Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cowan
Lieutenant Colonel C.D. McPherson
32nd (Portage la Prairie) Battalion
In view of the serious war situation I decided that I would write to you to ascertain what steps those of us located in this part of the world, and wishing to serve, should take … Just to what extent this U.S. neutrality law would restrain us, I do not know. However, I do know that there will be quite a large number who will offer to serve should hostilities break out.
(McPherson to defence minister, 24 Aug 1939)
Harry James Cowan was a Boer War veteran and commanding officer of the 18th Mounted Rifles. In November 1914, he was authorized to raise the 32nd Battalion from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He selected Major Charles Duncan McPherson, of “C” Squadron in the 18th Mounted Rifles, as his second-in-command.
Major Lawrence Boulton
Major D’Arcy Boulton
Lieutenant Russell Boulton †
Manitoba Depot Regiment
If sole support of widowed mother, state what amount you have given per month prior to your enlistment, also reason she has no other support than yourself:
All earnings. Husband dead and her only other sons married and supporting their own families. She has no other income sufficient to support her & her two daughters.
(L. C. Boulton, “Particulars of Family”, 7 Jan 1917)
The Boultons were a prominent Upper Canadian family with deep political connections and a long military tradition. During the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, Colonel Charles Arkoll Boulton (1841—1899) raised a unit to help put down the uprising of Louis Riel. In 1889, he was appointed senator for Manitoba. His oldest son, D’Arcy Everard Boulton was born in Orillia, Ontario on 26 April 1876. Lawrence Charles Boulton was born in Lakefield, Ontario on 10 December 1878. The youngest son, Russell Heath Boulton, was born in Russell, Manitoba on 24 February 1884-1918.