Lieutenant Colonel Henry Davidson Pickett
229th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion
I had our farewell address from Col. Pickett and our lecture from our new Colonel Colonel McKay. He seems a pretty good head too. There was no love lost on Colonel Pickett.
(W. M. Dennis, 229th Bn. to fiancé, 20 May 1917)
A descendant of a United Empire Loyalist family, Henry Davidson Pickett was born on 6 December 1876 in Kingston, New Brunswick. In 1903, shortly after graduating with a law degree from the University of King’s College, Pickett moved in the Northwest Territories, where he established a legal practice at Moose Jaw.
While a student in the Maritimes he had belonged to 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) and the 62nd (St. John) Fusiliers. After arriving in western Canada, he joined the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles, rising to the rank of major. In March 1916, he was appointed commanding officer of the 229th Battalion from the south of the province.
While awaiting transport overseas, the members of the battalion were active in local sports. During the 1916-1917 season of the Saskatchewan senior hockey league, the 229th team competed with the 217th (Regina), the 210th (Moose Jaw), 214th (Saskatoon), the Saskatoon Pilgrims and the Regina Victorias. The 229th finished in third place with a record of 7-3-0. The team had 37 goals for and 18 against.
After landing in England, Pickett’s battalion was absorbed into the 19th Reserve Battalion under the command Lieutenant Colonel D. S. MacKay. Pickett returned to Canada and resumed his law practice. A firm Conservative supporter, he served as the local president of the party association in Moose Jaw.
Active in the co-operative movement, Pickett promoted mutual insurance and founded the first credit union in Moose Jaw. A fellow Saskatchewan co-operator, remembered, “As a lawyer practicing in those days, he [Pickett] did not have an easy time financially, simply because many of his clients could not afford to pay him. But he never complained about it.”
He also became president of the local branch of the Great War Veterans Association and supported “the relief of needy war veterans and the promotion of public interest in suitable memorials for our fallen heroes.”
He died in 1945.