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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 Colonel Russel Hubert Britton ’01

Died: May 2, 1917

Lieut.-Col. Russell H. Britton, D.S.O., son of Charles Britton of Gananoque, and nephew of Mr. Justice Britton of Toronto, was killed in action May 3rd 1917.

Lieut.-Col. Britton, who had been an active officer in the Canadian Militia since 1902, left Gananoque in 1914 for Valcartier as Major in command of the 3rd Battery, and had seen about two years’ service in France before his death. He had risen to Lieut. -Col., and been placed in command of the 5th Artillery Brigade, 2nd Division, C.E.F. He was several times mentioned in dispatches, and received the D.S.O. last December.

Lieut. -Col. Britton was at U.C.C. from 1898-1901, winning the Mason Gold Medal in 1901. He was captain of the football team at school, and afterwards captain of the Queen’s University and Toronto Argonaut teams. Wherever Russell Britton was in charge, clean sport and fair play were assured. His qualities as a leader were so well established that he had no trouble in securing his full complement of men when he volunteered for the present war.

Russell Britton was no mere athlete, however. Besides his business activities he found time to lead the Volunteer Community Work in Gananoque, and superintended Christ Church Sunday School ; and to supervise generally the interests of all the boys in Gananoque.

Lieut.-Col. Britton’s funeral was made the occasion of showing the respect and affection felt for him by all ranks, and was attended by the officers of his division, the General Officer commanding the Artillery Corps, and many of the gunners. He leaves a wife and three daughters.

College Times (Summer 1917) pg. 12


More information about Lieutenant Colonel Russel Hubert Britton ’01 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

University of Toronto Roll of Service, 1914-1918

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

University of Toronto Monthly (October 1919)

Officers who served overseas in the Great War with the Canadian Artillery 1914-1919

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92 Gananoque, Ontario – Legion History 

Thousand Island’s Life – What is in a building? (by Gretchen Bambrick, Aug. 13, 2010)

Queen’s University Archives – World War 1 – Individuals Who Lost Their Lives

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Royal British Legion – Every Man Remembered

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies

Zeta Psi’s Greatest Heroes

The London Gazette

The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery 


Additional Information:

Lieutenant Colonel Russel Hubert Britton ’01 was the nephew of J. Ross Robertson ’58.  The Archives of Ontario holds the J. Ross Robertson family fonds which possibly may contain personal correspondence relating to his nephew.