Maj. Vanderwater

Major Roscoe Vanderwater, D.S.O.
2nd (Iron Second) Battalion

Vanderwater

Sharp at 4.45 one afternoon in broad daylight and under an almost cloudless sky, three companies under command of Major Vanderwater sprang from their trenches and advanced steadily toward the German line. In front of them our artillery laid down an intense barrage and out men followed so closely that they were almost in the midst of their own shells.

 (The Weekly Ontario and Bay of Quinte Chronicle, 28 Sept 1916, 2)

Roscoe Dudley Vanderwater was a farmer and militia officer born in Foxboro, Sidney Township, Ontario on 6 January 1889. Shortly after the sudden death of his wife, in March 1915, he enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston’s 39th Battalion from Belleville. After the 39th was broken up, Vanderwater reverted in rank from captain to lieutenant and joined the 2nd Battalion on the front.

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Lt. Col. Yates

Lieutenant Colonel Wilton Yates
2nd (Iron Second) Battalion
Yates

When he was badly wounded in World War I, he was the first to have successful plastic surgery on his face. It was very noticeable of course when he returned to Swift Current. At one time, as he himself relates, he was consigned to an insane asylum “but never reached it owing to my own machinations.” When wounded he was put in the morgue as dead; was saved by a nurse’s aide and given six months to live.

(Jim Greenblat, Those Were the Days in Swift Current, 1971, 32)

A native of England, Wilton Milwarde Yates was born on 17 October 1879. After being wounded in the Boer War, he immigrated to Canada and became a rancher at Swift Current. He enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cowan’s 32nd Battalion in December 1914 and was attached to the 2nd Battalion once overseas.

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Lt. Col. Swift

Lieutenant Colonel “Dolly” Swift, D.S.O.
2nd and 259th (Canadian Rifles) Battalions

Swift

The Vics took the first three games and looked like certain winners, but Stocking and Watson kept their team together and are mainly responsible for enabling Swift and Scott to tie the score and then get one ahead. Swift rallied his home and made a steady forward rush, when Grant lifted the puck, which struck “Dolly” Swift under the ear and knocked him out. This involved another fifteen minute delay.

(Toronto Globe, 31 Jan 1898, 8)

Albert Edward “Dolly” Swift was a Boer War veteran and professional soldier with twenty-years’ experience in the permanent militia. Born in Quebec City on 30 January 1866, Swift had also been an amateur hockey player in his youth. He played one season with the Montreal Victorias and thirteen with the Quebec Hockey Club during the 1880s and 90s.

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The Capitalist

Brigadier General Robert P. Clark, D.S.O. M.C.
14th (Royal Montreal Regiment) & 2nd BattalionsRPClark

This Christmas, I believe, will be your last in France. That the next may find you Home again, safe and happy, and with your loved ones, is my most earnest wish. The war is drawing to a close. Your many trials and privations will soon be forgotten. The horrors of this war will soon become to you a memory, dimmed by happier things to come. But the glory of this war, though some day a memory too, can never fade.

(Gen. Clark to The Listening Post, 2 Nov 1918)

Robert Percy Clark was a Vancouver businessman, investor, real estate agent and capitalist. He was born in London, England on 17 April 1874. He worked on the London Stock Exchange and volunteered to fight in the Boer War. He later immigrated to British Columbia, where he pursued various gold mining enterprises. He served in the 5th and 50th Regiments under Arthur Currie. As part of the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Clark became staff-officer to Currie with the 2nd Brigade.

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The Ironman

Lieutenant Colonel Lorne McLaughlin, D.S.O. 2nd (Iron Second) BattalionMcLaughlin

Such loyal and ready support as this always goes a long way to foster the already good feeling which exists between your own battalion and the one which I have the honour to command. With very best wishes. (McLaughlin to Bart Rogers, 3rd Bn., 11 Nov 1917)

Lorne Tolbert McLaughlin was a farmer born on 14 February 1879 in Tyrone, Darlington Township, Ontario. He was a militia officer and member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 764. In March 1915, he enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston’s 39th Battalion from Belleville. After the 39th was broken up, McLaughlin transferred to the 2nd Battalion on the front. Continue reading

The Schemer

Major General Sir David Watson, D.S.O.
2nd (Iron Second) BattalionWatson

Had he not been colonel he would have received the V.C. for this. Ypres made him a marked man, and it left its mark on him. His friends say that he aged ten years in the ten days, for he and his battalion were in the fiercest part of the fighting.

(F. A. McKenzie, Through the Hindenburg Line, 1918, 10)

David Watson was a sportsman, journalist and owner of the Quebec Morning Chronicle. He was born in Quebec City on 7 February 1869. In his youth, Watson played for the Quebec Hockey Club and became active in the 8th Royal Rifles. Watson, a Conservative Party supporter and friend of Militia Minister Sam Hughes, was selected to command the 2nd Battalion when the Canadian Expeditionary Force assembled at Valcartier.

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