FROM PRIVATE IN THE RMR TO CHIEF JUSTICE

Monday, July 26, 1915

Divisional Reserve

The Battalion War Diarist wrote nothing for this day. [1]


26 July 15_ATHIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “Pte. W.B. Scott, of the 14th Battalion, and Pte. Alex Genois, of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, formerly of 12th Battalion, arrived with other wounded officers and men of the First Canadian Expeditionary Force on board the Misanabie early last evening and disembarked at Quebec.

Pte. Scott, son of Rev. Canon Scott, pastor of St. Matthew’s Church, who is now serving as Chaplain with the Canadian Division in France, lost the sight of one eye during some of the first fighting in which the Canadians figured. On his arrival he was met by Mrs. Scott, his mother, and other members of his family who are summering at Beaupre.” [3]

WILLIAM BRIDGES SCOTT

FROM PRIVATE SOLDIER (No. 22957) TO CHIEF JUSTICE

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM BRIDGES SCOTT

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM BRIDGES SCOTT

William Bridges Scott was born in Drummondville, Quebec in April 1888, a son of Canon F.G. Scott and his wife Amy Brooks. After his father was appointed Rector of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Quebec City, William received his early education at Quebec High School. He then earned a Master of Arts degree from Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, and the Degree of Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University.

Called to the Bar in 1912 his legal career was interrupted by the First World War. He enlisted as a private in August 1914 with the 14th Battalion and was wounded in one of the Regiment’s first actions in 1915, losing the sight of one eye. Upon being returned to Canada on medical grounds he resumed his law practice and was named a King’s Counsel in 1928. During this period he took an active part in community affairs, being president of the Montreal School of Social Work, and president of the Canadian Club. Mr. Scott was also an officer of the Canadian Bar Association. Serving for a time as an alderman of the City of Westmount, he was interested in the establishment of parks and playing fields. He was instrumental in the acquisition of King George V Park (aka Murray Park).

A former chairman of the board of governors of Bishops University, he was awarded an honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law by Bishop’s in 1947 and an Honorary degree of Doctor of Law by McGill in 1956.

In 1951 he was elected by acclamation as Batonnier of the Bar of Montreal. He became Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court a year later. He was named Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court in 1961 and retired from the bench two years later on his 75th birthday because “it is now time for a younger man to take over.” On his retirement he was feted by judges from four separate courts. Noted as an efficient organizer and administrator, retirement did not halt his activities, as he continued his interests in the Anglican Church and the City of Westmount.

Mr. Justice Scott died at his home in Westmount on Friday, May 5th 1967, and was survived by his wife, the former Esther Florence Aird, and two sons, Dr. H.J. Scott and Dr. Geoffrey Scott, as well as by two brothers, Professor Frank Scott, former dean of McGill’s Faculty of Law, and A.E.P. Scott of Quebec. A third son, Richard Aird Scott, was killed in action in 1943 while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

[1] War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, July 26, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089764.jpg
[2] “Pte. W. B. Scott Back in Quebec,” The Gazette, Montreal Saturday July 31, 1915, pg. 7, col. 1
[3]  Ibid
[4]  The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Monday, May 8, 1967, pg. 43, col. 1.

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