A Progression of Judges: A History of the Supreme Court of British Columbia

By David R. Verchere | Go to book overview

FIFTEEN
From Lett to McEachern

Sherwood Lett was born in Ontario on 1 August 1895. He moved with his parents to Vancouver in time to attend McGill University College and to become, when the University of British Columbia came into being, the first president of its Undergraduate Society. During the First World War, he served with the 121st Battalion (Western Irish) C.E.F., and in 1918 won the Military Cross for bravery. In 1919, a Rhodes scholarship took him to Oxford. From there he returned in 1922 to practise law in Vancouver, where he continued his interest in the affairs of his university: first as a senator, then a governor, and in the military life of Canada as a reserve army officer.

In 1940, Lett dropped his civilian affairs for service overseas. His record of military service there and his report from the staff college at Camberly ("fit to command an active Division") soon brought him command of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade. He fought with it at Dieppe in 1942, to be twice wounded and, for his bravery and energy, awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

After recuperating in staff employment in Ottawa, Lett returned to his command in time to join in the invasion of Europe in 1944. There he was again wounded, mentioned in dispatches, and with the end of hostilities, was awarded the Order of the British Empire in the degree of commander. He returned to Vancouver to resume his practice and, after a brief tour in Japan to report on conditions there, was elected, in turn, president of the Vancouver Bar Association and a bencher of the Law Society. In 1950,

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