Wansbrough, Cuthbert Cole

Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Wansbrough, DSO, VD
Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Wansbrough, DSO, VD

Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Wansbrough, DSO, VD was born at Ilfracombe, Devon, England, November 11, 1878, son of the Reverend Charles E. and Mary E. (Cole) Wansbrough. He was educated at Leeds Boys Normal School and served in the Territorials in Leeds and Bristol, England: the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, West Yorks and the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Gloucester Regiment. He married first Gertrude Myers of Leeds, England and after her death, Rose Russell of London, England.

Wansbrough moved to Toronto, 1905 where he then enlisted as a rifleman in A Company, Queen’s Own Rifles on July 24, 1906.

Then Major Wansbrough served in the First World War and his brother was Major Charles Vivian Wansbrough, 47th Battalion W.O.R., who died April 3rd, 1917.  According to a Toronto Star article dated April 12, 1917, Wansbrough came from a “…fighting family, four brothers being in the service and a fifth having been rejected for physical reasons.  Two of the Wansbrough brothers hold the rank of Major, one is a Captain and one a Sergeant.”. 

In his civilian life he worked in insurance and in 1925, he was Insurance Manager with the Boston Insurance Company and the New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company.

Service Record

  • August 8, 1906 – Appointed Provisional Lieutenant 
  • December 23, 1911 – Promoted Captain
  • August 29, 1914 – Commanded Guard at wireless station, Toronto
  • January 1915 – Seconded for service with 35th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and proceeded overseas with them
  • October 15, 1915 – Promoted Major
  • Wansbrough C C WWI newclippingServed in France and Belgium with 20th Battalion, through the Somme fighting of 1916
  • April 9, 1917 – Wounded at Vimy Ridge
  • June 3, 1917 – Awarded the French Croix de Chevalier
  • June 4, 1917 – Awarded Distinguished Service Order
  • August 16, 1917 – Awarded Bar to the Distinguished Service Order [LG p. 8350]: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the attack his company was twice held up. He promptly organised flanking parties under heavy fire, and captured the trench. He was severely wounded, but remained in action until the final objective had been gained.” 
  • Invalided, afterwards and served as officer in charge of training 5th Reserve at Witley
  • February 2, 1919 – Returned to Canada
  • March 15, 1919 – Transferred to Reserve of Officers, CEF with rank of Major
  • October 1, 1920 – Appointed 2nd in Command, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles
  • April 9, 1922 – Appointed Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
  • February 1, 1923 – Transferred to Reserve of Officers
  • Awarded Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Decoration
  • September 15, 1927 – Transferred to the Winnipeg Rifles and eventually became Commanding Officer

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