Lieutenant Colonel A. L. Bonnycastle
200th (Bonny’s Buccaneers) Battalion
I am raising a battalion of stalwarts that will make the Germans hop.
(Bonnycastle, Winnipeg Tribune, 8 March 1916, 5)
Angus Lorne Bonnycastle was a former Conservative member of the Manitoba legislature (1907—1911), a Winnipeg barrister and provincial police magistrate. Born on 3 November 1873 in Campbellford, Ontario, Bonnycastle moved to Manitoba as a school teacher in 1893. He was a member of one of Ontario’s most prominent military families. His great-grand father, Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle (1791—1847) helped to suppress the 1837 Rebellion and oversaw fortification construction in Kingston. His father Major R. H. Bonnycastle (1843—1911) had participated in the Fenian Raids and the Northwest Rebellion.
In 1902, the younger Bonnycastle married Ellen Mary Boulton, the daughter of Senator Charles Arkall Boulton (1841—1899), the famous scout leader known for his central role in the Riel Rebellions. Although not affiliated with the militia, Bonnycastle was appointed commanding officer of the 200th (Double Century) Battalion in spring 1916. After the unit was broken up in England in July 1917, the former 200th commander returned to Canada.
Two of his brothers-in-law enlisted with 200th— Major Lawrence Charles Boulton, who joined the Imperials and Lieutenant Russell Heath Boluton, who died of wounds on 14 August 1918.
During the December 1917 federal election, Bonnycastle acted as returning officer in Military District No. 10. He was responsible for setting up polling stations for returned soldiers. In reference to any soldier who did not have a constituency, Bonnycastle explained he “may pick any one in which he believes his vote will do the most good.” In 1918, Bonnycastle was appointed county judge in Dauphin, Manitoba. He retired shortly before his death on 9 September 1941.