Major Frederick John Mallett, MC began teaching at Upper Canada College in 1914 with an Honour Degree in Science from Downing College, Cambridge.
In 1915 he joined the Royal Engineers as a lieutenant before becoming a signaler seeing action at the Somme (Spring 1917), Ypres (July 1917), Cambrai (November 1917 to March 1918) and Flanders (August 1918). Mallet was hospitalized twice with blood poisoning but served with distinction in the field, being awarded the Military Cross (29 April 1918) and Bar (3 June 1918), and being gazetted Captain.
He returned in 1919 to resume teaching and became deeply involved in the life of the College. He revived the defunct Drama Club and his dramatic flair, enthusiasm and ability inspired the boys. While producing an Arnold Bennett play, he met Miss Jane Keenleyside who became the Jane Mallett still admired by so many on radio and television.
As music improved at UCC Freddie was able to stage the first of many musical shows, The Pirates of Penzance. Robertson Davies performed in it….
From at least 1921 to 1927 he served with The Queen’s Own Rifles – primarily as Signals Officer. From 1928 to at least 1939 he was on the roll of the QOR 4th Reserve Battalion and then the Corps Reserve of Officers.
With the coming of the second World War he joined the Queen’s Own Rifles and was soon raised to the rank of Major. In a July 1944 Report on Officers, Lieutenant Colonel Baptist Johnston wrote: “Experienced, efficient, industrious, keen, excellent organizing ability.”
In 1942 he became the master in charge of Cadet Battalion and directed it for eleven years until Tom Ainslie took it on. He also became an Honorary Aide de Camp to the Lieutenant Governor.
After forty-one years with the College, Fred wished to retire in 1955, but was persuaded to stay on, teaching Upper School Chemistry part-time despite indifferent health.
Six years later he finally retired, and in 1980 he died.
Excerpts from the 1981 College Times and written by John N. Symons.