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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 Thomas Brehaut Saunders ’10

Died: June 13, 1916

Lieut. Thomas Brehaut Saunders was killed in action at the retaking of the trenches at Zillebeke in the Ypres Salient, June 13th, 1916. He was just twenty.

Lieut. Saunders was the son of Mr. Dyce W. Saunders, K.C., of Toronto. He was born in Toronto and attended the Preparatory School at Upper Canada College from 1 904-1910, leaving us to go to Trinity College School, Port Hope, from which he graduated in 19 14. He intended to go to the Ontario Agricultural College, at Guelph, but, when war was declared, he took a commission with the 10th Royal Grenadiers and volunteered for active service. Early in 1915 he joined the 74th Overseas Batt. at Niagara Camp, and left for England with a reinforcing draft in September, 1915. There he was appointed to the 13th Batt. (Royal Highlanders of Canada), at the front.

He was a well known cricketer, having captained his school team for two years, and was also on his school hockey team. His battalion was one of the three which took part in the attack on the trenches, and Lieut. Saunders led the first platoon. Four trenches were to be recaptured, and after twenty-four hours’ artillery preparation the attack was launched about 1.30 a.m. The first three trenches were quickly taken, but a communication trench had to be cleared before the 4th could be attacked, and, as the officer in charge of the bombing party assigned to this was killed, Lieut. Saunders took his place. Just after his work was done, and the fourth trench captured, while engaged in reconstruction work, Lieut. Saunders was struck by a bullet from a sniper or machine gun and instantly killed. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery on June 17th with full military and Highland honours.

His Commanding Officer, Col. Victor Buchanan, writes that Lieut. Saunders was a gallant officer and would be regretted by all ranks—” He died like a true soldier leading his men against the enemy.”

College Times (Summer 1916) pg. 9-10


More information about Lieutenant Thomas Brehaut Saunders ’10 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

Trinity College School Record (May 1916-January 1919)

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Dictionary of Canadian Biography: Saunders, Dyce Willcocks

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery – Daily Reflections of the Great War