Sunday, September 25, 2011

Local Men In Canadian Mounted Rifles January 1900

“The London Advertiser” January 4, 1900 reported on the departure of A Squadron of the Mounted Rifles that left as part of the Second Contingent on it’s way to South Africa. In the service files you will notice that they are listed as being in the Royal Canadian Dragoons. I have tried to check out as many of the names that were listed as part of A Squadron as I could. I have added the full Christian names(rather than initials that the Advertiser used)  in the list. As far as I can tell they all survived. For many of the soldiers I have landed you on the services files. Some have more than one page so scroll onward !

Major Arthur H. King of the 1st. Hussars appointed Lieutenant of A Squadron.
His medal register is online at Library and Archives Canada only.

Alfred Ernest Ardiel, London

John Charles Sydney Marsh, London

Richard Henry Reynolds, London

Martin Janes, London

Hugh Horner, London

James Elliot Fraser, London

Michael O’Connell, London

George Richardson, London

J.A. Murnoe, London
It might be Munroe; however, no Murnoe in the archives matches a Londoner.

J. Richardson, London
Another puzzler. There is a J. Richardson; however, he is listed as being with the Royal Canadian Regiment although he seems to be from Ilderton.

Walter Wright, London

Frederick Miles, London

Charles Edward Shaw, London

Sperry Cline, Orwell

David Lockhead, Wingham
Another name which does not come up in the archives.

William Melvon Glover, Chatham

H.B. Allan, Windsor
The Advertiser listed H. B.; but his name was Edward Blake Allan. Be careful with the papers as these kind of mistakes are commonplace.

Frank Cornelius Peck, Chatham

J.C. Hemstreet, Windsor
The only man with this name was with the Royal Canadian Regiment. Is it the same man ? The rest of the files are useless.

Daniel Joseph Crone, Sarnia

Sergt. Campbell. Sault Ste. Marie
I am sticking my neck out here and saying that this could be George Campbell.Nothing about Sault Ste. Marie in these papers but there is a reference to the 22nd. Battalion which were also called the Oxford Rifles. The neat thing with these papers is that they are hand written.

William Tilley, Kingsville

Mortimer Symon Wigle, Kingsville

Lambert Rudolph Wigle, Kingsville

Angus Alanson Mcdonald, Kingsville

William Richard Maycock, Leamington

G. H. Tripp, Kingsville
There is an Edward Herbert Tripp that fit’s the dates, and was a member of the 1st. Hussars.

George Arundel Forbes, Kingsville

Ambrose Stover, St. Thomas
Nothing in the archives.

Walter H. Berry, St. Thomas
The archives have him in the Royal Canadian Regiment; however his files have him with the second contingent.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A 1940 Interview With George William Poldon

“The London Free Press”, March 2, 1940 interview of George William Poldon (1) who the interviewer claimed was the last surviving veteran of the Oxford Rifles during the Fenian Raids. As far as I know he may well have been the last surviving veteran of the Fenian Raids left in Ontario by 1940.

“I joined the 22nd. Battalion as a lad of 18,” he recalled with a reminiscent smile. Capt. J.W. Nesbitt’s Rifle Company No.6, of which I was a member, was really formed in the fall of 1865, but the men did not obtain their uniforms and equipment until May 24, the following year.

The call came on June 1 and we were rushed to Woodstock in whatever vehicles were available and then loaded on a train of box cars. We were just tumbled in like sheep,” Mr. Poldon laughed. We were taken as far as Paris and spent the night there.”

The next lap of the journey was in Port Colbourne, where the men remained overnight. Accommodations were poor, many of the soldiers lacking overcoats and blankets, and the food being far from appetising, he related.

“By the time we reached the battlefield, the Fenians had fled and taken shelter on a scow anchored out on the river, off Fort Erie. The boys would have liked to indulge in a little rifle practice in their direction but that was forbidden, continued the veteran with amusement.”

“Within a few days, the battalion went to London and after two weeks there we came back to Norwich and received a royal welcome, he said.”


(1) George William Poldon born 11 February, 1848 in the village of Norwich, Oxford County, Upper Canada, and died sometime after January, 1940. He married Isabella Haight ( 1854 - 6 January, 1891) on the 12 October, 1881.(2)

(2) Ontario Marriages, 1801-1828.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lt. Colonel William George Barker VC

From the "Toronto Star" 20 September, 2011
William George Barker (3 Nov. 1894- 12 March 1930) was not from Southwestern Ontario; however, there will be an unveiling of a memorial to Canada’s most decorated World War One veteran at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto on Thursday. For 81 years Colonel Barker has been largely forgotten as most of the attention has been given to Billy Bishop. 

Library and Archives Canada

Lt. Colonel Barker was decorated 12 times, and was credited for over 50 airplanes shot down (probably this is low).

Victoria Cross
Distinguished Service Order (twice)
Military Cross (three times)
Mentioned in Despatches (three times)
Medaglia d’argento al valor militare (Italy — twice)
Croix de guerre (France)

During the week of 8 January 1999, the Canadian Federal Government designated William George Barker as a person of national historic significance.