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

Second Lieutenant Basil Lancelot Cumpston ’11

Died: May 10, 1917

Lieut. B. L. Cumpston died of wounds May 10th, 1917, aged 24. Lieut. Cumpston, son of Mr. B. A. Cumpston, of Deer Park, Toronto, was at U.C.C. from 1908-1911, and always showed himself thoroughly reliable and a good student. In 1911 he went to Trinity with the Leonard McLaughlin Scholarship, and took an honours degree in History in 1915.

In June of the same year he left Canada with University reinforcements for the P. P. C.L.I, with whom he rose to corporal, serving with them in France from August 1915, to March 1916.

He then went to St. Ouen Cadet School, and received a commission in the 2nd Border Regiment in May, 1916. During the Somme fighting he was made intelligence officer and served in almost every capacity. On May 3rd he was offered the position of instructor, but refused to leave his battalion.

He had just taken his course as Lewis Gun Officer when he was fatally wounded on May 9th, 1917, and died next day at No. 49 Casualty Clearing Station of gunshot wounds in chest, face and right hand and left arm. His chaplain writes :

“He was a dear, warm-hearted, straightforward fellow, and I felt quite an ache when I saw him brought in wounded. He was badly knocked about, but was very brave and patient, and did not want to be carried to the Aid Post as ‘he was done.’ A shell hit that part of a railway in which was our headquarters when we were before Bullecourt. It slightly wounded the CO. and grazed and shook all the others. The wound in the stomach was too much for him, and he died at the CCS. next morning. I buried him at Achiet le Grand.”

College Times (Summer 1917) pg. 13-14


More information about Second Lieutenant Basil Lancelot Cumpston ’11 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Royal British Legion – Every Man Remembered 

University of Toronto Roll of Service, 1914-1918

Roll Call of Honour

Lives of the First World War