The Mink Breeder

Lieutenant Colonel William A. Lowry
82nd (Alberta) BattalionLowry

The Colonel narrated some tales of the battlefields and described conditions in the trenches and in the billets at the front-which were intensely interesting. In conclusion, he made a strong appeal for every man who was able to join the ranks in order to insure the safe return of the boys who were now going to the front.

(The War Cry, 27 Nov 1915, 6)

In September 1914, William Arthur Lowry enlisted as an officer in Lieutenant Colonel Russ Boyle’s 10th Battalion at Valcartier. Born on 19 July 1878 in Wellington County, Ontario, Lowry was a veteran of Strathcona’s Horse in the Boer War and a member of the Corps of Guides since 1912. He was wounded in the second battle of Ypres and witnessed Boyle’s death in hospital on 25 April 1915.

After returning to Canada on leave, Lowry began to organize the 82nd Battalion based in Calgary. He toured various communities from Medicine Hat to Lethbridge to Strathmore in order to raise local companies. As a local newspaper explained, “so that these men will be allowed to remain together throughout the campaign. This is a matter which is much appreciated by the recruits.”

This did not happen as the 82nd was another battalion destined to be broken-up. On arriving in England it was absorbed into the 9th Reserve Battalion to provide reinforcements.

After the war, Lowry pursued business interests in the fur industry. In Montreal, he became a mink breeder and president of Mount Royal Mink Ranch Ltd. He died in 1941.

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