Maj. Elmitt

Major Thomas Elmitt, D.S.O.
21st (Eastern Ontario) Battalion

Elmitt

From the “jumping-off” place to the refinery was one thousand yards and as it was known to be strongly held, this together with the distance of the advance, severe casualties were expected and although the battalion suffered heavily they were quite successful in attaining their objective.

(Elmitt to Ottawa Citizen, 2 Jan 1917, 2)

Born in Ottawa on 24 January 1871, Thomas Francis Elmitt was a lumber merchant with fifteen years’ experience in the 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles Regiment. He enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel W. St. Pierre Hughes’ 21st Battalion in November 1914 and was promoted to major in February 1915. Elmitt assumed temporary command of the battalion from 7 May until 6 July 1917.

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Lt. Col. Pense

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Pense, D.S.O., M.C.
21st (Eastern Ontario) Battalion

Pense

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led his company in the attack with great courage and determination, and although wounded, by personal coolness and example assisted in the success of the operation.

(Pense, Military Cross, Citation, 14 Nov 1916)

Henry Edward Pense was born in Kingston, Ontario on 2 August 1889. An eight-year member of the 14th Princess of Wales’s Own Rifles Regiment, he enlisted as a subaltern with Lieutenant Colonel W. St. Pierre Hughes’ 21st Battalion in November 1914. He was promoted to command “A” company after the battle of St. Eloi Craters in April 1916.

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The Brother

Brigadier General W. St. P. Hughes, D.S.O.
21st (Eastern Ontario) BattalionWSHughes

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.

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The Fatalist

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Jones, D.S.O. †
21st (Eastern Ontario) BattalionJones

I have a presentiment that I am going into this fight probably to be killed.

(Lieut.-Col. Jones to W. R. Givens, Renfrew Mercury, 6 Sept 1918)

Elmer Watson Jones was killed in action on 8 August 1918 during the first day of the battle of Amiens. He had succeeded Brigadier General W. S. Hughes as commander of the 21st Battalion on 18 July 1916. A native of Brockville, Jones was born on 23 March 1874. He had served for eight years in the 41st Regiment and joined the 21st Battalion in charge of “A” company. He received a field promotion to second-in-command in January 1916.

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