The Idler

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Sharpe, M.P.P.
176th (Niagara Rangers) Battalion

dsharpe

A large number of officers who will not go to the front, who it is known do not intend to go to the front, and who are deriving pay from the Government simply as officers being practically on a holiday.

(W. M. German, Debates, 6 Feb 1917, 560)

Criticizing the Borden Government’s recruitment system, William Manley German, Liberal MP for Welland referred to the conduct of Donald Sharpe’s 176th Battalion, based in St. Catharines. Sharpe was the Conservative member for Welland in the Ontario provincial legislature. He had won a by-election on 29 June 1914, one day after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

 

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The Orangeman

Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Edgecombe
183rd (Orange) Battalion
Edgecombe

The pursuit of Brother Edgecombe is one of the most contemptible things that has happened in the politics of any Province. 

It is just another instance of the implacability of political leaders. They expect men to violate their consciences, to ignore their convictions, to surrender their own views on public questions for the good of the party.

 (Winnipeg Free Press, 17 Feb 1915, 22)

William Thomas Edgecombe was a Winnipeg city alderman, Grand Master of the Manitoba Loyal Orange Lodge. He was born in Harbor Grace, Newfoundland on 15 August 1868. He held various positions in publishing, engraving and banking before moving to Winnipeg in 1893. Although not active in the militia, Edgecombe was selected to raise the 183rd Battalion.

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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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The Grand Master

Lieutenant Colonel Milton K. Adams
155th (Quinte) BattalionMKAdams

Officer states that he is completely deaf in right ear and that in damp weather he has considerable pain and tenderness in ear. He complains of a constant foul and unpleasant discharge from antrum, discharge often abundant.

(“Medical History of Invalid,” 10 Sept 1918)

Milton Kerr Adams was an Orangeman, Grand Master of the Loyal True Blue Association and commanding officer of the 16th Regiment. He was born in South Marysburgh, Prince Edward County, Ontario on 29 July 1872. After the outbreak of the Great War, Adams became treasurer of the local Patriotic Fund. He resigned this position in November 1915 when he was authorized to raise the 155th based in Picton. At a recruitment rally in April 1916, ninety-two year old former Prime Minister Sir Mackenzie Bowell delivered an address to encourage enlistment.

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The Brown Brothers

Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Brown
220th (12th York Rangers) Battalion
BHBrown

Lieut.-Col. B. H. Brown of the 220th (York County) Battalion played the role of Santa Claus last evening when the two battalions in question celebrated Christmas.

(Toronto Globe, 22 Dec 1916, 6)

Benjamin Hinchcliffe Brown was the son of retired Colonel F. M. Brown, a leading Orangeman, long-time member of the 12th (York Rangers) Regiment and veteran of the Riel Rebellion. A member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 142, B. H. Brown was born on 15 October 1878 in Toronto. He worked as a printer and publisher with his brother, Francis Frederick Middleton Brown, who was born on 20 August 1885, and named in honour of their father’s commanding general in the 1885 Rebellion.

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The Undeterred

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Sutherland, D.S.O.
52nd, 71st, 74th, & 160th Battalions
Sutherland

A man that can fight, a fighter who’s fought,
A man to whom danger to self counts for naught,
A man all the way with a conduct sheet clean,
As a man and a soldier our Colonel’s beloved.
A man; Colonel Sutherland, that’s whom I mean.

(Lieut. L. Young, 71st Bn. “Our Colonel,” Bruce in Khaki, 12 Oct 1917, 2)

Born on 3 December 1879, Donald Matheson Sutherland was a Norwich County physician, militia officer in the 24th Grey Horse and member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 999. In September 1914, he enlisted as a captain with the 1st Battalion. Wounded during the second battle of Ypres on 24 April 1915, he was invalided to Canada. After raising the 71st Battalion from Woodstock, he again embarked for England in April 1916.

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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.

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The Principal

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Hagarty
201st (Toronto Light Infantry) Battalion

Hagarty

I saw a mock funeral to day up to the 201 Batt they are being split up tomorrow, their Col. lost his job as they have less than 600 men. They dug a grave and buried a dummy representing their Col. They hated him, he was a whiskey soak, so on top of the grave they put a cross, a whiskey bottle, cig or some branches for flowers. Some reporters took a picture of it so likely it will be in the papers.

(L. E. Johns, 161th Bn. to Mother, 20 Sept 1916.)

Edward William Hagarty was principal of Harbord Street Collegiate from 1906 to 1928 and  member of Orange Order Lodge No. 344. He was born on 7 September 1862 in Brantford, Canada West. He served four years with the Queen’s Own Rifles while an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. An influential figure in the cadet movement for twenty-five years, Hagarty was selected to raise the 201st Toronto Light Infantry in January 1916.

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