Lt. Col. E.W. MacDonald

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. MacDonald, D.S.O., M.C.
10th (White Gurkhas) BattalionMacdonaldEW

Early in the day, before the attack, and again in the afternoon, he made personal reconnaissances over fire-swept ground, gaining first-hand information which enabled him to handle his men and direct the fire of his guns with remarkable success. His fine leadership, coolness and disregard of danger, carried his men along with him.

(D.S.O. Bar citation, Gazette, 2 Jan 1919)

On 24 May 1918, Eric Whidden MacDonald became the youngest battalion commander in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia on 20 July 1892. He moved to Calgary in 1913 to become an accountant with the Canadian Oil Company. He enlisted with the 10th Battalion in September 1914.

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The Jack-of-All-Trades

Lieutenant Colonel John G. Rattray
10th (Fighting Tenth) BattalionRattray

But when I find myself honored by such frenzied attacks by the Rabbi Samuel, the chief Hebrew apologist of Jewry and Jewish morals, and this attack signed by the Canadian Jewish committee (what’s in a name!) a short statement of my side of the story would appear necessary…

If it is personal attack, it is apparent in every paragraph that the Hebrews are ‘out to get Colonel Rattray.’

(Rattray to Winnipeg Free Press, 13 Jan 1922, 19)

John Grant Rattray was a schoolteacher, militia officer, hardware salesman, newspaper publisher, businessman, town reeve, insurance agent, soldier, police chief, political campaigner, civil servant, veterans’ official and sportsman. Born on 15 January 1867 in Banffshire, Scotland, he immigrated to Manitoba in the 1880s. As commanding officer of the 20th Border Horse, he organized the 10th Battalion at Valcartier when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled in September 1914.

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The United Farmer

Lieutenant Colonel Doug Carmichael, D.S.O., M.C.
116th (Ontario County) BattalionCarmichael

He wears two decorations on the breast for doing things to the Germans, which, according to King’s regulations and the best methods of procedure, should have been planned by him and executed by some mere sub. But he was one of those majors and colonels, rare in any army, who actually led his men—personally led, out in front. He has many raids to his credit. He showed up well in all battles.

(Morning Leader, 18 Mar 1922, 36)

Dougall Carmichael was a Grey County farmer with ten years’ experience with the 35th Simcoe Foresters. He was born on 8 November 1885 in Collingwood, Ontario. Standing five-foot-five, he joined Lieutenant Colonel H. A. Genet’s 58th Battalion and rose to second-in-command.

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The Defence Minister

Lieutenant Colonel G. R. Pearkes, D.S.O., M.C., V.C.
116th (Ontario County) BattalionPearkes

What kind of war must we be prepared to fight? With the introduction of nuclear weapons and the anticipated production of long-range ballistic missiles, it is obvious that the methods of waging any future war have clearly changed from those of World War II. Looking into the future is at best a risky business, but our military advisers must plan ahead, and it is their present opinion that a third world war would commence with a sudden ferocious thermonuclear attack of great intensity…

(Pearkes, Debates, 5 Dec 1957, 1900)

George Randolph Pearkes was a solider, politician, and winner of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British Empire. He was born on 28 February 1888 in Watford, Hertfordshire, England and immigrated to Alberta in 1906. He joined the North West Mounted Police and fought with the 2nd and 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Pearkes began his military career as a private; he retired as major general.

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The Methodist

Lieutenant Colonel Sam Sharpe, D.S.O., M.P. †
116th (Ontario County) BattalionSSharpe

But it is awful to contemplate the misery and suffering in this old world & were I to allow myself to ponder over what I have seen & what I have suffered thro the loss of the bravest & best in the world, I would soon become absolutely incapable of “Carrying on.”

(Sharpe to Muriel Hutchison, 21 Oct 1917)

Samuel Simpson Sharpe was a militia major and Conservative Member of Parliament for Ontario North (1908—1918). Born on 13 March 1873 in Zephyr, Scott Township, Ontario, he was a graduate from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall. During his university days, he was a champion tennis player and became a prominent solicitor in Uxbridge.

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The Best Friend

Lieutenant Colonel J. V. P. O’Donahoe, D.S.O. †
87th (Canadian Grenadier Guards) BattalionO'Donahoe

You, Officers and men of the 87th have lost a gallant leader. And I have lost a trusted and dear friend. The whole Canadian Corps has lost a tried and able soldier.

(Brig-Gen. Odlum’s eulogy, 87th Bn. War Diary, 12 May 1918, 30)

On 8 May 1917, James Vincent Patrick O’Donahoe succeeded Major H. LeR. Shaw as commander of the 87th Battalion. Born on 27 May 1881 in Brockville, Ontario, O’Donahoe had served as a major with the 60th Battalion in France. In January 1917, he assumed command of the 199th Battalion for a tour of Ireland following Harry Trihey’s controversial resignation.

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The Police Chief

Lieutenant Colonel James Kirkcaldy, D.S.O.
78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) BattalionKirkcaldy

For conspicuous gallantry and resourceful leadership. When one of his companies was held up by machine-gun fire, he took charge and overcame the opposition. Later, by aggressive fighting, he got his battalion forward, and formed a defensive flank, using a rifle himself and directing machine–gun and trench-mortar fire, and drove the enemy from their positions. His courage and fighting spirit were an inspiration to all.

(Kirkcaldy D.S.O. Citation, London Gazette, July 1918, 133)

James Kirkcaldy was born in Abdie, Scotland on 18 May 1866. After serving for over seven years in the Imperial Forces, he immigrated to Canada in 1891 and settled in Brandon, Manitoba. Shortly thereafter, the six-foot Scotsman was appointed the town’s chief of police, a post he held for the next thirteen years (1892—1905). A former member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and serving major with the 99th Rangers, in August 1914, Kirkcaldy enlisted in Louis Lipsett’s 8th Battalion at the rank of major.

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The Arsenalist

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Gaudet
22nd (Royal French Canadians) Battalion Gaudet

The news of Major Tremblay’s promotion to the command of the battalion and of Colonel Gaudet’s illness is absolutely untrue. I cannot understand who spreads these rumors that do no one any good and very often do a great deal of harm. Colonel Gaudet is still with us and I hope he will be with us until the end of the campaign.

(Vanier to Mother, 7 Jan 1916)

Frederick Mondelet Gaudet was a professional soldier and engineer with the Royal Canadian Artillery. Born in Three Rivers, Canada East on 11 April 1867, he was one of the first francophone graduates of the Royal Military College. In 1913, he incurred the wrath of Militia Minister Sam Hughes for criticizing the Ross Rifle. Hughes made trumped-up allegations of corruption and negligence against the militia colonel. One year later, in November 1914, Gaudet was appointed to command the 22nd Battalion, the first all French Canadian unit.

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The Prisoner

Major A. J. E. Kirkpatrick
3rd (Toronto Regiment) BattalionAJEKirkpatrick

With ammunition gone, bleeding and bent,
With hunger, thirst, and weariness near spent,
With foes in crowds on every side to hem
Them in, to capture these, God pity them.

Their day was done, their suffering still to come.
They were to know the full and total sum,
Wearily marching to captivity,
How long? God knows! An eternity

(A. E. Kirkpatrick, Toronto Globe, 22 Apr 1931, 4)

A native of Toronto, Arthur James Ernest Kirkpatrick was born on 29 April 1876. He was a graduate of Upper Canada College, twenty-one year member of the Queen’s Own Rifles and married to the daughter of prominent Liberal Party leader William Mulock. Kirkpatrick fought at Second Ypres as second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rennie.

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The Commander

Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford, D.S.O.
5th (Tuxford’s Dandies) BattalionTuxford

On the 24th [April 1915] Major Hilliam, my adjutant, called me out about 4 o’clock in the morning to witness a huge wall of greeny, yellow smoke that was rolling up the hillside. We had no idea what it was, but thought it might have something to do with the reported gas attacks of the preceding day. We were not long left in doubt.

(Tuxford, “After Action Report,” 10 Mar 1916)

Born in Wales on 7 February 1870, George Stuart Tuxford was a Moose Jaw homesteader, rancher and militiaman. In August 1914, he received authorization to raise two mounted units from the West. He later explained, “In the one battalion I placed the 12th, 16th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 35th (Light Horse) and Corps of Guides. This battalion became the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion, and later on being asked to select a name for the battalion, I could think of no better than that of Western Cavalry, and as such they remained the 5th Battalion, Western Cavalry.”

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