Honorary Colonel W. F. Cockshutt, M.P.&
Lieutenant Colonel M. E. B. Cutcliffe
125th (38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles) Battalion
The voluntary system as carried out, I think, has been a great credit to our people.
If it failed in any place, it failed because it was not pushed with sufficient vigour by the natural leaders of the people. And who are those leaders? The members of this House. The man who represents a constituency in this House is the first citizen in his riding, and he is the man who should have taken responsibility for recruiting in that riding.
(Cockshutt, Debates, 22 Jun 1917, 2601)
Authorized in November 1915, the 125th Battalion was initially to be raised by William Foster Cockshutt, Conservative MP for Brantford (1904—1908, 1911—1921). Recognizing his own limitations and lack of military experience, the sixty year-old parliamentarian turned over leadership to Captain Mostyn Elton Bluett Cutcliffe, senior officer of Dufferin Rifles.
Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cockshutt
215th (38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles) Battalion
War should be non-existent. But before that I would have one war–to clean up Moscow.
(Cockshutt, Toronto Globe, 21 Nov 1930, 1)
I still see Canada as the greatest country and Ontario as the greatest Province. I am optimistic of the future.
(Cockshutt, Globe and Mail, 8 July 1939, 4)
Born in Brantford, Ontario, on 8 July 1867, Henry Cockshutt was a successful merchant and manufacturer of farming implements. His older brother William Foster Cockshutt was Conservative MP for Brantford and honorary colonel of the 125th Battalion. In early 1916, Henry Cockshutt was authorized to raise the 215th from his hometown.
Colonel Mac Colquhoun, D.S.O.
4th (Central Ontario) Battalion
People here have quite a different opinion of the Canadians now. They want to have the Canadians in the fighting all the time. We are classed now among the very best troops.
(Colquhoun to Wife, Apr 1915, History of Brant County, 1920, 451)
Born in Mulmur, Ontario on 13 April 1869, Malcolm Alexander Colquhoun was a Brantford contractor and captain with the 38th Dufferin Rifles. In August 1914, he enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hodgetts Labatt’s 4th Battalion. In command of “B” Company at Second Ypres, he was one of the only officers in the entire battalion to emerge unwounded from the battle. Describing the fighting to his wife, Colquhoun wrote, “To put it plainly, it was a perfect hell.”
Brigadier General Dr. E. C. Ashton
I picked out Col. Ashton as a fighting officer. I did not know what he was as a medical officer but I knew he was a good fighting officer.
(Sam Hughes, Debates, 6 Feb 1917)
Major A. Nelles Ashton
Like his brother, he is every inch a soldier.
(Brantford Expositor, Dec 1915, 5)
Ernest Charles Ashton and Alfred Nelles Ashton served in the 38th (Dufferin Rifles) Regiment for a combined forty years. Born on 28 October 1874, E. C. Ashton was the regiment’s commanding officer and a prominent doctor in Brantford. His younger brother, A. N. Ashton, born on 14 March 1879, was principal of the Mohawk Institution. Their father, Rev. Robert Ashton (1843—1930), was chaplain of the Dufferin Rifles and long-time superintendent of the Mohawk Institution.