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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