Lt. Col. Smart

Lieutenant Colonel R.W. Smart
136th (Durham) Battalion
Smart1

In a recent letter to this office from an old Durhamite, now living in Western Ontario, this reference is made to Col. Smart: “Tell the young men what a privilege it will be to serve under him and say that for the honor of the old loyal country every man much do his duty.

(Canadian Statesman, 2 Dec 1915, 1)

Robert Wallace Smart was a third generation military officer and thirty-three year member of the 46th Regiment. Robert Smart was born on 3 December 1864 in Port Hope, Canada West. During the 1885 Rebellion, the twenty-year-old Smart volunteered with Colonel A. T. H. Williams’ Midland Battalion. His grandfather, David Smart had raised a cavalry troop to help put down the 1837 Upper Canadian Rebellion. Continue reading

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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The ’85er

Lieutenant Colonel J. A. V. Preston
39th Battalion JAVPreston

Marched the remainder of the way to Batoche today and joined Middleton’s command, arriving early in the afternoon. The field still bears all the marks of battle, with some dead half-breeds and Indians. Middleton’s men had been fighting practically night and day four days, and when it was over most of them went to sleep and nothing had been done towards clearing the field of burying the dead, which duty devolved to us in large measure on our arrival.

(Lieut. Preston, Diary, 13 May 1885)

John Alexander Victor Preston was a lawyer, Orangeman, and court official in Dufferin County. He was born on 4 December 1863 in Manvers, Canada West. Preston joined the militia at the age of thirteen and volunteered to put down the Northwest Rebellion of Louis Riel at twenty-two. He served as a lieutenant in the Midland Battalion under the command of Colonel A. T. H. Williams and fought at the battle of Batoche (9-12 May 1885).

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