Dougall Carmichael

Dougall Carmichael, DSO MC VD (8 November 1885 15 September 1945), was a Canadian farmer, war hero, politician and public servant.

Dougall Carmichael

Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byIsaac Benson Lucas
Succeeded byRiding abolished
ConstituencyGrey Centre
Personal details
Born(1885-11-08)8 November 1885
Collingwood, Ontario
Died15 September 1945(1945-09-15) (aged 59)
Ottawa, Ontario
Resting placeCollingwood Presbyterian Cemetery
Political partyUnited Farmers
Spouse(s)Bessie Devereaux
PortfolioMinister without portfolio, 1919-1923
Military service
Branch/serviceCanadian Expeditionary Force
Years of service1915–1919
Unit58th Battalion
116th Battalion
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsDSO and bar
MC and bar
Mentioned in dispatches

Personal life

Born as Dougald Carmichael in 1885 in Collingwood Township, Grey County, Ontario,[1] he grew up to become a farmer,[2] and married Bessie Devereaux in Collingwood in 1920.[3]

World War I

Carmichael served in the Canadian Militia for ten years in 35th Simcoe Foresters, before enlisting into the 58th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, in 1915.[2] He attained the rank of Major, and became second in command of the 58th. He had many raids to his credit, and showed up well in all battles.[4] When Colonel George Pearkes was wounded in September 1918, Carmichael took over his command of the 116th Battalion and faced violent opposition at Cambrai.[4]

He received numerous honours for his service:

Political career

Shortly after his discharge from service in 1919, he stood in the Ontario general election,[11] and was elected in Grey Centre. He became Minister without portfolio in the United Farmers of OntarioLabour coalition government which was in office from 1919 to 1923.

He was given the responsibility of being the government representative on the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, and specifically with keeping its chairman Adam Beck in line.[12] He also promoted the cause of rural electrification.[13]

At one point in 1922, Carmichael announced to the Legislature that he was quitting his position as Commissioner because Hydro "was either inefficient or dishonest." He was forced to retract the allegation of dishonesty.[4] He also continued to be Commissioner until the following year.[14]

Hydro's plans for the promotion of interurban railways were significantly scaled back after the Sutherland Commission's report on the subject recommended it in 1921,[15] and its affairs in general were the subject of the Gregory Commission appointed in 1922.[16]

Carmichael retained his seat in the 1923 general election, in contrast to the fortunes of many of his UFO colleagues, and returned to his farm.[17] He contested the federal 1925 election in Grey North as a Progressive candidate, but lost to the incumbent Matthew Robert Duncan. Grey Centre was abolished before the 1926 general election, and he did not campaign elsewhere.

Public service

In 1930, Carmichael was appointed as a member of the War Veterans Allowance Board. At the beginning of World War II, he returned to military service as a colonel in charge of a training centre at Brockville for a year,[18] but returned to Ottawa to become Acting chairman of the board in 1942 and chairman in 1944. He died in 1945.[19] He is buried in Collingwood Presbyterian Cemetery.[20]

Further reading

  • Keith R. Fleming (1992). Power at Cost: Ontario Hydro and Rural Electrification, 1911–1958. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-0868-6.
  • Kevin R. Shackleton (2002). Second to None: The Fighting 58th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 1-55002-405-1.


  1. "Dougald Carmichael, 'Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661–1959'".
  2. "Attestaton Paper". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  3. "Dougall Carmichael, 'Ontario Marriages, 1869–1927'".
  4. "First Time Carmichael Ever Withdrew Anything". The Morning Leader. 18 March 1922. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  5. "No. 31119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 January 1919. p. 587.
  6. "No. 31583". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 October 1919. p. 12217.
  7. "No. 30023". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 April 1917. p. 3689.
  8. "No. 30466". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 January 1918. p. 581.
  9. "No. 31089". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 January 1918. p. 15221.
  10. "No. 31448". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 July 1919. p. 8819.
  11. "Grey U.F.O. Name Col. D. Carmichael". Toronto World. 11 September 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  12. Réal Bélanger; J. Andrew Ross; Andrew Smith, eds. (2011). Canada's Entrepreneurs: From the Fur Trade to the 1929 Stock Market Crash. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-1-4426-4478-6.
  13. Fleming 1992, p. 68.
  14. Fleming 1992, p. 262.
  15. Reports of Commission appointed to inquire into hydro-electric railways. Toronto: King's Printer. 1921.
  16. General report of the Hydro-Electric Inquiry Commission. I. Toronto: King's Printer. 1924.
  17. Gil O'Mourne (23 February 1924). "Drury and Ex-Ministers Have 'Broadened Out', Farming No Longer Chief Interest of Cabinet". The Morning Leader. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  18. "Brockville Center To Be School For Training Officers". Ottawa Citizen. 13 March 1941. p. 11. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  19. Ottawa Journal, 19 September 1945, p. 17
  20. "Dougall CARMICHAEL, 1885-1945".