Agar S A M Adamson DSO


Agar Stewart Allan Masterton Admson was born in Ottawa on Christmas Day 1865, the son of James and Mary Adamson. He had a privileged childhood and went on to study at Corpus Christ College, Cambridge although he did not get his degree. He was athletic and a good horseman, but also liked the social life of Ottawa. In 1893 he was commissioned into the Governor General's Foot Guards and as a captain was married to Ann Mabel Cawthra in November 1899. She was an heiress from a family that owned a huge amount of property in Toronto. Soon after, however, he used his connections to secure a transfer to Lord Strathcona's Horse so that he could join the fighting in South Africa. He travelled to England with a group of 50 men as a draft for the regiment. They sailed to South Africa, reaching Cape Town in June 1900. He fought at Wolve Spruit on 5 July and recommended Arthur Richardson for the VC. Adamson fell ill in November 1900 and was sent back to England. The following year he was still unfit for duty so returned to Canada. He tried to get back to the war but it was over when he arrived in May 1902.

In Canada, from 1903, he tried farming but then turned to business, working in his wife's decorating franchise. He was 48 when war broke out in 1914, and managed to get a commission in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry despite having poor vision in one eye. He was in command on 8 May 1915 at Bellewaarde Lake and was wounded on that day. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the regiment from 31 Oct 1916. He caught trench fever in 1917 and then suffered poisoning from mustard gas. His poor sight also affected his ability to move around at night. He eventually relinquished command in March 1918. He was badly affected by the war and suffered stress after the war so that his marriage was under great strain. He returned to Canada in March 1919 and designed and built a mansion at Lakeview Ontario, but in 1921 he went to live in France. In October 1929 he was a passenger in an experimental airplane that crashed into the Irish Sea. He survived for two hours in freezing water but died a few weeks later on 21 Nov 1929.


Regimental Details | Commanding Officers




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by Stephen Luscombe