The military record of Colonel Garner is a long and gallant one. During the Boer war he served as special scout in Lord Strathcona’s Horse in
1900 and 1901 and was severely wounded. He was honored by “special
mention in dispatches” in the London Gazette, February, 1901, and was
awarded the Queen’s medal and four clasps, the medal being presented
by His Majesty the King, Edward VII, on the 10th of February, 1901.
(Saskatchewan and its People, 1924)
Born on 6 September 1878 in Warwickshire England, Albert Coleman Garner immigrated to Canada with his family in 1888. He fought with Lord Strathcona’s Horse during the Boer War. After returning from South Africa, he joined the 16th Light Horse and the elite Corps of Guides. Before the First World War, he was a land surveyor and civil engineer in Saskatchewan.
In December 1914, Garner enlisted at the rank of major in the 32nd Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cowan. He went overuses as the battalion adjunct but the unit was held in the reserves in England.
Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Garner became the assistant director of shipping and trade for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After a brief tour of the front in January 1916, he was authorized to raise the 195th Battalion, based in his hometown of Regina.
After the 195th was absorbed into the 32nd Reserves, Garner was given command of 2nd Labour Battalion. He proceeded to France with the unit in February 1917. In November, it was redesignated the 12th Battalion in General Jack Stewart’s Railway Troops. Garner was twice mentioned in dispatches and awarded the D.S.O. for his construction work.
Suffering from myalgia and fatigue, he was admitted to Matlock Bath shortly after the armistice. On returning to Canada, he resumed his prewar position as chief surveyor of Saskatchewan.
Garner died on 11 May 1961.
Digitized Service File (LAC):