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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
No place, unknown, or undetermined
4 microfilm reels : negative and positive.
135 photographs b&w.
8 watercolours illuminated addresses.
2 paintings illuminated addresses.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of originals, photocopies, and microfilmed records comprising correspondence from family and military officials, 1870-1925, notebooks and diaries, 1885-1925; memoirs, 1891-1918; memorabilia, ca. 1850-1861; correspondence of Alfred Otter, 1860-1865; press file, 1900-1929; and Office of Internment Operations stationery, 1917. Microfilmed material is located on reels M-1671 to M-1674, and consists of correspondence, 1860, 1870-1927 on militia matters; notebooks and diaries, 1885-1925; memoirs, 1866, and miscellaneous and newspaper clippings, 1900-1929. The fonds contains photographs showing militia operations, facilities, and personnel in Ottawa, Petawawa, Toronto, and Niagara, Ont.; activities of the Otter family and friends; a photo of Col. W.D. Otter and his horse, 1887-1909; and copies of photographs originally taken ca. 1885-1920, showing a view of Cutknife Creek, Sask, a military cemetery in Battleford, Sask., a group photo of officers of the Queen's Own Rifles, and a portrait of Gen. W.D. Otter, 1920. The fonds also contains illuminated addresses presented to Sir William Dillon Otter from 1865-1901 from a range of sources including: the Queen's Own Rifles, Canadian Wimbledon Team, and the Ontario Rifle Association.
Copy negative C-029581
Microfilm reel M-1673
Microfilm reel M-1672
Copy negative C-029583
Microfilm reel M-1674
Microfilm reel M-1671
Copy negative C-029582
Copy negative C-029584
from M-1671 to M-1674
Original photographs: No restrictions. Copyright expired. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no.
Copied photographs: National Archives of Canada now provides copies as the location of the original photographs is untraceable. Copyright: Expired. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no.
Art: No restrictions. Copyright unknown. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Textual records The finding aid is an itemized list. MSS0705 90 (Electronic)
Biography / Administrative history
William Dillon Otter was born in 1843 near Goderich, Ont., and educated at Upper Canada College. He entered the service of the Canada Company as a clerk at the age of 15, and joined a company of volunteer militia in 1861. He was commissioned in 1864, and served with the Niagara frontier patrol through the winter of 1864-1865. He fought at Ridgeway, 1866, as adjutant of the Queen's Own Rifles and eventually took command of that regiment. In 1883 he secured a permanent militia commission, and in 1885 commanded a column of the North West Field Force, winning national fame by fighting at the Battle of Cut Knife Creek and capturing Poundmaker.
He then assumed command of the Infantry School Corps at Toronto, and worked in various militia staff appointments until October 1899, when he took command of Canada's first contingent for service in South Africa. Victory at the Battle of Paardeburg in February 1900 brought Otter to Imperial notice. After the war, he became the first native-born brigadier in the Canadian Militia, and the first Canadian major-general, in a series of staff positions culminating in his appointment as Chief of General Staff at Ottawa in 1908, and as Inspector General of Canadian Militia in 1910.
In 1914 he was appointed Director of Internment Operations and retired permanently in 1918 with the rank of general. General Sir William Dillon Otter received numerous awards and was knighted in 1913. He was the author of the immensely popular soldier's handbook, The Guide, first published in 1880 at Toronto, which ran to eleven editions by 1914.
William Dillon Otter died in 1929.
See: Canadian Encyclopedia, p. 1345; Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1912, pp. 876-877.
Availability of other formats note
Location of originals note
1. Otter, W. D. (William Dillon), 1843-1929
2. Otter, Alfred
3. Militia Canada
4. Milice Canada
Other system control no.
Related control no.
1. 1969-078 NPC
2. 1969-170 NPC
3. 1984-017 NPC
4. 1984-054 PIC
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