The War Hero

Lieutenant Colonel Cy Peck, D.S.O., V.C.
16th (Canadian Scottish) BattalionPeck

We commanders in the field have to be very careful; if you make a success of a venture you are a great hero, but if you happen to lose a few men, no matter how well your attack might be planned, your position, your reputation, and, perhaps, your head may be the price.

(Peck, Debates, 14 Mar 1919, 466.)

On 2 September 1918, Cyrus Wesley Peck led the 16th Battalion against the Drocourt-Queant Line. Under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, Peck completed a dangerous reconnaissance mission, captured crucial objectives and directed tanks to support of his battalion’s advance. For “magnificent display of courage and fine qualities of leadership,” Peck was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British Empire.

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The Stand-patter

Lieutenant Colonel John. I. McLaren
19th (Central Ontario) BattalionMcLaren

“I don’t matter at all,” he said in a personal reference, “but the men who do matter are the privates and corporals who have gone through the Gethsemane of the front line trenches without a worry, save the worry they have about their dependents at home being cared for. These men and their families will demand that men who have given service to their country without profit to themselves shall represent them in the next Parliament..”

(McLaren, Toronto Globe, 3 Nov 1917, 4)

In anticipation of a possible wartime election, on 28 May 1915, the Liberal Party nominated John Inglis McLaren to run in Hamilton West. McLaren had just departed Canada in command the 19th Battalion. By the time of the December 1917 federal election and the formation of the Union Government, Liberals and Tories implored McLaren to withdraw in favour of a civilian Unionist nominee. He refused and contested the race as a soldier-candidate.

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The Labour Man

Major George W. Andrews, D.S.O.
8th (Little Black Devils) BattalionAndrews

Until a few years ago, it was believed that to maintain peace you had to prepare for war and to have big armaments. Some people believe it to-day, but millions of people know that it is a lie; millions of women know that it is a lie; millions of soldiers know that it is a lie.

(Andrews, Debates, 2 Mar 1921, 474)

George William Andrews was born in Oxfordshire, England on 9 September 1869. He immigrated to Canada in 1890, settled in Winnipeg, worked in real estate and joined the 90th Rifles Regiment. He fought at Second Ypres with the 8th Battalion alongside his son, Captain George Frank Andrews. The elder Andrews was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in January 1916 but was soon forced from the field due to chronic asthma. One of his soldiers remembered him as “a grand old man” but regretted, “Too bad he was so old.”

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The Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cockshutt
215th (38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles) BattalionHCockshutt

War should be non-existent. But before that I would have one war–to clean up Moscow.

(Cockshutt, Toronto Globe, 21 Nov 1930, 1)

I still see Canada as the greatest country and Ontario as the greatest Province. I am optimistic of the future.

(Cockshutt, Globe and Mail, 8 July 1939, 4)

Born in Brantford, Ontario, on 8 July 1867, Henry Cockshutt was a successful merchant and manufacturer of farming implements. His older brother William Foster Cockshutt was Conservative MP for Brantford and honorary colonel of the 125th Battalion. In early 1916, Henry Cockshutt was authorized to raise the 215th from his hometown.

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The Red-Baiter

Brigadier General D. C. Draper, D.S.O.
5th Canadian Mounted RiflesDraper

Crime is a destroying influence that inflicts more useless suffering than any other social evil upon many innocent, well-deserving and hard-working individuals.

(Draper, Montreal Gazette, 4 Oct 1934, 7)

At the battle of Mont Sorrel on 2 June 1916, an enemy shell struck Lieutenant Colonel Harry Baker, commander of the 5th CMR and MP for Brome. Despite being wounded and concussed himself, Major Dennis Colburn Draper carried the body of his mortally-wounded superior officer to rear and returned to the trenches. For his heroism Draper was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

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The Heavyweight Champ

Lieutenant Colonel Ernest S. Wigle
18th (Western Ontario) BattalionWigle

Mayor E. S. Wigle today had more than his 78th birthday to celebrate. He could also boost of a one-punch knockout…

Mayor Wigle, 220 pounds of brawn on a still-athletic frame, felled his former pupil with a straight right to the face as they mixed after a few minutes of exhibition sparring. When he came to the admiring Campbell declared “There isn’t a man in the house could have withstood that wallop.”

(Ottawa Citizen, 9 Dec 1937, 2)

Ernest Solomon Wigle was a prominent Ontario lawyer and former mayor of Windsor (1905—1909). He was born on 5 March 1859 in Essex County, Canada West. The six-foot Wigle was active in football and cricket but his sporting speciality was boxing. In 1884, he won the intercollegiate heavyweight championship and was undefeated as the Essex County championship.

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The Silent Member

Colonel Harry McLeod, M.P.
12th Battalion
McLeod

Colonel Harry McLeod has also been taken away since last we met here.

His interests were perhaps, as much in the military field as in the political field. He was a student of military tactics and military matters generally, and attended manoeuvres in this and in other countries for purposes of study—and, indeed, in the late war served in the fields of Europe.

(PM Meighen, Debates, 15 Feb 1921, 4)

Born on 17 September 1871, Harry Fulton McLeod was a New Brunswick lawyer, member of Orange Lodge No. 20 and Conservative politician. He was mayor of Fredericton (1907—1908), member of the legislature (1908—1913), and federal MP for York (1913—1917) and York—Sunbury (1917—1921). As colonel of the 71st (York) Regiment, he was appointed to take the 12th Battalion overseas when the First Contingent assembled at Valcartier in August 1914.

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The Methodist

Lieutenant Colonel Sam Sharpe, D.S.O., M.P. †
116th (Ontario County) BattalionSSharpe

But it is awful to contemplate the misery and suffering in this old world & were I to allow myself to ponder over what I have seen & what I have suffered thro the loss of the bravest & best in the world, I would soon become absolutely incapable of “Carrying on.”

(Sharpe to Muriel Hutchison, 21 Oct 1917)

Samuel Simpson Sharpe was a militia major and Conservative Member of Parliament for Ontario North (1908—1918). Born on 13 March 1873 in Zephyr, Scott Township, Ontario, he was a graduate from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall. During his university days, he was a champion tennis player and became a prominent solicitor in Uxbridge.

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The Undeterred

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Sutherland, D.S.O.
52nd, 71st, 74th, & 160th Battalions
Sutherland

A man that can fight, a fighter who’s fought,
A man to whom danger to self counts for naught,
A man all the way with a conduct sheet clean,
As a man and a soldier our Colonel’s beloved.
A man; Colonel Sutherland, that’s whom I mean.

(Lieut. L. Young, 71st Bn. “Our Colonel,” Bruce in Khaki, 12 Oct 1917, 2)

Born on 3 December 1879, Donald Matheson Sutherland was a Norwich County physician, militia officer in the 24th Grey Horse and member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 999. In September 1914, he enlisted as a captain with the 1st Battalion. Wounded during the second battle of Ypres on 24 April 1915, he was invalided to Canada. After raising the 71st Battalion from Woodstock, he again embarked for England in April 1916.

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The Unionist

Major Richard C. Cooper
7th (1st British Columbia) BattalionRCCooper

People’s thoughts are now turning to memorials to perpetuate the memory of our fallen, but unfortunately, their thoughts are turning to stone and iron to perpetuate flesh and blood. That is wrong. It is not worthy of the men who gave their lives that we might be free. I suggest that there is a greater, nobler, finer memorial to be erected to our fallen. I suggest that education is the only possible, adequate method of perpetuating the memory of the “immortals.”

(Cooper, Debates, 10 Mar 1919, 340)

Born in Dublin, Ireland on 31 December 1881, Richard Clive Cooper was a police constable in Rhodesia and South Africa where he was associated with the imperial projects of Cecil Rhodes. After serving in the Matabele War and the Boer War, he immigrated to British Columbia in 1906. Cooper enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel Hart-McHarg’s 7th Battalion in September 1914. He fought at Second Ypres before being recalled to Canada in order to aid training and recruitment efforts.

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