Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sir Arthur William Currie


Currie, Sir Arthur William (1875-1933), soldier and educationist, was born in the village of Napperton, Middlesex county, Ontario, on December 5, 1875, the son of William Garner Currie and Jane Patterson. He was educated at the Strathroy Collegiate Institute. In 1893 he went to British Columbia, and became a school-teacher. Eventually, he went into business in Victoria, British Columbia ; and there became the senior partner in one of the leading real estate firms on Vancouver island. When the Great War broke out, in 1914, he was also a lieut.-colonel in the militia, having risen from the ranks to command the 5th Canadian Garrison Artillery; and he was given command of the Vancouver Highland Battalion in the First Canadian contingent. After the battle of St. Julien, in 1915, he was given command of a brigade, with the rank of brigadier-general. In 1916 he was placed in command of the First Canadian Division, with the rank of major-general; and in 1917 he succeeded Sir Julian Byng as the commander of the Canadian Corps, with the rank of lieutenant-general. This last position he retained, with great credit to himself and to the Corps, throughout the remainder of the war. He rode into Mons at the head of his troops as the Armistice came into effect on November 11, 1918. After the Armistice he commanded the Canadian forces on the Rhine ; and on his return to Canada in 1919 he was appointed Inspector-General of the Canadian militia. In 1920 he was offered and accepted the position of principal .and vice-chancellor of McGill University, Montreal ; and he retained this post until his death in Montreal, on November 30, 1933. In 1901 he married Lucy Sophia, youngest daughter of William Chaworth Chaworth-Musters, of Nottingham , England ; and by her he had one son and one daughter. He received many honours. He was created a C.B. in 1915, a K.C.M.G. in 1917, a K.C.B. in 1918, and a G.C.M.G. in 1919; and the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by the following universities: Cambridge, McGill, Toronto, New York, Acadia, Edinburgh, Pennsylvania, Princeton, McMaster, Dartmouth, Vermont, Western, British Columbia, Middlebury, Harvard, Queen's, and Union. At the time of his death, he was grand president of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 167-168.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College