The Last Call

Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence T. Martin
257th (Ottawa Railway Construction) BattalionMartin

Ordered to Stop Recruiting

…Make your application without day’s delay. Battalion goes DIRECT to France to railroads. Physical test easier. Age limit 18 to 48. This is a hurry call. It is your last chance to join the 257th. If you don’t join immediately you will lose your chance to get in. Cooks and rockmen especially wanted. Last chance to go to France with Lt-Col. Lawrence Martin.

(Ottawa Journal, 8 Feb 1917)

Born on 11 June 1884 in Arnprior, Ontario, Lawrence Thomas Martin was a Renfrew County railway contractor. In December 1916, he was selected to recruit for the 257th Railway Construction Battalion, was one of the last numbered volunteer units. The 257th sailed for England in February 1917. It was re-designated the 7th Battalion in the Canadian Railway Troops once deployed to France.

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The Stand-patter

Lieutenant Colonel John. I. McLaren
19th (Central Ontario) BattalionMcLaren

“I don’t matter at all,” he said in a personal reference, “but the men who do matter are the privates and corporals who have gone through the Gethsemane of the front line trenches without a worry, save the worry they have about their dependents at home being cared for. These men and their families will demand that men who have given service to their country without profit to themselves shall represent them in the next Parliament..”

(McLaren, Toronto Globe, 3 Nov 1917, 4)

In anticipation of a possible wartime election, on 28 May 1915, the Liberal Party nominated John Inglis McLaren to run in Hamilton West. McLaren had just departed Canada in command the 19th Battalion. By the time of the December 1917 federal election and the formation of the Union Government, Liberals and Tories implored McLaren to withdraw in favour of a civilian Unionist nominee. He refused and contested the race as a soldier-candidate.

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The Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Cockshutt
215th (38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles) BattalionHCockshutt

War should be non-existent. But before that I would have one war–to clean up Moscow.

(Cockshutt, Toronto Globe, 21 Nov 1930, 1)

I still see Canada as the greatest country and Ontario as the greatest Province. I am optimistic of the future.

(Cockshutt, Globe and Mail, 8 July 1939, 4)

Born in Brantford, Ontario, on 8 July 1867, Henry Cockshutt was a successful merchant and manufacturer of farming implements. His older brother William Foster Cockshutt was Conservative MP for Brantford and honorary colonel of the 125th Battalion. In early 1916, Henry Cockshutt was authorized to raise the 215th from his hometown.

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The Red-Baiter

Brigadier General D. C. Draper, D.S.O.
5th Canadian Mounted RiflesDraper

Crime is a destroying influence that inflicts more useless suffering than any other social evil upon many innocent, well-deserving and hard-working individuals.

(Draper, Montreal Gazette, 4 Oct 1934, 7)

At the battle of Mont Sorrel on 2 June 1916, an enemy shell struck Lieutenant Colonel Harry Baker, commander of the 5th CMR and MP for Brome. Despite being wounded and concussed himself, Major Dennis Colburn Draper carried the body of his mortally-wounded superior officer to rear and returned to the trenches. For his heroism Draper was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

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The Heavyweight Champ

Lieutenant Colonel Ernest S. Wigle
18th (Western Ontario) BattalionWigle

Mayor E. S. Wigle today had more than his 78th birthday to celebrate. He could also boost of a one-punch knockout…

Mayor Wigle, 220 pounds of brawn on a still-athletic frame, felled his former pupil with a straight right to the face as they mixed after a few minutes of exhibition sparring. When he came to the admiring Campbell declared “There isn’t a man in the house could have withstood that wallop.”

(Ottawa Citizen, 9 Dec 1937, 2)

Ernest Solomon Wigle was a prominent Ontario lawyer and former mayor of Windsor (1905—1909). He was born on 5 March 1859 in Essex County, Canada West. The six-foot Wigle was active in football and cricket but his sporting speciality was boxing. In 1884, he won the intercollegiate heavyweight championship and was undefeated as the Essex County championship.

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The Independent

Brigadier General Hugh Dyer, D.S.O.
5th (Western Cavalry) BattalionDyer

I thank you for the unanimity with which you have chosen me as your candidate, for without unanimity we cannot get anywhere. Let there be no mistake. I am not agreeing to run as the representative of any particular party. I am not agreeing to run as a representative of any one class or sect. I will not be tied to any hitching ropes. I will not be haltered by any party. If you elect me, you will elect Hugh Dyer. If that is satisfactory to you, I, on my part, pledge myself to do everything in my power in your interests, and will not spare myself as your representative in the house of commons.

(Dyer speech, Winnipeg Tribune, 21 Oct 1921, 2)

Nicknamed “Daddy Dyer” by his men, Hugh Marshall Dyer was the second CO of the 5th Battalion and commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade. Born in Kingstown, Ireland on 28 January 1861, he immigrated to Manitoba in 1881 and built a farm in Minnedosa where he lived for the rest of his life.

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The Ross Rifleman

Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Ackerman
247th (Victoria & Haliburton) BattalionAckerman

Officer is troubled with insomnia. There is also a history of nervous symptoms following his wounds. This nervous condition is referred to in previous boards. Officer is slight in build but fairly well nourished and up to his normal weight, no organic disease.

(Ackerman, “Medical History of Invalid,” Kingston, 12 Mar 1918)

While fighting with the 2nd Battalion at Festbuert in June 1915, Lieutenant Charles Haydn Ackerman suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and shrapnel injuries to the scalp. Born in Port Perry on 28 July 1888, Ackerman was a manufacturer in his father’s firm and member of the 57th Regiment. He was evacuated from the trenches to England, where he was treated for his physical injuries and mental overstrain.

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The Clear Grit

Major General Robert Rennie, M.V.O.
3rd (Toronto Regiment) BattalionRennie

As a candidate, I seek election not on my personal record so much, but on that of those who were associated with me in the great war. I am now more a civilian than a soldier, but—and please let there be no frills about this—if war should threaten again, I am ready to offer my services.

I stand on a Liberal platform because I am a Liberal and always have been. I believe in the great principles of Liberalism…

(Rennie’s speech, Toronto Globe, 21 Nov 1921, 1)

Robert Rennie was a Toronto seed merchant and thirty-four year member of the Queen’s Own Rifles. He joined as a rifleman in 1880 and rose to become lieutenant colonel by 1914. Born on 15 December 1862 in Markham, Canada West, Rennie was an expert marksman, respected businessman and prominent sportsman, with a specialty in curling.

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Another Sportsman

Lieutenant Colonel Peter E. Bowen
202nd (Sportsman’s) BattalionBowen

This officer is well developed. Complains of pain inch above umbilicus at times. Has vomiting of coffee ground and even pure blood. Has passages of large amount of black blood by bowel. When these attacks come on he feels very weak, and breaks out in cold sweats.

(Medical History of Invalid, Edmonton MCH, 26 Sept 1917)

Born on 14 February 1874 in Metcalfe, Ontario, Peter Edwin Bowen was a well-known Alberta hunter, trapper and marksman. An insurance broker in civilian life, Bowen also belonged to the 19th Alberta Dragoons. In August 1914, he enlisted as a captain in the 9th Battalion before transferring into the 2nd Battalion. While fighting at Langemarck during the second battle of Ypres on 23 April 1915, Bowen was shot in the head. Although he only suffered a scalp wounded, he was eventually forced from the field after the battle of Festubert in May due to nearly fatal gas poisoning.

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