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. Hodson

Lieutenant Colonel George C. Hodson, D.S.O.
1st (Western Ontario) Battalion
Hodson

I have perhaps foolishly put my Country and the Cause before my personal interests in the past but my patience is now absolutely exhausted and I am out to get justice, one way or the other. I have already lost all a soldier can lose and that is ‘his reputation as a fighting soldier’ … All I have asked is to be returned to the front with my rank or else given a decent appointment in England or Canada with some promotion.

(G.C. Hodson to Gen. Ashton, 20 Apr 1918)

After the death of Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Creighton on 15 June 1916 during the battle of Mont Sorrel, the 1st Battalion was left leaderless and disorganized. Unable to find a suitable replacement from within the battalion or from another frontline unit, Major-General Arthur Currie needed to look to a surplus senior officer in England. He found George Cuthbert Bethune Hodson, former commander of the 9th CMR, which had been broken up some months earlier.

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The Aggrieved

Lieutenant Colonel George C. Hodson, D.S.O.
9th Canadian Mounted Rifles & 1st BattalionCreighton1

Mr. Rutherford asked: …whether, seeing that this is his only remedy in cases where such officer’s immediate superiors have formed opinions which are not well founded, and would be disproved at once if the case came before officers of higher rank entitled to form their own judgment and hear the evidence and the explanations of the officer in question, he will state why a Court of inquiry is being withheld from Lieutenant-Colonel G. C. Hodson, D.S.O.

(Rutherford, Hansard, 26 Oct 1917, 1651)

George Cuthbert Hodson was born in New Shoreham, England on 21 July 1879. He was a bank manager in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan,  a veteran of the Boer War and commanding officer of the 22nd Horse. In December 1914, he organized the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles, which was used for reinforcements with the Canadian Cavalry Reserve Depot in England.

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