascoigne.
Lieutenant Colonel Hercule Barré
150th (Carabiniers Mont-Royal) Battalion
If it had been intended to punish me and my battalion for a breach of discipline, no more drastic measure could have been adopted than the order to break it up and disperse its men, without their Officers, through the cadres of four different English speaking battalions.
Even if the necessity of breaking the cadre were conceded, from every point of view, the dispersion of the men is indefensible.
(Barré to Edward Kemp, 14 Feb 1918)
Born on 31 March 1879 in Montreal, Hercule Barré was a Quebec advertising manager with eighteen-years’ experience in the 65th Regiment. Wounded in the leg while fighting with the 14th Battalion during the second Battle of Ypres, Barré was invalided to Canada on board RMS Hesperian. When a German U-boat torpedoed the ocean liner off the coast of Queenstown, Ireland, Barré assisted the crew in evacuating the ship and loading the lifeboats. Sam Hughes praised the major, noting that his “conduct was only keeping with his splendid service at the front.”
Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Price
171st (Rifles of Quebec) Battalion
Anything to which Sir William puts his hand will be carried out with energy, enthusiasm and efficiency. His past record is a guarantee of that. Consequently we can be confident that there will soon be a really representative Quebec regiment in the field to uphold the honor of the Ancient Capital on the fighting line.
(Quebec Chronicle, 23 Dec 1915, 4)
William Price was a Quebec millionaire and businessman in the lumber and pulp industries. He was born on 30 August 1867 in Talca, Chile, where his Quebec-born father worked raising livestock and breeding cattle. After being sent to Quebec as a child, he was educated in England and returned to the province to work in the family lumber business, Price Brothers and Company Limited.
Brigadier General D. C. Draper, D.S.O.
5th Canadian Mounted Rifles
Crime is a destroying influence that inflicts more useless suffering than any other social evil upon many innocent, well-deserving and hard-working individuals.
(Draper, Montreal Gazette, 4 Oct 1934, 7)
At the battle of Mont Sorrel on 2 June 1916, an enemy shell struck Lieutenant Colonel Harry Baker, commander of the 5th CMR and MP for Brome. Despite being wounded and concussed himself, Major Dennis Colburn Draper carried the body of his mortally-wounded superior officer to rear and returned to the trenches. For his heroism Draper was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
Major General Sir David Watson, D.S.O.
2nd (Iron Second) Battalion
Had he not been colonel he would have received the V.C. for this. Ypres made him a marked man, and it left its mark on him. His friends say that he aged ten years in the ten days, for he and his battalion were in the fiercest part of the fighting.
(F. A. McKenzie, Through the Hindenburg Line, 1918, 10)
David Watson was a sportsman, journalist and owner of the Quebec Morning Chronicle. He was born in Quebec City on 7 February 1869. In his youth, Watson played for the Quebec Hockey Club and became active in the 8th Royal Rifles. Watson, a Conservative Party supporter and friend of Militia Minister Sam Hughes, was selected to command the 2nd Battalion when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled at Valcartier.
Lieutenant Colonel L. J. Daly-Gingras, D.S.O.*
2nd Battalion, Quebec Depot
* His Majesty the King has directed that Ludger Jules Oliver Daly-Gingras, late Lieutenant-Colonel, 22nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry, shall cease to be a member of the Distinguished Service Order to which he was appointed January 1, 1917, and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the Order.
(Canadian Gazette, 11 Feb 1919, 3434)
For two years Ludger Jules Oliver Daly-Gingras fought with the 22nd Battalion until he was shell shocked at the Somme. For heroic gallantry during the battle, he received the Distinguished Service Order. By August 1918, Daly-Gingras was facing a court martial for allegedly embezzling a thousand dollars from the Quebec Depot battalion. His defence counsel strenuously defended the war hero, claiming, “If he was in his right mind he would never have jeopardized his entire career and sacrificed his 31 years of service, and his hard-won honors for that paltry sum.”
Major A. Hamilton Gault, D.S.O.
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Princess Patricia—or Lady Patricia Ramsay as she is now, spoke a few moving lines to us, walked through the ranks talking and chatting with the men—some of whom had been in the regiment when 25 years before this same gentle lady, then a young and extremely beautiful woman, had inspected the “Originals”.
On one side of her stood that grand old warrior “Hammy” Gault VC. [sic] Etc. who had given his leg to the cause in the last war and who would gladly do the same in this if he had any say in the matter…
(James Baker, P.P.C.L.I. to Mom, 11 Feb 1940)
Andrew Hamilton Gault was a gentleman militia officer and founder of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Born on 18 August 1882 in Kent, England, he was a member of a successful and influential Montreal manufacturing family. Gault embraced an active outdoors lifestyle as he engaged in various pursuits from safari hunting to biplane flying. He served with distinction during the Boer War and joined the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (Black Watch). By 1912, Gault controlled an estate valued at over $1.75 million.