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A New Century (1900-1920)

Arthur McGreer's Officer's Uniform

Arthur McGreer

Arthur McGreer in his World War I Uniform

Arthur Huffman McGreer was born on August 11, 1883. The eldest child of Charles and Sarah McGreer, Arthur grew up two miles west of Napanee on Riverside Farm. He attended a one room school house on the adjacent property and in 1896, Napanee Collegiate Institute. Following graduation, he entered Trinity College at the University of Toronto, receiving a B.A. in Modern Languages. In 1909, he completed his M.A. and was ordained as a Deacon, becoming a Priest in 1910. He was appointed the Rector of St. Mark's Parish at Barriefield, near Kingston. Arthur lodged with William Milton, a nearby farmer. In 1911, he was appointed Assistant Priest at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. A 1911 photograph shows a young Arthur McGreer as a member of the 14th Regiment Rifle Team at Rockcliffe Range. DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

According to family, Arthur enlisted in September 1914; however, his Attestation Papers are dated January 22, 1915. He sailed to Europe as a Chaplain of the First Divisional Engineers with the Rank of Captain, and spent part of the winter on the Salisbury Plains before being sent to France as Chaplain of the Third Field Ambulance. He served in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur McGreer was mentioned twice in dispatches, and on November 14 was awarded the Military Cross for rescuing the wounded and organizing stretcher parties under heavy fire. He was appointed Assistant Director of Chaplain Services of the Canadian Forces in France with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1917. McGreer's officer's uniform with service ribbons, oak leaf pin, and chevron patch is shown with his leather puttees, spurs and 1907 British issue, sword style bayonet and entrenching tool.

In October 1918, Arthur married a young English woman, Kathleen Lee, daughter of Joseph Lee, at Saint Stephen's Church, South Kensington, England. In 1919, he was made an Officer of the British Empire in recognition of his service and leadership.

After the war, he attended Queen's College at Oxford, completing a B.A. in Honours Theology, and a Masters in Comparative Religion and Christian Doctrine in 1921. The couple returned to Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal in 1922, where Arthur was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Quebec. He held this post until his death in 1947.

During his time at Bishop's, Arthur increased the University's endowment, expanded the faculties, doubled the number of professors, and tripled the rate of enrolment. The Faculty of Arts improved drastically under his leadership. He received many honours while the Principal at Bishop's, including a D.C.L by the University of King's College, Halifax, and an L.L.LD and a D.D. from Trinity College, Toronto. Bishop's McGreer Hall is named after the former Principal.

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