The Fabricator

Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Ryan
6th Canadian Mounted RiflesRyan

Ryan, who was already a nervous wreck as a result of harrowing experience in the trenches, was demoralized completely by the new tragedy. He came to London unmindful of everything, and disregarded the order for his return to the front. The sequel came in the Gazette’s announcement he had been dismissed by court-martial.

(Washington Post, 5 Nov 1915, 6)

It does seem darned shame that a man like this, although he was a good fellow and a good officer should get these ghost stores of himself put into the papers. It makes the whole thing into a screaming farce.

(Gen. John Carson to Sam Hughes, 18 Dec 1915)

Following a court martial for disobeying orders, Robert Holden Ryan was stripped of command of the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles, cashiered from the CEF and sent home in disgrace. A sympathetic article in the Washington Post called Ryan’s dismissal “one of the most tragic stories of the war.”

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The Missing

Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Shaw †
6th and 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
Shaw

Never was there a more popular or respected Commanding Officer.  It was a common feeling throughout the battalion, that it was entirely due to the good advice and excellent management of our colonel that the casualties of the battalion were kept so low during the earlier part of our tour in the salient, and I don’t think there were any of us but would have gone anywhere with him, as like all good soldiers he never asked a man to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

(Trooper C. S. Cole to Mrs. Shaw [wife], Jul 1916)

Alfred Ernest Shaw was presumed killed in action defending the front line against a German assault on 3 June 1916. His body was never found. Born in Millbrook, Ontario, on 21 November 1881, he was a former NWMP constable and member of the 3rd Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse.

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The Horseman

Brigadier General R. W. Paterson
6th (Fort Garry Horse) Battalion Paterson

I told him [Col. MacDonald] the whole story of the Bde. and how they would like to be under command of a Canadian. He intends seeing the Bde. before going back to London. I told him everyone swears by Col. Paterson.

(Lt-Col. Beers, Diary, 15 July 1917)

Born on 22 October 1876 in Guelph, Ontario, Robert Walter Paterson founded the Fort Garry Horse in 1912. He had moved to Manitoba in 1902 and worked as a bank manager and manufacturer. In August 1914, he organized the 6th Battalion from Western cavalry militia units, including the Fort Garry Horse, 18th Mounted Rifles, 20th Border Horse, 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse and 32nd Manitoba Horse.

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