Lieutenant Colonel George T. Chisholm
92nd (48th Highlanders of Canada) Battalion
I might inform you that your department is getting a tremendous let of popular disfavor through not supplying your regiments with actual necessities … Now this all gives the ordinary man on the street the impression that the department is not attending to the business for which it is in existence.
(G.T. Chisholm to Militia Department, 25 Sept 1915)
While fighting at St. Julien during the second battle of Ypres in late April 1915, the 15th Battalion was decimated as hundreds were killed, gassed or taken prisoner. Most of the soldiers had belonged to the Toronto-based 48th Highlanders Regiment. In order to replace the causalities, Toronto militia leaders were authorized to raise two new highlander battalions, the 92nd and 134th. George Thomas Chisholm, a Toronto stockbroker, was appointed commander of the former in August 1915.
Lieutenant Colonel Armour Miller
134th (48th Highlanders of Toronto) Battalion
A reliable and conscientious Officer. He has always been keen and anxious to acquire new ideas. His work here, both theoretical & practical, has shown that he possesses sound military knowledge with the capacity of imparting it to others. He has a cherry disposition.
(Senior Officers School report, 15 Dec 1917)
Along with the 15th and 92nd Battalions, the 134th was the third overseas unit organized by the 48th Highlander Regiment in Toronto. Initiated by Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Donald, the battalion began recruiting in November 1915 to replace the losses suffered by the 15th at St. Julien. Born on 17 December 1869, Donald was a Toronto barrister and commanding officer of the 48th Highlanders. He had served for over twenty-three years in the militia regiment. After Donald stepped down due to illness in July 1916, Armour Adamson Miller assumed command of the 134th.
Major John P. Girvan
15th (48th Highlanders) Battalion
He personally attacked and captured an enemy machine gun, shooting the gunner and turning the gun on the enemy. He went on and assisted in capturing Chapel Corner and the village of Marquion, and then gained his final objectives. His courage and dash were a fine example to his command.
(Bar to D.S.O., 4 Oct 1919, 12218)
Born in Kingarth, Scotland on 27 November 1887, John Pollands Girvan was a champion rower and mail sorter in the Toronto general post office. He enlisted with the 15th Battalion as a private and rose through the ranks to end the war as a major and second-in-command.
Colonel Jack Currie, M.P.
15th (48th Highlanders) Battalion
As was the case to be in many Canadian battalions, Lt.-Col. Currie was an M.P. and very much more of a politician than an officer.
He was one of the type of civilian-soldier who is simply worshipped by the poorer element among the ranks, but to serve under whom, for an officer, is sheer misery.
(Lt. Ian Sinclair, 13th Bn. personal diary)
The conduct of John Allister Currie at the second battle of Ypres in late April 1915 was the subject of much controversy and insinuation. According to some of his men in the 15th Battalion, he had fought “like a hero” with rifle and bayonet. However, by most accounts, Currie remained in a dugout well behind the lines, shell shocked and possibly drunk during the German gas attack on his unit at St. Julien.
Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Harbottle, D.S.O
75th (Mississauga) Battalion
This deplorable affair has ruined him absolutely, and his character has been taken from him forever. His family and mother are heart-broken. For two years, since these things began, he has lived in a hell of torture, and whatever term he has to do he will be more than amply punished.
(Defence counsel Mr. Robinette, Toronto Globe, 9 May 1908, 4)
Colin Clark Harbottle assumed command of the 75th Battalion on 16 April 1917. He proved himself a dedicated leader through the last year and a half of the war and won the Distinguished Service Order for his “fine example of personal gallantry and determination.” Ten years, earlier Harbottle had been a disgraced fugitive from justice and convicted criminal.