The Commanding Officer

Colonel Erastus William Wilson, a former commanding officer of the 3rd Regiment Victoria Rifles of Canada and the Officer Commanding the Militia’s 4th Division. recommended Lt. Colonel Frederick Arthur De Long Gascoigne to Command the 60th.

Gascoigne had made an offer on May 10, 1915, to raise a battalion for overseas service, and on May 25, while visiting family in Woodstock, Ontario, he received a telegram accepting his offer.

Lieutenant Colonel F. A. Gascoigne (HU  114917)Copyright: © IWM.

Frederick Gascoigne was born at Gosport, Hants, England on April 2, 1866. His family immigrated to Canada and, by 1914; he was superintendent of car service for the eastern lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He joined the 3rd Regiment Victoria Rifles of Canada in 1886 as a Private. He worked his way up through the ranks and received a commission to 2nd Lieutenant in 1901, was promoted to Captain in 1904, Major and second in command in 1912, and finally Lieutenant Colonel on October 1st, 1914, and given command of the 3rd Regiment Victoria Rifles of Canada.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 29-Dec-1916 (LG 29886) and was  Mentioned in Despatches 04-Jan-1917 (LG 29890)

Frederick Gascoigne was the only Commanding Officer the Battalion had.  His battalion was broken up as reinforcements to other units in April 1917.

Lt. Col. Gascoigne left on thirty days leave on May 7, 1917. He went to Paris and then returned to England. He took over command of the 1st Quebec Regimental Depot The Quebec Regimental Depots were the catchall units for the Quebec based battalions. Troops that were finished training or had recovered from wounds were held in Regimental Depots awaiting re-deployment.

Lt. Col. Gascoigne would develop a case of chronic arthritis in both wrists. He appeared before a Medical Board at Bramshott on April 8th, 1918 where he was declared fit for Garrison duty, but unfit for general service for one year.

On April 20th, he relinquished command of the Quebec Regimental Depot and transferred to the 23rd Reserve Battalion, where he was declared “Surplus in rank to establishment”, and on June 18, 1918, he returned to Canada aboard the SS Olympic. He was discharged from the military on August 22, 1918.

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