Lieutenant Colonel George C. Royce
255th (Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada) Battalion
GIVE US HIS NAME
Nearly everyone knows of ONE MAN who should be in khaki to-day. We ask you to give us his name so we can call upon him and give him this opportunity to join an Overseas Battalion—
Doing this does not imply any slur upon the man you name…
That man whose name you give us may be just waiting for this chance…
Take this duty seriously. Do not send us unsuitable or “spite” names…
(255th Advertisement, Toronto Globe, 30 Nov 1916, 5)
Authorized in late 1916, the 255th Battalion was to provide reinforcements for the 3rd Battalion fighting on the frontlines France. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel George Cooper Royce quickly realized the dire recruitment situation in Toronto. Having already provided multiple battalions, and with many more units still trying to enlist men, the Ontario capital had nearly exhausted its reserve of suitable soldiers.
Lieutenant Colonel Wellington Wallace&
Major William Otter Morris
234th (Peel) Battalion
Born in 1854 in Tipperary, Ireland, Wellington Wallace immigrated to Canada in 1878. He was a bank manager, militiaman and veteran of the Northwest Rebellion. He fought with the Queen’s Own Rifles against Cree Chief Poundmaker at the battle of Cut Knife on 2 May 1885. The son of a North West Mounted Police Inspector, William Otter Morris was born in Fort Battleford on 24 May 1885 and named after the Canadian commander at Cut Knife, Colonel William Dillon Otter. The thirty-year old Wallace and the two day old Morris were both present in Battleford when Poundmaker and the Cree surrendered on 26 May 1885. Over thirty years later, Morris succeed Wallace as commander of the 234th Battalion.
Major A. J. E. Kirkpatrick
3rd (Toronto Regiment) Battalion
With ammunition gone, bleeding and bent,
With hunger, thirst, and weariness near spent,
With foes in crowds on every side to hem
Them in, to capture these, God pity them.
Their day was done, their suffering still to come.
They were to know the full and total sum,
Wearily marching to captivity,
How long? God knows! An eternity
(A. E. Kirkpatrick, Toronto Globe, 22 Apr 1931, 4)
A native of Toronto, Arthur James Ernest Kirkpatrick was born on 29 April 1876. He was a graduate of Upper Canada College, twenty-one year member of the Queen’s Own Rifles and married to the daughter of prominent Liberal Party leader William Mulock. Kirkpatrick fought at Second Ypres as second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rennie.
Lieutenant Colonel R. K. Barker
95th (Toronto) Battalion
Man looks unwell.
Complains of weakness, loss of weight, loss of sleep, loss of nervous control. Accounts for this by loss of food and sleep.
(“Medical History of an Invalid,” 7 November 1923)
Rybert Kent Barker was a military instructor in Toronto and veteran of the Boer War. Born on 21 September 1869 in Kingston, Ontario, he had served with the Queen’s Own Rifles from 1880 to 1910 and commanded “C” company in South Africa. Prior to being appointed commander of the 95th Battalion, he was a cadet drill instructor with the 2nd Military Division.
Major General Robert Rennie, M.V.O.
3rd (Toronto Regiment) Battalion
As a candidate, I seek election not on my personal record so much, but on that of those who were associated with me in the great war. I am now more a civilian than a soldier, but—and please let there be no frills about this—if war should threaten again, I am ready to offer my services.
I stand on a Liberal platform because I am a Liberal and always have been. I believe in the great principles of Liberalism…
(Rennie’s speech, Toronto Globe, 21 Nov 1921, 1)
Robert Rennie was a Toronto seed merchant and thirty-four year member of the Queen’s Own Rifles. He joined as a rifleman in 1880 and rose to become lieutenant colonel by 1914. Born on 15 December 1862 in Markham, Canada West, Rennie was an expert marksman, respected businessman and prominent sportsman, with a specialty in curling.
Lieutenant Colonel Reg Pellatt
83rd (Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada) Battalion
Esprit de corps is love of Regiment, and should permeate throughout all ranks. It is born of the knowledge that, when in the Queen’s Own, a man is a member of one of the oldest and finest regiments in the Canadian Militia, and a Regiment which, whenever Canada has called, has answered that call, living up to its splendid motto IN PACE PARATUS (In peace prepared) in the truest sense of the word.
(R. Pellatt, A Guide to Riflemen, 1924, 22)
Born on 30 June 1885 in Toronto, Reginald Pellatt was the son of Major General Sir Henry Mill Pellatt (1859—1939), commanding officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. An influential financier and forty-year member of the QOR, the elder Pellatt had completed his famous estate of Casa Loma in 1913.