Friday, 27 March 2015


The men were all terribly depressed about Farquhar's death in spite of the effort to keep up morale and good cheer. Gault, still convalescing in England, was devastated when he received the news. With Hamilton Gault, Farquhar had created this fine fighting force and it was a shocking blow for all to lose him. Farquhar's personal leadership qualities had inspired trust and admiration from the soldiers. He had chosen to lead in the field, in spite of the fact he was entitled to a higher position of command. 

Captain Herbert Cecil "Teta" Buller, the Adjutant and now senior officer in the field, was selected to replace Farquhar as Commanding Officer because all of the field officers, including Hamilton Gault, were casualties. He was given the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Lieutenant Talbot Papineau wrote to Lady Evelyn Farquhar;  

"As a Canadian I feel a great debt of gratitude to him. An Imperial officer who could have commanded the highest position in the English Army, he accepted the task of creating, as well as commanding a new an untried Canadian regiment. He knew well how to combine the discipline and dignity of the British Army with the easy independence and democracy of a Colonial regiment. At all times he exercised a tact and kindness which removed difficulties or overcame them. He, more than any other, has given us a reputation and a standard which we must strive to maintain. I was anxious to do well in order to please him. In the firing line his coolness and courage had great effect on me. I hardly felt any nervousness if I were with him, and I had entire confidence in his judgement." 

Adamson wrote to Mabel; 

"It has been a very dear tour for the regiment. The C.O. and Eardley-Wilmot were killed, the latter only lived a few minutes... Martin of B.C. shot in the arm during the night...Niven badly shot in the elbow. So far I have not got a correct list of the casualties among the men, but they include one of my own men killed and Sergeant Cork. He was in charge of his small body of Regimental Engineers, I spoke to him the first night we were making our trench, he said he had received the chilblain remedy and to thank you for it. He was shot through the spine a few minutes afterwards.

...Poor Buller who must feel (the loss of Farquhar) more than anybody else, insists upon looking on it (as only the fortune of war), personally I cannot and do not see daylight for the future of the Regiment. Buller and I are now the two Senior officers, he is only a youngster and I know my limitations. The Germans still hold the Mound and have made an advance on several of our trenches. We have been compelled to desert 4 we held to two days ago, I doubt if we will get the rest coming to us, as unless we get new troops, we shall require every available man we have to hold the Germans where they are and if they make a determined advance, and it is carried out with any success, we will have to call for assistance from other Divisions....

...When the C.O. was shot he was superintending the placing of barbed wire entanglements in front of a new trench. I had seen him earlier in the evening in the cellar of a blown up house where he made his H.Q. during the day and he detailed my Martin as his platoon to do this work. He said it was a most dangerous job as it was just in front of old 21 which the Germans now hold. Martin was standing beside him when hit and I had a stretcher sent him at once. It was only a few minutes before he was being carried off. Martin was speaking to him when he was shot. The C.O. was talking to Eardley-Wilmot (who we used to call the Child, he was only 18) and congratulating him on having got his 4 Maxims in, carried by his men over the rough ground and placed in position, when he was shot and fell - almost into the C.O.'s arms.

Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Douglas Farquhar is buried in Voormezeele Military Cemetery, Belgium. The British Columbia government honoured him by naming Mount Farquhar after him. Mount Farquhar is located on the British Columbia-Alberta border, Northeast of Fernie.
....We buried the C.O. last night in the dark, 30 of the Regiment, a staff officer represented General Snow, General Fortescue was there in person and although we were subject to sniping fire, not of a dangerous kind, he wished to make a speech to us, but he was unable to do so, as he broke down. But one thing he did audibly say was that apart from being a loss to the Regiment, he was an important loss to the British Army, and a finer soldier or gentleman he had never known. He is buried in the next grave to Cameron and poor Cork is very nearby. 

General French has appointed Buller temporary Lieutenant Colonel and to temporary command of the Regiment. He feels ver uncomfortable about it, but he will get our loyal support and Gault and Pelly will support him. 

All plans have been changed and we get no fairly well earned rest, the whole Regiment goes into the trenches again tonight and in a couple of days the Division moves to some other place. The exact position has not yet been given us and it is very doubtful if we will know till we get there, but one thing is certain, we won't see Westoutre again for a long. 

The shelling of this place let up yesterday, Very little damage done. 
We are making several Commissions from the ranks and have to send them in today. 
We have to cut our kit down again today for the Divisional move. I will try and send some kit back to you. The weather at night is still very cold. Always yours, 

As the Regiment prepared to move, Adamson compiled a list of statistics about the Original officers of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry to date: 

"Of the Original Officers: 
21 were born in Great Britain
13 were born in Canada
15 were British officers once.
4 were Canadian officers in South African War, 6 British officers had seen service, 5 British were Territorial officers, 1 British officer with no military training and 2 Canadian officers with no military training. 

Killed: C.O., Price, Fitzgerald, Cameron, Eardley-Wilmot, Newton, Ward. 
Wounded: Martin X, Lane O, Martin O, Crabb, Stewart, Niven, Sullivan, Jones, Gault.
Retired: Hayshaw, Court, Smith, French, Minchin RFC, McDougal, Christie
Invalided: Moorehouse X, Lyle X, Bennett, Gray, Carr, Pelly.
Officers now on Duty: Buller, Keenan (Medical Officer), Bainsmith, Papineau, DeBay, Wake, Banning X, Martin O, Clark O, Gow X, Harvey X, Ogilvie X, Edwards X, Isles O, Dennison (joined at Bustard), Adamson. 
Those marked X are from Tidworth
Those marked O are Commissions from the Ranks. 
No Mark - original Officers. 

Of the original regiment the following are at present doing duty. 

Buller, C.O. 
Wake, Q.M.
Keenan, M.O.

DeBay and Buller are the only officers who have never been away from the Regiment. Among the additional officers; 3 are wounded, 3 invalided home. Note. There are three Martins in the Regiment, two of whom have been wounded. 

Some of the Tidworth officers will tucker out after the first long march. Original Regiment had 34 officers; Killed 7; Wounded 6; Missing 1; Left Regiment 7; Invalided home 5; Sick leave 1; Fit for duty 7; which includes 1 Doctor, 1 Quartermaster. Thus leaving only 5 original fighting officers. 

New Regiment Augmented thus. Commissions from the ranks 5, New officers from Tidworth 10, Dennison joined Bustard 1. Wounded 3 and Invalided 3. Thus leaving out of 48 officers, only 15 fighting officers." 

On March 24th, 1915 the Battalion marched to billets near Poperinghe, Belgium, to the centre of the Ypres Salient, and would never again return to the Mound. In the last three months of fighting to hold the Mound the Patricias suffered 238 casualties. 300 of the Originals were permanently or temporarily gone.