Colquhoun, William Gourlay

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Colquhoun, William Gourlay

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  • Colquhoun, Shorty

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1888-1966

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William Gourlay Colquhoun was born in Hamilton, Ontario on 9 August 1888. He was educated at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, and from 1906 he served as a Lieutenant in the Canadian Highlanders and the 29th Light Horse. He joined the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in August 1914 as a Lieutenant. He was taken prisoner of war 27 February 1915 while on a reconnaissance with Major Hamilton Gault near St. Eloi. He was awarded the Military Cross as well as being mentioned in dispatches for this daring foray into enemy territory. He was finally repatriated in November 1918 and brought to the attention of the Secretary of State for his many attempts to escape captivity. Promoted to Captain at the end of the First World War he was appointed the first Regimental Adjutant of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry after reorganization and the establishment of the Permanent Canadian Militia. He was promoted to Major in 1932 and then Lieutenant Colonel in 1937. He was appointed Commanding Officer of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 16 February 1937 and went overseas with the Regiment in December 1939. Promoted to Brigadier General 14 September 1940, Colquhoun returned to Canada to command the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade at Debert Camp, Nova Scotia. He later commanded the Vernon Military District in British Columbia and then the 13th Infantry Brigade in Camp Nanaimo. "Shorty" Colquhoun retired in 1946 and resided in Victoria, until his death on 18 November 1966. He was married to Jean Colquhoun.

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