RMR Appoints First Honorary Colonel: Sir George Stephen

RMR Appoints First Honorary Colonel: Sir George Stephen

Friday, November 13, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “All day rain.  No training possible.”  [1]

Lord George Mount Stephen (1829-1921)
Lord George Mount Stephen (1829-1921)

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  “While the 14th was in camp on Salisbury Plain, Divisional Orders contained the announcement that the Right Honourable Lord Mount Stephen, G.C.V.O., had accepted appointment as the Regiment’s Honorary Colonel.  This post Lord Mount Stephen held during the entire period of the Battalion’s overseas career.”  [2]

“George Stephen, 1st Baron Mount Stephen, Bt. GCVO (5 June 1829 – 29 November 1921), known as Sir George Stephen, Bt, between 1886 and 1891. Originally from Scotland, he made his fame in Montreal and was the first Canadian to be elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He was the financial genius behind the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was President of the Bank of Montreal and is remembered as one of the greatest philanthropists of his time: He built a new wing at the Montreal General Hospital, donated generously to various hospitals in Scotland and gave over £1.3 million to the Prince of Wales Hospital Fund in London, working closely with George V.

He and his first cousin, Lord Strathcona, purchased the land and then each gave $1 million to the City of Montreal to construct and maintain the Royal Victoria Hospital. His home in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile later became the Mount Stephen Club. In 1888, he retired to England, living between Brocket Hall and 17 Carlton House Terrace. His first wife is credited for introducing the canoe to Scotland. From starting life as a bare-footed stable boy, he became the richest man in Canada and closely associated with George V, whose wife, Queen Mary, was a lifelong friend and confidant of the second Lady Mount Stephen.”  [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 13 , 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089676.jpg
[2]   R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 17
[3]  Wikipedia contributors, "George Stephen, 1st Baron Mount Stephen," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_Stephen,_1st_Baron_Mount_Stephen&oldid=621071824 (accessed August 17, 2014).

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