Today in the Dauphin Herald – July 3, 1919

Case Transferred to Winnipeg

The case of the Armstrong Trading Co. vs. J.P. Grenon and J. McInnes, which was among the list of King’s Bench cases here, has been transferred to Winnipeg. This has been done for the benefit of the counsel who are all Winnipeg residents. The case starts today (Thursday).

Great War Veterans Hold Big Celebration

Fortune smiled on the Great War Veterans on Tuesday. Their first celebration was a splendid success viewed from all standpoints. The weather was ideal, and the crowds the largest that ever visited the town. Between four and five thousand people were on the Exhibition grounds in the afternoon. There was not a hitch to mark the day’s program.
The parade in the morning attracted much attention and favorable comment was heard on all sides on the many and varied representations in the line of march. There were cars decorated with flags without number, and it appeared as if every boy and girl in the town carried the colors.

Verdict for Mrs. Haley

Mrs. Jos. Haley has secured a verdict for $10,000 in the count at Saskatoon against the Canadian National Railway for the death of her husband. Joseph Haley was killed at Hawke’s spur, a mile west of Hudson’s Bay Junction in the fall of 1918 by being caught between a loading platform and a freight car. Action was instituted in the province of Saskatchewan owing to the accident having occurred there. The case came to trial at Saskatoon on June 25th, when judgment was given for $10,000. Bowman, McFadden & Caldwell represented the plaintiff.

Mossey River Council

The council met at Fork River on Tuesday, June 10th, Coun. Yakavanka absent. The minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.
Communication were read from the solicitor re Bowlen judgment; Fred Wenger, account against ward 2; the teacher of South Bay S.D.; W.H. Paulson re taxes; three applications for the position of road commissioner; Bank of Nova Scotia re line of credit; Dept. of Public Works re road across 3-31-18; Geo. Lvon re wood on road; the estimates of Mossey River S.D., and a largely signed petition from ratepayers in south-east corner of the municipality and Lawrence municipality praying for a road on boundary line.
Hunt-Namaka – That a grant of $250 be made to the Fork River agricultural society.
Marcroft-Paddock – That after hearing the circumstances the taxes on the se 2-31-19 be allowed to stand over till the coming December, and that the penalty on them be cancelled.
Hunt-Reid – That a grant of $150 be made to the Returned Soldiers’ committee for the purpose of giving a banquet to returned soldiers.
Marcroft-Reid – That the secretary obtain designs of monuments from the different marble works with a view to erecting a monument to the memory of all Mossey River soldiers who were killed in the war.
Marcroft-Namaka – That Coun. Hunt and Reid be a committee to select, stake out and authorize the use of a nuisance ground for Fork River.
Hunt-Reid – That a grant of $10 be made to the South Bay Boys and Girls’ club.
Hunt-Namaka – That a special meeting of the council be held at Fork River on Saturday, June 14th.
Reid-Namaka – That Mrs. Domeric be refunded the taxes of 1918, with the exception of the special school tax.
Reid-Namaka – That the reeve and sec.-treasurer be a committee to deal with matters regarding the council chamber at Winnipegosis.
Marcroft-Namaka – That the account of Coun. Reid ($22) for letting and inspecting work be printed.
Marcroft-Paddock – That the auditor’s report be printed.
Reid-Namaka – That the accounts of the meeting of Jan. 7th, March 5th, and those of today, as recommended by the finance committee, be passed.
Bylaws were employing the collector at $5 per day when instructed to go out by the reeve and sec.-treasurer, appointing James Bickle road commissioner, and repealing the bylaw making the councilors road commissioners. Also authorizing a vote of the ratepayers of Mossey River School District, No. 999, on a $12,000 debenture bylaw.
The council then adjourned.

Fork River

A gang of men are engaged building a new elevator. This will make the second elevator at this point.
Gus. Andrus, Jim Parker and G. Lacey have invested in tractors and are busy turning over the soil.
The heavy rain of Saturday gave the hand a good soaking and the crops are greatly befitted by it.

Mossey River School Report

The following is a list of pupils who were successful in the recent mid-summer exams:
Grade VII—Honors; Bob Williams. Pass; Ben Shuchett.
Grade VI—Nathan Shuchett, David Nowasod.
Grade V—Honors; Arthur Jamieson.
Grade IV—Mildred Carlson, Amos Carlson, Bill Williams, Sofie Beyko.
Grade III—Goldie Shuchett, Edna Hafenbrak, Earnest Hafenbrak, Donald McEachern, Tony Beyko.
Grade II—Birdie Stonehouse, Roy Dewbury, Allie Dewbury, Steve Nowasod, Jack Puchaylo.
Grade I sr—Kate Williams, Milo Carlson, Peter Zerba.
Class A—Clarice Carlson, Mary Stefishon, Tommy Hafenbrak, Cornie Chipley.
Gertrude M. Cooper, teacher.

Winnipegosis Public Schools

Grade IV to Grade V—Honors; Theary Frederickson, Benjamin Ketcheson, Lawrence Marchenaki. Pass; Gladys Cartwright, Jos. Mikit, Clara Hubble, Alexina Dumas, Charlie Adam, Mary Langlois, Harry Whale, Muriel Snelgrove, Rae Spence.
Primary to Grade II—Pass; Olive Shears, Vera Wills, Christine Schaldemose, Glen Dunby, Marie Loire, Hugh Johnson, Elizabeth Bradbury, Brynhildur Bjornsson, Grace Campbell, Bert Hubble, Chas. Spence, Harriet McLeod, Paul Lemchuk.
T. Tozer, Teacher.

Grade IV jr. to Grade IV sr.—Honors: John Marchenski, Rose McAuley. Pass: Agnes Burrell, Mary Chermak, Margaret Sanderson, M. Mapes, Albert Dumas, Sarah Klyne, Mary Richard, Donald McAuley, Violet Groff, Wm. Mapes, Olivina Langlois, Blennie St. Matt, Jessie Paddock, Jas. Richard, Hilliard Denby, Beverley Scchaldemose.
Grade III to Grade IV—Pass: Jos. Ponliot, Daisy Walmsley, Frank Wallace, Myrtle Snelgrove, Lawrence McDonell, Martha Sanderson, Wall. Pouliot, Ralph McAuley.
Following is a list, in order of merit, of successful pupils in the recent yearly examinations in Winnipegosis public schools:
Grade VII to Grade VIII—Pass: Tina Marchenski, Margaret Robinson, Ernest Needham.
Grade VI to Grade VII—Honors: Margaret Magnusson, James Brown, Kathleen Dempsey, Margaret McAuley, Charlotte Bradley. Pass: Paul Rudiak, Grace Whale, Cecil Paddock, Frank Needham.
Conditional—Alice Mapes, Harvey McAuley.
Grade V to VI—Honors: Mary Marcuenski, Evelyn Groff, Svava Frederickson, Charlotte Adam, Addie Ketcheson, Gordon Rognvaldson, Edith Hubble. Pass: Muriel Burrell, Annie Denby, Archie McLellan, Amelia Adam, Hjalmtyr Thorarinsson, Jos. Schaldemose.
Grade V Jr. to Grade V Sr—Honors: Leo Magnusson. Pass: Harvey Grenon, Verna Denby, Esther Hechter, Evolda Whale, Felix Magnusson, Gifford Campbell, George Campbell.
M. McMartin, Teacher.
Leith McMartin, Teacher.

Grade II to Grade III—Honors; Fred Magnusson, Jennie Ogryzlo, Margaret McLellan, Annie Dubinak, Stearnie Fredrickson, Stephen Zawrich, Alvina St. Godard, Sarah Alex, Mary Lyons, Myrtle Clarkson, Roderick St. Matt, Jos. Hechter, Mark Brown, Annie Zuk, Alex Klyne, Uric Lavergna. Pass; Wm. Wallock, D’Elroy Pouliot, Medos Langlois, Wm. Flamand.
Conditional: Ernest Seiffert, Bruce McAuley, Florence Paddock.
Grade I to Grade II—Honors: Viva Burrill, Lilian Bilenduke, Mary Kruchek, Donald Morris, Iva Whale, Vera Rognvaldson, Dolly Morris, Annie Marchenski, Armand Langlois, Nora Demery, Keitcha Snelgrove. Pass; Chas. Kachoe, Roderick Klyne, Dan McKay, Stephen Ogryzlo, John Semchuk, Fred St. Matt, Jos. Vermette, Helen Fiddler.
L. Levites, Teacher.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – June 5, 1919

Dominion Day Celebration

The Great War Veterans’ association intend holding a big celebration on Tuesday, July 1st (Dominion Day). The programme provides for an elaborate Calithumpain and automobile parade in the forenoon, and splendid sports—baseball, football, track and children’s races in the afternoon. Suitable prizes given in all events. A grand ball will be given in the evening in the town hall.

The Strike Situation

The strike situation remains unchanged but late news from Winnipeg is hopeful of a settlement being reached. Locally the number of strikers has increased. The freight handlers, car checkers and call boys are the latest to join the strikes.
Supt. R.C. Brown was up from Portage on Tuesday and met the telephone operators, but the conference has not altered the situation and the exchange remains closed.
The best of order, however prevails throughout the town.

Winnipegosis Elections

Winnipegosis village, which has a charter of its own, held their elections on the 30th ult. There were three candidates for the Major’s chair. The vote stood: J.C. Adam 57, J.P. Grenon 19 and S. Sieffert 10. The following councilors were elected: Geo. Lyons Ward 1, Ed. Cartwright Ward 2, Jos. Burrell Ward 3, Sid Dennett Ward 4.

A Returned Soldier’s Lament

We are the boys who have done our bit,
But when we came back we were very hard hit.
The girls of Dauphin say we are tough!
I guess we are, all right enough.

We don’t mind the slams we get from either man or girl.
We just laugh at them, till their minds are in a whirl.
They call us boys instead of men,
But we took our stand with the best of them.

We fought in Belgium and in France,
And we made the wily and brutal Hun dance,
To the tune of the cannon, machine gun and bomb
We boys helped the Hun on the way to his home.

When we went o’er the top we had the best of luck.
Every blessed soldier boy filled with vim and pluck.
Thinking of the girls at home land of the brave and free!
Fight, even unto death, for the dame of Liberty.

Now, comrades, you all will agree with me
That some of these girls are as tough as we
So let us all strive to forgive and forget.
That we may learn to become men yet.

Winnipegosis

Pte. A. Clyne has returned to town from overseas after seeing two years active service.
While Mr. F.G. Shears and a few friends were motoring back from Dauphin they met with an accident. Mr. Archie McDonell was slightly injured.
The Ladies Aid of the Union Church held a very successful picnic on the school grounds. Refreshments and ice cream were served and an interesting baseball game was played between Winnipeg and Fork River, the latter winning by one side score. A crowd was in attendance from Dauphin and Fork River.
A.H. Steele has returned from Mafeking, where he has been fighting bush fires for three days.
C.H. Dixon was in Camperville for three days on business.
J.P. Grenon has taken about 20 fishermen to the Pas to fish in the lakes near Sturgeon, being mile 239 on the Hudson Bay Railway.
Mrs. G.W. Mullhearn and children came on Tuesday’s train to visit Mrs. A.H. Steele for the summer.
Miss A. Wilson has returned from an extended visit to the coast, and has resumed her work at the post office.
Long Shaw house has been burned out through bush fires.
The body of Helger Johnson, who was drowned in the lake six months ago, has just been recovered and was brought to town by Dorie Stevenson, on the boat Odinak.
The municipal election for mayor has just closed. It was a 3cornered contest and was hotly contested. Courad Adam was elected. The vote stood Adam 57, Grenon 19, Sieffert 10.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – May 15, 1919

Four Men Badly Injured

Mr. Arthur Fisher, who resides in the Burrow district, is erecting a large barn. Last Friday four men, John Neely, Frank Potter, John James and Geo. Smith were engaged erecting the rafters when a whirlwind came up suddenly collapsing the timbers. Neely, Potter and Smith were badly injured by the failing timbers. James, who was working on the top, jumped when the rafters commenced to fall, but was unable to clear himself and was struck and injured. Mr. Neely was so badly injured that his condition will not yet permit of his removal to town.

G.W.V.A.

The regular meeting of the above association was held on Thursday, May 8th, between 30 and 40 of the comrades being present. Owing to the unavoidable absence of the president, Capt. F. Scrase, Comrade G.F. Johnston, vice president, took the chair.
Applications were received from 13 returned soldiers for membership, all of which were accepted. This makes the membership of the local branch 195 and a considerable increase on this is expected in the near future.
The secretary has since this meeting been informed that a special meeting has been called by Premier Norrie to consider the memorial question for this province, on May 16th. It has, therefore, been decided to send a delegate to this meeting to represent this branch.
During the past week a donation of $112.65 was received from the citizens of the Ethelbert district, per Rev. G. Tymchuk. The thanks of the association are due to all the subscribers of the above mentioned donation.
A grant of $25 to this association has been received from the Dauphin Automobile club. This has been acknowledged and thanks are due to the members of the club for same.
On May 23rd and 24th the “Better ‘Ole” is being put on at the Star theatre. This is to be under the auspices of the G.W.V.A. Ask any returned man what he thinks of it and he will soon convince you, to say the least of it, that it will be well worth seeing, and at the same time give the association a lift.
A meeting was held on Friday, the 9th in connection with the G.W.V.A. Sports Day, to be held on 1st July, and arrangements made for appointing the various committees to make same a success. Posters are to be got out advertising same. The committee are requested to note that the next meeting will be held on Friday, may 16th, at 8 p.m. sharp. A full attendance is essential.
Members are asked to note that the Manitoba Provincial Command have issued a weekly paper devoted to the returned solider. It is known as the Manitoba Veteran, and will be issued weekly. The rate is 5c per copy or $2 per year. Sample copies have been received and if the paper continues like the sample a bright future is assured. Subscriptions are taken by the local secretary of the G.W.V.A.

Fork River

Billy Tuck has gone to Dryden, Ont., for a short trip.
W.R. Snelgrove is around again after his illness. He has moved on to the Chase farm, having exchanged his Dauphin residence for the property.
Steve Warrawrork, of Volga, has purchased the Slobodizan farm from W.R. Snelgrove.
Corp. Duncan Briggs and Private Tom Briggs and H. Craighill have arrived from overseas. They are looking hale and hearty.
Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Cameron and children, from Neepawa, are visiting at Mr. Nat Little’s house.
Robt. Rowe intends Fording it to town for the future, having purchased a Ford car from Nat Little.
Wm. Northam is busy fencing the farm be purchased south of town.
All Saints S.S. will meet as usual at 2 o’clock, Sunday, 18th inst.
Rain is falling as I write and it is welcome. All the wheat is about in. The season for work has been very favorable.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – April 10, 1919

Kicked in Face by Horse

Hancy Ward, a young farmer in the Burrows district received a kick in the face by a horse on Friday last. Both jaws were broken and most of his teeth were knocked out. He remained insensible for a considerable time after receiving the kick. When he recovered consciousness he managed to reach his brother Chris hose and was conveyed from there to the hospital, where is now receiving treatment.

Fork River

Ed. Morris and Pte. W Munroe, of Winnipegosis, were recent visitors to our burg.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Northam have returned from a two months’ visit to Vancouver, Seattle and other points and are well satisfied now with Fork River. In their travels they state that they saw no part equal to Fork River district.
Pte. Lorne H. Lacey, who was a prisoner in Germany for a considerable time, has returned home and his looking hale and hearty. There was a big crowd at the station to extend a welcome to him.
Edwin King has returned home from Winnipeg, where he took a three months’ course at the Returned Soldiers’ School.
Many birds are here and we may now count that warm weather will set the water in the streams running and everybody will want to go fishing.
A meeting of the Returned Soldiers’ Committee was held in the office of W. King, sec.-treasurer on Saturday evening last. The members of the Baseball committee were present and a satisfactory donation was accepted from the proceeds of the box social for the Returned Soldiers’ Fund. This was the first meeting of the Returned Soldiers’ Committee since the baseballers organized and on that account the donation could not have been handed over before. The committee are of the opinion that “Contributor’s” letter to the Herald was a little previous and uncalled for. The committee of each association is trying o work in harmony and retain the confidence the public has placed in them.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – January 16, 1919

Dauphin Flour in Belgium

Our readers will remember that shortly after the first reports of the suffering among the Belgian people, due to the Hun invasion in 1914, reached Canada, the Dauphin Milling and Creamery Co. Limited, ground a carload of flour from wheat donated by farmers and others in Dauphin and adjoining municipalities. This carload was duly shipped to Belgium but no official record was ever received of its having reached its destination. The following letter received a few days ago by the company makes very interesting reading, and it is gratifying to note that at least part of the donation reached the people for whom it was intended:
“52 Rue De Mondigny,
“Charleroi, Belgium.
“Dec. 1, 1918.
“Dear Sir,—You will no doubt be greatly surprised to receive this letter from a person that you have never seen nor heard of before, and your surprise will be still greater when you hear that it is written at your request.
“One day, early in 1915, I was present at the opening of a bag of flour which, with several others, had just arrived from Canada. At the bottom of the sack was a strip of paper bearing these words, ‘Whoever gets this bag of flour write and let us know if it is good.’ I would have written at once only the Germans, with their usual kindheartedness, made things so easy for us that letter writing was out of the question. I hope never to see a German again as long as I live. ‘The best of them are bad.’
“Your flour was excellent; it has not been our luck to have such good quality since. For the last three years our bread—it really doesn’t deserve the name of bread—was composed of everything except flour, thanks to Fritz.
“You would not recognize your flour sack. It has been transferred into a beautiful sofa cushion and occupies a prominent place in our drawing-room It is the admiration of all visitors.
“Last week the Canadian troops came to Charleroi; they received a warm welcome on all sides. Everyone here speaks highly of your compatriots, many English regiments passed two or three days in this town before entering Boschland. With every good wish for Xmas and with kindest regards.
“Believe me, yours sincerely,
(Signed) Andree McDonnell.”

Mossey River Council

The first meeting of the council of 1919 took place at Fork River on Jan. 7th.
The clerk swore in the newly elected members – T.B. Venables, reeve; J. Yakavanka, councilor for Ward 1; E.A. Marcroft for Ward 3, and J. Namaka for Ward 5.
Bylaws were passed making the councilors’ fees $4 per day and appointing D.F. Wilson sec.-treasurer at a salary of $875.
The bylaws of 1918 appointing the solicitors and health officer were confirmed for 1919.

COMMITTEES
Finance – Hunt, Marcroft and Paddock.
Bridges – Coun. Reid and Hunt.
Public Works – Coun. Marcroft, Paddock and Namaka be public works committee for Wards 3, 4 and 5, and Coun. Yakavanka, Hunt and Reid be public works committee for Wards 1, 2 and 6.
Paddock-Marcroft – That the bridge committee examine the bridges that are needing repairs and make an estimate of the material that will be required for the season’s bridge work and report to the clerk who is instructed to purchase same.
Hunt-Namaka – That the assistance which has been given to the family of the late Peter Smith be discontinued.
Hunt-Marcroft – That each councilor make a diagram showing the work in his ward which he would prefer to come under the working of the Good Roads Act for the yea 1919, and forward said diagrams to the sec.-treasurer, who is instructed to make a diagram from them showing the whole municipality, which diagram is to be forwarded to the Good Roads board.
Marcroft-Paddock – That the clerk instruct the solicitors to prepare a bill legalizing the assessment roll of 1918, and that the member for the constituency be asked to bring it before the legislature at the coming session.
Marcroft-Hunt – That a grant of $50 be made to ex-Reeve Lacey for miscellaneous expenses.
Hunt-Marcroft – That the assessment roll for the year 1919 is hereby adopted for the years 1919 and 1920.
Reid-Namaka – That Reeve Venables be a delegate to the convention of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities and that the delegates receive $25 for expenses.
Council adjourned to meet at the call of the reeve.

Fork River

Mrs. James Rice, of Northlake School, has returned from a trip to Winnipeg.
Mrs. R. McEachren and daughter Helen were recent visitors to Dauphin.
A car of young fat stock was shipped out last train. Good prices were realized by the sellers.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Little have returned from a short visit south.
H. Swartwood, International Implement Co., general agent, was at Fork River last week to hook up the orders of the local agent, W. King, for the coming season. Agent Billy K. is most optimistic as to the coming season’s business and to show his faith, has placed liberal orders.
Sunday school in All Saints Church every Sunday at 2 p.m.
Mr. Jarvis is now teacher of the Mowat School.
The continued fine weather is very favorable to stock and they are in fine condition.
Grain and cordwood are coming to market in considerable quantities every day.
The following are the officers of Purple Star Lodge, L.O.L., No. 1765, for the ensuing term:
W.M., Bro. C.E. Bailey; D.M., W.J. King; chaplain, Edwin King; rec. secretary, Wm. King; fin. Secretary, A. Hunt; D. of O., F. Cooper; treasurer, Sam Bailey; lecturer, F.F. Hanfebrak; dep. lecturer, Sam Reid. Committeemen – M. Cooper, H. Hunter, W. Russell, Ed. Morris, S. King, Jos. Bickel.

Sifton

A crowded schoolroom showed the appreciation of the residents of Sifton district of the Wycliff School Xmas concert. The hit of the evening was a three-piece sketch called “Santa and the Fairies.” Joe Reid acted as Santa, Miss Tilly Farion as Queen of the Fairies, and Witch Doubletongue was impersonated by Mary Braschuk. Patriotic songs opened the program, while several part-song contributed much to the enjoyment of the evening. An effective item was a serenade by the school children, clustering in a semicircle on the platform, with a flashlight playing on them for the darkened auditorium. Mrs. J.A. Campbell contributed the piano and violin accompaniments.
A good old-time dance, at which there was a large attendance, followed the concert. The dance music was given by Mrs. Campbell and Messrs. Marcott, Potoski, Kuczma, Halinski, and others.
The proceeds of the evening, totaling $56.75, have been placed in the bank as the Wycliff School Children’s Amusement fund. Part of it is to be applied at once to the repair of the school toboggan slide, a new concert platform, and ropes for the swings.
The teachers of the school, Mr. Bousfield and Miss Trew, and the children are grateful to the friends who gave the ample and excellent refreshments; to Mr. Paul Wood for the loan of his piano and for the willing assistance given by friends before and during the evening.
The fudge and taffy were provided by the children from their own lunch as a treat to adults, enjoying the Christmas spirit. The artists responsible for the blackboard scenes of the stage were Leslie Kennedy and Tilly Farion.

Winnipegosis

Old Josey Campbell, who resides near Water Hen, had his house and content totally destroyed by fire last Friday. The house was a new frame building, and the loss is ruinous to old Josey.
The council of the Village of Winnipegosis held its regular meeting last Tuesday. The council has been shorthanded for several months but is now complete, being reinforced by the addition of two new councilors, J. Willis and Chas. Denby. The council donated $400 to the Red Cross and discussed the building of a hospital and giving the town better fire protection. These last two matters will come up again at next council meeting.
The interment of the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Kennedy, Ochre River, formerly of this town, took place on Tuesday. Rev. Mr. Hook conducted the service.

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.