The Retiree

Colonel Septimus J. A. Denison
4th Infantry Brigade DenisonS

… I am afraid we have had in the past, officers placed upon the general staff in time of trouble who are a long way better fitted to carry a constituency or empty a bottle of good Canadian rye in the morning.

(Denison, Lecture, Feb 1898)

Born in Toronto in 1859, Septimus Junius Augustus Denison was the brother of Colonel George Taylor Denison III and member of Canada’s most prominent military family. A graduate of the Royal Military College, he served for twenty-five years with the Royal Canadian Regiment and was aide-de-camp to General Lord Roberts during the Boer War. Continue reading

The Legacy

Lieutenant Colonel G. T. Denison †
2nd Division Cyclist CompanyDenison

Lieut.-Col. Denison’s death is a great personal loss to me as an old friend. It must be a splendid satisfaction to his family to know he upheld the traditions of the first military family in Canada. As to the loss to Col. Denison, I can only say that when I left him this morning he was bearing his grief like a Christian gentleman and a soldier.

(Crown Attorney Seymour Corley, Toronto Star, 15 May 1917, 2)

On 8 May 1917, George Taylor Denison IV was killed in action at the battle of Fresnoy. His father, Toronto police magistrate Colonel George Taylor Denison III (1839—1925) was a long-time Conservative militia leader, imperialist activist and patriarch of one of the city’s most influential Loyalist families. When the death of Denison was announced during a session of his father’s police court, the elder judge sat motionless before quietly exiting to his chambers. He was later heard to remark, that his son “would wish no better death than to die for his country.”

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