The Missing

Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Shaw †
6th and 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
Shaw

Never was there a more popular or respected Commanding Officer.  It was a common feeling throughout the battalion, that it was entirely due to the good advice and excellent management of our colonel that the casualties of the battalion were kept so low during the earlier part of our tour in the salient, and I don’t think there were any of us but would have gone anywhere with him, as like all good soldiers he never asked a man to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

(Trooper C. S. Cole to Mrs. Shaw [wife], Jul 1916)

Alfred Ernest Shaw was presumed killed in action defending the front line against a German assault on 3 June 1916. His body was never found. Born in Millbrook, Ontario, on 21 November 1881, he was a former NWMP constable and member of the 3rd Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse.

Continue reading

The Diarist

Lieutenant Colonel Lewis H. Beer
140th (St. John’s Tigers) Battalion

I forgot to mention that Gen. Seeley [sic] comes back on Tuesday the 10th. Well I have made up my mind to not stay when he returns. I am quite sure I would only get into trouble and would never feel easy under his command knowing he is not to be trusted. He is the kind of man who pats you on the back and at the same time knifes you. I want nothing to do with him. I have discovered him now in several lies not only about me but about other people. I have applied to return to England at the same time if humanly possible. I am going to make every effort to secure another place in France.

(L. H. Beer, Diary, 8 July 1917)

Lewis Herbert Beer was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on 12 December 1873. He was a member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 614, worked in insurance and belonged to the 36th P.E.I. Light Horse. In October 1914, Beer joined Lord Strathcona’s Horse as a lieutenant. He served in England and France until 29 December 1915 when he returned to Canada in order to raise the 140th Battalion from New Brunswick.

Continue reading

The Aristocrat

Major General Jack Seely, M.P.
Canadian Cavalry Brigade Seely

It was at that time, when carrying out a smaller raid, that my horse got shell-shocked, though not myself, I hope, and fell on me and smashed up five bones in my poor old body. However, I managed to get back all right.

(Seely Speech, Empire Club of Canada, 4 Oct 1920)

John Edward Bernard Seely, 1st Baron Mottistone, was a British soldier and politician. Born on 31 May 1868 in Brookhill Hall, Derbyshire, he was the son of Sir Charles Seely (1833—1915), a long-serving Liberal Unionist MP. During the Boer War, Seely joined the Imperial Yeomanry and won the Distinguished Service Order. In 1900, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative. In 1904, he switched to the Liberal Party and later became a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith’s Government.

Continue reading