"with all true-hearted Orangemen
I will go hand in hand
in aiding Freedom’s sacred cause,
And our old Motherland."
The First World War was to be at once both the greatest triumph and defeat for the Orange Association in Canada. It was its greatest triumph in the fact that Orangemen joined Canada’s war effort in unprecedented numbers and certainly did far more than their share for the war effort. It was its greatest defeat in that it lost so many of its young men, potential leaders of the Association, who would never be replaced. It was the beginning of a long slide into obscurity for many of the Orange Lodges in Canada.
If ever any proof was needed that Canadian Orangemen were among their country’s most loyal citizens in time of war, this war above all gave proof to underline that fact. At the beginning of World War One, Canadian Orangeism was at its zenith of power and numerical strength. The approximate membership was 300,000 and although it was to hold and even continue to increase its numbers until the mid 1920’s it could never replace the large numbers of talented young men that it would lose over the next four years.
During this war the Grand Master of Canada was Doctor Daniel David Ellis. Ellis was no stranger to the military, having served with the 28th Militia Regiment in 1892 - 1893. He served in the first Saskatchewan Provincial Legislature, and had been the Grand Master of that province. On August 25, 1914, he sent the following telegram to the King:
Ellis’ immediate predecessor as Grand Master had been Judge James H. Scott, a former Grand Master of Ontario West. He had held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the 32nd Bruce Regiment. At the 1915 sessions of the Grand Lodge of Ontario West, the Grand Master, Doctor J. J. Williams, spoke of those Orangemen who had enlisted in the armed forces:
"As your Grand Master, I am proud of the thousands of our members who have enlisted, also of those who have offered their services, among them I mention Right Worshipful Brother Captain Peacock, Grand Chaplain….who is now waiting for orders to go with one of the contingents. These brethren are imbued with the true spirit of our Association."
Peacock served as a military chaplain and recruiting officer with the 33rd Battalion.
Williams also stated that "one hundred and fifty thousand of the best and bravest men of Canada and Newfoundland are today on active military service. Among them are more than twenty thousand of our Orange brethren. Every Orange Lodge is a recruiting station and a recruiting officer can always get a sympathetic hearing among Orangemen, and his appeal always receives support." This was to be the attitude of the Orange leadership in Canada throughout this war. It actively encouraged its young members to enlist thereby unknowingly setting up its own downfall.
It should be kept in mind however that they probably represented the feelings of the vast majority of Canadians in this view. The terrible losses of lives that were to occur in this war were not yet apparent and until this time participation in Canada’s conflicts had not meant any great loss of life and war had been seen by most Orangemen as a great adventure. Indeed, the only time that Canadian troops had served overseas had been the South African War which had seen a total of 221 casualties from combat and disease.
Many Orangemen were continuing a family tradition of serving in the military. Perry Richardson, a member of Merritton L.O.L. No. 77, joined the second Canadian contingent to serve overseas. His great-grandfather had taken part in the Battle of the Diamond and his uncle had sailed with the first ship to leave England with troops for the Crimean War. Sergeant Charles Fox, a past master of L.O.L. No. 551, had served for ten years with the Royal Grenadiers and ten years with the Queens Own Rifles. His father, ‘Big Bill Fox’ had fought in the Fenian Raids and had been a Regimental Sergeant Major in the Q.O.R. Lieutenant R. H. Hocken, the son of H. C. Hocken, was a member of L.O.L. No. 469 and served with the Canadian Bluffs Battalion. Hocken was killed in the last year of the war. Three brothers, Private Frank, Lance Corporal Hugh, and Sergeant James McRae, all members of L.O.L. 363, Becher, Ontario, served overseas, with James being wounded twice in action.
In what may have been unique in Canadian Orangeism, two sets of three brothers from the same lodge, Aughrim Rose of Derry Loyal Orange Lodge No. 2159, a Toronto lodge, saw active service. John, James, and Hugh Stitt served overseas with the 15th and 16th Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force, with James being severely wounded. Joseph, Samuel and David White of the same lodge all served overseas. Joseph enlisted in the 201st Battalion, Toronto Light Infantry, and served overseas with the 58th Battalion. Samuel with the 36th Ulster Division was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Somme and released at war’s end, and David saw service as a sergeant with the North Irish Horse. Ten different sets of brothers from this lodge served overseas with the Canadian Armed Forces. The very first master of this lodge, W. G. Clarke, served with the 75th Battalion and saw active service in France and Belgium, being severely gassed at the Battle of Passchendale.
Frank Odlum enlisted in the Queens Own Rifles with his father Albert and was the lieutenant-colonel of a Toronto regiment. Albert and his brother Thomas were both over age when they enlisted. Four more Odlums served overseas, Brigadier General Victor, Edward, Joseph [killed at Ypres in 1915], and Howard [killed at Lens in 1917].
John Hanna arrived in Albion, Ontario in 1830 from County Monaghan where he had been the first Master of L.O.L. No. 777. His son William Hanna, J.P., was a member of Sandhill Loyal Orange Lodge No. 184 and a served as a lieutenant-colonel in the Cardwell militia. William’s son Thomas served five terms as reeve of Albion and one term as warden of Peel County and was the Orange County Master of Peel for two years. His son John Arthur Hanna, who was a member of Mono L.O.L. No. 63, served as a private in the C.E.F. and was wounded. John’s sister, Edna McKay, served as a nurse during this war.
Captain J. W. Winters of Winnipeg had served in the North West Rebellion of 1885 under Colonel Williams of Port Hope, and saw action at Batoche, Battleford, and Frog Lake. He served in the South African War and was one of the first enlistments for W.W. 1. Winters had been initiated into the Orange Association in Port Hope and had served as the County Master of East Simcoe. At the outbreak of W.W. 1 he was a member of Pioneer Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1307, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Benjamin Brody was a member of L.O.L. No. 614, Charlottetown, P.E.I. He was a native of Athlone, Ireland and had come to Canada in 1897. He had served in the British Army for twenty-six years, seeing duty in India and Malta, and on coming to Canada he had joined the Canadian militia. His son William was the first Prince Edward Islander to be killed in W.W. 1. William Self, a member of L.O.L. No. 804, was an employee of ‘The Sentinel’ and joined the Canadian Mounted Rifles at the outbreak of war. He was killed in 1917 at Boulogne, France.
At the 1915 sessions of the Grand Orange Lodge of Newfoundland, held at Carbonear, it was stated that over twenty percent of all Newfoundland enlistees were Orangemen. This statistic was to be repeated in many areas of Canada. In that same year L.O.L. No. 1932, Vancouver, reported that twenty-two of their members were in the armed forces. By 1917, Enniskillen L.O.L. No. 387, Toronto, had 153 members on active service. By the end of the war over 180 members of this lodge had enlisted with 25 of them being killed in action. One member, John Copeland, who had joined the Orange Association in 1898 served a total of forty-three years in the military. His brother James also served from 1914 - 1918. Both of these brothers were to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy during W. W. 2.
In November, 1915, twenty-three members of the 81st Battalion were initiated into Enniskillen L.O.L. No. 720, St. Catharines, Ontario. Prominent Orangemen hammered home the message wherever they went "that Orangemen should enlist", one of those being the former Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Mackenzie Bowell. In August, 1915, Bowell made a patriotic speech calling for Orange support for the war effort while visiting N.C. Wallace L.O.L. No. 1715, Vancouver. The main purpose of his visit however, was to initiate his grandson Mackenzie Bowell into the lodge.
Even the turmoil of this war failed to halt Canadian Orange expansion. One of the most unique Orange Lodges to be formed in Canada during this war was Empire Lodge in Kapuskasing, Ontario. It was formed by soldiers serving as guards at the "Prisoners Detention Camp" in Kapuskasing. The land on which the members built their log Orange Hall was donated to them by the Camp Commander, Major E. F. S. Clark. There were over 400 Austrian and Turkish prisoners in the camp which was manned by 125 Canadians, of whom at least fifteen were Orangemen. With only three of the Canadians being Roman Catholic there was plenty of room to recruit and by the end of April, 1915, the master of the lodge, Corporal Bell, a previous member of L.O.L. No. 142, reported that the lodge contained forty-five members. George Cooper Royce of Toronto was appointed the Commanding Officer of the camp in January, 1916. He had enlisted in the Queens Own Rifles in 1883 and was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1915. In November of 1916 he was given command of the 255th Battalion.
"The Twelfth" was celebrated at the front lines on July 12, 1915. George Sherwood, who had been born in Belfast and was in the Canadian Army told the following story:
"We [the Canadians] all gathered together with a good many Ulstermen to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne. The procession started from "Shrapnel Square" and was headed by an old scout on a white horse with its mane and tail plaited with Orange and Purple ribbon. Next came the fife and drums well decorated with Orange Lilies and "No Surrender" was painted on the flag we carried."
At the outbreak of war the Minister of Defence was an Orangeman, Sam Hughes. Hughes came from a strong Orange family, his brother John having been Grand Master of Ontario East, and another brother James had been Grand Master of Ontario West. Hughes was a past master of L.O.L. No. 557, Lindsay, Ontario, and in 1889 as master of this lodge had led its one hundred members in a parade in Port Hope, Ontario. He had served in the Fenian Raids and the South African War and was an ardent imperialist but a disaster at diplomacy. Hughes had been a staunch supporter of the military all of his life and in fact had first joined a militia unit at the age of thirteen. He sat in the House of Commons as a Conservative M.P. from 1892 - 1921.
Hughes in effect turned Orange Halls across Canada into military recruiting centres. At the end of the war he was to hold the rank of General and had been awarded a K.C.B., which resulted in his being known by Orange members as Sir Sam. His death in 1921 was noted in the "Lindsay Watchman and Warder" a newspaper of which he had been the editor and owner between 1885 - 1897 by the following tribute:
"Under the kind Canadian sky,
His battles o’er, now let him lie.
Bravely he fought, bravely he fell,
For the Faith and the Flag he loved so well."
Cecil W. Armstrong represented the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan at Hughes’ funeral and his report in part read as follows:
"….Twenty thousand people gathered in the town of Lindsay to do honor to our Brother. An early train took M. W. Brother Hocken, Grand Master, and those of us who had known the General, from Toronto….The military turned out in thousands, and the loyal Orangemen attended in even greater numbers. Military bands and the prominence of the Orange, Purple and Blue, together with strong contingents of Royal Black Knights, deeply impressed every person present with the fact that the gun-carriage was conveying through Lindsay’s crowded streets the remains of one whom the country had loved, and whom the country would forever remember….The specially designed Royal Arch wreath from "His Orange Brethren of Saskatchewan", was placed close to his remains, and, as Miss Aileen Hughes, the General’s daughter, remarked to me, "It was quite typical of the West." Six days before his death, I visited Lindsay for the purpose of bidding him farewell. I had only reached his bedside when he asked, "How is the Order progressing in Saskatchewan?" The Orangemen gathered around his coffin after the military ceremony and we thanked God for what was done by Sir Sam Hughes in the great war crisis, and for the glorious cause of Orangeism and the last post was sounded."
Sam Hughes has long been vilified by Canadian writers as a disastrous minister of defence. To be sure he was an unstable personality but he has never been given the credit that he deserves in outfitting and making battle ready the largest contingent of men in Canada’s history. His staunch defence of the Ross Rifle, in the face of countless opinions to the contrary, and his blatant patronage in awarding defence contracts were to eventually to lead to his dismissal. Hughes was actually paid a great compliment from an unlikely source. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, was quoted as saying that Sam Hughes, "Has done more in his day and generation, for the upbuilding of the militia in Canada and the Empire, than any other man."
The man who served as private secretary to Sam Hughes during the war was the Reverend Kennedy Hunter Palmer. Born in Belfast, Palmer came to Canada in 1905 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1912. From 1919 - 1925 Palmer was a frequent speaker on the Irish Home Rule question and made no secret of his own feelings and those of the Orange Order on this controversial subject.
Hughes brother John, who was a past master of L.O.L. No. 311, Newcastle, Ontario, held the rank of Colonel and was the commander of Valcartier Camp, the training and holding centre for Canadian troops awaiting orders for overseas service, and following the war he was appointed Inspector-General for all Canadian forces in Canada. His younger brother, William St. Pierre Hughes, D.S.O., was the C.O. of the 21st Battalion from May, 1915 to July, 1916. He was then promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and placed in command of the 10th Infantry Brigade.
The fourth Hughes brother, James, who had served as Grand Master of Ontario West held strongly opposing views to those of his brothers. After the death of his son Chester, in World War One he stated:
"The Prussians were the strongest Protestants in Europe and they were the worst devils on the face of the earth." He also stated at war’s end that; "The Canadians born of British stock in Ontario have little to boast about. The grandsons of the men I walked with on the 12th of July in my young days are most of them degenerates…." Exactly why or when Hughes had formed these opinions isn’t clear, although one possibility is that he perhaps blamed the ultra pro-military stance of the Orange Association for his son’s death. It was clear however that a great rift had grown between himself and official Orange policy.
In reply to Hughes’ remarks the Grand Master of Canada, H. C. Hocken, stated in 1918 that:
"Brother Hughes is a superannuated educationist who was aiding racialists and separationists. Surely he has a fair chance of qualifying for a papal knighthood." Hocken also wrote, "Hughes has earned the undying gratitude of the Roman hierarchy." Hughes continued until his death to use the title of Past Grand Master and Hocken declared that this was unfair both to Hughes and to the Orange Association. Hocken was more than a match for Hughes and this verbal battle between the two men made sure that Hughes never again had any influence on Orange policy.
James Hughes’ views on the military must have made for some very interesting lodge meetings in Toronto because of the fact that he and Sir Edward Kemp, the Minister of Defence following Sam Hughes, were both members of the same Orange Lodge, William III, L.O.L. No. 140. Both Kemp and Hughes were influential men in public life and both were more than capable of holding their own in a war of words. No doubt when the two men sat together in the same lodge room they continued to cross swords to the delight of the members who were present.
"Gurkhas come along with me,
Give them Hell and we shall see
If the Hun will fight or flee
In 1915 Major Percy Guthrie of the 7th Battalion volunteered to join the "Fighting 10th" Battalion of Calgary, Alberta who’s numbers had been decimated at the Battle of Saint-Julien. On his first day with the 10th he was almost killed. "I felt a chug in the head and some time afterwards discovered that a bullet had grazed my scalp, taking a piece of hair and leaving a nice little hole in my cap." In his first action with the battalion Guthrie said:
"The air was absolutely full of whistling bullets and shrieking, whistling and crashing shells. I had the men on each side of me shot dead - at practically the same instant I saw six men blown to bits a few yards away. I saw arms and legs torn off by shell explosions all along the line. I saw men with eyes protruding, arms dangling and otherwise mangled on all sides of me. In every sense of the word war is indeed Hell."
On May 25, 1915 at the Battle of Festubert, a shell exploded at his feet and he was wounded in eleven places. "I then got over the stunned feeling and looking down saw that my clothing was torn away and blood gushing from several places." He was invalided home to Canada and on the trip home his hospital ship ‘The Hesperian’ was torpedoed and sank and Guthrie was rescued, "found floating on the sea supported by his crutches." He was later promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and raised a Highland battalion, the 236th. Guthrie, who had been a provincial member of parliament in New Brunswick prior to the war, moved to the United States following the war and practiced law in Boston, Massachusetts.
Another Orangeman, Charles W. Robinson O.B.E., of L.O.L. 2828 was one of Guthrie’s fellow officers in the 10th Battalion. Captain Robinson was in command of ‘A’ Company in the battalion. He was later promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and became the commanding officer of the 187th Battalion which had a working military Orange Lodge in its ranks.
World War One was to split French and English Canadians apart as nothing had done since the Riel Rebellions. One issue was the problem - CONSCRIPTION! Protestant English speaking Canadians felt that the French Canadian Roman Catholics were shirking their duty by not volunteering for overseas service. Most French Canadians on the other hand saw the war as another imperialist war by Great Britain that they should not be involved in. ‘The Sentinel’ took a strong stand on the controversy, and in 1917 published the following editorial:
OUR POINT OF VIEW
"What a glorious opportunity was presented to the French Canadians by this war to prove their loyalty as British subjects, and to convince the people of Canada that those who had been criticizing them were wrong in their judgment. If they had met their responsibilities in the same spirit that animated the English-speaking Canadians, they would have established themselves for all time in the good opinion of the people of the other provinces. Every cause of complaint against them would have been forgiven and forgotten. With a record of equal service upon the field of battle, they could have appealed for consideration of their desire in the matter of language with a force that would have been almost irresistible.
An opportunity such as this can never recur. The French Canadians have rejected it, and in their rejection have shown themselves to be so violently anti-British, that neither their children nor their children’s children will be able to wipe out the stain they have put upon their record in this great crisis."
‘The Sentinel’ had taken an earlier swipe at the enlistment record of French Canadians in August, 1915, with the comment that, "The story of the French Canadian battalions includes a great disgrace. They enlist in retail and desert in wholesale.
The official enlistment figures tended to back up the Orangemen’s furor over lack of enlistment from Quebec. The first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which sailed for England between September 1914 and March 1915, comprised just over 36,000 men of whom only 1245 were French Canadian. There were only 4626 Roman Catholics and a total of 6486 non-Protestants to which Sam Hughes commented that, "this was the kind of stuff we want in our army….good solid Presbyterian churchmen….clean-loving religious men….good clean fighting men and we will knock the hell out of those square heads." By the end of the war French Canadians, although comprising nearly forty percent of the Canadian population contributed approximately thirty-five thousand troops. This total amounted to roughly six percent of the total Canadian Expeditionary Force of 600,000 men.
On May 18, 1917 the Prime Minister, Robert Borden announced his intention to introduce a conscription bill in parliament. Throughout English Canada, Conservatives and Liberals for the most part united in favour of compulsory military service. When the vote on the second reading of the Military Service Bill took place in July, the division between Quebec and the rest of Canada became evident.
Fifty-five members opposed the bill; forty-six of them were from Quebec. Only four members west of the Ottawa River opposed the bill as members refused to vote along party lines. H. C. Hocken, a future Grand Master of Canada, spoke on Quebec’s role in the war effort. In a speech given at Stratford, Ontario in 1917, he stated:
"I cannot refrain from giving expression to the resentment that is cherished in the mind of every loyal British citizen in Canada against the people of Quebec, in relation to the war. With our very existence as a free nation at stake, they have exhibited a spirit of disloyalty to the Empire….Some of their leaders have, since the war began, threatened a rebellion. If we may take the articles in their newspapers, and the speeches of their public men, as a gauge of their sentiments, we must conclude that they have no love for the Empire which has sheltered them and given them their liberties under the folds of its flag….Within the past month one of their papers has revived the discussion of their ambition to set up a French-Canadian Roman Catholic republic on the banks of the St. Lawrence. That ambition will never be realized. One of the greatest obstacles in its way is the existence of the Orange Association. Fifty thousand of our members are fighting in the defence of France on the fields of Europe. If occasion should arise, 250,000 Orangemen, too old for overseas service, could be enlisted in a month to put down any attempt that might be launched in the Province of Quebec to set up a republic."
Hocken, a member of Queen City L.O.L. No. 857 in Toronto, was one of the most dynamic and forceful leaders that the Canadian Orange Association was ever to have. At various times in his career he was a strong trade unionist who led a strike against the ‘Toronto Globe’, one of the founders of the ‘Toronto Star’, owner and editor of ‘The Sentinel’, Mayor of Toronto, an Ontario M.P.P., a Federal M.P., and he was eventually appointed to the Canadian Senate. In the Orange Association he was to hold the offices of Grand Master of Ontario West and Grand Master of Canada.
Orangemen certainly had no second thoughts on joining the Canadian armed forces during World War One, and they joined in such numbers that many Lodges were unable to continue holding meetings for the duration of the war. One young man, a resident of North Bay, Ontario, who enlisted at the age of sixteen was Leslie Saunders, who was later to become the Grand Master of Ontario West, and later still the Grand Master of Canada. He enlisted in the 97th Regiment, Algonquin Rifles, which later became part of the 159th Battalion. He was wounded twice on April 04, 1917, in France and sent home to Canada, arriving back in North Bay on December 04 of that year.
It was fitting that this man who gave so much to Canadian Orangeism was later to be recognized for his service when he was elected as the Grand Master of World Orangeism. Les Saunders never made any secret of his Orange affiliation and was proud to continue it through a long and successful career in municipal politics in Toronto, which saw him serve at different times as mayor of Toronto and mayor of the borough of East York. This ‘Orangeman in Public Life’ was also to become a frequent critic regarding the failure of Roman Catholics to enlist in proportionate numbers to Protestants in the Canadian military during World War Two.
Alexander Cameron served in France with the 107th Battalion and held the rank of major when he was attached to the headquarters staff of the 13th Corps. Following the war he served on the Soldiers Aid Committee of Ontario and was elected to the Ontario Legislature as a Toronto member. Crammer Risley served overseas as a captain in the 73rd Battery, C.E.F., from 1915 - 1919. He later served the city of Hamilton, Ontario as an alderman and controller.
George Geary served as mayor of Toronto from 1910 - 1912. He held the rank of lieutenant-colonel during W.W. 1 and served overseas from 1915 - 1919. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916, the Croix de Guerre in 1917, and the Order of the British Empire in 1918. He was the commanding officer of the Royal Grenadiers from 1924 - 1926 and was elected to the House of Commons for Toronto South in 1925.
Oscar Cannon, a noted Canadian surgeon, served in the Canadian militia prior to W.W. 1 as a captain with the 28th Perth Regiment. He served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a medical officer in the 17th Battalion. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1917 and sent to China to recruit labour battalions. In December of 1917 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel for his work in the relief of Halifax explosion victims. After the war he commanded the 19th Field Ambulance for five years.
William Torrance Galbraith, a veterinary surgeon served as a lieutenant with the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. He served with the 14th Infantry Brigade, and in 1917 he was promoted to captain in the 10th Infantry Brigade. He was later attached to the 4th Brigade, C.F.A., and in 1918 he helped to invent a bombing device for the French Army. Major Gordon P. Jackson who in 1929 was appointed the Medical Officer for the city of Toronto, served as a captain in the Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1917 - 1919.
Even the clergy in Quebec noted the Orange war effort. W. H. Naylor, M.A., Archdeacon of Clarendon, stated in 1919 that:
"No account of the life and work in Clarendon, whether in the Church or in any other connection, would be complete without some reference to one of the greatest institutions of the District. Clarendon is a thoroughly loyal Orange county. Its record in the war now raging is one of which any community could be, and must be, proud. Fathers and sons have made the supreme sacrifice. There is a principle and a sentiment in the heart of a Clarendon boy which responds to the high call to secure weak and oppressed people and nations against cruelty and wrong, and Orangeism has had much to do with the cultivation of that principle." These statements are another example of just how strongly Canadian Orangeism had permeated the mainstream of Canadian life and thought. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians, although not Orangemen, were sympathizers of the movement and looked to it for leadership on many of the issues that they supported.
Charles Ackerman, a mining executive who had been born in Port Perry, Ontario, served with the 2nd Battalion in France and was seriously wounded at Givenchy on June 15, 1915. He was invalided home to Canada and in 1916 was appointed to recruit and command the 247th Battalion of Peterborough, Ontario. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and from 1917 until the end of the war he was attached to the Ordnance Department in Ottawa.
Robert Anderson, M.D., who had been the mayor of Milton, Ontario in 1904 and 1907 - 1909, served with the Halton Lorne Rifles as the paymaster with the rank of major. Wilfred Heighington, K.C., served overseas as a captain from 1915 - 1918 with the 20th and 35th Battalions. A member of Armstrong L.O.L. No. 137, Toronto, he was later elected to the Ontario Legislature as the Conservative member for the riding of St. Davids.
Another future Grand Master of Canada who enlisted for service was Thomas Ashmore Kidd. His uncle, Thomas Albert, had served as Grand Master of Ontario East, and his older brother, J. Harold, had served as Grand Master of the Orange Young Britons in 1909. Kidd had received a commission in the armed forces in 1910 with the 56th Lisgar Regiment and enlisted for overseas service in 1914. He received a commission as a captain and was sent overseas with the first Canadian contingent in August, 1914 as an officer in the 2nd Battalion and was at Ypres when his regiment was the victim of the first German gas attack of W. W. 1. Kidd was badly wounded and was sent home to Kingston, decorated for bravery with a volunteer officer’s medal. He was appointed A.D.C. to Major-General T. D. Hemming in 1916 and was promoted to full Colonel in 1918. After the war he reorganized the Grenville Regiment during the years 1920 - 1925.
Kidd was later to sit as a Conservative member of the Ontario Legislature between 1926 - 1940 and served as speaker of the house from 1930 - 1934. He was the chief whip of the Provincial Conservatives between 1937 - 1940, and in 1945 he was elected as a Conservative M.P. for the riding of Kingston, Ontario to the House of Commons. He later served as Grand Master of the Imperial Grand Orange Council of the World.
Colonel Frederick Jamieson, K.C., of Edmonton had served as a private with the Canadian Mounted Rifles in the South African War and in the militia as an officer with the 19th Alberta Dragoons from 1906 - 1914. With the outbreak of war he was commissioned a lieutenant-colonel, commanding the 1st Canadian Division of mounted troops. He was the Commanding Officer of the 260th Battalion of Canadian Rifles which were sent to Siberia in 1918 - 1919, and following the war he was the C.O. of the 79th Infantry Brigade until 1926. In 1931 he was elected to the Alberta Legislature as a Conservative member from Edmonton.
Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Carew, O.B.E., served in France from 1916 - 1918 with the Canadian Infantry Corps, and in July of 1917 he was appointed the Commanding Officer of Number One Military District in France. In 1922 he was elected as the mayor of Lindsay, Ontario.
Lieutenant-Colonel James Arthurs who was born in Toronto served overseas with the 1st Battalion and in October, 1916, was given command of the 162nd Battalion. He was elected to the House of Commons as the Conservative member for Parry Sound on seven different occasions.
At the 1915 Canadian Grand Lodge Sessions the delegates called upon all County and District Lodges to organize Home Guards within their jurisdictions. In 1916, Henry Fish, the Grand Organizer of Ontario West reported:
"Thank God, for the men of the stamp of Sergeant Wright, the Deputy Master of L.O.L. No. 2079, Toronto, who crawled out into ‘no mans land’ between the trenches, and saved five comrades, and returning for the sixth was gassed but finally saved."