Richard Haliburton Greer
1878 - 1949
Richard Greer was born in Toronto, Ontario on October 18, 1878, to James and Margaret (Haliburton). His father's family was of Northern Irish ancestry having immigrated to Toronto in 1845. His early education was in the public schools of Toronto, later attending Jarvis Street Collegiate Institute. In 1898 he graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then pursued his legal studies in the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and was called to the Bar in 1901. He then joined the Law Firm of Smith, Rae and Greer. In 1904 he married Annie M. Walsh of Indian River, Ontario.
In 1907, Greer was appointment Crown Attorney for the County of York in Toronto and served in that capacity until September 1, 1920. He was created a King's Counsel (K.C.) on July 28, 1921.
In January 1916, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Greer was given command of the 180th Overseas Battalion, which was known as the "Sportsman Battalion." He used a strategy similar to the one used so successfully by Chadwick's 124th Battalion whereby he enlisted many Toronto athletes of national and international quality. His Battalion served overseas in the World War and then broke up on January 6, 1917, to become part of the Imperial British Army. He was discharged in May 1917, but in September of that year became re-attached to the army, and was in charge of military service in Military Division, No. 2, from October of that year until the close of the war.
Greer remained in Law and held membership in Connaught Lodge, was a Freemason, a member of the Albany Club of Toronto and the Anglican Church.
On July 26, 1922, while on Vancouver Island, he climbed Mount Arrowsmith with Colonel Rusty Westmorland, Brigadier-General Henry Gale and his daughter Ethne, Peggy Hodgins, Lindley Crease and a number of others from the local Victoria Section of the Alpine Club of Canada. Then on August 18, he joined Westmorland and a Captain Best for a climb of Mount Maxwell [Baynes Peak] on Saltspring Island.
Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Greer passed away in 1949 at the age of seventy. In the justice institute there is the Richard Haliburton Greer Prize in Criminal Law given out in his honour.
"Toronto recruiting Takes Another Leap." The Toronto Globe. [Toronto, Ontario] (January 29, 1916) p. 8.
"Mountain Climbing Proves Attractive." Daily Colonist, Sunday Magazine [Victoria, B.C.] (August 8, 1922) p. 1.
Westmorland, Capt. H "Climbing Face of Maxwell Mountain." Daily Colonist [Victoria, B.C.] (September 10, 1922) p.
Millar, Ian Hugh Maclean. Our Glory and Our Grief: Torontonians and the Great War. p. 90.
Barnes, Deward and Bruce Cane. It Made You Think of Home: The Haunting Journal of Deward Barnes.