52 Ancestors – Week 8 – William George Washington Johnston (a 71-year-old mystery)

For this week in Amy Johnson Crow’s genealogist challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I would like to present a 71-year-old family mystery that has yet to be solved.

Throughout my genealogical research one of the topics that I’ve enjoy the most is learning about family members who have served in war. This is especially true for two of my direct Johnston relatives, consequently, both named William.

William Henderson Johnston was the brother of my great-grandfather, James Washington Johnston. He was born 18 May 1890, in Black River, Michigan and died ‘in action’ just outside of Arras, France on 29 Mar 1917. While not mentioned by name, based on the 31st Alberta Battalion war diary for that day, I’ve concluded that he might have been killed by artillery fire.

Two other ranks are unaccounted for, but I think that it is established that they were struck by a shell when crossing “NO MAN’S LAND” escorting three prisoners. Major Seaton states that he saw a shell strike in the middle of a party that he took to be three prisoners and two of our men, and two others bear witness to having seen such a party. (31st (Alberta) Battalion Order No.138. – 29-3-17.)

I digress, William Henderson is not the subject of this post, that honour belongs to his nephew, my grandfather’s brother, William G.W. Johnston. I wanted to give some brief history of William’s uncle for a note further below.

William George Washington Johnston was born 10 Jun 1917, to parents James Washington Johnston (1876-1967) and Sophia Harriett Basham (1890-1959). A brother to my grandfather, James Henderson Johnston (1913-1981), he was my great uncle, and like many of my relatives he was one that I will never get to meet in this lifetime.

c. 1929 (Ern, Jim, Bill)

c. 1927 (Ern, Jim, Bill)

Like his siblings, he attended, Mowat School where he completed seven and a half years of classes and can be found in the school records from 1924 to 1931. In the image below, the 1929 Mowat December Attendance Record, you can see that Bill is 12 years old and in Grade 6 while his older brothers are in Grade 7 and Grade 9.

c. Dec 1929 (Mowat School Attendance)

c. Dec 1929 (Mowat School Attendance)

My great aunt wrote a bit about her step-brother, “Brother Bill was a born farmer. But World War II was just around the corner and life changed for all of us.” The two photos below are some of my favourites; I love the poses and the clothing they’re wearing. I wish I had a better copy of the tractor photo.

c. 1939 (Bill, Jim, Ern)

c. 1939 (Bill, Jim, Ern)

c. 1939 (Ern, Jim, Bill)

c. 1939 (Ern, Jim, Bill)

On 15 June, 1942, Bill was called up to the Canadian Military in Winnipeg, MB. On the occupational history form he listed his occupation as a farm labourer and he wished to return to this type of work when the war was over. He completed 60 days of basic training as well as 60 days of advanced training with the Winnipeg Light Infantry.

On 11 January, 1943, he was interviewed in W.L.I. Vernon, B.C. The interviewer noted a few interesting things about Bill, “Doesn’t smoke and drinks very little. He would like to be in the heavy artillery because he thinks he’d like it. Dull type, average physique, and not particularly interested in anything. Limited learning ability and no particular liking for Carrier Pl. Unlikely to improve greatly.” He was recommended as either an infantry rifleman or a carrier pl. (Bren Gunner).

Bill was admitted to the Vernon Military Hospital on 11 July, 1942, and was discharged on the 31st. He was then granted sick furlough from 1st of August to the 22nd. His sick leave was extended to 5 September and he returned on the 4th of September.

On 1 March, 1943, a transport warrant #A362, 085 d/17 Feb 43 was issued.
S.O.S. W.L.I. on t’fer to 3rd ??? BN Regina Rifles on 23 July, 1943.
S.O.S. for A-P 3 rd Regina Riles on 17 August, 1943.
T.O.S. for A-P 2nd Airfield Defence Bn. (Regina Rifles) on 18 August, 1943.
Attached for a/p ex pay to #12 Dist Depot (Farm Duty) on 31 August, 1943.
Ceases to be att’d f.a.p. on retuning to Unit 17 October, 1945.
S.O.S. F.A.P. on transfer to 31st (Alberta) Recce Regiment on 5 November, 1943.
T.O.S. 31st (Alberta) Recce. Regiment on transfer from 2nd Airfield Defence Bn. (R.R.) on 6 November, 1943. Rank is now a trooper.
Granted leave and furlough with R.A. to 3 December, 1943. TWA547586
Att. for rations and qtrs. to KORC(CA) Victoria to 7 December, 1943.

Bill never made it to any battlefields. The record of military service indicates that he was listed as being A.W.L. at 2200 hours of 27 February, 1944. He was never seen alive again.

Sadly, with special grief to Jim and our mother, Bill had died while in the army…Bill of the blue, blue eyes and the kind and honest heart.

On 10 February, 1945, Bill’s body was found in brush outside of Chiliwack, B.C. The causality notification form indicated that the presumed date of death was the day he went missing on 27 February, 1944. A letter was sent from G.S. Perrin, Brigadier, of the Department of National Defence Army, to my great grandmother, Sophia Johnston, that indicated the body of her son had no evidence of bone fractures and because of the advanced state of decomposition the coroner was unable to record the actual cause of the death.

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Free Press (13 Feb 1945)

Bill’s body was discovered wholly by accident when an 18-year-old boy, Gerald Walsynuk, found it in a remote spot of Oscar Hotchkiss’ Farm near Lickman Road. The body was found lying behind a log, under some cedar trees, near a stream of water. The body was fully dressed in battle dress including black coveralls and a black tam on the head.

The British Colombia Police report sent along with military records from LAC is able to fill in a few questions. Lieut. Chet Woods, who was attached to the 41st. Alberta reconnaissance Regiment, Vedder Crossing, B.C., while talking to a Miss A. Flynn, informed her that a private of that unit had gone insane and wandered away from the camp and that they had searched for the man but without success. If the above is true then it is possible that William G.W. Johnston is the man in question. Capt. Mooney was there that night and might be able to shed some light on the matter.

This is where the report ends abruptly. I do not know whether the police were able to get a hold of Capt. Mooney or whether they were able to conclude the report. I contacted the Chilliwack RCMP office but to no avail as their records only go as far back as 1971 and anyone who might have known if there were earlier records have either died or retired. The Chilliwack Archives were able to provide me with a few newspaper articles but they also do not provide a conclusive answer. My next step is to contact Canada National Defence to determine whether they have an archives department that might hold something. I also want to contact the Canadian Military Education Centre Museum to see if they have any ideas on where I should turn next, however, their hours of operation are limited and I have not had the time to contact them.

I have no idea what happened to my grandfather’s brother and I don’t know if I ever will. Was the pressure of his post too much for him? Did he loose his mind and commit suicide or was he a victim of homicide? I wonder if a more conclusive answer would have been made if his body was found sooner. It seems like such a bizarre set of circumstances I really don’t know what to make of it. Based on my current knowledge of Johnston family we have no obvious history of mental illness. The closest instance I can think of is that Jane Atchison (1854-1893), William’s grandmother, died of asphyxiation during an epithetic fit.

Chilliwack Newspaper (7 Mar 1945)

Chilliwack Newspaper (7 Mar 1945)

Bill was buried on 5 March, 1945, with full Military Honours in the Canadian Legion Cemetery in Chilliwack, B.C. Row C, plot 57. He is one of 9 individuals buried there. After the death of William George Washington there was some superstitious feelings on naming any further Johnston babies William in case further tragedy might befall the family again. Consequently I have no uncles, cousins, or nephews named William.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 23 – 1915

1915 Dec 23 – News from War Front

Lieut. Denis Cockrill, who was recently wounded, has sufficiently recovered to return to the trenches. (Ashton Dennis Cockrill, 1887, 12656)
Private Jos. Gallant who enlisted at Dauphin last winter, has been recommended for the D.S. medal. He rescued two officers after they had been wounded by the Germans near their trenches. (Joseph Gallant, 1892, 424019)

1915 Dec 23 – Sixty now Enlisted

Recruiting for the battalion with headquarters at Dauphin is going on briskly. The officers and men here now total 60, and it is expected by the 1st of the New Year will be over 100 strong.
The officers state that the men enlisted are well suited for the service and are engaged drilling every day. Physical drill exercises are held in the town hall and platoon work at the agricultural grounds. The officers in command and privates are as follows:

OFFICERS
Lieut.-Col. R.A. Gillespie, O.C. (Robert Alexander Gillespie, 1881, xxx)
Capt. and paymaster, H. Hunter (Henry Cecil Hunter, 1888, 234232)
Lieut. V.N. Severn, keeper of records (Vernon Nicholl Severn, 1890, xxx)
Lieut. J.W. Skinner (Joseph Winstanley Sinner, 1875, xxx)
Sergt. M.A. Young (Martin Albert Young, 1880, 460218)
Sergt. A.C. Wade (Arthur Ca?ebourne Wade, 1871, 693015)

PRIVATES
F. Crowe (Frederick Crowe, 1870, 1000002)
H.R. Tarzwell (Hugh Robert Tarzwell, 1884, 1000026)
R. Merrell (Robert Stanley Merrell, 1892, 1000020)
J. Meader (James Henry Meader, 1875, 1000019)
J.C. Henwood (John Charles Henwood, 1895, 1000011)
T.M. Jones (Trevor Morgan Jones, 1876, 1000013)
H.V. Cousans (Henry Victor Cousans, 1885, 1000003)
F. Kilborn (Frank Kilborn, 1875, 1000015)
J.R. Smith (James Russell Smith, 1880, 1000025)
W. McClernon (William McClernon, 1887, 1000021)
J.E. Hooper (Joseph Edgar Hooper, 1872, 1000012)
C.W. Elliott (Charles William Elliott, 1891, 1000006)
H. Gardiner (Henry Gardiner, 1891, 1000008)
A.G. Peers (Arthur George Peers, 1878, 1000023)
C. Klyne (Charles Klyne, 1886, 1000016)
W.E. Demery (William James Demery, 1890, 1000005)
J.H. Klyne (James Henry Kylne, 1893, 1000017)
J.E. Bickel (James Edward Bickel, 1881, 1000001)
J. Gough (John Gough, 1874, 1000007)
M. Jacobson (Martin Jacobson, 1881, 1000014)
E. Sandgrew (Earnest Sandgrew, 1893, 1000024)
A. Douglas (Arthur Douglas, 1897, 1000004)
J.W. Lane (James William Lane, 1879, 1000018)
R. Pollard (Robert Pollard, 1871, 1000022)
W. Hatt (Wilfred Hatt, 1888, 1000010)
P. Harrigan (Patrick Harrigan, 1883, 1000009)
J. Hickie (James Hickie, 1895, 1000027)
A.F. Tigg (Arthur Frank Tigg, 1892, 1000028)
T.G. Kirk (Thomas George Kirk, 1882, 1000029)
W. Greenshields (William Greenshields, ???, 1000031)
J.E. Donnelly (John Edward Donnelly, 1878, 1000030)
S. Hesson (Samuel Hesson, 1880, 1000071)
G. Montgomery (George Albert Clash Montgomery, 1898, 1000032)
W.J. Crittenden (William James Crittenden, 1896, 1000058)
J.F. Calder (???)
A.E. Taylor (Albert Edward Taylor, 1893, 1000063)
J.H. Codd (John Codd, ???, 1000064)
J. Love (John Love, 1877, 1000067)
A. Love (Andrew Love, 1883, 1000072)
J. Minnis (James Minnis, 1876, 1000073)
M.W. Primrose (Malberry Whittington Primrose, 1894, 1000077)
J. McLetchie (John McLetchie, 1885, 1000070)
F. Hicks (Fredrick Hicks, 1891, 1000080)
C. Benson (Christian Benson, 1887, 1000081)
J. Humphry (???)
W.F. Terrell (William Francis Terrell, 1890, 1000141)
M.J.T. Cathcart (William Joseph Tidmarsh Cathcart, 1898, 1000147)
G. Douglas (George Douglas, 1897, 1000148)
J.G. Cathcart (John George Cathcart, 1872, 1000146)
C. Wilkey (Charles Henry Wilkey, 1895, 1000149)
G. Wilkey (George Wilkey, ???, 1000155)

NOTES
Tuesday was pay day, and the bank tellers were given a heavy bombardment for an hour.
Marsh Cathcart has enlisted as regimental bugler.

1915 Dec 23 – Had Head Cut Off

Ochre River, Dec. 21 – A fatal accident occurred on Tuesday, Dec. 21, about noon when Charlie Blackman, a farmer of this district was instantly killed by the bursting of a circular wood saw. Mr. Blackman had just returned from the poll where he had been recording his vote and was cutting wood
Deceased was an old resident of the district and leaves a wife and ten children, 5 sons and 5 daughters. The eldest being a son 17 years of age. The saw that Mr. Blackman was operating was known to be cracked, but had been working for some time in that condition.
Coroner Rogers, from Dauphin visiting the scene of the accident, and after learning the facts decided an inquest was not necessary.

1915 Dec 23 – Young Ruthenian Accidentally Shot

A young Ruthenian, 24 years of age, accidently shot himself at Ethelbert on Monday evening. He was hunting rabbits at the time, and pushed the butt end of the gun in a hole, discharging it, the contents entering his abdomen, making a bad wound. Drs. Culbertson and Bottomley were sent for and went to the northern town on Tuesday morning. They dressed the wound but have little hopes for the recovery for the young man.

1915 Dec 23 – Fork River

Mrs. N. Little and daughter, Grace have returned from two weeks’ trip south.
Mrs. A. Hunt and children left on Wednesday’s train for a two months’ vacation with her friends at Ottawa.
It seems to be the order of the day of late for the Dauphin train to arrive late and take a rest at Winnipegosis for from 4 to 3 hours while they catch a load of fish for the return ship. Passengers waiting to go to Dauphin have to hang around all day. How long will the suffering public have to put up with this kind of service?
Mrs. Craig, of Weyburn, is here on a visit to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Northam.
Mr. W. Williams, our lumber magnets, has a gang out on his Lake Dauphin limits preparing for the winter’s out of lumber.
The returned hunters report big game hard to get this year. They have not had the success of other years. In a few years, if the present slaughter goes on, there will be no big game left to hunt. To preserve these fine animals a close season of two or three years should be put in force at once by the government.
F.O. Murphy paid the burg a long visit between trains last week. Fred took a cargo of eggs with him as he says “Murphys” are not too bad an old time. The only thing that it takes the train so long to go to Dauphin the eggs might hatch out on the road and he would have to get a hen coop on his arrival.
The Orangemen of Fork River will [1 missing line] ball on December 31st in the Orange Hall. Admission, gents $1, ladies free. Good music and supper provided. An invitation is extended to all.

1915 Dec 23 – Winnipegosis

A grand patriotic concert, including a ladies Indian Club display song tableaux, a dramatic dialogue and the orchestra will be held in the Rex Theatre, on Tuesday, Jan. 4th, 1915, at
Eddie Chermok’s new store is all ready for business now. His stock arrived last train.
Mrs. McEachern, of Fork River, spent Wednesday in town.
The whist drive of the Cosmopolitan Club took place on Friday evening. The prize winners were Miss Margaret Goodman and Mr. Wiseman. The bobby prize went to Miss Bertha Magunson and Mr. J. Campbell.
The Xmas tree held n the Presbyterian Church was a great success and the turn out was the nest in the annals of the town. Miss Gracie Whale was presented with a prize for the best attendance at Sunday school for the yea and John Wallace won second prize. Santa Claus did not forget any of the children.
Jas. McInnes, Walter Grenon, Joe Mossington, and Capt. Buck, returned from their hunting ground and report a good time. They brought back some good specimens of the wild steers of the Northlands.
Settlers are still flocking into the vacant lands north of here. There is room for all comers yet.
The school is closed for the festive season and we regret to say that we are losing Miss Whitemore who will attend Normal at Winnipeg after holidays. Miss Whitore will be greatly missed as she has endeared herself to her pupils and her many friends alike in this town.
Miss McMartin left on Wednesday’s train for her home at Franklin to spend the holiday season.
D.S. Hatties’ rink beat E.R. Black’s rink by 9-7. The ladies are taking an active interest in curling this season and can throw as good a rock as many of the boys.
Harry Hunter, of Fork River, spent Wednesday in town.
Mr. Goodman returned from a business trip to Winnipeg on Wednesday’s train.
Miss Augusta Crawford arrived from Dauphin on Wednesday’s train to spend Xmas at her home here.
If the mail gets any heavier Comf. will have to get a horse and rig. What price, Casey.
Mrs. Ben Hechter left on Wednesday’s train for Winnipeg on a visit.
F. Hechter left, for Waterhen on Tuesday afternoon.
We had a special train up for fish on Tuesday.
Don’t forget the Red Cross concert next week. Buy your ticket now.
The secretary treasurer of the village reports the taxes coming in very will and a great many took advantage of the discount up to the 15th Dec. The taxes are payable at par up to July 1st.
The Council of the Village meet in the Council Chambers at 2 p.m. on Monday, 3rd, of January.
Mrs. Ben Hechter and Miss Molly Hechter left on Wednesday for Winnipeg on a visit.
Ray Burley, Bert Arrowsmith, G. Johannason, A. Allan and Rev. Clixby are up from Brandon for the holidays.
On the night of the 21st inst. the Bicton Heath children were coming to Winnipegosis to the Xmas tree with Supt. Tom Toye as driver and on arriving inside the town limits a few of our children in happy spirits were singing. “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” which patriotic song so scared the wild quadrupeds that they bent it for the tall timbers leaving Supt. Toye and his whole school in the ditch singing “Will Ye Na Come Back Again?” However, nothing daunted by this little mishap Supt. Toye marched with his flock to the Presbyterian Church, where they enjoyed a most pleasant time.
Last week an old Frenchman at Waterhen left his nephew’s house to go to the house of a neighbour and got lost and froze to death.
Geo. Adam, of the Fishery spent Wednesday in town.
Jas. Alex and W. Walmeley returning from Waterhen Saturday and report fishing good.
Alex. Bickel arrived to town on Saturday with two loads of fish and returned from there Friday.
We are glad to report all well at Ed. Morris’ camp. The teams returned from there on Friday.
We regret to lose for a little while, and yet we are so proud to report that our worth citizen, Mr. Frank Hechter has enlisted for active service with the 107th Battalion and will be leaving us to join his regiment about the 10th of January. Frank will be badly missed but we hope to give him a royal welcome on his return. We understand he takes the rank of quarter-master sergeant. The business will be carried on by his brother, Ben Hechter until his return.

1915 Dec 23 – Winnipegosis

Dr. Medd and Rev. Kirkpatrick returned last week from the hunting ground. Rev. Kirkpatrick got a nice elk.
The trains are very late in arriving and leaving lately.
Mr. Robertson, surveyor, is in town after inspecting the roads at Cowan and Camperville.
The snow low left for the north at the latter end of last week.
Mr. James, of Winnipeg, is spending a few days in town.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 19 – 1912, 1918

1912 Dec 19 – Fork River

Herman Godkin, real estate agent of Dauphin, spent a few days with W. Williams.
We have been informed that Mr. Walter Clark was fortunate to get a moose. The head is said to be the finest seen in these parts with a spread of forty-four inches.
Sid. Gower, engineer, returned from Dauphin and intends working with W. Williams this winter.
We were pleased to meet Peter Robinson, an old-timer, in town. He is spending a short time with his parents on the Mossey River.
The C.N. telegraph gang is here renewing the poles, which work was needed.
The Newell moving picture show that was booked for Tuesday and Wednesday did not come off at the orange Hall for lack of accommodation. We need a good boarding house here for the travelling public.
There was not a very large turner to the masquerade ball in the Orange Hall on account of the farmers being busy threshing.
Mr. McIntosh, of Valley River, was here on business.
The Rev. H.H. Scrase will hold a Xmas service in the school house, Winnipegosis on Xmas morning at eleven o’clock, and in All Saints’ Church, Fork River, in the evening at eight o’clock.

1912 Dec 19 – Winnipegosis

Mr. Malley, from Brandon, arrived in town Tuesday. We trust the weather will be favourable for his trip up the lake.
The municipal elections are on now. May we hope that the wiser promises made by the candidates be fulfilled by the successful ones. We certainly need more passable roads, and here be it remarked that if our church wardens finds transportation between here and Fork River too difficult to accomplish in the future, the vision of the rectory, seen here, will have to materialize.
A Christmas morning service will be held in the school house 11 a.m. Come and help sing the carols insuring a “Merry Christmas.”
The Santa Claus fund seems to be a popular one. Perhaps it is because he is such an adept of minding his own business. He is remembering our bachelors with many plum puddings.
The Card Circle will be closed this week for the year. It is a matter of serious consideration if it should be reopened as so many lovers of the game do not enter before 9 p.m., which is near the time when wise and honest heads seek their rest; besides beige started to while pleasantly away a couple of hours, thus inviting congenial spirits, and finding ourselves entertained by a stranger proves a mental lack which should more advantagely be supplied at home, nevertheless we trust for a closing game this week that will reveal its true merit and may the winners of the prizes make good use of them. A certain Mr. Webber is to be thanked for the gentleman’s, which is a gun metal watch.
If we hurt ourselves as much by falling when climbing up hill, as we would so doing when running down hill, no one could be blamed for refusing to climb; but one of nature’s mercies is that we cannot.
The Christian League held a very successful meeting ask week.
The hunting season being closed may the stronger sex once more settle down to “the daily round.”
No moose, no heads, no tales.
Wm. Parker, of this Armstrong Trading Co. is up the lake or out to Pine Creek auditing books.
The young people of our town have a bond of sympathy with Dauphin ones in the difficulty (met here) of preparing a skating rink – see the lake.

1918 Dec 19 – Had Both Legs Crushed

Orval McInnes, a boy about 15 years of age, met with a bad accident at Winnipegosis on Tuesday. The boy was assisting to put ice in an ice house when the block that was being raised slipped from the grippers and fell on his legs, crushing them badly. He was brought to the hospital here the same afternoon.

1918 Dec 19 – Bicton Heath

Winnipegosis, Dec. 14.
Heath Officer Dr. Medd was through this district this week and has closed the school for the time being as some of the scholars are down with influenza.
D. Crerar has sold the Hudson’s Bay farm for a good figure. What about the herd law now?
Mr. Laidlaw has finished threshing. The cattle will have a chance to feed considerable land next spring.
Hechter Bros.’ gasoline tractor has arrived and they intend to turn over considerable land next spring.
W. Paddock has broke considerable land this year. Steam and gasoline engines materially aid in preparing the land for crop.
Mr. Winger has sold his flock of sheep to Mr. Venables for a good figure. There is no doubt but sheep pay well and in the future more will be kept in the district.
Mr. Waddell, from Missouri, is the new teacher engaged for the Bicton Heath School. It is up to us to “show Mr. Waddell.”
F. Sharp has completed his house and stable. The buildings are the right type for the farmers and we hope to see more of them erected.
Thos. Toye, our local weather prophet, says the winter will be a mild one. Tom, it may be said, does not make his observations from charts, but seeks his weather lore from wild animals, such as the muskrat, which he says you can depend on.

1918 Dec 19 – Fork River

Chas. Bugg, of Ochre River, was in town lately renewing acquaintances.
Pte. Arthur Shannon is home, having received his discharge.
The election is over and we are now already to shake hands and enter into the Christmas spirit, good will toward all men.

1918 Dec 19 – Winnipegosis

The Dominion Government is making headway with the cutting of a canal at Meadow Portage which, when completed, will open up a waterway with Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Manitoba. The land through which the canal will run has already been cleared and boarded and in the spring about 600 men will be employed doing excavation work.
A card party, in aid of the Red Cross, is being held every Wednesday evening in the Rex theatre. A good musical program is provided and refreshments are served.
A special Xmas service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 22nd, in the Union Church. Special Xmas hymns and solos will help to make the service attractive. Subject will be “The Brotherhood of Man.” A hearty welcome is extended to all.
On the afternoon of Xmas day a Xmas tree entertainment will be held in the above church and a huge tree loaded with toys and decorations will be exhibited to delight the hearts of the children. Santa Claus has arranged to give every child a present from the tree.
A bank will shortly be established at Winnipegosis.
A recent traveller on the Dauphin and Winnipegosis express complains bitterly of having to have an extra washing day in the same week owning to the dirty condition of the train.
The Armstrong Independent Fisheries is sending ten teams up the lake this week to bring in fish. Other companies also have teams employed bringing down fish.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 17 – 1914

1914 Dec 17 – Another 110 Men Wanted

Another large force for overseas service is to be raised in Canada at once. Major G.C.J. Walker received a wire this Thursday morning to this effect. The telegram read as follows:
“You are authorized to mobilize immediately one company of infantry a total 110 men for overseas service. Standard height, 5 feet 4 inches; age, 18 to 45; chest, 33 ½ inches.”

1914 Dec 17 – Injured Man Getting Better

Thos. Free, who was badly injured in a collision at Kamsack a couple of weeks ago and had to have one of his legs amputated, is making excellent progress towards recovery. It is probably he will be able to return o his home next week.

1914 Dec 17 – Jack Myers Shot in Leg

Jack Myers, a well-known resident of Gilbert Plains, was shot in the leg last week while hunting in the Riding Mountains by a young fellow named Coulter. Coulter saw the bushes move and before his companion, a man named Morran, could stop him, fired and dropped Myers.

1914 Dec 17 – Ruthenian Patriotism

An evidence of the patriotism of some of the Ruthenian settlers was given on Saturday when two of them. Panko Schnuyk and Peter Toporoski came to town to tender their mites for their country. Each gave a dollar towards the patriotic fund and also gave their promise to contribute a dollar a month each to the fund as long as the war lasted.

1914 Dec 17 – Fork River

Mr. W. Williams returned from a visit to Mrs. Williams who has been very sick for some time in the Dauphin Hospital. We are all pleased to hear that Mrs. Williams has recovered enough to be able to return home next week.
Mr. George O’Neill, of Mowat, returned from a visit to Winnipegosis and is delighted with the lake Town.
Mr. F. Hechter, of Winnipegosis, one of the candidates for the reeveship arrived in this burg in company with Mr. Steve Lytwyn, a representative of the Armstrong Trading Co. Mr. Lytwyn is assisting Mr. Hechter in his campaign to get control of the municipality.
Mr. Duncan Kennedy, late manager of the Armstrong Trading Company, has accepted a position with Mr. Hechter, of Winnipegosis. Mr. Kennedy has been here for the company for several years and attended strictly to business ear in year out. Although we are sorry to see Mr. Kennedy and his family leave, his friends wish him all kinds of good luck.
The box social under the auspices of All Saints’ Woman’s Auxiliary on the 11th, was fairly well attended. The boxes realized good prices in the hands of our friend, “Scotty,” who acted as auctioneer, and a nice sum was realized. It was, we believe, one of the most enjoyable times ever held in the hall. Credit us due the ladies for the nice display of boxes to tempt the boys. The social came to a close at 4.30 in the wee small hours.
There will be a public Christmas tree under the auspices of All Saints’ Sunday school on Wednesday evening, Dec. 23rd, to commence at 8.30 sharp. Everybody is invited to come and help give the kiddies a good time. Admission, adults 23 cents, children free. Proceeds to go towards maintaining the Sunday school.
Mr. Thomas, travelling Missionary of the Anglican Church, will preach in All Saints’ Church on Dec. 20th at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Everyone invited.
Rev. Mr. Thomas will hold a meeting in All Saints’ Anglican Church on December the 19th, at 2.30 p.m. sharp. All members and those who are in sympathy


1914 Dec 17 – Sifton

The Grain Growers’ Patriotic concert held here last Friday met with great success. There was very good talent from Dauphin, also West Bay and Fairville. There was a very good attendance indeed from the outlying districts. The Sifton boys proved themselves very good in their little play, “Christmas night at the Front.”
Mr. Robt. Brewer shipped another car of stock on Monday. Quite a rustler is “Bobs.”
We all regret that Mr. William Birch, late station agent, has left town for good. We understand he is going to Invermay, Sask., and we all wish him the best of luck.
Mr. Caldwell, of Dauphin, was a visitor in town last week on business.
We understand that Mr. John Aller, of Fairville, is holding a social next Saturday in aid of the Red Cross Society. We trust it will be a success.
Messrs. Baker and Kitt, the well drillers, are now busy canvassing orders as they expect their drilling outfit this week. They are deserving of success.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 16 – 1915

1915 Dec 16 – Every Bone in Leg Broken

Tony, the 8-year-old son of Wm. Baylis, of Dublin Bay, had his left leg badly injured at the end of the week by a bolt, which was loaded with manure, going over it. When Dr. Culbertson examined it he found every bone in the leg broken.

1915 Dec 16 – Mossey River

Reeve – F.B. Lacey, re-elected.
Councillors – Ward 2 – Ab. Hunt, re-elected.
Ward 6 – Coun. S.B. Reid and John Bilinski.
Ward 4 – No nomination.

1915 Dec 16 – Sifton

The grand school concert at Wycliffe is on Dec. 23rd, when that delightful pastoral of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” will be presented by the pupils of the school. The matter, scenery and music have been specially arranged and adopted by the principal. A Negro minstrel troupe is also a feature entertainment and many other pretty items will be given by the junior scholars. The evening will wind up with a dance. Light refreshments will be had from a buffet presided over by the ladies. The funds will be devoted to the wants of the Scouts of Sifton troupe, and the school children. Come in crowds and have a good time. Program holders will be given accommodation in the front seats, Price 25 cents. The program can be obtained through the school children. Return trains from Dauphin.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 11 – 1913, 1919

1913 Dec 11 – Fork River

Mr. Mornington, of Neepawa, is spending the hunting season with John Robinson, of Mowat.
Several cars are being loaded with bailed hay at this point. The hay is of good quality.
David Briggs, of Brandon, and Ed. Briggs, of Souris, are visiting their brother, T.N. Briggs, on the Mossey during the hunting seasons.
John Tidsberry of Dauphin, spent a few days here on business lately.
John Clemens was lucky enough to get a noose and is now busy shipping grain from the elevator as farmers are busy drawing in grain this nice weather.
The municipal election is in full blast and the candidates are busy as bees.
Fred Cooper and W. Williams have returned from a business trip to Winnipegosis.
The mayor, aldermen and several others of Winnipegosis, attended the nomination at Fork River. Everything passed off quietly.
Wm. Foley and Mr. Elliot were visitors here on Sunday last.
Nat Little and son are buying up another shipment of cattle.
Fork River has a blacksmith now. Once as been wanted for some time badly. Another new industry is a laundry.
The annual school meeting for Mossey River S.D. was held in the municipal office on Dec. 1st. A. Hunt the retiring trustee, was returned for another term. A school in the village is needed very much as the majority of the scholars have to travel a mile and a half from the village and often farther.
Wm. Northam has returned from a visit to Weyburn, Sask.

1919 Dec 11 – Two Fatal Accidents

Two accidents occurred at the weekend which resulted fatally. Oliver Trann, who was employed by Evans & McEwen at their sawmill in the Riding Mountain, was killed on Friday by a falling tree. He was a resident of Crystal City, Man., and 28 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children.
Peter Terresdale, aged 22 years, received he contents of a shotgun in the left hand and abdomen at McPherson’s camp on Saturday afternoon. He was removing a shotgun from a sleigh when it accidentally discharged. He was taken to the hospital and died there on Sunday afternoon. Deceased’s home in in Indiana.

1919 Dec 11 – Fork River

The Christmas tree arranged for to be held in Orange Hall on Christmas eve, under the auspices of All Saints’ Church, has been cancelled. The S.S. will have their Xmas tree in the church on Xmas eve, and the staff hopes to have a pleasant time with the scholars.
Rev. Mr. Roberts held service in All Saints’ Church on Sunday, 7th inst.
At the annual meeting of Purple Star L.O.L. No. 1765, the brethren decided to hold a ball on New Year’s Eve. Good music and supper. Admission, gents, $1.
The following officers of Purple Star, L.O.L., were elected: Bro. Fred. King, W.M.; H. Hunter, D.M.; M. Cooper, chaplain; W. King, R.S., reelected; A. Hunt, F.S. C.E. Bailey. Treas.; Edwin King, D of C.; F.F. Hafenbrak, lecturer; S. Reid, D.L.; F. Cooper, 1st com.; W. Russell, Fred. Armstrong, J. Bickel, committeemen.
A very interesting debate took place in All Saints’ Church on the evening of Dec. 3rd, under the auspices of the Sunday school. Subject of debate was, “Resolved, that a city boy has greater advantages than a country boy.” The captain for the affirmative was Mrs. A.J. Little; negative, Mr. Jarvis. Very interesting points where given on both sides although the negative won by five points. Chairman for the evening was W. King; critic, D.F. Wilson, Sr.; judges, Miss Hess, Mrs. E.V. Lockwood and D.F. Wilson, Jr. These regular Wednesday evening meetings are for the advancement of the Sunday school and any one interested in the work are invited. Meeting for Dec. 10th will be in the form of a parlor field meet and is in the hands of The Daniel’s Band, Mr. Lockwood’s class of boys.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 10 – 1914

1914 Dec 10 – Military Notes

The address of the Dauphin soldiers with the Second Contingent at Winnipeg is care of “H Company, 32nd Battalion.”
Troopers Barker, Alguire and Leigh are now attached to the machine gun detachment.
H. Wade has been promoted to sergeant and S. Ellis to corporal.
All the boys are reported in good health and enjoying themselves.

1914 Dec 10 – Bad Accident

Thos. Free, a yard brakeman at Kamsack, met with a bad accident on Saturday morning last. He was standing on the rear platform of a freight train, which was being closely followed by a yard engine. The air brake was set in such a way that it brought the train suddenly to a standstill, the result being that the engine following crashed into the caboose and Free had his legs crushed. The injured man was rushed to Dauphin on a special, which made the trip in record time. On examination of his injuries it was found necessary to amputate his left leg above the knee. He is now reported doing nicely.

1914 Dec 10 – Fork River

The post office inspector was a recent visitor to our burg.
Mr. S. Bailey has returned from a business trip to Dauphin.
Those who have been out hunting the monarchs of the forest report the big game scarce. The weather, too, has been unfavourable. At the present rate the deer are being shot we must expect them to become fewer each year.
D. Kennedy is on the sick list.
Dr. Medd’s pleasant countenance was in our midst of late. The Dr. is popular here and when our village grows larger, as it is sure to do, and passes Winnipegosis and becomes a rival to Dauphin, it is more than probable the doctor will take up his residence in our midst. At least, he likes our climate and the optimism of our people.
The people are all looking forward to the Christmas entertainments in the schools. We all grow young again joining with the children in the Christmas festivities. Happy childhood.
Unless the snow comes soon the usual quantity of wood marketed here will be less than usual.
Santa Claus will have the time of his life this year in choosing a reeve. There are three aspirants for the position, viz., Wm. King, our present representative; Fred. Lacey and Frank Hechter. If dear old Santy gets down the right chimney he will place the plum in “Billy’s” sock.
The municipal nominations took place on the 1st inst. It was a surprise to many that there was opposition to the reeve as it was generally felt he should have a second term. He has worked hard and did well for the municipality. Let the people remember this when they cast their ballots on the 15th.
There will be a meeting of the council on the 18th inst. at Winnipegosis.
Mrs. D. Kennedy and two daughters, have returned from a visit with friends in Dauphin.
Among the parties out deer hunting are the following: M. Venables, F. Hafenbrak, J. Richardson and F. King. These fellows travelled west. Another party went east. It is composed of D. Briggs, of Brandon; Ed. Briggs, of Hartney, and several others.
Tom Briggs was the first to capture a moose, having had him rounded up all summer. You have to go some to get ahead of friend Tom.
Mrs. Theo. Johnston, of Winnipegosis, left for her home after a week’s visit at Mr. Kennedy’s.
Mr. O’Caliaghan, auditor and Mr. John Seiffert, of Winnipegosis, are paying this burgh a visit.

1914 Dec 10 – Sifton

Mr. Robert Brewer shipped a carload of stock from here on Monday.
Mrs. P. McArthur was a visitor in town last week on her way home from the Pas, where she had been visiting her daughter.
The Sifton boys have been very busy rehearsing the play they are going to give at the Grain Growers’ patriotic concert, at the schoolhouse in Sifton on Friday, the 11th inst. Don’t forget to come it will be a crackerjack.
Messrs. Baker and Kitt are away to Winnipeg to inspect a well drilling outfit. We all hope to see them busy drilling wells in the near future.
Mr. James McAulay, the Massey-Harris agent, was in town this week and reports business slow.
Doctor Gilbart made a flying visit here on Monday from Ethelbert.
Mr. A.J. Henderson, has been a visitor in the town the last few days. Everyone trusts he will be easy on them these hard times.
We are all proud to know that we have one lady in our midst who has volunteered her services to the Red Cross Society. We learn that she is leaving here this weekend we all wish her the best of success.
Messrs. Walters, Baker and Kitt made a business trip to Winnipegosis last week, returning same day.
Mr. Wm. Barry, the manager of the milling Co. at Ethelbert, made a flying visit on Sunday and reports business with him very good.
Don’t forget to come to the Patriotic concert on Friday. After the concert supper will be served then dancing until daylight.