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Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Marshall Dyer (1861-1938)

Farmer, soldier.

Born at Kingston, Ireland on 28 January 1861, son of Captain H. M. Dyer (Royal Navy) and Mrs. Dyer, brother of W. A. Dyer, he came to Canada in 1881 and established a farm in the Minnedosa district. Long connected with Canadian Militia, he was a member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons and, at the outbreak of the First World War, he went overseas with the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Major in Command of the 5th Battalion. Known affectionately by his troops as “Daddy Dyer,” he saw much distinguished service, rising to Colonel, O.C. of the 5th Battalion and later being made Brigadier-General in June 1917. He was wounded at Ypres. He was mentioned in despatches five times and was awarded the Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG) and the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath by King George V.

In 1882, he married Helen May Pearson (1857-1934). They had four sons: Reginald Hugh Dyer (1883-?), John Marshall Dyer (1885-?), William M. Dyer (?-?), and Harry W. Dyer (1891-?). In the 1921 federal election, he contested the Marquette constituency in Conservative interest but was defeated by T. A. Crerar. He was one of the founders of the Manitoba Agricultural College and, from 1908 to 1914, he served as the Chairman of its Board. He was also President of the Minnedosa Agricultural Society.

He died at Minnedosa on 25 December 1938 and was buried in the Minnedosa Cemetery.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Agricultural College War Memorial (Chancellor Matheson Road, Winnipeg)

Reminiscences of an Old Timer by James Mathewson Ewens


Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Brig.-Gen. H. M. Dyer succumbs,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 December 1938, page 1.

Pioneers of Manitoba by Robert Harvey (1970).

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 October 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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