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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 William Taylor Willison ’07

Died: September 15, 1916

w061_Willison,-William-Taylor-001

Lieut. William Taylor Willison fell in action in the Somme advance on Sept. 15th, 1916.

Lieut. Willison joined the Q.O.R. as a private shortly after war was declared. He qualified for a commission at Niagara in the summer of 1915 and crossed to England in the Spring of 1916 as bombing officer of the 74th Overseas Battalion. Soon after he was transferred to a mounted regiment which had lost heavily at Zillebeke, and served at the front as bombing officer till his death.

Lieut. Willison was the son of Sir John Willison, editor and publisher of the Toronto Daily News. He was 27 years of age and was married in 1914. He came to Upper Canada College with his twin brother, Walter, in 1899, and both were prominent in athletics, especially in boxing. On more than one occasion the two brothers fought out the final bout in the division in which they were included, and always with the utmost good humour. Leaving the College in 1907 he at once went into newspaper work, with which he has been connected ever since.

After gaining experience with several Western newspapers, he became Sporting Editor of the Montreal Witness and finally joined the staff of the Toronto Daily News, with which he was connected at the time he enlisted.

College Times (Summer 1916) pg. 14

More information about Lieutenant William Taylor Willison ’07  can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

Imperial War Museum (UK) – Lives of the First World War

Upper Canada College Old Boys Who Served in The Queen’s Own Rifles Canada

Commonwealth War Graves Commission