Major C. Y. Weaver, D.S.O.
49th (Edmonton Regiment) Battalion
Weaver was a man without a spark of vanity and had a wonderful sense of humor. He used to pretend to be suspicious of very clever men and argued at length that clever men were unstable, indeed dangerous. On the other hand he suggested that he himself was stupid, and contended that there were many advantages in being considered stupid. In point of fact, Weaver was a deep thinker and a student in the subjects in which he was interested.
(Gen. Griesbach, The Forty-Niner, 3 Jan 1931, 12)
Charles Yardley Weaver was an Edmonton barrister, justice of the peace and prominent cricket player. Born in Liverpool England on 9 June 1884, he moved to Canada and built a homestead in Alberta at the age of nineteen. He joined the Edmonton Fusiliers in 1908 and was selected by Lieutenant Colonel W. A. Griesbach to be his second-in-command when he raised the 49th Battalion in January 1915.
Weaver served with the 49th throughout the war. He received the Distinguished Service Order, was mentioned in dispatches and was three-times wounded in action. During the battle of Sanctuary Wood in June 1916, he was buried by an explosion and shell-shocked. Weaver assumed command of the battalion during the final Hundred Days Offensive while Lieutenant Colonel Palmer was on leave.
Near the end of the war, one of his soldiers remembered Weaver remarking, “If I ever get home to Edmonton again, I’ll see that the 49th Battalion doesn’t die.” Weaver became president of the battalion veterans’ association and was instrumental in reviving the battalion magazine, The Forty-Niner in 1929. Weaver explained if former members did not maintain their connections, “I believe those who follow in the future and to whom the name of the 49th Battalion (Edmonton Regiment) will be almost as, dear as it is to us, will say that we have failed.”
After entering Edmonton municipal politics, Weaver was elected MLA in the 1926 provincial election. As one of only four Conservative members in the legislature, he positioned himself as an advocate for the returned soldiers. He was re-elected in 1930 but died from a heart attack five months later on 1 October.
The death of the popular colonel came as a great shock to the public and fellow veterans. The president of the Edmonton Legion mourned, “War veterans have lost a friend they will find it difficult to replace.”
Weaver’s friend and fellow colonel, Fred Jamieson, who acted as a pallbearer, succeeded him in the legislature. Jamieson explained “There was nothing small or selfish about him. He was a man who kept the interests of his fellow citizens close to his heart at all times.”