1st Infantry Battalion

1st (Western Ontario) Battalion
1st Canadian Division

1st Bn 1

Frederic William Hill was the first 1st Battalion CO, from September 1914 to January 1916, when he was promoted to command the 9th Infantry Brigade.

1st Bn 2

Frank A. Creighton succeeded Hill in command of the 1st Battalion in January 1916. He was killed when a shell hit his headquarters on 15 June 1916.

1st Bn 3

Former 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles CO, George C. Hodson was next selected to take command of the 1st Battalion. The appointment of an outsider caused friction with other officers. He was sacked on 16 August 1917.

1st Bn 4

Albert Sparling, who earned a D.S.O. and Bar, commanded the 1st Battalion from 17 August 1917 until the end of the war.

Lt. Col. A.W. Sparling

Lieutenant Colonel Albert Sparling, D.S.O.
1st (Western Ontario) BattalionSparlingA

This officer was the only surviving Lt.-Colonel, all other senior field officers having become casualties. He was twice ordered to deal with serious situations on the brigade front, first, in the case of an enemy counter-attack, and a few days later when there was some confusion and loss of direction of our troops.

(Sparling, D.S.O. Bar, London Gazette, 1 Feb 1919, 1600)

Albert Walter Sparling was a Saskatchewan farmer born in Pilot Mount, Manitoba on 12 July 1891. He enlisted in Russell Boyle’s 10th Battalion and earned a promotion to the rank of major in the field. After George C. Hodson was sacked, Sparling assumed command of the 1st Battalion on 17 August 1917 during the battle of Hill 70. Shortly thereafter he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry.

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