The Quiet Man

Brigadier General R. G. E. Leckie
16th (Canadian Scottish) BattalionLeckie_R

Spare of figure, short of stature, with an almost ascetic type of face, a trait which was accentuated rather than disturbed by the scar on the cheek received when he was mauled by a leopard in a big game hunt in Somaliland, the original Commanding Officer of the 16th was of a reserved disposition, even shy. In action he was cool and observant; he talked, and gave his orders, in a conversational tone. He showed not the slightest sign of irritation; and what such a temperament means in battle only the soldiers who have been through the turmoil of it can truly estimate.

(Urquhart, History of the 16th Battalion CEF, 1932, 97)

Born in Halifax on 4 June 1869 Robert Gilmour Edwards Leckie was a soldier and mining engineer in British Columbia. He graduated from the Royal Military College, served in South Africa and Somaliland, and organized the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in 1910. During a safari on the Somaliland frontier in 1904, a wild leopard attacked him. Of the incident Leckie explained, “I brought the skull and skin home with me.”

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The Commander

Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford, D.S.O.
5th (Tuxford’s Dandies) BattalionTuxford

On the 24th [April 1915] Major Hilliam, my adjutant, called me out about 4 o’clock in the morning to witness a huge wall of greeny, yellow smoke that was rolling up the hillside. We had no idea what it was, but thought it might have something to do with the reported gas attacks of the preceding day. We were not long left in doubt.

(Tuxford, “After Action Report,” 10 Mar 1916)

Born in Wales on 7 February 1870, George Stuart Tuxford was a Moose Jaw homesteader, rancher and militiaman. In August 1914, he received authorization to raise two mounted units from the West. He later explained, “In the one battalion I placed the 12th, 16th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 35th (Light Horse) and Corps of Guides. This battalion became the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion, and later on being asked to select a name for the battalion, I could think of no better than that of Western Cavalry, and as such they remained the 5th Battalion, Western Cavalry.”

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