Lieutenant Colonel “Dolly” Swift, D.S.O.
2nd and 259th (Canadian Rifles) Battalions
The Vics took the first three games and looked like certain winners, but Stocking and Watson kept their team together and are mainly responsible for enabling Swift and Scott to tie the score and then get one ahead. Swift rallied his home and made a steady forward rush, when Grant lifted the puck, which struck “Dolly” Swift under the ear and knocked him out. This involved another fifteen minute delay.
(Toronto Globe, 31 Jan 1898, 8)
Albert Edward “Dolly” Swift was a Boer War veteran and professional soldier with twenty-years’ experience in the permanent militia. Born in Quebec City on 30 January 1866, Swift had also been an amateur hockey player in his youth. He played one season with the Montreal Victorias and thirteen with the Quebec Hockey Club during the 1880s and 90s.
Lieutenant Colonel C. W. MacLean
207th (MacLean’s Athletes) Battalion
We are about to enter into that phase of our career for which we were organized. Our next step takes us overseas where we shall await the call that sends us to the front. When the call comes—it will find us ready and eager, and fit—due to the hard work and enthusiasm of every member of the Battalion.
(MacLean, The Whiz Bang, 18 Nov 1916, No. 20, 1)
Born in Lachine, Quebec on 18 November 1876, Charles Wesley MacLean was a farmer in Pointe Claire and mayor of Brockville. A member of the 13th Scottish Light Dragoons, he first raised the 2nd Reserve Park, C.A.S.C., which he took to England in May 1915. After returning back to Canada, in February 1916 he was authorized to organize the 207th Battalion from Ottawa-Carleton. A noted athlete, football player, swimmer and champion oarsman before the war, MacLean encouraged sports and competition for the 207th.
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Davidson Pickett
229th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion
I had our farewell address from Col. Pickett and our lecture from our new Colonel Colonel McKay. He seems a pretty good head too. There was no love lost on Colonel Pickett.
(W. M. Dennis, 229th Bn. to fiancé, 20 May 1917)
A descendant of a United Empire Loyalist family, Henry Davidson Pickett was born on 6 December 1876 in Kingston, New Brunswick. In 1903, shortly after graduating with a law degree from the University of King’s College, Pickett moved in the Northwest Territories, where he established a legal practice at Moose Jaw.
Major Lennox Irving
Lieutenant Colonel E. J. Watt
240th (Renfrew) Battalion
We have the best type of manhood in the world in our brave troop fighting somewhere or everywhere in France. To appreciate even in the slightest degree, one mast see the heroes as they go Into the trenches, go over the parapet, facing fearful odds, and then see them at their rest camps preparing for a great attack.
(Maj. Irving, Ottawa Journal, 11 Aug 1917, 16)
Edgar John Watt was a stove and furnace manufacturer with twelve years’ experience in the 42nd Regiment. He was born in Lamarck, Ontario on 4 July 1884. After the formation of the 240th Battalion, former 42nd Regiment commanding officer, fifty-three year old Lennox Irving came out of retirement to serve as second-in-command.
Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Gillis
217th (Qu’Appelle) Battalion
I was going to suggest that there be a public holiday for voting. We should leave the holy day alone. I imagine that if we went from one end of Canada to the other we should find that the bulk of the people are opposed to the idea of Sunday voting. In Germany they vote on Sunday, but we are not bound to follow Germany in this or any other respect.
(Gillis, Senate Debates, 11 Apr 1933, 421)
Born on 28 January 1864 in Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, Archibald Beaton Gillis was an early settler, farmer and merchant in the Northwest Territories during the 1880s. In 1894, he was elected Conservative representative in the Northwest Territories legislature. He was speaker of the assembly from 1902 until the creation of the province of Saskatchewan in 1905. He remained a member of the Saskatchewan legislature as a Provincial Rights Party member for Whitewood until his defeat in the 1912 election.
Lieutenant Colonel Harry Lyon
192nd (Crow’s Nest Pass) Battalion
A most interesting visitor to Blairmore during the week was Mr. Harry E. Lyon, well known by the real old-timers of the town, having been connected with the drafting of the plans of the original Blairmore, being in real estate and later becoming the town’s first mayor, etc…
(Blairmore Enterprise, 27 October 1944, 4)
Henry Edward Lyon was a real estate promoter, mayor of Blairmore, Alberta, and a member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2224. Born on 17 December 1874 in Richmond, Ontario, he moved west in 1898 to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He soon established himself as a local community leader. He owned the first automobile in the district, was active in organizing amateur hockey and joined the 23rd Alberta Rangers.
Lieutenant Colonel Fred McRobie
244th (Kitchener’s Own) Battalion
I desire to pause here to pay just tribute to the memory of that man who organized the army which will yet win victory for Britain and for the allied nations; I mean Lord Kitchener.
To his standing as a great soldier, as the virtual head of the British army at the time; to his military ability, to his indomitable will, which had been tested on so many occasions, the people of the United Kingdom and the whole Empire looked in the day of trial, and they did not look in vain.
(Robert Borden, Debates, 22 Jan 1917, 27)
On 5 June 1916, while transporting British War Minister, Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, on a diplomatic mission to Russia, the HMS Hampshire struck a German mine near the Orkney Islands. Earl Kitchener and his staff drowned in the violent sea along with 643 crew and passengers. One day later, the 244th Battalion was authorized from Montreal under the command of Frederick Mackenzie McRobie. Sir Sam Hughes dubbed the new unit Kitchener’s Own and called on recruits to avenge the War Minister’s death.
Lieutenant Colonel Archie Earchman, D.S.O.
228th (Northern Fusiliers) Battalion
Col. Earchman was the most popular officer ever connected with a hockey club, and he drilled it into his men to play that game. They carried this out at all times. The best wishes of every player, fan and citizen go with the Battalion.
(Porcupine Advance, 21 Feb 1917, 6)
When Archibald Earchman began organizing the 228th Battalion in early 1916, he was as much interested in putting together a championship hockey team as he was an effective military unit. In total, he recruited over sixty semi-professional and amateur players. Earchman entered a team into the 1916/1917 season National Hockey Association but they were forced to withdraw when the battalion was ordered overseas in February 1917.
Lieutenant Colonel Harry Trihey
199th (Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish Rangers) Battalion
Moreover the confidence of those interested in the Regiment is absolutely in Colonel Trihey, Should his perhaps too hasty action result in his being deprived of its command and prevent his leading it to the front, the reward of the sacrifices he has made and is willing to continue to make, will be that he will be held up to the public as having deliberately deceived and misled these men.
(Doherty to Borden, 9 Feb 1917)
Henry Judah Trihey was an amateur hockey player for the Montreal Shamrocks between 1897 and 1901. Regarded as one of the best forwards of his time, Trihey won two Stanley Cups with the team and played a crucial role in defending the championship during three challenge games. He was born on 25 December 1877 in Berlin, Ontario. After his hockey career, he became a barrister in Montreal.
Lieutenant Colonel Francis J. Murray
61st (Winnipeg) Battalion
The local soldier hockeyists completely outclassed the Saskatchewan champions in the two-game series and proved themselves worthy holders of the coveted mug.
This performance of Colonel Murray’s men is certainly remarkable, as the cup-seekers are a redoubtable squad of players but they were unable to cope with the sensational close checking and speed of the Winnipeggers. Only in the first fifteen minutes of the first game were the Westerners really in the running, as after that they were outplayed and seldom looked dangerous.
(Winnipeg Tribune, 20 Mar 1916, 10)
Born on 23 June 1876 in Portsmouth, England, Francis John Murray was a professional soldier and twenty-two year veteran of the Imperial Army. Having fought in the Boer War, Murray was appointed to raise the 61st Battalion from Winnipeg in spring 1915.