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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 George Stairs ’04

Died: April 24, 1915

George Stairs belonged to the well-known Halifax family of that name. He was the eldest of three brothers who came to the College one after another, and all three had ability and industry enough to win entrance scholarship at Toronto, McGill and Dalhousie Universities, when they left us. George’s dates at College were 1899- 1904.

He was a member of our famous Sixth Form (1903-4) which contained more character and ability than any other class for years. Seven members of this class won the highest honours at the University, and seven of them have already gone to the Front.

After leaving College George Stairs spent four years at Dalhousie University and graduated with high honours in 1908. The next two years he was in the Halifax office of the Montreal Trust Company, and in 1910 having heard the call of the West, he went to Vancouver, and held a similar position with a company there. However, he preferred business conditions in the East, and having visited England and the Continent in 1912, he started in business as a Manufacturers’ Agent in Montreal, and was just beginning to make a place for himself when the war broke out. He had been a member of the 66th Regiment in Halifax, and immediately offered his services to the Government, and was appointed to a commission in the 14th Battalion at Valcartier. In the fighting near Ypres, during the furious attack upon the British positions, he lost his life.

George Stairs gave up many hopes and plans in order to serve at the post of danger. And his two brothers, also, are going to the Front with the Second and Third Contingents. It is an honourable thing to die for one’s country, but it is still more honourable when patriotism is part of the family tradition.

College Times (Summer 1915) pg. 11-12


More information on Lieutenant George Stairs ’04 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada At War

The Great War 1914-1918


Additional Information:

Lieutenant George Stairs ’04 younger brother, Captain John Cuthbert Stairs ’09 , also perished in the Great War.