James Lyons Biggar 1856.png

Scotch- Canadian 

Canadian Militia CPASC Army Service Corps Petawawa 1907 - inspection by Colonel J. Lyons Biggar, Director-General of supply and Transport.

James Lyons Biggar II

16 July 1856 – 19 February 1922

Quartermaster General

Political party: Independent Liberal

Occupation:   merchant, postmaster, land agent

A descendant of Herbert Biggar of Barbouie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland

James Lyons Biggar, one of Canada's earliest senior military officers, was born 16 July 1856, the son of James Lyons Biggar M.P., at Carrying Place, Ontario. He attended school locally (Trenton Grammar School) and Upper Canada College, Toronto.  In 1882 he married Mary Scott Elliot. The Biggars had three children: namely, Arthur Lyons, Violet Isabel, and Percival Elliot Biggar.


Canada was a young country, having become a federal and provincial political entity in 1867 through the process known as Canadian Confederation. As the nation grew and matured with the addition of new provinces, so too did the nation begin to develop its own unique institutions including the courts of law, customs and tariffs, and the military, among others. In 1881, Biggar entered military service (permanent force) as a lieutenant in the 15th Regiment (the Argyle Light Infantry, serving with that unit until 1901).


At the conclusion of the South African War, Biggar returned to Canada where he became a Senior Staff Officer at Headquarters in Ottawa. Subsequently, he was appointed deputy adjutant general and was tasked to organize the Canadian Army Service Corps. He also became the Director of Supplies and Transport.

In 1917 Biggar was promoted to Quartermaster General to facilitate the war effort in an effective and efficient manner.

During this war, Canada had raised a force of 600,000 in spite of its national population being only six million. Of those, 60,000 were subsequently killed. As a direct result of the heroic efforts and sacrifices made by so many Canadians, Canada won wide respect and support in becoming an independent country.

In 1920 Biggar retired from the Canadian Forces after 39 years of distinguished service for his country. He died in Toronto on 19th February 1922. Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Erected by his wife and children, a memorial plaque at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Ottawa is dedicated to Major General James Lyons Biggar, C.M.G., Quartermaster General of Canada.



06/07/1918  CMG Brigadier-General

19/10/1918  3rd Class Order of Saint Sava Serbia

11/09/1920  Officer Legion of Honour France

S3- JamesLyonsBiggar.jpg