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Roy Warren Biggar

  • February 09, 2023 1:14 PM
    Message # 13091407

    January 21, 1897 – March 3, 1918

    Call Year:

    Law Student 1914

    Distinguished as:

    Lieutenant with the 173rd Canadian Highlander Battalion

    Roy Warren Biggar was born on 21 January 1897 in Hamilton, Ontario to Sanford Dennis Biggar, KC and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth (Armstrong) Biggar. He had two sisters, Lina Muriel and Anne Marion, and four brothers, Sanford H. (who drowned as a child), Harold (who died as an infant), Ralph and Sanford Forbes. Sanford Dennis Biggar was a Barrister who practiced in Hamilton as a partner in the Biggar & Treleaven firm. He was also active in local politics, being an Alderman (1901-1904) and then the Mayor (1905-1906) of Hamilton – Biggar Avenue in Hamilton is named for him. Their grandparents were United Empire Loyalists and among the early settlers to the Niagara Peninsula.

    Biggar graduated from high school in Hamilton and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada as a student in 1914 at the age of 17. He was articling under Freeman F. Treleaven, his father’s law partner, when he enlisted in March of 1916 with the 173rd (Canadian Highlanders) Battalion. Prior to enlisting with the CEF, Biggar served in the Militia with the 91st Regiment Canadian Highlanders, now The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s, in Hamilton). Biggar enlisted with the 173rd Battalion in March of 1916. The 173rd Battalion was based in Hamilton and began recruiting during the Winter of 1915/16. Biggar went overseas to England with the 173rd Battalion in November of 1916 on board RMS Olympic. Once in England, Biggar was taken on strength with the 2nd Reserve Battalion, which was designated to supply men for the 116th (Ontario County) Battalion. From the 2nd Reserve Battalion, Biggar was taken on strength with the 165th Battalion in England for a short time and then, in August of 1917, proceeded over to France to serve with the 116th Battalion. The 116th Battalion was authorized in October of 1915, went overseas to England in July of 1916 and then on to France in February of 1917, where it was part of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division.

    In addition to Biggar, Law Society of Upper Canada students Lieutenants Ambrose Harold Goodman and James Ignatius McCorkell, and Captain Franklin Walter Ott, MC served with the 116th Battalion. Biggar was wounded in October of 1917 and killed in action on 3 March 1918 while on a patrol through the ruins of Avion, France. He was 21 and is buried in Thelus Military Cemetery (III.E.6.) in Pas-de-Calais, France. He is also memorialized at the grave of his mother, father, and his brothers Sanford and Harold. Biggar’s brother Ralph became a Barrister and the President of Canadian Drawn Steel in Hamilton.

    Source: Shea, E. Patrick, CS “The Great War Law Student Memorial Project,” pg. 32.

    Last modified: April 19, 2023 2:50 PM | Anonymous

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