The Court Martialled

Lieutenant Colonel V. V. Harvey
54th (Kootenay) BattalionHarvey

In view of this incident I no longer have confidence in Lt-Col. HARVEY and I recommend that he be removed from the command of the 54th Battalion and returned to England where he may be otherwise employed. I would not again send the Battalion into action under his command.

(Gen. Odlum, 11th Brig. to 54th Bn., May 1917)

Between 11:00am on 21 May and 8:00am 22 May 1917, Valentine Vivian Harvey, his acting second-in-command, Jesse Wright, and the battalion adjutant went absent without leave from camp. For nearly a full day, the 54th Battalion was without its commanding officer. When General Odlum attempted to contact the 54th CO for a 11th Brigade meeting, Harvey was nowhere to be found.

Continue reading

The Customs Collector

Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Carey, D.S.O
102nd and 54th (Kootenay) Battalion
Carey

When his battalion was held up by intense machine-gun fire in front of a village, he organized a party from his reserve company and, under cover of the smoke from a derelict tank that was on fire, he personally led the party and rushed a wood, capturing sixteen machine guns, and routed the enemy, who retired on a broad front. He then pushed on his battalion and took the village with a rush. His example of personal gallantry, and his quick appreciation of the situation and rapid action, enabled this important result to be so successfully obtained.

(Carey, D.S.O. Bar citation, London Gazette, 7 Nov 1918, 13132)

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Alfred Blake Carey served in the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteers during the Spanish American War and the Remington Guards during the Boer War. He was born Blenheim, Ontario on 3 June 1881 and later worked as a civil engineer in British Columbia. In September 1915, he enlisted as a major with Lorne Ross’ 67th Pioneer Battalion. Continue reading

The Gurkha

Lieutenant Colonel A. H. G. Kemball, D.S.O. †
54th (Kootenay) BattalionKemball

So Kemball was ignored. That gallant officer—the adjective in his case is deserved—defied orders and refused to stay in the rear when his men were in peril. He led them personally on an attack he knew was futile.

(Pierre Burton, Vimy, 1986, 129)

Born in Belgaum, India on 4 January 1861, Arnold Henry Grant Kemball was a professional soldier with thirty-two years’ experience in the Indian Army.  A veteran of the Gurkha Rifles, Kemball served in the Hazara Expedition (1888), the North West Frontier (1897) and Tirah Campaign (1898). He retired as commander of the 5th Gurkhas in 1910 and moved to British Columbia.

Continue reading

The Concussed

Lieutenant Colonel William M. Davis
54th (Kootenay) & 2nd Pioneer BattalionsDavis

He complains that he cannot apply his mind to things. Until lately, he could not even with difficulty read a novel.

Memory seems clear but patient seems absent minded.

For some time after accident could not read letters or figures unless he traced them with his fingers. At the same time there was evidently some disorientation. He was continually getting lost.

(Medical Case Sheet, 26 Feb 1917)

In 1880, William Mahlon Davis graduated with the first class from the Royal Military College in Kingston. He ranked fourth among the original eighteen cadets. Davis was born on 26 May 1857 in Malahide Township, Canada West. A member of the militia since his schooldays in 1876, Davis organized the 24th (Grey’s Horse) Regiment in 1908.

Continue reading