Fonds C220-2.1, C220-2.2, Coll. 1 file 31(15)-3, Coll. 1 files 31(21)-15 - George S. Currie fonds

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George S. Currie fonds

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    PPCLI C220-2.1, C220-2.2, Coll. 1 file 31(15)-3, Coll. 1 files 31(21)-15

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    • [ca. 1890]-1969 (Creation)
      Currie, George Selkirk

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    Physical description

    50 cm of textual records and other material

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    Biographical history

    George Selkirk Currie was born in 1889 in Glencoe, Ontario. He graduated from McGill University in 1911 and joined his cousin George C. McDonald in an accounting practice. McDonald, Currie & Co. became a multi-branch firm; in 1973 it was renamed Coopers & Lybrand Canada and in 1998 it amalgamated into PricewaterhouseCoopers. At the onset of the First World War the cousins enlisted in the 2nd University Company as Lieutenants and they joined Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) on October 17, 1915. Currie was seconded to the 7th Brigade Machine Gun Company and later to the 2nd and 4th Divisional Headquarters. He was awarded the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order and was twice Mentioned in Despatches. He had attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel by the end of the war. In the 1930s he was an Alderman of the City of Westmount, Quebec. During the Second World War he served as Executive Assistant to the Minister of National Defence (1940-1942) and Deputy Minister of National Defence (1942-1944). In 1944 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. In 1952 he was commissioned to write a report on the Canadian Army works services with special reference to irregularities uncovered at Camp Petawawa. In 1957 he became president of Bowater Corporation of North America, a major Canadian pulp and paper manufacturer. He was married to Louise Currie and they had at least two children, Frances and George N.M. He died in 1975.

    Custodial history

    Papers located at Collection 1, file 31(15)-3 were probably donated by George S. Currie, prior to 1975. Albums located at C220 and papers located at Collection 1, files 31(21)-15 were probably donated by Currie's daughter, Mrs. Francis O'Brien of Ottawa, to Maj (Ret.) Joe Berger of the PPCLI Association, Ottawa Branch, 1988. Berger transferred them to Rudy Raidt, Regimental Adjutant, Calgary. Raidt transferred them to the PPCLI Regimental Museum and Archives.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists predominantly of two scrapbooks, containing portraits, snapshots, newsclippings, letters, speeches, and souvenirs documenting George S. Currie's military, professional, business, civic, and civil service careers, and his family and social life. Also included is a copy of the McGill Daily (3 November 1916) containing news of the achievements and casualties of McGill men serving overseas; the certificate of his investiture in the Order of St. Michael and St. George, a caricature of "Little George", samples of safe conduct passes issued by the Allied forces ca. 1945. Items in Collection 1, file 31(15)-3 include his commission, correspondence, invitations and dance cards. Items in Collection 1, files 31(21)-15 include correspondence, speeches , diary (1941), officer's record of service book.

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        Item-level descriptions of the contents of the scrapbooks are included in the Scrapbooks/Albums inventory at C220-2.1 and C220-2.2. Item-level descriptions of the contents of the loose papers are included in the inventory of Collection 1, the PPCLI Association textual records collection.

        Associated materials

        National Defence Headquarters Directorate of History and Heritage holds the Currie report on Army works services (1952).

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