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Remembered Today:

General Elmsley, CEF Siberia


Stellan Bojerud

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I have found a general Elmsley belonging to CEF in Siberia 1918-1919. Also located some documents in Canadian archieves, but so far I have been able to decide if I have found the right person and what position he held in Siberia.

Anything known of this person?

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Stellan, I found this mention in a genealogical site, link. Not much there but maybe there is a family contact who could help?

Another thought, since he served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and was a member of the Permanent Force, maybe the Curator of their musuem could help with more information.

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Thank you Chris!

So it was Elmsley, James Harold. I found out that he was a Major in 1914 and probably BrigGen in 1919. But not wich position he held in CEF Siberia.

I am writing a book on MjGen Ivor Thord-Gray (see that thread) and I found out that Russian Gen Ivanov-Rinov asked Gen Elmsley that Ivor Thord-Gray should be transferred from CEF to Russian Koltschak-Army.

Ivor Thord-Gray left CFE 15/2 1919 and joined Russian Army 18/2 1919.

Stellan

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Major-General J.H. Elmsley, C.M.G., D.S.O., was the commander of the Canadian Forces in Siberia. He was an experienced officer, having commanded the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade from June 1916 to May, 1918.

I am looking at a book, "In Defence of Canada - From the Great War to the Great Depression" by James Eayrs, which devotes a chapter to this strange episode, complete with quotes of communications between this much harried and poorly supported commander and his political masters.

If you are collecting names of officers involved in this bizarre adventure, it seems there was, from a relatively eary date, an officer known as "the Canadian political officer" at Vladivostok. This was Col. John F. Lash who was the personal representative of the Canadian Minister of Militia.

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  • 6 years later...

Gentlemen,

I am new to GWF but I saw your old posts from April 2005 and wonder if you are still interested in details on Canadian Major General J.H. Elmsley. I am a retired Canadian Naval Officer doing my PhD thesis on the Siberian intervention and have some details on this officer if you have not yet found them yourselves. I may point you to an article I published in the Canadian Military Journal in Volume 8 No 3 2007 which can be accessed on the web.

Cheers

Ian Moffat

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Major-General J.H. Elmsley, C.M.G., D.S.O., was the commander of the Canadian Forces in Siberia. He was an experienced officer, having commanded the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade from June 1916 to May, 1918.

I am looking at a book, "In Defence of Canada - From the Great War to the Great Depression" by James Eayrs, which devotes a chapter to this strange episode, complete with quotes of communications between this much harried and poorly supported commander and his political masters.

If you are collecting names of officers involved in this bizarre adventure, it seems there was, from a relatively eary date, an officer known as "the Canadian political officer" at Vladivostok. This was Col. John F. Lash who was the personal representative of the Canadian Minister of Militia.

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The following comes from The Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society Volume 26 Winter 1987 no 4 (197) pages 238- 239

Elmsley,Major-General James Harold. C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. – 13 October 1878 – 3 January 1954. Canadian Commander of British forces in Siberia. Son of Remy and Nina (nee Bradshaw) Elmsley of Barnstaple, Elmsley Place Toronto. He was the grandson of Captain John Elmsley and a great grandson of Chief Justice Elmsley of Upper Canada, Toronto (1796-1802)

Educated in Toronto Ontario and laterat Cardinal Newman’s College Birmingham, England and Oratory School, Ebaston.

Joined the CanadianMilitia as a boy and commissioned Provisional 2Lt 22 March 1897 in GovernorGeneral’s Body Guard and soon after in the Royal Canadian Dragoons. Fought in South Africa with 1stcontingent Canadian Mounted Rifles. ADC to MGen Sir E. Hutton of 1st Mounted InfantryBrigade. Wounded through the heart7 November 1900 but rescued by friend and taken to aid station andsurvived. 1st Lt 5January 1898, Captain 25 July 1905, Major 20 June 1907, Bt LCol 31 Dec 1914,BGen 19 June 1916, T/MGen 24 Aug 1918 and commander Canadian Siberian ExpeditionaryForce. MGen 19 Sep 1918. Note Elmsley was promoted MGen by the Imperial authorities not Canadian as was the Commander of all British forces in Siberia not just the Canadian Contingent. In the Great War embarked for U.K. 3Oct 1914. Embarked for France with Royal Canadian Dragoons 4 May 1917; Brigade Major 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade 24 May 1915; GSO 2 with 1st Canadian Infantry Division 13 Sep 1915; Commanding Officer Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment 20 May 1916; to Command 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade 19 June 1916 until detained in Britain on recommendation of Medical Board 4 June 1918. Commanmded Canadian Troops at Bramshot 26 June 1918.

C.B. 3 June 1918; C.M.G. 4 June 1917; D.S.O. 3 June 1916; Despatches 27 January 1916, 15 June 1916, 4 January 1917, 1 June 1917 and 28 May 1918. Croix de Guerre Belgium, 12 July 1918; Croix de Guerre Czechoslovakia 29 October 1920; Order of the Sacred Treasure 2nd Class, Japan, 19 August 1921.

On return to Canada in 1919 commanded various militia districts; Adjudant General 18 Aug 1922-30 April 1928 and then again commanded military districts retired to Pension 1 November 1929

Married Florence Athol Gorden, daughter of Melfort Boulton, Toronto, in April 1908

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