Friday, January 15, 2010

The Boer War and Southwestern Ontario



In the war between the Boer states and Great Britain Canadians took an active part. With the exception of the Sudan expedition this was the first time that Canadian soldiers served outside of the Dominion of Canada.  Canadian politics being what they were all were volunteers. The Canadian Militia Act forbade sending  active regiments overseas. A problem that would be addressed  by the formation of battalions in 1914.

Six contingents numbering  7,300 officers, non-commissioned officers, and men served in South Africa. The first contingent (2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry)
 was enlisted for a 6 month duration with the liability of serving for one year. They sailed from Quebec, on SS. Sardinian, 30th October, 1899; arrived at Cape Town on 29th November 1899. Company ’B’ was recruited from Southwestern Ontario. Company ‘B’ returned to London, Ontario, December 25, 1900.

“The London Free Press, December 26, 1900”  welcomed back Company ’B’  under the headline “A KHAKI CHRISTMAS”, and listed the soldiers by name and town of origin.

Pte. J. Breeden, Brantford             Pte. F. G. Stanbury, St.Thomas
Pte. H.G. Ballard, Stratford           Pte. F. Sutherland, St.Thomas
Pte. J.C. Beers, Windsor               Pte. F. W. Turner, London
Pte. W. Burgin, Brantford              Pte. W. G. Wardell, London
Pte. H. Burwell, London                Pte. A. B. Webb, Huron
Pte. A.G. Burwell, London            Pte. W. Westaway, London
Pte. A.E. Cole, London                 Pte. J. Wells, Guelph
Pte. P. Delmer, London                 Pte. A. H. Wheatcroft, London
Pte. W. Foote, London                  Pte. G. White, London
Pte. C. Green, London                   Pte. A. R. Wilson, Brantford
Pte. W.J. Green, St.Thomas           Pte. G. W. Woodliffe, London
Pte. J.C. Hill, London                     Pte. J.B. Milliken, London
Pte. J. Herrick, London                  Pte. P.N. Stacey, St.Thomas
Pte. P.C. Ingamills, London            Pte. R. G. Aitkins, Fergus
Pte. K.G. Johnston, Sarnia              Sergt. G. R. B. Sippi, London
Pte. C.B. Little, London                  Sergt. F. Gorman, Sarnia
Pte. H. Lane, Woodstock                Corp. H. Little, London
Pte. J. McCalla, St.Catherines          Corp. A. Bethune, London
Pte. W. W. McMahan, London        Corp. R. W. Wilson, Tilsonburg
Pte. D.C. McMillan, Sarnia               Corp. J. C. Biggs, Windsor
Pte. G. Odlum, Woodstock               Lance Corp. G. W. Munroe, Ailsa Craig
Pte. E.W. Peart, St.Mary’s                Hospital Sergt. A. V. Becher, London
Pte. J.B. Robinson, Windsor              Bugler, E. N. Dolman, Windsor
Pte. C. R. Scott, Sarnia

This list represents only those who were dropped off to be demobilized in London. Others went on to their own towns, and I will try to organize lists for future blog posts.
The photo is of the Boer War Memorial in Victoria Park, London, Ontario. http://www.victoria-park.com/

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