When then Colonel Henry Pellatt took the Queen’s Own Rifles to Britain in 1910, their trip included a visit to Aldershot Garrison, the home of the British Army and its First Corps headquarters. (Read more about the trip here.) At Aldershot, the officers of the regiment visited the Officers’ Mess, and were received by British officers including many senior and prominent ones.
To mark this special occasion, The QOR asked all attendees to sign a Visitors’ Book. The visitors recorded in this book include members of the QOR as well as members of the British Army.
This Visitors’ Book is in the collection of the Queen’s Own Rifles Museum at Casa Loma.
Museum Board Chair Jim Lutz studied this book and tried to decipher the signatures of the various guests, some of whom were or became distinguished members of the British or Canadian armies. Here are the names he was able to decipher and identify. If you can identify other signatures, please write to the QOR Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here is how Jim identified signatures:
I have listed signatures by their location in the photographic pdf file of the book:
- The first number is the page in the pdf file, not the page in the book.
- The letter “L” or “R” indicates the left or right page in the book.
- The last number is the line on that page.
As an example, Mary Pellatt is 2/L/1 – that is, on the second pdf page, in the left-hand column, being the first name in that column.
Signatures in the Visitors’ Book
2/L/1: Lady Mary Pellatt – Sir Henry’s wife.
2/L/4: Appears to be Maryanne Pellatt, one of Sir Henry’s sisters.
2/L/12, 2/L/13 & 2/L/14: Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Peuchen’s wife Margaret, daughter Jessie (aged 16) and son Alan (aged 13) from Toronto – Arthur Peuchen was a successful businessman and QOR officer who was on the 1910 visit to Britain. He was on the Titanic when it sunk in 1912 and became embroiled in accusations about his behaviour when the ship sank. By 1914 he commanded one of the two QOR battalions. You can read more about him in the Dictionary for Canadian Biography.
3/L/1 – 3/L/6: Officers from The Buffs, the QOR’s oldest affiliated regiments.
3/R/15: Brigadier General Ivor Maxse, commanding the 1st Guards Brigade – one of the outstanding British generals of the Great War. He served as a corps commander on the Western Front, and was known for his innovative and effective training methods.
4/R/8: Lieutenant Lord Arthur Hay, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, Blenheim Barracks (Aldershot) – Son of the Marquis of Tweeddale, killed in the Battle of the Aisne on September 14, 1914. His Commonwealth War Graves marker reads “In such a death there is no sting, in such a grave, everlasting glory”.
6/L/10: Brigadier General L.E. Kiggell, War Office – Lancelot Kiggell was Director of Staff Duties at the War Officer 1909-1913, Commandant of the Staff College from 1913-1915, and Chief of General Staff to Field Marshall Haig 1915-1918.
7/L/16: Lieutenant General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, Government House – a veteran of Isandlwana and the Second South African War, he served with distinction as commander of the British Second Army on the Western Front. In 1910 he was General Officer Commanding the Aldershot Command.
7/R/16: Major General Sir Ivor Herbert, Canadian Militia – A British officer who had served as General Officer Commanding the Canadian Militia 1890-1895. In 1910 he was a Member of Parliament and later raised to the peerage as Baron Treowen.