The Voter

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Glenn
96th (Canadian Highlanders) Battalionglenn

Lieut. Col. Glenn, the Officer Commanding, is an officer of some years experience in Mounted Infy. He is not an efficient officer but has done good service in recruiting the Battalion, and desires the honour of taking his Battalion across seas.

(Gen. John Hughes, 19 Sept 1916)

Joseph Glenn was the Conservative member for South Qu’Appelle in the Saskatchewan legislature from 1912 to 1921. Born on 29 August 1860 in Owen Sound, Canada West, he moved to the North West Territories during the early 1880s. Settling in Indian Head, he built a farm, imported horses, worked in the lumber trade, acted as the local mail carrier and operated a grain elevator. During the 1885 Rebellion, he volunteered as a dispatch rider for General Middleton and Major Sam Steele.

By the turn of the century, Glenn owned a 16,000 acres farm, one of the largest properties in the Saskatchewan District.  By the beginning of the First World War, he had served for eight years in the 16th Light Horse. In December 1914, he enlisted as a major with the 10th Canadian Mounted Rifles. When the 10th went overseas, the fifty-four year old Glenn remained in Saskatoon to raise the 96th Battalion.

After the 96th was broken up, Glenn transferred to the Forestry Corps in Scotland. On the 26 June 1917 Saskatchewan election, Glenn won with a four-hundred-vote majority against David Railton, who he had narrowly defeated in a 1912 by-election.

By the time of the December 1917 federal election, Glenn was as deputy presiding officer at Inverness, England. Although a resident of Indian Head, Saskatchewan and a sitting member of the provincial legislature, Glenn cast his ballot in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Suspecting the Union Government with having organized a conspiracy to ensure its victory, Liberal MP Arthur Bliss Copp accused Glenn and his officers with fraud.

Unionist MP Martin Burrell defended Glenn and others explaining that “many men did honesty believe that a man, because he was a military voter, had the right to place his vote in any constituency he pleased.”

His son Donald Roy Glenn, a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps died in an accident on 12 February 1918. The elder Glenn retired from the Saskatchewan legislature in 1921 and died on 20 April 1931.

Digitized Service File (LAC):

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