Strathy, James Gowan Kirkpatrick

Colonel J.G.K. Strathy, Colonel of the Regiment

Colonel James (Jim) G. K. Strathy, OBE, OStJ, CD, ED was born 6 June 1905, son of prominent Toronto lawyer and one time Chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Gerard Brakenridge Strathy (who had served in the QOR 1895-1901), and Mabel Kirkpatrick (sister of Colonel A.J.E. Kirkpatrick who commanded the QOR 1922-1925.) He was a member of the cadet corps while at Trinity College School in Port Hope from 1919 to 1922, after which he attended The Royal Military College in Kingston for two years followed by studies at Trinity College, University of Toronto.

Then Captain James G. K. Strathy

While a Lieutenant with The Queen’s Own Rifles, Strathy trained as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and qualified for his wings in 1926. He was appointed QOR Adjutant in 1929. After many appointments within the regiment he volunteered and joined the Canadian Active Service Force in 1940. His brother Colin Morris Ardagh Strathy also served with the QOR in the 1930’s.

Then Major J.G.K. Strathy, 1941

The Second World War saw Colonel Strathy serving overseas in Europe and was eventually appointed Director of Military Training (Infantry) in January 1943. His younger brother George “Pat” Henry Kirkpatrick Strathy was killed in October 1940 while serving in the Navy.

In 1960 Colonel Strathy was appointed Colonel of The Regiment, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada at a time when there were two regular forces battalions and a militia battalion, and retired in May 1970.

On 30 August 1929 he married Catherine Millard. At one time he served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Strathy’s were quite the QOR family. Besides his father and uncle, two of Jim’s father’s second cousins also served with the regiment – brothers Captain John Henry G. Strathy, MC (QOR~1902-1906) and Lieutenant Colonel Dr. George Stewart Strathy (QOR 1904-1906 likely while he was at medical school.) One of Jim’s sons – John Gerard Brakenridge Strathy – would command The Queen’s Own Rifles militia battalion from 1969-1972.

He died 27 December 1978.

Service Record

  • 1922 to 1925 – Attended Royal Military College (Kingston) 
  • Received Certificates of Military Qualifications as Lieutenant in Cavalry, Infantry and Artillery.
  • Attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force as Provisional Pilot Officers:
    • June 22, 1924 to August 27, 1924
    • June 17, 1925 to August 27, 1925
    • June 29, 1926 to August 30, 1926
  • August 28, 1926 – Qualified for Pilots Wings
  • November 1, 1925 – Appointed Lieutenant in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
  • April 3, 1929 – Appointed Adjutant of 1st Battalion
  • March 29, 1930 – Complete Captain’s Qualification Course at Stanley Barracks (see certificate above)
  • August 3, 1930 – Promoted Captain
  • April 2, 1933 – Appointed 2nd in Command, “D” Company, 1st Battalion
  • September 1, 1934 – Passed Militia Staff Course
  • 1935 – Appointed to command QOR Detachment to England to visit the Buffs
  • 1925 to 1940 – Served with QOR of Canada (Non Permanent Army Militia)
  • May 22, 1940 – GSO II RMC Kingston
  • November 30, 1940 – Appointed Canadian Army Active with rank of Major
  • December 14, 1941 – GSO II Senior Officers’ School (British)
  • April 1942 – OC No. 4 Wing, Canadian Training Schools, UK
  • May 9, 1942 – GSO II RMC Kingston
  • September 1942 – Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
  • September 15, 1942 – GSO I Director of Military Training, NDHQ, Ottawa
  • 1943 – Awarded ED
  • January 25, 1943 – Promoted Colonel
  • January 25, 1943 to March 17, 1944 – Director of Military Training, NDHQ
  • March 18, 1944 to June 7, 1945 – Staff Duties and Training, CMHQ, Canadian Army Overseas
  • September 10, 1945 – Transferred to Supplementary Reserve
  • January 1946 – Appointed Officer of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire (Canada Gazette, 5 January 1946, page 55)
  • June 26, 1951 – Appointed Officer Brother of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem
  • March 10, 1960 – Appointed Colonel of the Regiment for The Queens’ Own Rifles
  • May 7, 1970 – Retired
Portrait by Cleve Horne

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