Lt. Col. Jamieson

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Jamieson
260th Battalion, Siberian Expeditionary Force

I do not think that the war will end in any way but as the Allies wish. It is impossible for it to end otherwise but to accomplish this end it will require the assistance of all available men between the ages of eighteen and forty. With the magnificent army of men that have gone to the front there are needed the additional half million …

It isn’t really boasting when I say that nearly every good idea since 1925 has come from the Conservatives.

(Northern Tribune, 20 June 1935, 1)

Born on 18 May 1875 in North Gower Township, Ontario, Frederick Charles Jamieson was commanding officer of the 19th Alberta Dragoons and veteran of the Boer War. He moved to Edmonton in 1895 and started a law firm with Alexander Rutherford, who became the first premier of Alberta. In August 1914, Jamieson led the 19th Dragoons to Valcartier and took command of the 1st Divisional Calvary Squadron.

Jamieson served in France until July 1916 when he was recalled to Canada to take a training position at Sarcee Camp. One supporter reminded the prime minister that Jamieson was a loyal party man, writing it “would be very humiliating to him and friends to be deprived of opportunity of further service, urge good appointment at front, England or here.” In 1917, he was posted to British recruiting missions in Boston, New York, and Chicago. With regard to the new American allies, Jamieson declared that, “The war will cement a friendship between the two countries which shall last forever.”

In September 1918, he was appointed to command the 260th Battalion, Siberian Expeditionary Force. Along with the 259th Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel A.E. Swift, Jamieson participated in a multi-national task force designed to stem Bolshevik inroads into Siberia. One 260th soldier reported, “I never saw such a display of colors in my life. Almost every uniform in the world seemed to be represented there.” After the Allied powers aborted the mission, Jamieson returned to his law career in Edmonton.

He served one term as Conservative member in the Alberta legislature after a January 1931 by-election victory. He replaced former 49th Battalion commander, C.Y. Weaver who had died on 1 October 1930. A close personal friend of Weaver, Jamieson, promised to carry on his predecessor’s interest in veterans’ affairs, explaining, “I know he will be greatly missed by all Edmontonians and by returned soldiers in particular.”

He twice contested the federal riding of Edmonton West in 1926 and 1930 but was defeated by former Alberta premier Charles Stewart on both occasions. Sitting as only one of four Conservatives in the legislature, he deplored the socialism of the CCF and Labour parties and the “mad schemes” and “deformed capitalism” of the new Social Credit movement. “It isn’t really boasting when I say that nearly every good idea since 1925 has come from the Conservatives,” Jamieson declared but was defeated in 1935 when the Social Credit Party swept into power.

Following mobilization during the Second World War, he commanded an army training centre in Alberta. Jamieson died on 4 October 1966 at the age of ninety-one.


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