The Ice Man

Lieutenant Colonel H. Marino Hannesson
223rd (Canadian Scandinavians) BattalionHannesson

Col. Hannesson thinks we should have a Canadian flag. He sets forth the case for it in much the same way we have seen it stated with monotonous repetition over a course of several years. The agitation comes from the same small source but sustained as it has been by a clique that arrogates to Itself the shaping of Canada’s destiny, nothing comes of It. It is a babbling stream that never lengthens, never widens, never rises. The people of Canada, broadly speaking, have taken no interest in it.

(Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Jan 1928, 9)

Born in Iceland on 27 November 1884, Hannes Marino Hannesson immigrated with his family to Manitoba in 1886. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Hannesson practiced law in Winnipeg and Selkirk at the outbreak of the First World War. A member of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles, he enlisted as an officer with Lieutenant Colonel Hans Albrechtsen’s 223rd Battalion in March 1916.

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The Mercenary

Lieutenant Colonel Wade L. Jolly
97th (American Legion) BattalionJolly

Of course the adventure spirit is a motive with all of them. But so it was with the Crusaders, whom history has granted a halo of glory. In fact, what made the military expeditions to the Holy Land so attractive to the men who dressed in steel was that on those pious but martial junkets they could satisfy both the physical and spiritual sides of their nature. So the American Legion offers satisfaction to both the love of battle and the consciences of its members.

(The Outlook, 28 June 1916, 504)

Born on 18 January 1878 in Iowa, Wade Lytton Jolly was an American soldier, adventurer and businessman. At the age of 19, he enlisted to fight in the Spanish-American War. In 1899, he joined the United States Marine Corps. Serving for fourteen years, he saw action in many overseas military campaigns including China and Panama. During the Boxer Rebellion, Jolly distinguished himself in several acts of “conspicuous gallantry.” His superior, Major Littleton Walker, enthused, “The reports of Mr. Jolly’s conduct are most flattering and they come in from all sides. This is the second time I have had occasion to make special mention of this young officer during the week.”

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The Grandson

Lieutenant Colonel J. A. R. de Salaberry
230th (Voltigeurs Canadiens-Français) BattalionDe Salaberry

I thought the name DeSalaberry would thrill the people of Quebec, but let us be frank and tell the story… he was practically assaulted by the parish priest… I thought the grandson of the hero of Chateauguay was entitled to some recognition and he got it. But everywhere there was a hidden hand.

(Sam Hughes, Debates, 8 April 1918, 411)

Joseph Alexandre René de Salaberry was the grandson of Charles de Salaberry, the famous War of 1812 military leader. During the American invasion of Lower Canada in 1813, Colonel de Salaberry led the Canadien militia defence of Montreal. For his victory at Chateauguay, he became a celebrated war hero in the history of Quebec.

Born on 2 July 1870 in Chambly, Quebec, J. A. R. de Salaberry was a graduate of Laval University, a lawyer and advocate with the King’s Counsel. At the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted at Valcartier in the 2nd Battalion. Following frontline service in France, de Salaberry returned to Canada in order to recruit a French Canadian unit.

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The Professor

It seems fitting to begin this project with Professor P. G. C. Campbell of the 253rd Battalion, a man who understood the value of historical inquiry.

Lieutenant Colonel P. G. C. Campbell
253rd (Queen’s University) Highland Battalion

We moderns, however go with magnifying glass and dissecting knife to the past, attempting to discover how our forebears lived and thought, and ever present in our researches is the question, how do these things throw light on ourselves; to what extent can we trace a continuity of process between the past and the present?

(P.G.C. Campbell, “Early Roman Religion,” Queen’s Quarterly, 1909, 58)

Percy Gerald Cadogan Campbell was a professor of Romance languages and French at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario from 1902 until his retirement in 1949. The son of a Scottish Anglican chaplain, Campbell was born on 8 January 1878 in Calais, France. After graduating from Balliol College, Oxford, he moved to Canada in order to take a teaching position at Queen’s. In Kingston, Campbell joined the 14th Militia Rifles (The Princess of Wales’ Own), rising to the rank of major.

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Colonels of the Canadian Expeditionary Force

In mobilizing the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Minister of the Militia Sam Hughes called on hundreds of prominent citizens to raise volunteer battalions from their home counties. Militia leaders, lawyers, Tory politicians and businessmen answered the call. The battalion system was fraught with competition, corruption and partisanship. At the same time, the recruitment strategy reflected the Canadian political culture of the early 20th Century. Community leaders with close connections to the militia, politics and business, staked their personal and professional reputations to gather local volunteers for overseas service. Many of the middle-aged colonels fully expected to lead their men on the battlefields of France. Most were disappointed and humiliated when British and Canadian military officials broke up the battalions and sent the former commanders packing.

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