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Molson, Percival, Montreal, Quebec. Occupation: manager, National Trust Co., Montreal. Military Service: Captain, M.C., 2nd University Co. PPCLI, Attestation Papers. Diary Reference: “Spoke to Lieut. Molson re commission,” 2:21 Feb ’16; “Reported to Lt. Molson,” 2:5 May ’16. (Photo of him McGill University at War, p. 18) According to Hodder-Williams, Capt. Molson was wounded 2 June 1916 and killed at Avion on 5 July 1917.
Additional Biographical Information:
Lieut., later Capt., Percival Molson, was the 35-year-old officer in command of No. 2 Company. A native of Quebec and graduate of McGill University, he had worked as a manager of the National Trust Company in Montreal before enlisting in the 2nd University Company in June 1915. His leadership of No. 2 Company during the Battle of Sanctuary Wood helped to hold back the German advance along the section that the company was defending. It also earned him the Military Cross for bravery. Although wounded in the face at this battle, he survived, only to be killed at the Battle of Avion, 5 July 1917.
4 July 1917: In a letter from Corps Rest Station, France, to his wife Mabel, Lieutenant-Colonel Agar Adamson, formerly C.O. of the PPCLI, wrote, “Well, Percival [Molson] and Stewart, owing to shortage of flats, shared the same flat at Ryder Street, P[ercival]., returning at midnight from golfing in the country, saw outside the door of the flat Stewart’s boots and beside them a dainty pair of women’s shoes. Being of too gentle a nature and knowing Stewart in the days of his youth, he went away sorrowing and slept at the Carleton. Turning up at 9 a.m., the shoes were still there. I was sent for, the door was unlocked, Stewart was eating a hearty breakfast. He denied all knowledge of the shoes and abused P. for keeping him up waiting for him. While we were having breakfast, I heard the voice of a Colonel we all knew very well, shouting for the maid, to find his wife’s shoes. We shouted for the Colonel, told him the story, he told it to his shoeless spouse. She appears to have told everybody but the Queen and poor simple old P. is being thoroughly ragged and to make things worse the lady sent him, last week, one shoe made into a most delightful cigarette box.” See .N. M. Christie, ed., Letters of Agar Adamson 1914 to 1919: Lieutenant Colonel, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, (Nepean, Ontario: CEF Books, 1997), 293.
5 July 1917: In a letter from Corps Rest Station, France, to his wife Mabel, Lieutenant-Colonel Agar Adamson, wrote, “I sent you a story about Molson yesterday. I have now just had a D.R.L.S. from the Division telling me that he and McLean [MacLean] were both killed yesterday with one shell. They were standing together at the time in the front line trench. I have no other particulars, the former was one of the richest men of his age in Montreal, with an extraordinary sense of honour. He and his brother were both badly hit on the 2nd June 1916, sent to Canada and returned together. His brother who was hot in the head is in London waiting to be sent to us. McLean was one of my old Sergeants and was badly shot in December in consolidating a new crater and had only returned to us a few weeks.” See .N. M. Christie, ed., Letters of Agar Adamson 1914 to 1919: Lieutenant Colonel, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, (Nepean, Ontario: CEF Books, 1997), 294.
Date of Death: 5 July 1917. See casualty details, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Buried at Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-au-Bois, Pas de Calais, France. Grave reference: VIII.E.1