Fonds Fonds 4 - Andrew Hamilton Gault fonds

Nominal Roll of Officers Killed, Died and Missing 1914-1918 Nominal Roll of Other Ranks Killed, Died and Missing 1914-1918

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Andrew Hamilton Gault fonds

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PPCLI Fonds 4

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  • 1914-1974 (Creation)
    Gault, Andrew Hamilton

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Biographical history

Andrew Hamilton Gault was descended from Scottish-Irish from Ulster who immigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland in 1842 and settled in Montreal. A. Hamilton Gault was born in England 18 August 1882. After attending Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, he entered 1st year science at McGill University in preparation for Oxford University. In 1900, at the age of 18, A. Hamilton was commissioned into the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and served with distinction as a subaltern until the end of the South African War in 1901. He was awarded the Queen's medal with three clasps. After the South African War he continued military service with the Canadian Militia, eventually becoming a Captain with the 5th Royal Highlanders (Black Watch). He married Marguerite, the daughter of the Honourable G. W. Stephens, M.L.A., M.E.C., Montreal, in 1904. Gault was appointed by His Majesty the King, Consul General for Sweden in Canada, 1909-1911 and a member of the council for the Montreal Board of Trade, 1911-1913. A shrewd businessman, Hamilton Gault was the Director of various companies including Gault Brothers and Company (wholesale dry goods), Montreal Cotton Company, Van Allen Company, Trent Valley Woolen Company, Crescent Manufacturing Company and Gault Brothers of Winnipeg and Vancouver. The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) was raised in Ottawa in August 1914 as the result of an offer by Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault to provide $100,000.00 to finance and equip a regiment for overseas service. In 1914, Lieutenant Colonel Francis D. Farquhar was Military Secretary to His Royal Highness, The Duke of Connaught, then Governor General of Canada. He approached the Duke's daughter, Princess Patricia, who graciously consented to the Regiment bearing her name. On 10 August 1914, the charter of the Regiment was signed and on the next day mobilization began. The Light Infantry came about because Captain Gault, (The Founder), a veteran of the South African war, liked the 'irregular feel' it gave the Regiment. Gault was appointed Senior Major and Second-in Command of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He was the first Canadian to receive the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in the field during World War One when he was wounded while retrieving casualties under fire at St. Eloi 28 February 1915. He was wounded again at the Battle of Frezenberg 8 May 1915 and again for the third time at the Battle of Sanctuary Wood on 2 June 1916, ending his field service with the Regiment. Despite losing his left leg, he refused repatriation to Canada and returned to duty as a Staff Officer with the 3rd Canadian Division until the end of the war. On 28 March 1918, Major Gault was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and rejoined the Regiment as Commanding Officer in November. Gault and the surviving members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry left France for England 7 February 1919 and were presented a Wreath of Honour (Laurel) by the newly appointed Colonel-In-Chief Princess Patricia of Connaught 21 February 1919. The Regiment attended the wedding of Princess Patricia and Commander Alexander Ramsay 27 February 1919 and the Regimental Band played at the wedding. The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry returned to Ottawa 19 March 1919 for their victory parade, led by Lieutenant Colonel Gault and reviewed by the Governor General, His Royal Highness the Duke of Devonshire. For his service in the Great War, Gault was also awarded the Order of the British Empire, the 3rd Class Russian Order of St. Anne with Crossed Swords and the Belgium Order of the Crown. He was Mentioned in Dispatches four times. Andrew Hamilton Gault was made Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1920 and married in 1922 for the second time, to Dorothy Blanche, daughter of C. J. Shuckburgh. Between the two world wars, Hamilton Gault lived at Hatch Court, Borough of Taunton, Somerset, England, an estate that he purchased from his wife's aunt. He represented his constituency as a British Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party from 1924 to 1935 and in recognition of this service he was made a Freeman of the Borough in 1932. In 1939 Hamilton Gault was recalled for active duty with the Canadian Army in England and was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1940 and to Brigadier General in 1942. He commanded a Canadian Army Reinforcement Holding Unit until ill health forced him to retire later that year. He returned to Canada and his Canadian home at Mount St. Hilaire in Quebec in 1944. In 1947 Gault founded the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Association and served as the first National President. He always maintained his connection with the Regiment and gave advice on Regimental matters which were always referred to him. He was appointed honourary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1948 and visited the Regiment in Calgary in 1953 and in Germany in 1954. He was appointed the first Colonel of the Regiment shortly before his death 28 November 1958. Following a military funeral with full honours in Montreal, Andrew Hamilton Gault was interred at his constituency home at Hatch Court, England. On his death, Mont St. Hilaire was gifted to McGill University and is now a Nature Reserve.

Custodial history

The Hatch Court Museum records were in the possession of John Townson, great nephew of Hamilton Gault and transferred to the Regimental Museum by Jeffery Williams of Somerset England.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, special orders of the day, books, log books, manuals, posters, photo albums, scrapbooks, photographs and maps related to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and A. Hamilton Gault's life and his service with the Regiment. Textual records include correspondence concerning the Regimental History Book Volumes I and II, a recruit poster, unit roster, costing lists for infantry, the Constitution and Rules of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, a homecoming poster, newsclippings detailing the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in the First World War, 2 memorial books for soldiers of the First War, a visitor's book from Mont St. Hilaire and Hatch Court, pilot's log books, journey log books and 10 issues of "The Patrician" 1959-1974. Photographic material includes Gault's visit to Winnipeg, 1939, Lady Patricia Ramsay's visit to the troops in England, 1940, the review of the First Battalion by Lady Patricia Ramsay, 1953, Trooping the Colour, 1958, Presentation of New Colours, 1959 and 1971, Trooping in Germany, 1970, battle field memorials, the Hamilton Gault Trophy presentation and Hamilton Gault's funeral in 1958.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of John Townson, 1995, 2001.


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There are no restrictions on the records.

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An item list is available.

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See also Collection 1, the PPCLI Association collection, classification no. 10 ("The Founder").

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Built of Bath stone in 1750 by Thomas Prowse of Axbridge, Hatch Court is located near Tauton in Somerset England. It was purchased by Gault after World War One and he and his wife Dorothy lived there until 1944 when they returned to Canada to live at his estate on Mont St. Hilaire, near Montreal. Gault's wife's family continued to live on the estate and created a Museum dedicated to the life and career of Hamilton Gault. In 1983 the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives loaned some items for display in the Museum and when the family placed the estate up for sale in 2001 these items among others were returned to the Regimental Museum and Archives. The Originals were the first 1098 soldiers to form the Regiment and most had previous military service. These would also have been the first Canadians to join the fighting in France in December 1914.

Record No. 95.10;01.94;02.38

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  • English

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