Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)

The Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) group of MGen W.W.P. Gibsone, CMG, DSO, OBE (Click image for full group) - Photo by Sgt A Majoor. (The RCR Museum Collection.)

The Royal Canadian Regiment and
The First World War - 1914-1919

Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.)

During the First World War, the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) was awarded for individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war. A military order for officers only, the DSO was normally given for service under fire or under conditions equivalent to combat. Between 1914 and 1916 it could also be awarded for circumstances not be regarded as under fire. After 1 Jan 1917, recommendations for the DSO were to be only for those serving under fire. The DSO is generally given to officers in command, above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and awards to ranks below this are usually for a high degree of gallantry just short of deserving the Victoria Cross. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was authorized by Royal Warrant on 6 September 1886.

RCR Recipients of the Distinguished Service Order (1916-1919)

The following Officers of The Royal Canadian Regiment received the Distinguished Service Order during the First World War. Recipients' names normally appeared in the London Gazette twice in association with an award of the DSO. The first appearance, colloquially known as being "Gazetted", identified the granting of the award. The second appearance was with the publication of the award citation. Awards granted on honours lists for the Sovereign's birthday and for New year's did not normally receive an accompanying citation.

Rank Initials Surname Date CEF-db
Brevet Lt.-Col. Ronald O'Keden ALEXANDER CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 1 JANUARY, 1917; Awarded the Distinguished Service Order - Maj. Konald Okeden Alexander, Can Inf.
Maj Allison Hart BORDEN   CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 5 JULY, 1918 - Lt.-Col. Allison Hart Borden, Infy. - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. By his personal reconnaissance prior to the attack, in the face of great danger from machine-gun and rifle fire, he obtained sufficient information to modify his plans so as to deal with the unexpected situation caused by the enemy's counter-attack. With complete disregard for his own safety, he made a tour of the line, making the necessary adjustments in dispositions to ensure its being held. His example to his battalion was magnificent, and his determination, courageous conduct, and skilful leadership inspired all ranks to hold on to their objective, even though their losses were very heavy.
Maj (Brevet Lt.-Col.) Reginald James BROOK SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 3 JUNE, 1916 - Maj. Reginald James Brook, 3rd Infy. Bn.; Buckingham Palace Court Circular 10 Mar 1917 CEF-db
DSO Gazetted: SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 3 JUNE, 1916 - Maj: Reginald James Brook, 3rd Infy. Bn.
Maj. (Temp. Lt.-Col.) Eric Boyd COSTIN D.S.O. awarded after transfer to W. Yorks. R. CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 4 JUNE, 1917; Awarded the DSO - Capt. (temp. Maj.) Eric Boyd Costin, W. Yorks. R.
Lt.-Col. William Waring Primrose GIBSONE 3 Feb 1917 CEF-db
Lt.-Col. Claude Hardinge HILL SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 AUGUST, 1916 CEF-db
Lt.-Col. Claude Hardinge Hill, Can. Infy. - For conspicuous gallantry when in command of his battalion. He repelled several attacks and displayed great coolness and courage in directing bodies of men under heavy fire.
Lt.-Col. (late Temp. Col.) H. KEMMIS-BETTY SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 23 JUNE, 1915. CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 23 JUNE, 1915; CANADIAN FORCES - To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order - Lieutenant-Colonel H. Kemmis Betty, 1st Canadian Division, Staff
Major (late Lt.-Col.) F.A. LISTER While serving with the Cdn. Divl. Signal Co.; London Gazette 22 Jun 1915 CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 23 JUNE, 1915; CANADIAN FORCES - To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order - Major F. A. Lister, Canadian Divisional Signal Company.
Capt Eric Edward Napier McCALLUM SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 AUGUST, 1916. CEF-db
Lt. Eric Edward Napier McCallum, Can. Infy. - For conspicuous gallantry. When on patrol with two scouts, one of the latter was killed and the other wounded. Although himself wounded three times in the back and once in the leg, he dressed the other man and carried him some 600 yards under shell fire into safety.
A/Lt.-Col. George Waters MacLEOD   CEF-db
THE LONDON GAZETTE 18 JANUARY 1918 - Awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order. - Maj. George Waters MacLeod, D.S.O., Can. Inf. (D.S.O. gazetted 14th November, 1916.)

SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 25 APRIL, 1918 - Maj. George Waters MacLeod, D.S.O., Infy. - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed the greatest initiative in supervising the assault and accurately reporting the position of the attacking troops. He was untiring in his efforts to strengthen the captured position and contributed largely to the success of the operations. He set a splendid example of coolness and courage.
Brevet Maj. William NEILSON   CEF-db
Regimental service with The RCR as an Officer: 1920-1935 (tbc)
Maj. Kenneth Meikle PERRY SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 AUGUST, 1916
BAR TO DSO - SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 15 FEBRUARY, 1919
CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 AUGUST, 1916 - Maj. Kenneth Meikle Perry, Can. Infy. - For conspicuous gallantry on several occasions, notably when he commanded the two first lines in an attack. He led his men with great dash through a heavy barrage of fire up to the enemy's front line. Here he was wounded in the leg and back, and compelled to retire.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 30 JULY, 1919; 29 July 1919 - Lt.-Col. Kenneth Meikle Perry, D.S.O., 87th Bn. Can. Infy., Quebec R. - For conspicuous courage and leadership at Bourlon Wood and north of Cambrai from September 27th to October 1st. His work was accomplished with dash and precision, although at the cost of heavy casualties. On September 30th the battalion again lost heavy casualties, but, when asked to attack once more the next morning, he, with only 160 men, carried the attack to the very outskirts of Eswars, in spite of the desperate opposition of heavily massed enemy, and in conjunction with the battalion on his left he maintained an advanced position. (D.S.O. gazetted 19th August, 1916.)
Regimental service with The RCR as an Officer: 1920-1928
Brevet Maj. William Gordon PETERSON SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 3 JUNE, 1918 CEF-db
Lt.-Col. Herbert Cosford SPARLING CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 4 JUNE, 1917 - TO BE COMPANIONS OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER - Lt.-Col. Herbert C Sparling, Inf.
Regimental service with The RCR as an Officer: 1919-1920
Maj (A./Lt.-Col.) James SUTHERLAND-BROWN CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14 JANUARY, 1916 - Chancery of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.; TO BE COMPANIONS OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER - Major James Sutherland Brown, Royal Canadian Regiment.
Lt.-Col. Reginald Symmonds TIMMIS   CEF-db
Maj. Reginald Symmonds Timmis, Can. Cav. - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in successfully leading a counter-attack at a critical moment, giving sufficient time for the withdrawal of other troops who were surrounded. Later, he conducted a most able rearguard action. Thanks to his energetic and prompt action, a successful with drawal in face of strong bodies of the enemy was accomplished.
Timmis was a pre-War officer of The RCR, serving in 1912 and transferring to the RCD that same year.
Brevet Maj. Wilfred Ormonde WHITE   CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14 NOVEMBER, 1916; 30 January 1920 - Capt. Wilfred Ormonde White, Can. Inf. - For conspicuous gallantry during operations. He set a fine example throughout a very heavy bombardment, dressed the wounds of several men, and dug out others who had been buried by shell fire. As Adjutant, he has always been of the greatest assistance to his C.O., and has displayed great coolness and courage.
Regimental service with The RCR as a commissioned Officer: 1920-1922
Maj. Charles Richard Edward WILLETS London Gazette 24 Jul 1917; Regimental records give date of 9 Apr 1917 for D.S.O. (and M.I.D.) CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 26 JULY, 1917; 24 July 1917 - Maj. Charles Richard Edward Willets, Inf. - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went forward to the front line under very heavy fire and organised the defence of the position with great skill. He has at all times displayed the greatest courage and initiative.

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