Montreal Gazette, 10 Jul 1917, page 4
Capt P Molson, MC Killed in action
Private cable announced the death of former Manager of National Trust Co
Wounded last summer
Shot through cheeks in action and awarded Military Cross for Bravery – Crack football player.
Capt Percival Molson, MC, who was killed in action on July 4th, according to a cable received yesterday by his family, was a governor of McGill University and well-known in financial and athletic circles in Montreal . he had been in the firing line for a year and a half, was once wounded and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry in action.
In June 1916, Capt Molson was wounded in the face, one bullet passing through both cheeks and injuring his tongue. Several weeks later he was invalided home and spent the most of last summer with his friends in Montreal.
On his arrival in Montreal he was interviewed by a representative of the Gazette. Capt Molson with characteristic modesty, recounted the experiences of his battalion, the Princess Pats, paying tribute to his superior officers, and the bravery of the men in the ranks, but never once telling of his own personal experiences.
Finally Captain Molson was induced to tell how he was wounded and a few of his own experiences. He in every instance gave the credit to some one else, and getting away form the tragic side of the war, told of many humorous happenings in the firing line. He told of one of the non-commissioned officers who took particular pride in his personal appearance and as a result was made the butt of many a joke by his comrades. One day the non-commissioned officer was particularly clean and “spruced up” and this brought fort sallies of wit from the other boys. Finally Capt Molson took compassion on him and asked him to come down the line as he wished to talk with him. They had only gone a few yards when a “Jack Johnson came across and landed in a puddle of mud, covering both Capt Molson and the non-com from head to foot with mud and dirty water.
Praise for Services
Capt Molson further told of the work of the ambulance corps and how the men were got back to the clearing stations during the heavy fighting. He himself was able to walk back and was thus given an opportunity of seeing how it worked. He was loud in praise of the medical corps, the nurses and the different branches of the service, and of the morale of the British and Canadian forces, with which he had been in contact.
After an interesting conversation the Gazette representative, fearing the worst, tried to beat an orderly retreat. The worst did happen for, as he was about to make his exit, Capt Molson said, “Of course, you must not publish anything that I have told you.”
Capt Molson was born at Cacouna, Quebec, and was the son of John Thomas Molson, of Montreal and the great-grandson of the Hon John Molson, who sailed the first steamboat down the St Lawrence from Montreal. He was the grandson of Thomas Molson, and the great-nephew of William Molson, the founder of the Molsons Bank. He was educated at the Montreal High School, and at McGill University, graduating with the degree of BA in 1901. Deciding to enter business life he entered the offices of the National Trust Company in Montreal as a junior clerk on his graduation, and worked his way up through the ranks until he became manager. He was also interested financially in several other Canadian corporations and in several real estate holdings.
Shortly after the outbreak of the war he joined the 2nd Universities Company as a lieutenant, under Capt George McDonald, who has also been wounded and decorated with the Military Cross. He served at the front for more than six months before being wounded, and after spending the summer in convalescence in Montreal, returned to the firing line last fall.
Known as an Athlete
Capt Molson was perhaps best known as an athlete. During his course at McGill he was recognized as probably the best all-round athlete in the Canadian universities. Later he was for many years associated with the MAAA and won fame as a member of its championship rugby team eight years ago. He also brought laurels to the MAAA on the track, especially at the United States Championships when he won the 440. Of late years he had been devoted to golf and was one of the officers of the Royal Montreal Golf Club.
His brother Capt Herbert Molson, president of Molson’s Brewery, went to the front with the first contingent and has since been wounded and awarded the Military Cross. A cousin, Lieut Hobart Molson is in command of the 2nd Reinforcing Company of the 5th Royal Highlanders of Canada, at present recruiting in Montreal. Capt Walter Molson is with the battalion taken overseas by Lt-Coil CC Ballantyne.