The Husband

Lieutenant Colonel L. H. Millen, D.S.O.
19th (Central Ontario) BattalionMillen

There are a good many returned soldiers going about with a notion that because they have been at the war, Canada therefore owes them a living. I want to tell everyone of you that has come back here well and sound, that Canada does not owe you any living.

(Millen, Farewell address, Toronto Star, 26 May 1919, 4)

Lionel Herbert Millen replaced Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Turnbull in command of the 19th Battalion on 30 December 1916. He was born in London, England on 10 March 1876. A resident of Hamilton, he was a senior officer with the 91st Highlander Regiment, commanded by John Inglis McLaren. In November 1914, Millen enlisted as junior major with McLaren’s 19th Battalion. He married Edith Morgan Hubbell several weeks later on 7 January 1915.

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The Stock Broker

Lieutenant Colonel G. F. Morrison, D.S.O.
19th and 18th BattalionsMorrison

It is presumed by the police that Morrison lay down on the chesterfield, and pressing the gun against his left breast, pulled the trigger. The bullet passed through the body below the heart and went out through the back lodging in the chesterfield. Examination of the army automatic found on the floor showed the only other bullet had jammed in the ejector.

(Toronto Globe, 14 Jul 1931, 11)

Major Gordon Fraser Morrison led the 19th Battalion through the first stage of the battle of the Somme in summer until commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Turnbull recovered. On 9 October 1916, Morrison transferred to take command of the 18th when Henry Linton Milligan returned to Canada following the death of his wife. Born in Toronto on 16 October 1884, Morrison was a member of the Queen’s Own Rifles, a mining executive and stockbroker with Pellet & Pellet. His grandfather, Angus Morrison had been mayor of Toronto in the 1870s.

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The Niagara Guard

Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Turnbull
19th (Central Ontario) BattalionTurnbull

He had the interests of the men ever at heart, and would do anything to procure them comfort and security.

(Toronto Star, 22 May 1919, 8)

William Robert Turnbull was a 13th Regiment militia officer and founder of the 91st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was born in Hamilton, Canada West, on 9 January 1865. From November 1914, he served as second-in-command with the 19th Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel John I. McLaren.

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The Stand-patter

Lieutenant Colonel John. I. McLaren
19th (Central Ontario) BattalionMcLaren

“I don’t matter at all,” he said in a personal reference, “but the men who do matter are the privates and corporals who have gone through the Gethsemane of the front line trenches without a worry, save the worry they have about their dependents at home being cared for. These men and their families will demand that men who have given service to their country without profit to themselves shall represent them in the next Parliament..”

(McLaren, Toronto Globe, 3 Nov 1917, 4)

In anticipation of a possible wartime election, on 28 May 1915, the Liberal Party nominated John Inglis McLaren to run in Hamilton West. McLaren had just departed Canada in command the 19th Battalion. By the time of the December 1917 federal election and the formation of the Union Government, Liberals and Tories implored McLaren to withdraw in favour of a civilian Unionist nominee. He refused and contested the race as a soldier-candidate.

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The Legacy

Lieutenant Colonel G. T. Denison †
2nd Division Cyclist CompanyDenison

Lieut.-Col. Denison’s death is a great personal loss to me as an old friend. It must be a splendid satisfaction to his family to know he upheld the traditions of the first military family in Canada. As to the loss to Col. Denison, I can only say that when I left him this morning he was bearing his grief like a Christian gentleman and a soldier.

(Crown Attorney Seymour Corley, Toronto Star, 15 May 1917, 2)

On 8 May 1917, George Taylor Denison IV was killed in action at the battle of Fresnoy. His father, Toronto police magistrate Colonel George Taylor Denison III (1839—1925) was a long-time Conservative militia leader, imperialist activist and patriarch of one of the city’s most influential Loyalist families. When the death of Denison was announced during a session of his father’s police court, the elder judge sat motionless before quietly exiting to his chambers. He was later heard to remark, that his son “would wish no better death than to die for his country.”

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