Brig. Gen. MacBrien

Brigadier General James H. MacBrien
12th Canadian Infantry Brigade

The ending of war involves the most fundamental modification of the whole structure of society, and can only be brought about by a reversal of the general method of human life and the general method of nature which up to this time has been manifested in the survival of the fittest. I think that until we see a complete change of heart in human society we should prepare our sons to fight and quickly organize that they may have as chance of success. The league of nations as a means of definitely preventing war is about as likely to succeed as a proposal to abolish hunger and death.

(Maj. Gen. MacBrien in the Weekly Albertan, 1 Dec 1920, 2)

Born in Myrtle, Ontario on 30 June 1878, James Howden MacBrien was a North-West Mount Police constable when he joined the South African Constabulary during the Boer War. A few years after he returned to Canada, he was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Dragoons in 1910. In September 1914, he joined the 1st Canadian Division headquarters as a staff officer at the rank of lieutenant colonel. Two years later he replaced Lord Brooke in command of the 12th Infantry Brigade.

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Maj. Gen. MacDougall

Major General J.C. MacDougall
Canadian Training Division

General MacDougall has, also, been very nasty with General Steele, as well as with General Carson … he puffed himself out and became most offensive until, as I once told you, I gave him to understand I would recall him promptly. I had a large gathering of senior Officers at Shorncliffe yesterday, some two or three hundred, and told them frankly and kindly that all this sort of rivalry and “monkeying” must cease.

  (Sam Hughes to Robert Borden, 24 Mar 1916)

Born in Toronto on 16 July 1863, James Charles MacDougall was a Royal Military College graduate, Boer War veteran, former commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Regiment, and a professional soldier for over thirty-years in the Permanent Force. Left behind when the 1st Canadian Division went to France in February 1915, MacDougall was placed in command of all Canadian troops in the United Kingdom.

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Brig. Gen. Elmsley

Brigadier General Jim Elmsley
8th Canadian Infantry Brigade

Facial expression slightly nervous, tremulous and changeable. Has been worrying excessively over routine matters, particularly having to meet people. Has been excessively worried over the ordinary conditions arising in the Brigade under his command. Sleep is fair, but there are times when he will be awake for three or four hours.

 (Medical Board Report of Brig. Gen. Elmsley, 4 June 1918)

Born in Toronto on 13 October 1878, James Harold Elmsley was a professional soldier and Boer War veteran. During the South African campaign, he was shot through the chest but somehow survived. On the start of the Great War. he was appointed second-in-command of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, followed by a brief period commanding the Canadian Light Horse. After Brigadier General Victor Williams was captured at the Battle of Mont Sorrel, Elmsley assumed command of the 8th Infantry Brigade in June 1916.

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Lt. Col. Malone

Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Malone
208th (Irish Fusiliers) Battalion

The principal feature of yesterday’s casualty lists was the number of correction which had to be made, some unhappily, for the worse, others for the better.

(Toronto Globe, 8 June 1916)

On 5 June 1916, the Toronto press reported Captain Willard Park Malone of the 15th Battalion killed in action. Born in Owen Sound, Ontario on 3 March 1883, he was reputedly the first man to enlist from his district. Several days after his reported death at the battle of Mont Sorrel, his wife received a cable from Malone stating he was “quite well.” Continue reading

Lt. Col. Gordon

Lieutenant Colonel H.D.L. Gordon
4th Canadian Mounted Rifles

Canadian accounting principles are whatever Clarkson Gordon does.

(Col. Gordon quoted in Stephen Azzi, Walter Gordon and the Rise of Canadian Nationalism, 16)

Harry Duncan Lockhart Gordon was born in Toronto on on 29 July 1872. After attending Upper Canada College and the Royal Military College, Gordon trained as an accountant in England. By the outbreak of the Great War, he had become a prominent Toronto businessman in the accounting firm Clarkson Gordon & Co and commanding officer the 9th Mississauga Horse. He joined the 4th CMR as a major in December 1914.

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Lt. Col. S.F. Smith

Lieutenant Colonel Sandford F. Smith
4th Canadian Mounted Rifles

This Officer while on training duty in France was thrown by his horse and sustained a fracture of the head of the left humerus. He was evacuated to England June 10th 1917, and has been a patient at Helena Hospital until to-day, when he was discharged as completely recovered.

(Proceedings of Medical Board, 1 July 1917)

Born in Peterborough, Ontario on 4 May 1873, Sandford Fleming Smith was the grandson of famed Scottish-Canadian engineer Sir Sandford Fleming. Smith was a Toronto architect, former member of the Queen’s Own Rifles and commanding officer of the Governor-General’s Body Guard.

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Lt. Col. Reed

Lieutenant Colonel Le Grande Reed
170th (Mississauga Horse) Battalion

During the last few months the streets of Toronto have been overrun with thousands of untrained men in uniforms accosting with such manner and expressions as have aroused constant indignation. These men perforce of circumstances untutored in their duties, have done their best. I claim that there is not one civilian man in each thousand in Toronto who has not been most strongly and continuously urged to join the colours.

(Reed to Gen. Logie, 26 June 1916)

Days after the declaration of war against Germany, Toronto insurance broker Le Grand Reed joined the 9th Mississauga Horse. He worked through the local recruiting depot until December 1915 when he was authorized to organize the 170th Battalion from the Ontario capital. A native of Toronto, Reed was born on 8 October 1876.

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Lt. Col. Chisholm

Lieutenant Colonel George T. Chisholm
92nd (48th Highlanders of Canada) Battalion

I might inform you that your department is getting a tremendous let of popular disfavor through not supplying your regiments with actual necessities … Now this all gives the ordinary man on the street the impression that the department is not attending to the business for which it is in existence.

(G.T. Chisholm to Militia Department, 25 Sept 1915)

While fighting at St. Julien during the second battle of Ypres in late April 1915, the 15th Battalion was decimated as hundreds were killed, gassed or taken prisoner. Most of the soldiers had belonged to the Toronto-based 48th Highlanders Regiment. In order to replace the casualties, Toronto militia leaders were authorized to raise two new highlander battalions, the 92nd and 134th. George Thomas Chisholm, a Toronto stockbroker, was appointed commander of the former in August 1915.

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Lt. Col. Miller

Lieutenant Colonel Armour Miller
134th (48th Highlanders of Toronto) Battalion

A reliable and conscientious Officer. He has always been keen and anxious to acquire new ideas. His work here, both theoretical & practical, has shown that he possesses sound military knowledge with the capacity of imparting it to others. He has a cherry disposition.

(Senior Officers School report, 15 Dec 1917)

Along with the 15th and 92nd Battalions, the 134th was the third overseas unit organized by the 48th Highlander Regiment in Toronto. Initiated by Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Donald, the battalion began recruiting in November 1915 to replace the losses suffered by the 15th at St. Julien. Born on 17 December 1869, Donald was a Toronto barrister and commanding officer of the 48th Highlanders. He had served for over twenty-three years in the militia regiment. After Donald stepped down due to illness in July 1916, Armour Adamson Miller assumed command of the 134th.

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