Col. Cameron

Colonel D. D. Cameron
17th Reserve Battalion

I expect you wondered why I asked you for Lieut. Col. D.D. Cameron’s address. The reason is because he is the father of my child. I have written to him twice and received no answer. I have given him over 6 months to make up his mind so that I need tell no one which he asked me on my honour no to, but I cannot possible afford to keep Baby myself because I work for a living, which he knew.

(Miss Ivy Smart to Canadian Overseas HQ, 31 Oct 1918)*

Daniel Duncan Cameron was born in Salt Springs, Nova Scotia on 15 March 1859. He had thirteen children with his wife Elizabeth “Bessie.” As a militia officer with the 78th Pictou Highlanders, he was appointed second in command of the 17th Battalion on the formation of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On arrival in England, the 17th was used for reinforcements and then reorganized as a reserve battalion.

After Col. S.G. Robertson was sacked and Lieut. Col. E.B. Worthington transferred to France, Cameron assumed command of the 17th in September 1915. He was struck off strength in February 1917 when replaced by W.H. Muirhead. On arrival back in Nova Scotia, Cameron requested an extended leave of absence and relocated to Quincey, Massachusetts.

In the meantime, Canadian Overseas Headquarters received several desperate inquires from a young woman named Ivy Smart who claimed that Cameron had fathered her child, evidently at some point during his two years stationed in England. Smart pleaded for financial assistance which Cameron had ignored and then abandoned her.

Deputy judge advocate general R.M. Dennistoun remarked, “this is a case which unfortunately is common.” As Cameron had already left England, military authorities could take no action in forcing Cameron to provide any support.

He died in 1943 in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

*Thanks to Dr. Bill Stewart for this unique source.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s