In recognition of the 104th anniversary of #Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2021, we will continue to #RememberVimy with profiles on the soldiers connected to Mississauga who served, were wounded, and fell at Vimy.
Today we remember:
Lt-Colonel Agar Adamson (1865-1929), Commanding Officer, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Agar Stewart Allan Masterton Adamson was born in Ottawa on December 25, 1865. Agar grew up in Ottawa, where his father was a lawyer and clerk of the Senate. Agar had a privileged upbringing, and attended Trinity College School and Cambridge University. He was an excellent athlete, played field sports and rowed, and won the Newmarket Stakes on his own horse.
He returned to Canada in 1890, and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Governor General’s Foot Guards. In 1899 he attained the rank of Captain, and also that same year married Ann Mabel Cawthra, an heiress of the wealthy Cawthra family who owned land in historic Mississauga.
Agar served with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse and the 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles during the Second Boer War.
Agar volunteered to serve again during the First World War, although already 48 years old and with limited vision in one eye. He was posted as a Captain with the PPCLI, and travelled to England with his regiment in October of 1914. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous bravery. He was wounded in the shoulder, but returned to his regiment on October 31, 1916. He was then appointed regimental commander and promoted to lieutenant-colonel. Under his leadership the regiment fought with distinction at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.
In 1917 Adamson caught trench fever and spent a week in hospital, and was later exposed to mustard gas. He resigned his command at the age of 52, reportedly from nervous exhaustion.
He was mentioned in dispatches and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Following the war he retired to Port Credit, Ontario. In October 1929 he was a passenger in an experimental airplane that crashed into the Irish sea. Adamson survived two hours in the bitterly cold water, but died a few weeks later on November 21, 1929 in London, England.
He was laid to rest in the family mausoleum at Trinity Anglican Cemetery on Stavebank Road in Port Credit. His funeral was one of the largest funerals in the history of our city:
During his time overseas, he wrote daily letter to his wife Mabel. These letters were compiled into a publication that provide an excellent record of service and of life on the front during the war: Letters of Agar Adamson, 1914 to 1919, Lieutenant Colonel, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.