The Anti-Prohibitionist

Lieutenant Colonel H. A. C. Machin, M.P.P
94th (New Ontario) BattalionManchin

My position in this war has been very small, but I have had the privilege of serving some six months on the front… during the period I spent in France amid the horrors of war and human suffering and misery and the war’s leveling effects, I felt that if I survived and returned I could never again view affairs through the same coloured glasses as I did in 1914–before the war.

(Machin, Address in Ontario Legislature, 4 Mar 1919, 2)

Harold Arthur Clement Machin was a veteran of the Boer War and Conservative MPP for Kenora in the Ontario legislature between 1908 and 1919. Born on 9 May 1875 in Rochester, New York, Machin grew up in Newfoundland and Port Arthur, Ontario. In December 1915, he was authorized to raise the 94th Battalion from the region around Port Arthur, Fort William, Kenora and Rainy River.

Continue reading

The Arsenalist

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Gaudet
22nd (Royal French Canadians) Battalion Gaudet

The news of Major Tremblay’s promotion to the command of the battalion and of Colonel Gaudet’s illness is absolutely untrue. I cannot understand who spreads these rumors that do no one any good and very often do a great deal of harm. Colonel Gaudet is still with us and I hope he will be with us until the end of the campaign.

(Vanier to Mother, 7 Jan 1916)

Frederick Mondelet Gaudet was a professional soldier and engineer with the Royal Canadian Artillery. Born in Three Rivers, Canada East on 11 April 1867, he was one of the first francophone graduates of the Royal Military College. In 1913, he incurred the wrath of Militia Minister Sam Hughes for criticizing the Ross Rifle. Hughes made trumped-up allegations of corruption and negligence against the militia colonel. One year later, in November 1914, Gaudet was appointed to command the 22nd Battalion, the first all French Canadian unit.

Continue reading

The Giant

Lieutenant Colonel F. Pawlett, D.S.O.
128th (Moose Jaw) BattalionPawlett

The commanding officer, whose name I have never mentioned, may be an honorable officer. He said in a public address in the city of Moosejaw that he had been stabbed from behind… It was not an utterance an officer should have made. I have my duty to perform, and he has his. So far as I have had any personal relations with him, they have been of unalloyed friendship. I know him very slightly, because he is a stranger in our city.

(W. E. Knowles, Debates, 6 May 1916, 3541)

Born in Leicester, England on 8 September 1879, Francis Pawlett served with the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa from 1899 to 1903. He settled in Yorktown. Saskatchewan after the Boer War and joined the 16th Light Horse in 1910. In September 1914, the six-foot-four militia officer volunteered with the 5th Battalion. Pawlett was wounded on the front, invalided to England and returned to Canada in late 1915 to raise the 128th Battalion from Moosejaw.

Continue reading