The Public Defender

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Hastings
250th (Polish) BattalionHastings

Col. Hastings, in an address to the recruits promised to help out any of them to the best of his ability it ever they got in trouble.

(Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Mar 1920, 1)

William Henry Hastings was a newspaperman, crown prosecutor and barrister in Winnipeg. He was born in Peterborough, Canada West on 29 December 1858. In September 1916, he attempted to raise the 250th supported by the local Polish-Canadian community. The Polish language newspaper in Winnipeg, Czas, lauded the creation of a special battalion to fight “the traditional enemies of Poland” as “an historical event.” However, the 250th failed to reach strength and later merged with Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Keenlyside’s 249th Battalion.

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The Hotelman

Lieutenant Colonel “Big Nick” Nicholson
Nicholson  &
Lieutenant M. Stewart NicholsonNicholson_MS251st (Goodfellows) Battalion

Col. Nicholson said he had believed he could raise a battalion, and had offered to try to do so. He felt confident, from the results that had attended his effort, that he would succeed.

(Winnipeg Tribune, 16 Jan 1917, 7)

Popularly known as Big Nick, George Henry Nicholson was manager of the Clarington Hotel in Winnipeg. He was born in Woodburn, Canada West on 25 April 1863. He had belonged to the 13th Regiment in Hamilton before moving to Manitoba in 1909. In September 1916, Nicholson received authorization to raise the 251st Battalion.

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