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

Gunner Sydney Mercer McWhinney ’15

Died: June 15, 1916

Bombardier Sydney Oliver McWhinney died on June 15th, 1916, in University College Hospital, London, England, of wounds received in action in France. His body was brought back to Toronto by his parents and buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery after a public service at St. Paul’s Church, “a challenge,” as Canon Cody said, “to his comrades and to the youth of Canada to carry on.” He was not quite eighteen when he died.

Sydney McWhinney was the son of John M. McWhinney, manager of the Union Trust Co., and was born at London, Ont., on July 2nd, 1898. He was at Upper Canada College from 1910 to 1915, where many of us remember him as one of our best all-round athletes, representing the School in football, hockey and cricket, and showing promise of being a leader amongst his fellows. In Oct., 1915, he enlisted in the 34th Battery at Kingston with a number of friends, and was made Bombardier on leaving for England in December. While at Shorncliffe he volunteered with eight friends for trench mortar work, with his usual eagerness to be in the fiercest of the struggle. He went to the front in April, and, as none who knew him could doubt, made a splendid soldier ; he was wounded, however, on May 23rd, on Hill 60 near Ypres, by a piece of shell which pierced his lung, and died while his parents were on their way to England.

College Times (Summer 1916) pg. 10-11


More information about can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

University of Toronto Schools First World War Commemorative Project

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

The British Legion: Every Man Remembered

Canadian Great War Project

Commonwealth War Graves Commission