Lieutenant Colonel Lorne Ross, D.S.O.
67th (Western Scots) Battalion
He followed Duty’s guidance/ O’er wide continent and sea,
To the blood-stained fields of France/ Where men battled to be free.
Amid the ruin and carnage,/ The thunder of gun and shell.
Facing grim death with courage./ Fearless he fought and fell.
There where night’s benediction/ Breathes quiet o’er the silent sod.
Waiting the bless’d resurrection/ He rests in peace with his God.
(Lorne Ross, Canada in Khaki, 178)
Born on 26 November 1878 in Montreal, Quebec, Lorne Ross was a banker in Victoria, British and had served for over thirteen years in several militia regiments including the 13th, the 22nd and the 29th. In 1913, he joined the 50th Gordon Highlanders as a major under the command of Colonel Arthur W. Currie. In September 1914, Ross enlisted at Valcartier and sailed with the CEF overseas.
Lieutenant Colonel W.J.H. Holmes
48th (British Columbia) Battalion
He did not salute, so immediately after passing I stopped, turned back and asked him “what’s the matter. Why didn’t you salute?” He swiftly looked at me without taking his hand out of it pocket … His manner appeared to be so insubordinate that I asked him for his paybook … I then ordered him under close arrest.
(Court martial of Pte. Parents, 4 Jan 1919)
William Josiah Hartley Holmes was a graduate of the Royal Military College, a British Columbia land surveyor and first commanding officer of the 102nd Rocky Mountain Rangers. He was born on 28 May 1871 in St. Catherines, Ontario but moved to Victoria with his family. In 1910, Holmes was part of an expedition to explore Crown Mountain. Although he had retired to the reserve militia list in 1912, he was appointed commander of the 48th Battalion after the outbreak of the First World War.
Lieutenant Colonel Fred Lister, M.C.
102nd (Central Ontario) Battalion
We started out a British Columbia unit; we return an Ontario Battalion; but I defy anyone to note the point of cleavage. Welded together by many months of common danger, East and West have fused as one…
(Lister, “Final Order,” 25 May 1919)
Born on 10 February 1879 in Wigtoft, Lincolnshire, England, Frederick Lister was a sawmill superintendent in British Columbia. He had been a policeman with the Bechuanaland Protectorate since 1896 and fought in the Matabele Rebellion and the Boer War. He immigrated to Canada in 1903. In December 1915, he enlisted with the 102nd Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J .W. Warden.
Lieutenant Colonel Glen Campbell, D.S.O.
107th (Timber Wolves) Battalion
I had hoped that I would not have to rise and address the House to-night, because I have been, with other western members, attending hockey matches the last few days, and my voice is not as good as I would like it to be.
(Campbell, Debates, 21 Jan 1910, 2259)
Glenlyon Archibald Campbell was a frontiersman, pioneer, rancher, soldier and politician. He was born in Fort Pelly, North West Territories on 23 October 1863. He fought with the Boulton’s Scouts at the battle of Batoche during Louis Riel’s 1885 Rebellion. Fluent in Cree and other Native languages, he raised the 107th Battalion largely from western First Nations.
Lieutenant Colonel G. E. Sanders, D.S.O.
2nd Pioneer Battalion
I would sooner see a man go around and murder people outright than have him peddling this sort of thing [cocaine]. It is apparently the greatest danger and menace against which we must contend. Once addicted to the habit, a man is never cured and is no longer a human being but a beast.
(Sanders, Calgary Herald, 15 Jan 1913, 12)
Born in Yale, British Columbia on 25 December 1863, Gilbert Edward Sanders was a graduate of the Royal Military College and a Calgary police magistrate. A former Northwest Mounted Police inspector, he was also a veteran of the 1885 Rebellion and the Boer War, where he won the D.S.O. Notorious for his harsh sentences, corporal punishment and blatant bigotry, Sanders once remarked, “the cells were the proper abode for many of the coloured men.”
Lieutenant Colonel W. B. Kingsmill, D.S.O.
123rd (Royal Grenadiers) Battalion
Feeling very confident that the Battalion will carry on in the future as it has done in the past, I wish one and all, A Happy New Year, and trust that it will please God to see our task completed, and that we will be back in Canada with those we Love in the not far distant future.
(Kingsmill, 123rd War Diary, 1 Jan 1918, 51)
Born in Toronto on 6 May 1876, Walter Bernard Kingsmill was a graduate of the Royal Military College and Osgoode Hall. He joined the 10th Royal Grenadiers in 1898 and became commanding officer of the militia regiment. In November 1915, he received authorization to raise the 123rd Battalion from Toronto.