The Postmaster

Lieutenant Colonel R.P. Laurie
232nd (Saskatchewan Tigers) Battalion

Nothing except physical misfortune could prevent Mr. Laurie from taking a foremost place among the journalist of the west, for his ability is undoubted and he possess that indomitable courage which has characterized so many of the journalists of the west, and has played such a large part in the upbuilding of this boundless country.

 (Treherne Times, 1 Feb 1907, 7)

Born on 3 June 1873, in Barrie, Ontario, Reginald Peter Laurie was a Saskatchewan newspaper publisher and postmaster for Prince Albert. As a boy, Laurie had been an apprentice printer and made a career in journalism. He became editor of the Fort Frances Times and Virden Advance before moving west to be part-owner of the Prince Albert Times in 1905.

Active in the militia, Laurie had belonged to the Queen’s Own Rifles, the 52nd Regiment (Prince Albert Volunteers), the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina) and the 105th (Saskatoon Fusiliers). In 1916, he transferred from second-in-command of Lieutenant Colonel R. M. Dennistoun’s 53rd Battalion to raise the 232nd from North Battleford.

After the 232nd was broken up overseas, Laurie served in France as area commandant for St. Hilaire from July to November 1917. He then returned to Canada and was struck off strength to resume his position as postmaster.

Writing home from France, Saskatchewan native, Charles Douglas Richardson of the P.P.C.L.I., remarked, “I hope the 232nd will not be needed to finish the war. If you look for good war news this summer you will not be disappointed.” One month later, Richardson died of wounds at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. In the same month, the 232nd sailed for England with less than three-hundred volunteers.

Laurie retired as the Prince Albert postmaster in 1936. He died on 13 January 1938.


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