Major “Jock” Rankin, D.S.O.
46th (Suicide) Battalion
Whether in the arena of sports, the Training Camps in Canada or England, or on the Battlefields of France and Belgium, the “Fighting Forty-Sixth” (or Suicide Bn.) held an unsullied record of solid service’ and achievement, and of duty done quietly, surely and effectively.
(46th Battalion CEF—Year Book, 1926, 9)
James Sabiston Rankin was born on 30 December 1882 in Liberton, Scotland. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, he joined the 8th Highland Light Infantry. He moved to Saskatchewan in 1905 to become a lawyer in Weyburn. In June 1915, he enlisted with the rank of captain in Lieutenant Colonel Snell’s 46th Battalion.
Lieutenant Colonel H. J. Dawson, D.S.O.
59th (Eastern Ontario) & 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalions
He was a Soldier! During its fighting history, he was in command of the 46th Bn., and no battalion ever went into action more confident that everything that could be foreseen had been provided for. Consequently, he was respected, trusted and obeyed and the proud record of the fighting battalion which he commanded stands as evidence of the sterling qualities of our CO.
It was not given to many who served under Col. Dawson to know the kindly, shy heart of the man, who concealed his sympathy under the mask of a stern discipline.
(46th Battalion CEF – Year Book, 1926, 3)
Herbert John Dawson was an associate professor at the Royal Military College with fourteen-years of service in the 14th (The Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles) Regiment. He was born in Birkenhead, England on 21 November 1876. In April 1915, Dawson began to organize the 59th Battalion from Eastern Ontario and Hull, Quebec.
Lieutenant Colonel Milton Francis, D.S.O
47th (British Columbia) Battalion
This officer appears before the Board after one month’s extension of leave. He feels very much better and fit to return to duty. Former hospital papers and medical Board puts his disability as V.D.H. [Valvular Disease of the Heart] which is an old lesion & in the opinion of the Board was not the cause of his present breakdown, which was due to nervous overstain,
(Medical Board Report on a Disabled Officer, 1 Mar 1918)
Born in London, Ontario on 26 March 1884, Milton John Francis was manager of a Fort William music store selling pianos and gramophones. He first enlisted with the 44th (Manitoba) Battalion and transferred to the 46th as second-in-command before assuming command of the 47th just before the Vimy offensive in April 1917 .
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Snell
46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion
May it be our part to play some useful role in the daily life of this great nation during the days of peace as all so faithfully played during the days of conflict, and so, in some way, because of what has come to us of good from our past experiences, the Canada which we shall pass on to those who come after us may reflect those guiding principles which alone exalteth a nation.
(Snell, 46th Battalion CEF – Year Book, 1926, 4)
Herbert Snell was born on 20 August 1880 in Stockbridge, England. As a boy, his family immigrated to Ontario. At twenty-five, Snell went west to become a retail merchant in Moose Jaw. He was appointed commanding officer of the newly creation 60th Regiment in 1913. Although overlooked during the organization of the First Contingent, Snell received authorization to raise the 46th Battalion in early 1915.