Lt. Col. Docherty

Lieutenant Colonel M. Docherty
Lord Strathcona’s Horse

Docherty

We had 200 men, the Germans about 2,000. We had no artillery support, but the Huns had all kinds. But we stopped their counter-attack. Colonel Docherty fell a few feet from me, shot dead, clean through the head.

  (LdSH soldier’s letter, Winnipeg Tribune, 29 Dec 1917)

Born in Scotland on 1 May, 1877, Malcolm Docherty was a Boer War veteran, marksman and polo player in Winnipeg. A prewar sergeant in the Lord Strathcona’s Horse, he went to France as a lieutenant in May 1915. Six months later, he received a promotion to captain and the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry.

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Lt. Col. Miller

Lieutenant Colonel Armour Miller
134th (48th Highlanders of Toronto) Battalion
Miller

A reliable and conscientious Officer. He has always been keen and anxious to acquire new ideas. His work here, both theoretical & practical, has shown that he possesses sound military knowledge with the capacity of imparting it to others. He has a cherry disposition.

(Senior Officers School report, 15 Dec 1917)

Along with the 15th and 92nd Battalions, the 134th was the third overseas unit organized by the 48th Highlander Regiment in Toronto. Initiated by Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Donald, the battalion began recruiting in November 1915 to replace the losses suffered by the 15th at St. Julien. Born on 17 December 1869, Donald was a Toronto barrister and commanding officer of the 48th Highlanders. He had served for over twenty-three years in the militia regiment. After Donald stepped down due to illness in July 1916, Armour Adamson Miller assumed command of the 134th.

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Lt. Col. Gardner

Lieutenant Colonel Stan Gardner, M.C.†
7th (1st British Columbia) Battalion
Gardner

Lieut.-Col. Gardner is known and respected not only as a fighting man and successful officer, but also a true friend to the soldier who does his duty as it should be done.

(Daily Colonist, 15 Sept 1916, 5)

Born in London, England on 22 August 1880, Stanley Douglas Gardner was a member of the 22nd London Regiment before immigrating to British Columbia. A veteran of the Canadian Mounted Rifles in the Boer War, he enlisted as a captain with the 7th Battalion in September 1914. Stanley was soon appointed battalion adjutant but he was seriously wounded at Festubert on 25 May 1915 and invalided to England. Continue reading

The Cricketer

Lieutenant Colonel Billy Marshall, D.S.O.
15th (48th Highlanders) Battalionmarshall

The list of honors for the second battle of Ypres was out and my name had been omitted.

 I was pleased, however, to see that Major Marshall, my second in command whom I had recommended for “mention in dispatches,” had received a D.S.O. He was a professional soldier and this meant much more to him than it did to me. He was later to fall in the front line trenches the victim of a German sniper. A great athlete, a splendid soldier, a universal favorite, Canada and the Empire could ill spare such a man. His solicitude for his men was such that I have known him to give his clothing to some ailing private. He was one of the bravest, truest and kindest of Canadians.

(J.A. Currie, The Red Watch, 1916, )

William Renwick Marshall was an amateur athlete and Boer War veteran with over twenty years’ service in the militia. Born in Hamilton on 20 March 1875, he played cricket while a student at Upper Canada College and toured the United States and Britain with the Canadian Zingari between the 1890s to the 1910s. He fought bravely at the second battle of Ypres and shortly thereafter assumed command of the 15th Battalion.

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The Missing

Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Shaw †
6th and 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
Shaw

Never was there a more popular or respected Commanding Officer.  It was a common feeling throughout the battalion, that it was entirely due to the good advice and excellent management of our colonel that the casualties of the battalion were kept so low during the earlier part of our tour in the salient, and I don’t think there were any of us but would have gone anywhere with him, as like all good soldiers he never asked a man to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

(Trooper C. S. Cole to Mrs. Shaw [wife], Jul 1916)

Alfred Ernest Shaw was presumed killed in action defending the front line against a German assault on 3 June 1916. His body was never found. Born in Millbrook, Ontario, on 21 November 1881, he was a former NWMP constable and member of the 3rd Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse.

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The Gurkha

Lieutenant Colonel A. H. G. Kemball, D.S.O. †
54th (Kootenay) BattalionKemball

So Kemball was ignored. That gallant officer—the adjective in his case is deserved—defied orders and refused to stay in the rear when his men were in peril. He led them personally on an attack he knew was futile.

(Pierre Burton, Vimy, 1986, 129)

Born in Belgaum, India on 4 January 1861, Arnold Henry Grant Kemball was a professional soldier with thirty-two years’ experience in the Indian Army.  A veteran of the Gurkha Rifles, Kemball served in the Hazara Expedition (1888), the North West Frontier (1897) and Tirah Campaign (1898). He retired as commander of the 5th Gurkhas in 1910 and moved to British Columbia.

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The Leader

Major James A. De Lancey, M.C. †
25th (Nova Scotia Rifles) BattalionDeLancey

Previously reported Missing, believed Killed, now Killed in Action. While leading his Battalion in the attack on Vimy Ridge and just as he reached the enemy second line, he was instantly killed by a bullet through the head.

(Circumstances of Death, 9 Apr 1917)

A civil engineer and graduate of McGill University, James Arnold DeLancey was born in Middleton, Nova Scotia on 15 July 1880. He originally enlisted in A. G. Vincent’s 40th Battalion before joining the 25th as adjutant. In the absence of Lieutenant Colonel D. S. Bauld, command fell to DeLancey to led the battalion over the top at Vimy Ridge.

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The Sure Shot

Lieutenant Colonel Archie Hay †
52nd (New Ontario) BattalionHay

It is with the deepest regret that the Battalion chronicles the disappearance of its Colonel, Lieut. Col. Hay, on this date.

(52nd Bn. War Diary, 3 June 1916, 7)

Born on 8 November 1873 in Quebec City, Archibald Walter Hay was a militia officer with the 8th Royal Rifles and noted marksman. During the 1912 Governor General’s prize shooting match organized by the Dominion Rifle association, Hay scored twenty-one consecutive bullseyes.

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The Bankrupt

Lieutenant Colonel R. McD. Thomson †
43rd (Cameron Highlanders) BattalionsThomson_RM

Robert McDonnell Thomson, officer commanding the 43rd Battalion, who died at Albert. France, Oct. 8 1916, as a result of wounds, and who was believed to be one of the wealthiest men in Winnipeg, died insolvent.

(Winnipeg Tribune, 28 August 1918, 1)

Born on 4 July 1869 in Hamilton, Ontario, Robert McDonnell Thomson was a veteran of the 1885 Rebellion and founder of the 78th Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Although on the reserve list at the outbreak of the Great War, Thomson raised the 43rd Battalion from Winnipeg and sailed for England in June 1915. The Cameron Highlanders deployed to France with 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division in February 1916.

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The Meteorologist

Lieutenant Colonel William D. Allan, D.S.O. †
3rd (Toronto Regiment) BattalionWDAllan

Since going into the trenches he was three times wounded, and mentioned in dispatches for many acts of signal bravery. The people of Canada still vividly recall the story of heroism when he went with another soldier into No Man’s Land under heavy fire to carry in a wounded comrade. The man was struck by a bullet and killed as they were carrying him to shelter. For this and other conspicuous acts of bravery he was awarded the D.S.O.

(Toronto Globe, 3 Oct 1916, 4)

William Donald Allan was a meteorologist and seventeen year member of the Queen’s Own Rifles. He was born in Toronto on 25 November 1879. Allan served as a company captain with the 3rd Battalion during the second battle of Ypres. After Robert Rennie was promoted to command the 4th Brigade, Allan took charge of the 3rd on 10 November 1915.

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