Lt. Col. Jamieson

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Jamieson
260th Battalion, Siberian Expeditionary Force

I do not think that the war will end in any way but as the Allies wish. It is impossible for it to end otherwise but to accomplish this end it will require the assistance of all available men between the ages of eighteen and forty. With the magnificent army of men that have gone to the front there are needed the additional half million …

It isn’t really boasting when I say that nearly every good idea since 1925 has come from the Conservatives.

(Northern Tribune, 20 June 1935, 1)

Born on 18 May 1875 in North Gower Township, Ontario, Frederick Charles Jamieson was commanding officer of the 19th Alberta Dragoons and veteran of the Boer War. He moved to Edmonton in 1895 and started a law firm with Alexander Rutherford, who became the first premier of Alberta. In August 1914, Jamieson led the 19th Dragoons to Valcartier and took command of the 1st Divisional Calvary Squadron.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Worthington

Lieutenant Colonel E.B. Worthington
17th Reserve Battalion

I do not believe that you could have searched your entire county and selected a better man than Colonel E. B. Worthington. A Sherbrooke boy from A to Z, a man who served his (our) country with dignity and distinction; a soldier who was an honor to the (our) dear old British flag; a man that no one can point their finger of scorn at; a man who will make a politician — No, No, a thousand times No — but a man who will make a statesman, an honorable Christian man who will represent the constituency with dignity.

(Letter to Sherbrooke Daily Record, 28 Oct 1925, 12)

Born on 1 December 1860 in Sherbrooke, Canada East, Edward Bruen Worthington was a notary, municipal official, former mayor of Sherbrooke, and long serving militia officer having first joined as a bugler in 1877. He was former commanding officer of the 53rd Sherbrooke Regiment, organized the 11th Hussars, and commanded the Eastern Townships Mounted Brigade since 1911. In January 1915, he replaced Lieutenant Colonel Struan G. Robertson in command of the 17th (Reserve) Battalion in England.

Continue reading

Brig. Gen. Smart

Brigadier General C.A. Smart
2nd Mounted Rifles Brigade

Germany waged war with one idea, and that was world domination or disaster. Well, she had achieved the alternative—disaster—and let her pay the price.  

(Smart quoted in Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, 16 Nov 1918)

Born in Westmount, Quebec on 1 January 1875, Charles Allen Smart was a militia officer, manufacturer, and politician. Commissioned since 1898, he commanded the Eastern Townships Cavalry Brigade and was elected to the legislative assembly as Conservative member for Westmount in 1912. With the formation of the Canadian Mounted Rifles, militia minister Sam Hughes offered Smart the command of the 2nd CMR Brigade in July 1915.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Bradshaw

Lieutenant Colonel John Bradshaw, M.L.A.
Major Gavin Graham Smith
243rd (Prince Albert) Battalion

Bradshaw sat silent, clothed in the uniform of an officer of His Majesty’s army, representing the justice and right of British traditions. Bradshaw sat there with the red color slowly mounting to his cheeks as he realised that the people of the province through their elected representatives demanded that for once he play the part of a gentleman and live up to the traditions of the uniform he wears.

 (S.S. Simpson, Liberal M.L.A., 9 Feb 1917)

John Ernest Bradshaw was the first commanding officer of the 243rd Battalion. Born on 13 December 1866 in Newport, Isle of Wight, he was a Hudson’s Bay Company manager, Prince Albert mayor (1906) and Conservative member of the Saskatchewan legislature (1908–1917). In June 1916, Bradshaw attempted to raise the 243rd from northern Saskatchewan. According to an inspection report, “He has no military experience; he has however a good business training and looks after his Battalion in a creditable manner.”

Continue reading

Brig. Gen. Hervey

Brigadier General C.L. Hervey
4th Battalion, Railway Troops

During my entire service in France I had in addition to my other duties to supply detachments for the moving of His Majesty’s naval siege guns, and certain guns of the Royal Artillery, and to devise the construct emplacements for same.

(Gen C.L. Hervey, US Engineers. 3rd Volunteers, Yearbook, 1918)

Chilton Longley Hervey was an engineering contractor born in Paris, Illinois on 27 April 1872. He served in the Spanish American War as a sergeant with the 3rd Volunteer Engineers. The son of United Empire Loyalists, Hervey moved to Ontario after marrying a Canadian in 1907. As a member of the Corps of Guides, he enlisted in the Canadian Railway Construction Corps in 1915.

Continue reading

Hon. Capt. Burnham & Lt. Col. Johnston

Honorary Captain J.H. Burnham, MP


Lieutenant Colonel T.J. Johnston
93rd (Peterborough) Battalion

I think that, as one who spent six months in England and a few days in France, I am called upon to say something on behalf of the soldiers…

 Knowing humanity as I do–and I have lived quite a few years now; and I may tell you that I was connected with the 93rd Battalion from its inception and was with it in England until it was dispersed and sent to France—a more sober, orderly, upright, and thoroughly decent lot of men I never saw, even amongst the politicians

 (J. H. Burnham, Debates 26 Apr 1917, 817)

Born on 12 January 1861 in Otonobee, Canada West, Thomas James Johnson was a militia officer with nearly forty years’ experience in the 3rd Prince of Wales’ Canadian Dragoons. In November 1915, he was authorized to raise the 93rd Battalion from Peterborough. Conservative MP John Hampden Burnham acted as honorary captain to assist with recruiting. A graduate of the University of Toronto with a Masters’ of Arts, Burnham was nicknamed “the philosopher” by colleagues in the House of Commons.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Lavergne

Lieutenant Colonel Armand Lavergne
61st (Montmagny) Rifles

As you already know, I am and have always been opposed to Canada taking part in the wars of the empire. I cannot assume the responsibility of asking Canadians to take part in a war that is not for the defense of Canada…

 Let me repeat that I consider it unwise and more than criminal to place Canada in danger from a war in which we have not had, have not and will have any control…

 (Lavergne to Sam Hughes, 6 November 1915)

Armand Lavergne had been Liberal MP for Montmagny (1904—1908) and, early in his political career, was a follower of Wilfrid Laurier. Born on 21 February 1880 in Arthabaska, Quebec, he was also rumored to be Laurier’s illegitimate son. In 1907, Lavergne broke with the Liberal Prime Minister and was expelled from the party caucus. A passionate defender of French language rights, he became lieutenant to Nationalist leader Henri Bourassa. From 1908 to 1916, Lavergne sat as a Ligue nationaliste canadienne member for Montmagny in the Quebec legislature.

Despite (or because of) his Nationalist ties, Lavergne was active in the militia and a strong advocate of home defence. When the First World War broke out, he was the commanding officer of 61st (Montmagny) Rifles. In 1915, Militia Minister Sam Hughes offered a commission in the CEF to command a French Canadian battalion but Lavergne steadfastly refused out of principle. He nevertheless conceded that as a solider he would obey his superior’s orders if compelled to fight. However, Hughes respected his friend’s conviction and even defended him in parliament.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Beaubier

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Beaubier
181st (Brandon) Battalion

Dave Beaubier had a genius for friendship, and a love of all classes and creeds, which bespeak that broad-minded type of charity, religion and friendship which enriches life.

(R. J. Manion, Debates, 13 Jan 1939, 7)

David Wilson Beaubier was born in St. Mary’s, Canada West on 21 May 1864. He was an early pioneer to Manitoba in the 1880s and established himself as a farmer. A captain with the 99th Manitoba Rifles, Beaubier assumed command of the 181st Battalion after the death of Lieutenant Colonel G. W. Bruce, who had succumbed to injuries from an accident in April 1916.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. Fowler, MP

Lieutenant Colonel G.W. Fowler, MP
104th (New Brunswick) Battalion

There is often a vast difference between the stories they tell in Canada, as to their achievements in France, and the stories that are told of them here. There have been cases where such Officers have, in consequence of the skillful manner in which they have trumpeted their own achievements (which were really of a very minor character) obtained advancement, much to the annoyance and disgust of men whose services have been far more valuable, but who have remained steadily on the job.

(Fowler to Robert Borden, 6 Sept 1916)

Born on 24 February 1859, George William Fowler was Conservative MP for King’s and Albert (1900—1908, 1911—1917) and senator for New Brunswick (1917—1924). A graduate of Dalhousie University and Boston College, he was a lawyer and Grand Master in the provincial Orange Order.

A retired militia officer with twenty years in the 8th Hussars, Fowler was appointed to command the 104th Battalion from New Brunswick in November 1915. On his attestation form, he lowered his birth date by two years and curiously listed his religion as pagan.

Continue reading

Lt. Col. McLelan

Lieutenant Colonel A. W. McLelan
121st (Western Irish) Battalion

Col. McLelan’s plan is this: All officers enter his regiment as lieutenants. They are given fullest opportunities for displaying their ability, and according to merit the senior appointments, such as those of field officers and captains of companies, are granted… Men who have captains and field officers’ certificates are placed on the same basin as the other officers and must qualify in this competitive sense for the senior rankings.

 “I think this is the only way in which real efficiency can be arrived at,” said Lieut.-Col. McLelan this morning. “My officers will know that they must make good, and it keys everyone of them up to do his best.”

 (Vancouver World, 19 Jan 1916, 15)

Archibald Woodbury McLelan was a fifth-generation Canadian of Irish ancestry. He was born on 26 August 1884 in Londonderry, Nova Scotia. McLelan’s namesake was his grandfather (1824—1890), the Lieutenant Governor of the province between 1888 and 1890. In the first Canadian parliament, the elder McLelan had sat as an anti-confederation member until an appointment to the Senate in 1869.

Continue reading