The Disgruntled

Lieutenant Colonel Hercule Barré
150th (Carabiniers Mont-Royal) Battalion Barre

If it had been intended to punish me and my battalion for a breach of discipline, no more drastic measure could have been adopted than the order to break it up and disperse its men, without their Officers, through the cadres of four different English speaking battalions.

Even if the necessity of breaking the cadre were conceded, from every point of view, the dispersion of the men is indefensible.

(Barré to Edward Kemp, 14 Feb 1918)

Born on 31 March 1879 in Montreal, Hercule Barré was a Quebec advertising manager with eighteen-years’ experience in the 65th Regiment. Wounded in the leg while fighting with the 14th Battalion during the second Battle of Ypres, Barré was invalided to Canada on board RMS Hesperian. When a German U-boat torpedoed the ocean liner off the coast of Queenstown, Ireland, Barré assisted the crew in evacuating the ship and loading the lifeboats. Sam Hughes praised the major, noting that his “conduct was only keeping with his splendid service at the front.”

Continue reading