Dent Harrison

Dent Harrison in Lovell's Montreal Directory for 1919-1920, in the alphabetical index under "Harrison, Dent"

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 on page 9 of "The Westmount Historian" September 2009 has more information about the development of his bakery businesses in Montreal.

More information about Dent Harrison's youth.  

Wartime Challenges

Merchants' Association of Montreal

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.”

Reduced Flour Content in Bread

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 campaign9the 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.  

Dent Harrison Honor Roll

Number       Name                               Regiment

25805          Pte. R.P. Bolton                        14th Battn.

457910        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          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          Pte. E. Enfield                          199th D.O.C. Rangers

419074            Pte. B. Goldie                           9th Can. Field Amb.

919966         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          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       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         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          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          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           Pte. F. Willets                            24th Battn.

132667            Pte. W. Warden                        13th Battn.

919451         Pte. T. Watkinson                     199th D.O.C.

                    a Pte. A. Herrick                           14th Battn.

                    d Pte. H. Wise                              13th Battn.

                     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's Youth

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

Dent Harrison's Death

The Montreal Gazette, February 10, 1936. Page 6.

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 citizen."25


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