Dent Harrison arrived in Montreal as a young man of about 201 in 18892. From a humble family, his immediate ancestors worked in the coal pits tending or driving engines. And yet, by 1919, Dent Harrison was well established in the bread-making business: A master baker, he participated in community life in Westmount and the City of Montreal.
An article about POM Bakery has more information about the development of his bakery businesses in Montreal.
More information about Dent Harrison's youth.
A founding member of the Merchants' Association of Montreal in 19183, Dent Harrison was elected to its board of directors in October 19194. Merchants had formed the association to counter a wave of pilfering and theft of items in transit and expanded “To do away with Pilfering and Shoplifting, in all their phases.”
March 15, 1918 the Canada Food Board directed bakers across Canada to replace 10% of the flour in their bread with substitutes. As of October, in Montreal, 75 of 172 Bakers were not complying with the rule and were threatened with being closed down for three weeks if weekly reports were not sent in or if they failed an inspection. Dent Harrison was a member of the Vigilance Committee and “he was willing to show any man how to use the substitutes if he were having trouble”.
Soon, the bakers would be required to use 20% substitutes to be more in line with all the Allies5.
Through the war years, various causes benefited from Dent Harrison's generosity, among them: The Patriotic Fund6; the Wolfe and Montcalm chapter of the I.O.D.E.7; “A” company of the Westmount Rifles8; the Victory Loan campaign9; the Y.M.C.A10.; and the Boy Scouts11.
He and his family were active members of the Westmount Methodist Church before it was absorbed into the United Church of Canada. Later, they were active in the Dominion-Douglas United Church.
Number Name Regiment
25805 a Pte. R.P. Bolton 14th Battn.
457910 a Pte. A. Bye 60th Battn.
841387 Pte. H.P. Butler 148th Battn.
Pte. G. Blunden 235th Battn.
Pte. W. Britton 5th Pioneers
527199 Pte. R.G. Beattie C.A.M.C.
841342 Pte. N.F. Clarke 13th Battn.
841988 b Pte A. Connor 148th Battn.
842055 Bugler S. Colthorpe 148th Battn.
Pte. R. Cookson 199th D.O.C. Irish Rangers
132307 Pte. J. Davey 13th Battn.
919965 b Pte. E. Enfield 199th D.O.C. Rangers
419074 Pte. B. Goldie 9th Can. Field Amb.
919966 b Pte. G. Grundy 199th D.O.C. Rangers
2085424 Gunner W.W. Gough Can. Siege Battery
182306 Drummer E. Harris 13th Battn.
132593 Pte. G. Hughes 73rd Battn.
1081730 Pte. L. Hughes C.R. Troops
132866 a Pte. E. Hill 73rd Battn.
824023 Pte. J. Hargreave 148th Battn.
526717 Pte. J. Hadley C.A.M.C.
Pte. H. Hanson 5th Pioneers
1054438 b Pte. P. Harrison 14th Battn.
526717 Pte. J. Hadley 3rd Field Ambulance
418628 c Sgt. W. Jamieson 42nd Battn.
2522747 Gunner A.C. Inglis 79th Battery
C. 43130 Gunner Chas. Kempton 1st Heavy Battery
300973 Driver M. Knight 35th C.F.A.
132571 a Pte. H. Marmon 73rd Battn.
920108 d Pte. J. McDougall 24th Battn.
1081736 Pte. C. McCormack 2nd C.R. Troops
841562 a Pte. E. O’Laughlin 24th Battn.
1027164 Sapper T. O’Brien 235th Battn.
132518 Pte. W. Paton 13th Battn.
63718 Sgt. G. Pointer 23rd Westmount Rifles
24526 e Pte. J. Rankin 13th Battn.
418613 a Pte. T. Rattigan 42nd Battn.
132792 d Pte. Jack Rankin 73rd Battn.
659321 Pte. W. Stanway 24th Battn.
133001 Sgt. W. Staines 73rd Battn.
132884 d Pte. Chas. Siddall 73rd Battn.
841555 Sgt. G. Stapleford* 13th Battn.
842061 f Pte. R.B. Smith 148th Battn.
Pte. J. Smalldon 242nd Foresters
Dr. E. Stinson C.F.A.
841288 Pte. J. Sadler 14th Battn.
(Sailor) A. Thompson H.M.S. Sylvia
841127 Pte. A. Thompson 148th Battn.
66056 a Pte. F. Willets 24th Battn.
132667 Pte. W. Warden 13th Battn.
919451 g Pte. T. Watkinson 199th D.O.C.
a Pte. A. Herrick 14th Battn.
d Pte. H. Wise 13th Battn.
d Pte. J. Walker 73rd Battn.
d Pte. T. Harris 73rd Battn.
1251596 Gunner G.E.W. Harrison 10th Can. Siege Battery
Lieut. W.H. Harrison 1st Quebec Regt.
a – Returned b – Wounded c – Wounded and Missing
d – Killed e – Wounded. Made Prisoner of War; Returned
f – Died of Wounds g - Gassed
*Stapleford's military file is under the name: George Steapleford.
Gunner G.E.W. Harrison and Lieut. W.H. Harrison were Dent's sons.
Dent Harrison was born in 1869 and his birth was registered in the Bradford registration district of West Riding of Yorkshire2.
In 1871, he lived with his father, William, a Colliery Engine Driver on Hightown Road in Liversedge in the registration district of Dewsbury. The place of birth given for Dent, his siblings John Geo., Maria and James and his father was Birstall (Dewsbury). His mother, Jane (nee Thresh) was 33 born in Newton Willow12.
Jane Harrison of Dewsbury was buried in the parish of Drighlington on October 14, 187113. Dent was only 2 years old at the time and his father was left widowed for a second time14, now with 3 or 4 children. (James may have died young.)
Ten years later, at the time of the England census in 188115, Dent was living with his Harrison Grandparents, James and Sophia (nee Hartley16). Other household members were their son, Tom and two of Dent's cousins, Joseph H. Harrison17 and James Stansfield18,19.
Dent’s brother, John Geo., and sister, Maria, were living with their Thresh grandparents at the time of the 1881 census20. Meanwhile, their father, William Harrison21 was living with Mary, two step-children, William and Hannah Brook, and a young son born of the relationship, Tom Harrison, age 4. Mary Brook Harrison’s marriage to William Harrison has not been found. Her maiden name is unknown although it could be Crossland.
Dent’s grandfather, James Harrison died and was buried in Birstal on July 18, 188822. Dent’s maternal grandmother, Selena Thresh, died the same year and was buried in Drighlington on October 24th23.
Dent left for Canada early the following spring, landing at Halifax on March 24th, 1889 after a voyage of 10 days on the SS Parisian1.
The Montreal Gazette newspaper of February 10th, 1936 announced the passing of Dent Harrison, who at the time was Chairman of the Board of Harrison Bros., Ltd. He had died at his home at 509 Roslyn Avenue in Westmount on Saturday, February 8th.
Two substantial articles detailed his accomplishments over the 46 years since his arrival in Canada.24, 25
"Dent Harrison, in short, started at the foot of the ladder and ascended
by his own efforts until he was acknowledged to be a very useful and patriotic
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