LCol J.P. Girvan DSO, MC, VD

 

LCol J.P. Girvan DSO, MC, VD was born in Scotland, raised in Toronto, worked as a postal clerk and was a multi championship rower.  He joined the 15th Battalion as 27071 Private Girvin J.P and was a Sergeant when commissioned from the ranks in 1915. Having been in every major engagement of the war, he was a decorated (MC awarded at Hill 70), wounded in action, battle experienced Officer by the time he was appointed to Command the 15th Battalion in August 1918 and promoted to LCol while so employed. Major Maybin (a Sgt-Maj also commissioned from the ranks) had been temporarily Officer Commanding the 15th Bn since LCol Bent had been severely wounded by shrapnel during the battle of Amiens  in August . Major Girvin arrived from the UK and assumed command as the Arras operations commenced. He led the Battalion at the Crow’s Nest, the Drocourt-Queant Line and the Canal du Nord operations of the Hundred Days and until the war’s end in November 1918. He was awarded the DSO for his leadership at the D-Q line. LCol Girvin reverted to Major when LCol Bent returned after recovering from his wounds. Following the war he returned to the Post Office rising through its ranks to become Assistant Postal Director and  he remained with the 48th becoming CO again from 1932 to 1936. In 1940 Girvan became CO for third time as the first CO of the 2nd (Home) Bn before being put in charge of No 1 Training Centre in Camp Borden.  He was promoted to Brigadier, moved to the Directorate of Military Training in Ottawa and awarded the CBE by the war’s end.  He died in Georgetown ON in May 1961 and is buried there in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

 27071 Pte Girvan JP, No 2 Company 1914 (front row eight from left)
 Brigadier-General JP Girvan
Grave headstone, Greenwood
Cemetery, Georgetown, Ontario
 Major JP Girvan
Deputy Commanding Officer
1918