Brig. Gen. Elmsley

Brigadier General Jim Elmsley
8th Canadian Infantry Brigade

Facial expression slightly nervous, tremulous and changeable. Has been worrying excessively over routine matters, particularly having to meet people. Has been excessively worried over the ordinary conditions arising in the Brigade under his command. Sleep is fair, but there are times when he will be awake for three or four hours.

 (Medical Board Report of Brig. Gen. Elmsley, 4 June 1918)

Born in Toronto on 13 October 1878, James Harold Elmsley was a professional soldier and Boer War veteran. During the South African campaign, he was shot through the chest but somehow survived. On the start of the Great War. he was appointed second-in-command of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, followed by a brief period commanding the Canadian Light Horse. After Brigadier General Victor Williams was captured at the Battle of Mont Sorrel, Elmsley assumed command of the 8th Infantry Brigade in June 1916.

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Lt. Col. Leonard

Lieutenant Colonel Ibb Leonard, D.S.O.
7th Canadian Mounted Rifles & Canadian Light Horse


Talking about spring, I was much struck on Monday when up in front to see the buds and grass started in little pieces here & there that had not been touched by shell fire even trees that were half shot away seemed to be make an effort to abide the summons of spring and sprout a few little buds.

 It was almost pathetic and made you want to curse and crush the ruthless hands that are responsible for all this destruction and sadness in the face of beautiful and wonderful nature. One almost wonders why God allows it but wonderful are his ways and we must try and understand them and have faith that He is working out a great problem for our good. I can hear the steady rumble of the guns as well as the singing bird.

(Lt-Col. Leonard to sister, 2 May 1917)

Born in London, Ontario, on 30 July 1882, Elton Ibbotson (Ibb) Leonard was a graduate of the Royal Military College and McGill University. On the outbreak of the Great War, as a militia officer with eleven years in the 1st Hussars, he applied several times for an appointment with the Cavalry Brigade without success. Discouraged by the few opportunities for a cavalryman in a modern war, he was appointed to command the 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles in February 1915.

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Lt. Col. S.F. Smith

Lieutenant Colonel Sandford F. Smith
4th Canadian Mounted Rifles

This Officer while on training duty in France was thrown by his horse and sustained a fracture of the head of the left humerus. He was evacuated to England June 10th 1917, and has been a patient at Helena Hospital until to-day, when he was discharged as completely recovered.

(Proceedings of Medical Board, 1 July 1917)

Born in Peterborough, Ontario on 4 May 1873, Sandford Fleming Smith was the grandson of famed Scottish-Canadian engineer Sir Sandford Fleming. Smith was a Toronto architect, former member of the Queen’s Own Rifles and commanding officer of the Governor-General’s Body Guard.

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