Lt. Col. Sparling

Lieutenant Colonel H.C. Sparling
73rd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion

The dissolution of the battalion caused the greatest regret and depression among all ranks, and the officers, who had witness the splendid work of the men in the Bn. during the last four months, could only express the highest admiration for the way all N.C.O’s and men carried out their duties during that time, with the knowledge of the possible dissolution of the battalion.

(Sparling, 73rd War Diary, 19 Apr 1917, 36)

Herbert Cosford Sparling was born in Kerrwood, Ontario on 6 February 1880. Previously a member of the Mississauga Horse, Sparling had moved to Ottawa shortly before the First World War. He enlisted as senior major in Peers Davidson’s 73rd Battalion, which deployed to France in March 1916 as part of the 12th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division. Sparling assumed command in December 1916, but the battalion was removed from the line on 9 April 1917 just before the battle of Vimy Ridge. Continue reading

The Burnt Out

Lieutenant Colonel Peers Davidson
73rd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion

Word received that Col. Davidson was unable to return to his battalion owing to nervous physical breakdown. He was examined by a medical board in London and declared unfit for further service.

(73rd Bn. War Diary, 12 December 1916, 5)

Born on 7 November 1870 in Montreal, Peers Davidson was the son of Quebec Chief Justice Charles Peers Davidson (1843—1925). His hockey player brother, Shirley (1872—1907) won multiple Stanley Cups with the Montreal Vicrorias in the 1890s. Another brother, Thornton (1880—1912), died during the Titanic sinking. A graduate of McGill, Peers Davidson was an advocate with a Montreal law firm, commodore in the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club and commanding officer of the 5th Regiment, Royal Highlanders of Canada.

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