Sherwood Lett

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Sherwood Lett
Born (1895-08-01)August 1, 1895
Iroquois, Ontario
Died July 2, 1964(1964-07-02) (aged 68)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Spouse(s) Evelyn Lett
Awards Order of the British Empire

Sherwood Lett, CBE DSO MC ED QC (August 1, 1895 – July 2, 1964) was a Canadian soldier, lawyer, diplomat, and jurist.

Early life[edit]

Born in Iroquois, Ontario, Sherwood Lett moved to British Columbia in his early years. He started his education at the McGill University College of British Columbia which became the University of British Columbia. In 1915, he became the first President of the UBC Alma Mater Society. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1916. He was married to Evelyn Story.

World War I[edit]

During World War I, he served with the Irish Fusiliers of Canada in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was wounded in 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross.

Between the wars[edit]

In 1919, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and he received a Bachelor of Arts in jurisprudence at Oxford University. In 1923, he joined the law firm of Davis & Company where he practiced corporate and taxation law. He would remain at the firm until 1963. He was a member of the Senate of the University of British Columbia from 1924 to 1957 and a member of the Board of Governors from 1935 to 1940 and from 1951 to 1957.

World War II[edit]

In 1939, he rejoined the Canadian Army as a Brigadier and was the Commanding Officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in England in 1941. In 1942, he was the Commanding Officer of the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade which fought at The Battle of Dieppe. During this campaign he was wounded and received the Distinguished Service Order. After recovering, from 1943 to 1944, he was the Deputy Chief of the General Staff. In 1944, he resumed command of the 4th Canadian Brigade and took part in the Battle of Normandy where he was wounded. He was later made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


After the war, he re-joined his law practice at Davis & Company. In 1954, he became the head of the Canadian group on the International Control Commission, the international force established in 1954 that oversaw the implementation of the Geneva Accords that ended the First Indochina War with the Partition of Vietnam. His deputy was Saul Rae. In 1963, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. He served until his death in 1964.

From 1951 to 1957, he was the Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. He was awarded an honorary LL.D from the University of British Columbia in 1945.

Prime Minister Lester Pearson said of him, "I know of no Canadian who has served his country in war and peace with greater distinction and more unselfishly."


Further reading[edit]

  • Roy, Reginald H. (1991). Sherwood Lett: His Life and Times. University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-9695316-0-5. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Eric W. Hamber
Chancellor of the University of British Columbia
Succeeded by
Albert E. Grauer