The Nervous Officer

Lieutenant Kenneth Cameron Fellowes
84th and 25th Battalions

An illustrated story of one officer featured in my book Scandalous Conduct: Canadian Officer Courts Martial, 1914–45.

Speaking quite impersonally, it is manifest that having regard to the very trying conditions at the Front it would never do to establish the principle that an officer who by reason of his nervous condition failed to carry out an order given to him could escape the consequences by attributing the fault to his nervousness. Men at the front have to “stick it” at all costs, and the establishment of a precedent excusing the failing to do so would be very dangerous.

(Maj. Walter Gow, 17 Jan 1917)

Fellowes 1A
Continue reading

The Home Guard

Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Stewart
84th (Toronto Depot) BattalionWTStewart

…the genial silver-haired Irishman who commands the regiment, and who is the originator of the Home Guard movement of Canada, a movement that to-day has over 160,000 men in its train. The chief characteristic of this commander is that when he wants anything he gets it.

(Brantford Expositor, Dec 1915, 16)

A native of Killarney, Ireland, William Thomas Stewart was a twenty-five year member of the Canadian militia, serving in the 13th (Hamilton), the 66th (Princess Louise) and 100th (Royal Canadians) Regiments. One month after the outbreak of the First World War, Stewart began organizing the Home Guards from Toronto.

Continue reading