A Canadian D.S.O. for Action at Mount Sorrel
A Great War D.S.O. group of four awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel H. B. Verret, Canadian Engineers, late 2nd (Eastern Ontario Regiment) Battalion, Canadian Infantry, who was wounded in the process of winning his decoration at Mount Sorrel in June 1916 - Distinguished Service Order, G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel; 1914-15 Star (Capt. H. B. Verret, 2/Can. Inf.); British War Medal 1914-20 (Lt. Col. H. B. Verret); Victory Medal, M.I.D. oak leaf (Major H. B. Verret), this last with re-impressed naming, generally good very fine. Footnote: D.S.O. London Gazette 19 August 1916. Hector Bacon Verret was born in Loretteville, Quebec, on 9 February 1874, and besides being a long-served officer of the Governor-General’s Foot Guards (Militia), was acting as Assistant Deputy Postmaster-General at Ottawa at the time of enlisting in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in September 1914. Embarked for England, he first went out to France as a Captain in the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry, in April 1915, was advanced to Major that August, and was present in the actions at Festubert, Givenchy and Ypres in the same year. But it was for his gallant deeds at Mount Sorrel on 6 June 1916 - when he was wounded - that he was awarded his D.S.O. Transferring to the 4th Canadian Entrenching Battalion on returning to active service in the following month, he added a mention in despatches to his accolades (London Gazette 2 January 1917 refers), and attained the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Ordered to England in April 1918, and thence re-embarked for Canada, he was discharged at Ottawa in September 1919 and returned to his duties as Assistant Deputy Postmaster-General. As also verified by accompanying research, he was among those nominated for command of the Governor-General’s Foot Guards in early 1920, but was not the successful candidate - a bone of contention on Verret’s part, who believed his nationality - French-Canadian - was the reason behind him being passed over. He died at Saint Anne’s Hospital, St. Anne de Bellevue, in September 1926, when among the personal effects returned to his family was a ‘Decoration (D.S.O.), cased’; sold with extensive copied service papers and official correspondence.