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Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Kirkpatrick ’08

Died: April 23, 1915

Douglas Kirkpatrick was the son of Mr. A. M. M. Kirkpatrick, a grandson on his mother’s side of Col. G. T. Denison, and great grandson of the first Col. G. T. Denison, whose name appears on the first College Roll in 1830. Douglas was born on June 1st, 1891. His connection with the College dates from 1902, when the Preparatory School was opened. Three years in the Preparatory and three at the College made up his school life. Naturally of a serious and thoughtful disposition, he was a great reader of books, not boys’ stories nor novels of any sort, but books of a more advanced and useful kind, and in his last year he won the prize for General Knowledge. He was a most attractive boy, very fair in complexion, shy and aloof in manner, his face suffused with blushes or smiles, happy with his own thoughts, and in everything the very pattern of gentleness. Quite early in life he took to riding, and on Saturdays he often enjoyed the excitement of a run with the hounds. His first experience of this kind was the subject of a very interesting sketch he wrote for the College Times; and two of his poems in the Times were much above the level of the average school boy, one of them a glowing tribute “To Tennyson,” and the other a half-serious lament “On leaving the Prep.”

In 1908 Kirkpatrick entered an insurance office to learn the business, and after a couple of years of this apprenticeship he obtained a position with Wood and Kirkpatrick, of which firm his father is a member. About this time, in accordance with the traditions of the Denison family, he became an officer in the Governor General’s Bodyguard, and took a very keen interest in everything of this kind. When the war began he was anxious to get to the Front, and as there was not much call for cavalry he applied for a transfer to an infantry regiment, and was appointed to a commission in the 3rd Battalion (Queen’s Own Rifles). As everyone knows, certain battalions of the Canadian Contingent were occupying the advanced trenches near Langemarck when the Germans began their attack on the British lines on April 22nd, and according to the official reports it was the Canadians who saved the situation. In the middle of this struggle, near St. Julien, on the morning of April 23rd, Douglas Kirkpatrick was killed. Many other Canadians fell on that terrible day, but it would not be easy to find another who combined an ardent spirit with so much gentleness and chivalry.

College Times (Summer 1915) pg. 10-11


More information about Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Kirkpatrick ’08 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Imperial War Museum: Lives of the First World War

Canada At War

Canadian Great War Project

The Kirkpatrick Family Archives