Lieutenant Colonel R.W. Smart
136th (Durham) Battalion
In a recent letter to this office from an old Durhamite, now living in Western Ontario, this reference is made to Col. Smart: “Tell the young men what a privilege it will be to serve under him and say that for the honor of the old loyal country every man much do his duty.
(Canadian Statesman, 2 Dec 1915, 1)
Robert Wallace Smart was a third generation military officer and thirty-three year member of the 46th Regiment. Robert Smart was born on 3 December 1864 in Port Hope, Canada West. During the 1885 Rebellion, the twenty-year-old Smart volunteered with Colonel A. T. H. Williams’ Midland Battalion. His grandfather, David Smart had raised a cavalry troop to help put down the 1837 Upper Canadian Rebellion. Continue reading
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Glenn
96th (Canadian Highlanders) Battalion
Lieut. Col. Glenn, the Officer Commanding, is an officer of some years experience in Mounted Infy. He is not an efficient officer but has done good service in recruiting the Battalion, and desires the honour of taking his Battalion across seas.
(Gen. John Hughes, 19 Sept 1916)
Joseph Glenn was the Conservative member for South Qu’Appelle in the Saskatchewan legislature from 1912 to 1921. Born on 29 August 1860 in Owen Sound, Canada West, he moved to the North West Territories during the early 1880s. Settling in Indian Head, he built a farm, imported horses, worked in the lumber trade, acted as the local mail carrier and operated a grain elevator. During the 1885 Rebellion, he volunteered as a dispatch rider for General Middleton and Major Sam Steele.
Brigadier General W. St. P. Hughes, D.S.O.
21st (Eastern Ontario) Battalion
It was such fighting ability that enabled my 21st Battalion to come home with the record of never having been given a black eye in over four years of active participation in the war. They never went after anything they did not take, and they never gave up anything they captured. Of the original 1058, less than 150 are now alive, most of them buried in Flanders’s Fields and in the Somme.
(W. Hughes, “An Appreciation,” in H. W. McBride, A Rifleman Went to War, 1935)
William St. Pierre Hughes was Inspector of Penitentiaries and commanding officer of 14th The Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles. Born on 2 June 1864 in Darlington Township, Canada West, he was also the younger brother of Sir Sam, MP for Victoria and Minister of Militia. In November 1914, Hughes, a veteran of the Northwest Rebellion with over thirty years’ experience in the militia, took command of the 21st Battalion, based in Kingston.
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 F. V. Wedderburn
115th (Wedderburn’s Warriors) Battalion
On the other hand the tactics of his enemy, Col Wedderburn, were considered by military experts at the front as decidedly clever. A less practical and inexperienced man could not have given Col. McLean the fight he did.
It was evident that Col. Wedderburn had laid his plans well, but the fact that he had burned Moncton and that if victorious he might mete out the same treatment to St. John and the other surrounding towns, field the hearts of the defending soldiers with one determination—to win or die.
(St. John Daily Sun, 8 Jul 1905)
Frederick Vernon Wedderburn was a New Brunswick barrister and militiaman born in St. John on 16 April 1861. After graduating with a law degree from the University of New York in 1882, he joined the 8th Princess Louise Hussars.
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 J. E. De Hertel
130th (Lanark and Renfrew) Battalion
You have from now on not only to represent the honor of the 130th Battalion in those colours but the honour of your King. It was, as you know, customary to carry the colours into the battle-field, but this custom has been changed. The reason is that in the past thousands of men have sacrificed their lives in saving the colours. To avoid this unnecessary sacrifice of life it has been decided that in future the colours are to remain at home.
(Col. Hemming’s Address, Perth Courier, 2 June 1916)
John Edward De Hertel was a Hudson’s Bay Company factor, trade representative, manufacturer and sportsman. He was born in Perth, Ontario on 29 September 1863. While in charge of an HBC outpost during the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, De Hertel was briefly taken prisoner by Cree Chief Big Bear.
Major General Malcolm Mercer †
3rd Infantry Division
It is now fully believed here that General Mercer is dead.
Nothing whatever has been heard of him since and it is now considered almost certain that his body lies in the shell torn area where the former front trenches were, but are now practically obliterated.
(Montreal Daily Mail, 6 June 1916, 1)
Malcolm Smith Mercer was the highest ranked Canadian officer killed in the First World War. He was born on 17 September 1859 in Etobicoke, Canada West. While a student at the University of Toronto, he joined the Queen’s Own Rifles in 1881. He became commanding officer of the Regiment in 1911 and was posted to the 1st Infantry Brigade when the First Contingent assembled at Valcartier in August 1914.
Lieutenant Colonel Wellington Wallace&
Major William Otter Morris
234th (Peel) Battalion
Born in 1854 in Tipperary, Ireland, Wellington Wallace immigrated to Canada in 1878. He was a bank manager, militiaman and veteran of the Northwest Rebellion. He fought with the Queen’s Own Rifles against Cree Chief Poundmaker at the battle of Cut Knife on 2 May 1885. The son of a North West Mounted Police Inspector, William Otter Morris was born in Fort Battleford on 24 May 1885 and named after the Canadian commander at Cut Knife, Colonel William Dillon Otter. The thirty-year old Wallace and the two day old Morris were both present in Battleford when Poundmaker and the Cree surrendered on 26 May 1885. Over thirty years later, Morris succeed Wallace as commander of the 234th Battalion.
Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston
Marched the remainder of the way to Batoche today and joined Middleton’s command, arriving early in the afternoon. The field still bears all the marks of battle, with some dead half-breeds and Indians. Middleton’s men had been fighting practically night and day four days, and when it was over most of them went to sleep and nothing had been done towards clearing the field of burying the dead, which duty devolved to us in large measure on our arrival.
(Lieut. Preston, Diary, 13 May 1885)
John Alexander Victor Preston was a lawyer, Orangeman, and court official in Dufferin County. He was born on 4 December 1863 in Manvers, Canada West. Preston joined the militia at the age of thirteen and volunteered to put down the Northwest Rebellion of Louis Riel at twenty-two. He served as a lieutenant in the Midland Battalion under the command of Colonel A. T. H. Williams and fought at the battle of Batoche (9-12 May 1885).