The Unionist

Major Richard C. Cooper
7th (1st British Columbia) BattalionRCCooper

People’s thoughts are now turning to memorials to perpetuate the memory of our fallen, but unfortunately, their thoughts are turning to stone and iron to perpetuate flesh and blood. That is wrong. It is not worthy of the men who gave their lives that we might be free. I suggest that there is a greater, nobler, finer memorial to be erected to our fallen. I suggest that education is the only possible, adequate method of perpetuating the memory of the “immortals.”

(Cooper, Debates, 10 Mar 1919, 340)

Born in Dublin, Ireland on 31 December 1881, Richard Clive Cooper was a police constable in Rhodesia and South Africa where he was associated with the imperial projects of Cecil Rhodes. After serving in the Matabele War and the Boer War, he immigrated to British Columbia in 1906. Cooper enlisted in Lieutenant Colonel Hart-McHarg’s 7th Battalion in September 1914. He fought at Second Ypres before being recalled to Canada in order to aid training and recruitment efforts.

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The Dentist

 Lieutenant Colonel E. F. Armstrong
159th (1st Algonquins) Battalion

I feel a little timid, but I know that you, Sir [Speaker of the House], are very sympathetic towards a young member who has had very little experience in public speaking and is addressing this House for the first time. But I am sent here by people of the north…

(Armstrong’s maiden speech, Debates, 22 Feb 1926, 1234)

Born 14 July 1878 in Flesherton, Ontario, Ernest Frederick Armstrong was a dental surgeon and mining prospector. He moved north as a young man and became an early settler of Cobalt. In the small mining community, he set up a dental practice and became chief magistrate.

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The Rancher

Lieutenant Colonel Norman Lang
65th (Saskatchewan) BattalionLang

The Sixty-Fifth to the war are gone,
In the ranks of Victory you’ll find them;
The Land of War still on before
And the Land of Love behind them
“Canada,” cried the warriors hold,
The chains of still should bind us
‘Gainst duty’s call they would not hold—
Though we leave our hearts behind us.

(65th Overseas Battalion, booklet, 1916, 5)

Born on 4 August 1879 in Exeter, Ontario, Norman Lang was a farmer and rancher in Allan, Saskatchewan. The grey-eyed, moustachioed, six-foot-three Lang was a member of the 29th Light Horse and veteran of the Boer War. In April 1915, he was authorized to raise the 65th from the Saskatoon area.

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The Ice Man

Lieutenant Colonel H. Marino Hannesson
223rd (Canadian Scandinavians) BattalionHannesson

Col. Hannesson thinks we should have a Canadian flag. He sets forth the case for it in much the same way we have seen it stated with monotonous repetition over a course of several years. The agitation comes from the same small source but sustained as it has been by a clique that arrogates to Itself the shaping of Canada’s destiny, nothing comes of It. It is a babbling stream that never lengthens, never widens, never rises. The people of Canada, broadly speaking, have taken no interest in it.

(Winnipeg Tribune, 24 Jan 1928, 9)

Born in Iceland on 27 November 1884, Hannes Marino Hannesson immigrated with his family to Manitoba in 1886. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Hannesson practiced law in Winnipeg and Selkirk at the outbreak of the First World War. A member of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles, he enlisted as an officer with Lieutenant Colonel Hans Albrechtsen’s 223rd Battalion in March 1916.

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