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Sports Greats

George Richardson

On the outbreak of World War I, George Richardson by then a full lieutenant in the 14th (PWOR), volunteered for service overseas and was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion.  After training at Valcartier, Que., and on Salisbury Plain in England, the battalion landed in France on 11 Feb. 1915 and then entered the trenches around Armentières. Shortly thereafter it advanced to Ypres (Ieper), Belgium, where in April it suffered losses amounting to “virtual annihilation.” Having already experienced the most intense conflict, Richardson, now a captain, led a courageous but ultimately futile attempt to retake Saint-Julien (Sint Juliaan) before emerging as the sole surviving officer of No.2 Company, of which he then assumed command.

On the brightly moonlit night of 8–9 Feb. 1916, having entered a snow-covered no man’s land near Wulvergem to supervise the withdrawal of a dangerously exposed raiding party, Richardson paid the ultimate price for endeavouring to ensure the safety of his fellow soldiers. He was shot through the hips and died shortly thereafter. On 17 March 1916 he was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour.

Awards and honours

  • 1916 – Awarded La Légion d’honneur Croix de Guerre by France
  • 1920 – Richardson Stadium at Queen’s named in his honour.

Scotty Davidson

Allan McLean “Scotty” Davidson (March 6, 1892 – June 16, 1915) was a Canadian ice hockey player and soldier (a member of the PWOR – “C” Company, number 1221, and promoted to the rank of corporal May 18, 1911). He was considered one of the top wingers of the game’s early years. He led his Kingston junior team to two Ontario Hockey Association championships in 1910 and 1911, when he moved to Calgary for the 1911–12 season and led the Calgary Athletics senior team to the Alberta provincial championship. Davidson turned professional with the Toronto Blueshirts in 1912 and was among the ‘s leading scorers the following two seasons. He captained Toronto to the Stanley Cup championship in 1914.

Upon the outbreak of war in 1914, Davidson volunteered with the Canadian Expeditionary Force; he was the first professional hockey player to do so. He was killed in action while fighting in Belgium in June 1915. Hailed as a hero by his peers, Davidson was said to have been killed after refusing to retreat during a battle. He is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Davidson was posthumously inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.

Frank McGee

Frank McGee was born on 4 Nov 1882 in Ottawa, ON, the son of John and Elizabeth.  Frank’s father, John, was a clerk of Canada’s Privy Council, his uncle D’Arcy McGee, a Father of Confederation.  He was a member of the early Rough Rider’s Football team, an oarsman for the Ottawa fours at the Canadian Henley Regatta on many occasions, and played hockey for Ottawa Silver Seven.  He lost an eye on 21 Mar 1900 while playing in an exhibition hockey game in Hawkesbury, ON. The game was to raise money for Canada’s part in the South African War. He played for the Ottawas hockey team in 1903 when they won the Stanley Cup. They were renamed the Ottawa Silver Seven and they again won in 1904 and 1905, but lost in the 1906 final. In the second game in 1905, against the Dawson City Nuggets, he scored 14 goals, a record which still stands. He also played lacrosse and football. He was an original inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945. When he attested on 9 Nov 1914, he was working as a civil servant. He had served in the 43rd Regiment, Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles, Canadian Militia, and was serving with the 21st Bn when he was killed in action on 16 Sep 1916, age 33. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. He was survived by his parents, brothers D’Arcy, WR and JJ, and two sisters including Lillian.  Another brother, Charles, was killed in action  in May 1915. It is not known how he passed his army medical with only one eye.  The above contributed by Peter Gower.