Victor Benjamin Woodland - Lest We Forget

Victor Benjamin Woodland was born December 12, 1882 at Simcoe, Ontario. He was the son of James and Mary Woodland. Mary Woodland died at Point Grey in 1927 at age 70. Victor had two brothers, George and Gladstone Woodland, who also served in the war. George died in Vancouver in 1958 at age 65. Gladstone died at Williams Lake in 1976 at age 83. Victor also had two sisters, Lillian and Isabella. Lillian died in Vancouver in 1960 at age 73. Isabella married George Singer in 1911. Victor worked as a millwright and engineer. His father James was a mill foreman.

Victor Woodland signed his enlistment papers on October 29, 1915 at Edmonton. His regimental number was 101440. He was 32 years old, single, 5’ 5” tall with brown hair and dark blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican.

Victor, George and Gladstone were all wounded numerous times during the war: Victor twice within a two month period between September and November 1916.

Victor Woodland died May 3rd 1917 near Fresnoy. He was 34 years old. At the time of his death he was a Corporal serving with the 31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Alberta) Regiment. His body was never found or identified and his name is memorialized on the Vimy Memorial.

The May 2, 1918 edition of the Revelstoke Review carried this memorial to the death of Victor Woodland:

In Memoriam: In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Sergt. V.B. Woodland, killed in action at Fresnoy, May 3rd, 1917. Enlisted with 66th Battalion, Edmonton, Alta. Inserted by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, 9825, 87th Ave., Strathcona Alta.

 The name of Victor Woodland is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.

 George Woodland wrote a very touching letter to his mother on his feelings on the death of his brother Victor and other men from Revelstoke who had died in the war. It reads in part, “…a little lonesome without Victor, but when I think he has paid the Supreme Sacrifice for those he loved, I feel as if he had to go. He is missed more by his battalion than I thought he would be, for both the sergeant of his platoon, also his Officer said there was never any man missed so, for he was always willing to go any place with his men, and as his Officer said, he was too daring, having no idea what fear was. One of the boys who was with him told me that when he got hit, and before he took another step forward, he fell saying, “Carry on boys, I’ll make out alright,” but he had no chance as there was four bullets in his stomach. He only lived a few minutes.”

Posted on December 12, 2018 .

William Ernest Wilson - Lest We Forget

William Ernest Wilson was born January 1, 1874 at Ottawa, Ontario. He was the son of William Wilson, M.D., K.C. and Frances Wilson of Ottawa. He had at least one sister, Mrs. Mary F. Kuhring of Toronto. He worked a farm in the Malakwa area prior to the beginning of the war.

William Wilson signed his enlistment papers August 19, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 443675. He was 41 years old, single, 5’ 4” tall with black hair and brown eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican.

Wilson left Halifax on board HMT Saxonia on November 22, 1915, and arrived in Plymouth on December 1, 1915. He arrived in France on August 14, 1916.

There is a mention of William Wilson in the February 17, 1916 edition of the Revelstoke Review.

“The Review is in receipt of a postcard signed W.E.W. No. 443675 (Wilson, William Ernest) dated Bromshott, Jan. 19, 1916: No. 12 platoon much pleased with gifts from Revelstoke and apples from the Okanagan Valley – 54th battalion.”

William Wilson died November 21, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 42 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 54th Battalion (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Contay British Cemetery, France.

The name of William Wilson is inscribed on the Courthouse plaque but not on the Cenotaph plaque. The citizens of Malakwa decided that they would erect their own memorial to its fallen and the name of William Wilson is inscribed on the Cenotaph at Malakwa. 

William Wills - Lest We Forget

William Wills was born October 10, 1885 at Barrow, Lancashire, England.  He was the son of James & Isabella Wills, of Lancashire, England.  In 1915 William was working as a bridgeman for the CPR at Revelstoke. 

William Wills signed his enlistment papers July 6, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 443340. He was one of about one hundred men from Revelstoke who signed up with the 54th Battalion the spring and summer of 1915. He was 29 years old, single, 5’ 6” tall with dark hair and grey eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican.

William Wills suffered shrapnel wounds to his legs in September of 1916. He was sent to the Northern General Hospital in Leeds, England, and died there on January 20, 1917. Both of his legs had been amputated, and he developed sepsis and bronchitis. He was 31 years old. At the time of his death he was a Lance Corporal serving with the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Pioneers. He is buried at the Bleasdale Churchyard, Lancashire, United Kingdom.

The name of William Wills is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.

 

Emanuel Warren - Lest We Forget

 

Emanuel H. Warren was born June 12, 1893 in London, England. His father was Henry Larter Warren living in Cardiff, Wales. He had some military experience with the 7th Battalion Welsh Regiment prior to his emigration to Canada in 1912. According to his attestation papers Emanuel was working as a mechanic prior to his enlistment.

Emanuel Warren signed his enlistment papers November 16, 1914 at Victoria. His regimental number was 107639. He was 21 years old, single, 5’ 9” tall with brown eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican.  

Emanuel served overseas with the 2nd CMR but was invalided back to the Revelstoke/Nakusp area prior to November 1917. The Revelstoke Review of November 15, 1917 noted that he had been brought to the Nakusp hospital suffering from hemorrhage. 

The Revelstoke Review of December 20, 1917 relates the circumstances of his death and burial:

“Death of Returned Soldier.

            The death took place in the Revelstoke Hospital last Thursday (Dec. 13) of Pte. Warren, a returned soldier of the 2nd CMR. Pte. Warren, who was in the 24th year of his age, was brought from Halcyon in November, suffering from an acute attack of Bright’s Disease (a kidney disease also known as nephritis.) The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 18) to the Revelstoke cemetery, attended by the Cadets, the service being conducted by Rev. Geo. Lardner. Pte. Warren’s parents reside in England.” 

The Revelstoke Review of December 27, 1917 carried this account of his military burial:

“Pte. Warren Given Military Funeral

            A military funeral was given for Pte. Warren, attended by the Cadets and the ladies of the Committee for Wounded and Returned Soldiers. The ladies placed white chrysanthemums on the coffin, which was draped by the Union Jack.

            Returned Soldiers acted as the pallbearers, who were in charge of Capt. Hamilton. A service was held in St. Peter’s Anglican Church by Rev. G. Larder. At the grave the “Last Post” was signed at the conclusion of the obsequies.

To the late Pte. Warren’s people in the Old Country the deepest sympathy is extended.”

Although the name of Emanuel Warren does not appear on either of the Courthouse or Cenotaph plaques, he is buried in the Revelstoke (Mountain View) Cemetery with the Maple Leaf inscribed on his stone. He is also listed on Canada’s Virtual War Memorial which lists all of Canada’s war dead from all its conflicts. He is listed in this memorial because his funeral and burial took place in Revelstoke.

Burton Montcalm West - Lest We Forget

Burton Montcalm West was born October 25, 1893 at Georgeville, Quebec. He was the son of Mrs. Annie S. West of Longueil, Quebec and the brother of G.L. West of Montreal. He had another brother, Gordon Bickford West, who also died in the war. Burton West worked as a bank clerk for the Molsons Bank in Revelstoke. He was a member of D Company of the Rocky Mountain Rangers militia.

Burton Montcalm West was accepted for service in the Second Contingent of Canada’s Army and signed his enlistment papers on November 9, 1914 at Victoria. He was 21 years old, single, 5’ 9” tall with brown hair and grey eyes.  His religious affiliation was Anglican. Around May or June of 1915 he was wounded by shrapnel in the foot, possibly at the battle of Festubert. He spent some months in hospital in England and is mentioned in letters back home from other Revelstoke volunteers. 

Burton Montcalm West died June 3, 1916 at the battle for Mount Sorrel, one of six Revelstoke men to die that day. He was 23 years old. At the time of his death he was a Lance Corporal serving with the 15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. His body was never found or identified and his name is memorialized on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial. His brother, Gordon Bickford West, who perished February 5, 1916, is also memorialized on the Menin Gate.

Burton Montcalm West’s name is inscribed as West, B.M. on both the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques. The name Best, B.M. also appears and we believe that this is an error, and a repeat of the West, B.M. entry. There is no Best, B.M. listed on Canada’s Virtual War Memorial Site which lists all of Canada’s war deaths in all conflicts. Neither is a Best, B.M. to be found in the attestation papers filled out by all of Canada’s 600,000 military personnel who served in the Great War. 

William Waddel - Lest We Forget

William Waddel was born April 26, 1880 at Leith, Scotland. He was the son of Robert and Helen Taylor Waddel, of Leith, Scotland. William emigrated to Canada in 1903 and eventually settled in the Craigellachie area. He became a prominent citizen and farmer of that area, active in Conservative Party circles.  He also had some military experience from his time in Scotland. 

The newspaper of March 11, 1916 carried this account of his enlistment.

“Popular Craigellachie recruit honoured. A large crowd of Craigellachie residents assembled at the CPR depot on Monday night to bid farewell to one of their most popular settlers: William Waddell, who has taken a prominent part in the public life of this community as vice president of the Farmers’ Institute, vice president of the Eagle River Valley Conservative association, secretary of the school trustees and Dominion fire ranger. Mr. Waddell has joined the 172nd battalion, overseas forces. A public whist drive and dance was given in Mr. Waddell’s honour, in the schoolhouse on Feb. 29, when friends from far and near assembled to do him honour. There was another reception on Friday evening March 3 when Mrs. A.S. Alderton and Mrs. J.E. Paulding held a joint reception at Meadow Lake ranch. Music, dancing and whist were the features of the evening.  At midnight a very dainty supper was served. His friends noted their appreciation of his patriotism in answering to the stirring call of King and Country and expressed their hope for his safe return. The evening ended with “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King.”

William Waddel signed his enlistment papers on March 4, 1916. His regimental number was 687879. He was 36 years old, single, 5’ 10” tall with brown hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. He left Halifax on October 25, 1916 on the HMT Mauritania, arriving in England on October 31. He proceeded to France with his unit on December 5, 1916.

William Waddel died March 1, 1917. He was 37 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France.

The name of William Waddel is inscribed on the Courthouse plaque but not on the Cenotaph plaque. The citizens of Malakwa undertook to erect their own memorial and his name is inscribed on it.

Posted on December 10, 2018 .

Elbert Clive Trafford - Lest We Forget

Elbert Clive Trafford was born March 14, 1878 at Sanford, Orange Co. Florida, USA. He was the son of Edward and Anna Trafford and adopted son of Mrs. Julia Simpson of Arrowhead. He was adopted by Mrs. Simpson when he was around 23 years old. By 1916 he had lived with the Simpson family for 15 years. He worked as a lumberman in the Arrowhead area. The 1911 census showed him living with five other boarders at a Hall’s Landing lumber camp.

 Elbert Trafford signed his enlistment papers July 6, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 443331. He was 37 years old, 5’ 9” tall with dark hair and grey eyes. He had an interesting distinguishing mark: a bullet wound on his right arm. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. In the summer of 1915 the local newspaper reported that there was only one unmarried male of military age living in Arrowhead. All the rest had joined up.

Elbert Trafford left Halifax on November 22, 1915 on the HMT Saxonia, arriving in Plymouth, England on December 21, 1915.

 Elbert Trafford died October 14, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 38 years old. At the time of his death he was a Corporal serving with the 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

 The Revelstoke Review of November 16, 1916 carried this item on the death of Elbert Trafford:

 “Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Simpson of Arrowhead have just received word from military authorities at Ottawa concerning the death of Corporal Elbert C. Trafford, who died of wounds on October 14th, "somewhere in France." Before his death he wrote a farewell message on an envelope and handed it to the men who went to pick him up. The message read: "Goodbye all; my back feels shot off." - Elbert.  This message was sent by his officer commanding, Major Lee, to Mrs. Simpson.  The deceased lived for 15 years with Mr. & Mrs. Simpson at Arrowhead, and who are sincerely mourning his loss.”

 The name of Elbert Trafford is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques under the Arrowhead listing.

John Robert Thompson - Lest We Forget

John Robert Thompson was born April 10, 1880 at Monaghan, Ireland. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Thompson of Ireland. He had a brother, James C. Thompson, of Belfast, Ireland. Some papers list James as his next-of-kin, while other papers list Mrs. F.W. Egerton of Newbliss, Ireland.

According to the 1911 census John came to Canada in 1906 and had been the school teacher in the Arrowhead school for most of that time. He had also had some military experience with the 88th Victoria Fusiliers. He lived as a boarder in a hotel run by the Lightbournes at Arrowhead.

 John Robert Thompson signed his enlistment papers July 21, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 463193. He was 35 years old, single, 6’ tall with light brown hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. An interesting note reported in the local newspaper was that in the summer of 1915 there was only one unmarried male of military age living in Arrowhead. All the rest had joined up. Thompson left Halifax on the SS Baltic on March 20, 1916, arriving in England on April 11, 1916. He was promoted to Lance Corporal, but reverted to ranks at his own request.

John Robert Thompson died September 26, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 36 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment. His body was never found or identified and his name is memorialized on the Vimy Memorial.

The name of John R. Thompson is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques under the Arrowhead listing.

Arrowhead School with teacher J.R. Thompson next to the stairs, circa 1910. P1995

Arrowhead School with teacher J.R. Thompson next to the stairs, circa 1910. P1995

Richard Arthur Switzer - Lest We Forget

Richard Arthur Switzer was born September 1, 1885 at Benbrook, Ontario. He was the son of William B. and Elizabeth Switzer of Benbrook, Ontario. The 1911 census noted him living in a camp near Galena Bay working as a railway foreman. By 1915 he was working as a carpenter. He was a very well-known Arrowhead resident and also had many friends in Revelstoke and Golden.

 Richard Arthur Switzer signed his enlistment papers September 28, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 464382. He was 30 years old, single, 5’ 9” tall with black hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Methodist. He had joined up with the 62nd Battalion.

 Richard Arthur Switzer died October 3, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 31 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

  The name of Arthur Switzer is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques under the Arrowhead listing.

 There is a Switzer, R.J. listed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques under the Revelstoke listing. There is no R.J. Switzer named on the Canada Virtual War Memorial Site. This site lists all of the fallen from all of Canada’s conflicts from the Boer War to the current conflict in Afghanistan. We strongly suspect that Richard Arthur Switzer and R.J. Switzer may be the same person.

 

Geoffrey Still - Lest We Forget

Geoffrey Still was born December 11, 1888 at Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. He was the son of Arthur and Liddesdale Frances Still. He had a least one sister, Marion Charlotte. In 1914 Geoffrey’s parents lived in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. It was while living in Lloydminster that Geoffrey gained four years of military experience with the Saskatchewan Light Horse. After the war his parents resided in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1914 Geoffrey was employed as a locomotive fireman working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad out of the Revelstoke Division. He was also active in the YMCA. When war broke out in August 1914 he was one of the first 69 men from Revelstoke to volunteer to serve in Canada’s army overseas. 

Geoffrey Still signed his enlistment papers September 12, 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec, the assembly point for the First Contingent of Canadian volunteers to serve in the Great War. His regimental number was 17059. He was 25 years old, single, 5’ 10” tall with black hair and brown eyes. His religious affiliation was Anglican. The First Contingent sailed for England in October 1914 and spent the winter in training on the wet and damp and cold Salisbury Plain.

Geoffrey Still participated in Canada’s baptism of fire, the Second battle of Ypres. This was the occasion when for the first time in modern warfare poison gas was used in a battle. Geoffrey wrote a couple of letters home that were printed in the local newspaper describing this battle and some of the effects on the Canadian soldiers, and in particular on some of the Revelstoke volunteers. He ended one of his letters with this sentence... “I wish I were back in Revelstoke for a time, a game of tennis and an ice cream would be very welcome right now.”

 Geoffrey Still died November 11, 1917 during the battle of Passchendaele. He was almost 29 years old. At the time of his death he was a Lieutenant serving with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment. He is buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

 The name of Geoffrey Still is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques and on the YMCA Honor Roll.

Posted on November 7, 2018 .