Thursday 5 July 1917 – We Lost 432
Captain Percival Molson MC (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) the great-grandson of John Molson, who founded Molson Brewery in 1786. is killed at the outskirts of Avion, Pas-de-Calais near Vimy Ridge by a direct hit from a German howitzer at age 36. He is a gifted athlete who at the age of 16 was an ice hockey player and member of the Montreal Victorias team that won the 1896 Stanley Cup. While at McGill University he captained the hockey team, starred in track and field competitions, played racquet sports and made the football team. He was named McGill University’s best “all-round athlete” three years in a row. He set the world record in the Long Jump at the American Athletics Meet in 1900. He competed in the 1904 St Louis Olympics but finished well back in the field. s a football player, Molson was best known for his running and kicking abilities as well as his sure hands. He played for the Montreal Football Club, associated with the MAAA, from 1902 to 1906. He captained the team in 1903 and 1904 and was a member of the 1906 Quebec Rugby Football Union champions in 1906. He also actively promoted amateur football after his active playing days. In 1909, he was named one of the original trustees of the Grey Cup, the Dominion’s new amateur football championship trophy. In his will he left $75,000 to McGill University to help pay most of the costs for construction of a new stadium which was already constructed and will be renamed in 1919 the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. In 1996 he will become the inaugural inductee into the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame.
Today’s losses include:
- Percival Molson
- Great grandson of the founder of the Molson Brewery
- A member of the 1896 Montreal Victorians winners of the Stanley Cup
- A 1904 St Louis Olympian
- A Montreal Football Club player winners of the 1906 Quebec Rugby Football Union Cup
- An original trustee of the Grey Cup
- The Inaugural inductee into the McGill University Hall of Fame
- A battalion commander
- A family that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A man whose father was lost in the sinking of S S Lusitania in 1915
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Alfred John Sansom (commanding 5th Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 50.
- Lieutenant Norman Godwin Knight (Fort Garry Horse) dies on service in England at age 18. His brother was killed in August 1916.
- Lieutenant Donald MacLean (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the late Reverend Roderick MacLean.
- Driver Albert Henry Morrison (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. His father was drowned in the sinking of the S S Lusitania in May 1915.