Tag Archives: Education

Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project Restored and Preserved

27 Oct

The Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project is back online, thank you for your patience while the website has been restored!  The project was served by a temporary website on the 123host at http://skschool.site123.me/ during the crash.

wood houses school old

The new content submitted to the Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse project between December 2017 and September 2018 was posted at http://skschool.site123.me/ during the offline experience.  This new content will soon be appearing at the original Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project http://sites.rootsweb.com/~cansk/school/  

Thank you for your patience, and your guidance as the Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project provides an online history for current generations to enjoy, preserve, and experience, our historical educational, architectural, and cultural, heritage.

Little known 1918 battle: Battle of Iwuy

25 Oct

Cimetiè re Iwuy carré militaire. Iwuy Military Cemetery
Niagra Cemetery, Iwuy Military Cemetery.

Little known 1918 battle: Battle of Iwuy





A very worthwhile project has been initiated in the city of Iwuy (population 3,232), department Nord, district of Cambrai (region Nord-Pas-de-Calais), France. Michel Lespagnol, resident of the village hopes to pay tribute to all the people who participated in a little known 1918 battle that freed the village on the anniversary date of “The Battle of Iwuy.” Lespagnol, retired now from the Railways, has a love of history becoming an amateur local historian of the area, and is requested by the teachers to help explain the great sacrifices undertaken by military personnel. With supporting documents and field trips, the classroom of youngsters are enriched by the knowledge imparted to them about the war effort. Lespagnol feels deeply about the great time lapse between current generations and the era of the “war to end all wars” and worries that after the interest re-kindled by the 100th anniversary of armistice that the youngest will forget these hard times too quickly.

Now a brief introduction to the Battle of Iwuy. “Combining elements of all-arms fighting, the last Canadian cavalry charge, and the only engagement of Canadian troops with German tanks during the First World War. Mike McNorgan’s analysis [in the book, More Fighting for Canada: Five Battles 1760-1944] of the 1918 Battle of Iwuy is one of the most interesting and original of the essays in More Fighting for Canada by virtue of the fact that almost no one has ever heard of the action. “1

“The 21 st Canadian Battalion will cross the Canal de L’Escaut over bridge …[location] at
0800 hours this date, and occupy billets in ESCAUDOEUVRES.”Full text of “21st Infantry Battalion War Diary (1915-1919)” at Archive.org

October 9, 1918 the Canadian Light Horse (CLH) had crossed the Canal de l’Escaut to seize the high ground northwest of Naves. Their attack was halted with heavy losses, by concentrated machine gun fire coming from Naves and nearby Iwuy.”[5]

October 10, 1918 was a rainy, misty day. The “A” and “B” Companies and the 19th Battalion went ahead for the attack on the town of Naves establishing a position about 8:30 in the morning. “In the afternoon the cavalry came up to advance on the next ridge. They went over us about 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. They had to go down a hill and up another. A creek [the River Erclin] ran between them and the Germans, who were on the other side in trenches on the hill. The cavalry went forward, the horses ringing wet (with sweat). …It is a pretty sight as they dashed down the hill and over the creek …then the Germans opened up on them. It was a shame. They could not help but hit them with machine guns. All the men out of seventy five or so went down but one, and he finally went. But the horses were not all killed. That attack was a failure…The charge on October 10 cost the regiment seventy-one animals, of which sixty-six were killed. The losses among the men were considerably lighter, five killed and seventeen wounded.”[5]

The 21 st Battalion War Diary mentions that on October 11th the Unit commanders met at 0100 hours to arrange the operation and details. The 20th Canadian Battalion was readied in the rear of the 21st Canadian Battalion, and they were ready to proceed at 0900 hours. The German troops shelled the area with H.E. and Gas from 05:30 hours onward. At 0900 hours, the 146th Brigade commenced to the the right of the 21st Canadian Battalion. Especially during the first hour of this advance on the high ground of Avesnes-Le-Sec many casualties were sustained as the Germans opened fire with machine guns. “Fifty percent of our Officers, N.C.O.s and Lewis Gunners became casualties during the first half hour of the action.” 21st Battalion

“The 4 th Canadian Infantry Brigade will continue the attack tomorrow, 11 th October, at
0900 hours, with the object of capturing AVESNES-le-SEC and move on to NOVELLES, and
attempt to make good crossing over River ERCLIN.
Full text of “21st Infantry Battalion War Diary (1915-1919)”

The action proceeded promptly at 0900 hours with the 146th Brigade on the right of the 21st Canadian Battalion. As the advance continued on the high ground south-west of Avesnes-Le-Sec and suffered many casualties from German machine gun fire. The enemy then brought out tanks as a counter measure. The Canadians withdrew to re-organize. 21 st Battalion war diary source

On October 11, 1918, the German counterattack involved military tanks. As the allies advanced, they were met by a bombardment of shells, and approaching tanks. After a reconnoiter by the military officers, the infantry was on task again. “Our officers began to figure it out and they yelled “come on Canadians.” We went and all the Imperials as well, we were all mixed up, and the rally was followed all along the line. It was in the open and there were thousands of men. The Germans were thick too. They had two tanks on our front. Great big square tanks. We went on to meet them and about halfways several of the tanks were shot by bullets. By now, the Germans had stopped and were starting to go back.”[5] In the aftermath, the reports differ as to the number of tanks, ranging from two to half a dozen tanks at this attack.

Deward Barnes states in his book, “Journal of Deward Barnes, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1916-1919” that “this episode is also peculiar because it saw an officer of the British Empire employing a captured, German-made rifle to help drive off a German attack consisting mainly of captured, British-made tanks?” Barnes states that about one hundred abandoned and damaged British tanks had been re-furbished by the Germans as only about twenty German-made tanks had been deployed.

Now the 20th Canadian Battalion, was immediately after the 21st Canadian Battalion, and the 20th was the left attacking flank. After the withdrawal, the advance continued onwards at 1530 hours on October 11th. Now the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade was fighting on the left. 21 st Battalion war diary source

As can be seen in the Military Cross Citation for Captain Baxter, “He [Baxter] pushed forward with his company, and having use of all his Lewis guns and three captured machine guns, was able to force the tanks to retire, thereby enabling the position to be held, and the advance to continue later.” source- Battling Tanks at Iwuy: The last German use of tanks in World War 1

“Thirteen Officers of those who went forward with the Battalion became casualties on October 10th – 11th.” Highest honours were bestowed. source 21 st Battalion war diary source

[October 11th/12th.] “Our casualties during the advance of the day were: Officers killed, 3; died of wounds, 1; wounded, 6; wounded at duty, 2; Gassed 1; Other Rankes, killed 39; wounded 272; Missing 2.” 21 st Battalion war diary source

Stephanie Potter in her thesis states, ” Cavalry was responsible for passing through the infantry line once objectives had been captured, and clearing the area of enemy troops while keeping pressure on the enemy retreat . In pursuit, speed was of the utmost importance to keep the enemy from reforming and reinforcing their lines and launching a counterattack. Cavalry was of vital importance in this particular role due to its superior mobility. Mounted troops were able to advance quickly, charge and disperse the enemy, and could efficiently round up small enemy parties or speed up their retreat.” However, as cavalry advanced into open country, enemy fire consistently came from covered locations such as woods, villages, and houses, leaving cavalry vulnerable and hard pressed to put enemy guns out of action. Thus machine gun support was necessary to counteract enemy fire, form defensive flanks and pivots for the cavalry to manoeuvre from and retain mobility, consolidate captured ground, and to fire upon the retreating enemy.”

Conversly, Potter states that tanks “were not designed to traverse trenches, but to advance across open country without being vulnerable to enemy fire.” Tanks had “limited reliability and slow rate of advance.” On observation tanks “were less vulnerable to machine gun fire than cavalrymen, but they could not sustain artillery fire…. Concentrated machine gun fire was capable of putting any tank out of action.” “Armoured vehicles also provided…a larger target, and lacked the cavalry’s mobility to escape …quickly….The enemy of the tank is the gun. In 1918 tanks were also hampered by limited manoeuvarability. It was understood that all tanks were incapable of manoeuvring in confined spaces, such as woods and villages. ….tanks could not perform their own reconnaissance due to poor visibility [from within the vehicle] and difficult communication between vehicles with no radios. ”

It is truly wonderful that Lespagnol is still in contact with the “family of George Hambley, one of the riders who wrote the last charge in his diary.” Additionally, Lespagnol states that “there is a small cemetery with 200 tombs of soldiers of the great war” at Niagara Cemetery, Nord, France.

Tank à Iwuy en 1918

Tank à Iwuy en 1918. A Tank at Iwuy in 1918.

According to Wikipedia, at Iwuy, there are two cemeteries which are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. “The Communal Cemetery Iwuy (Iwuy Communal Cemetery) was enlarged by German troops during their occupation of the territory. This extension was granted by the municipality after the Armistice and the graves of German and French soldiers were moved to other cemeteries. The British cemetery was established by the 51st (Highland) Division in October 1918. The cemetery contains more than 100 graves of soldiers who died in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945
Niagara Cemetery was established in October 1918 during the occupation of the village by British troops. It contains more than 200 graves of victims of the First World War, with a few unidentified ”

Niagara Cemetery inside

Cimetière Niagara intérieur. Niagara Cemetery inside

Approximately 26 soldiers with ties to Saskatchewan are buried at the Niagara Cemetery. One of whom was Métis Canadian Soldier, Charles Daniels Service No. 718433, born March 18, 1896 to John and Maria Daniels. Lespagnol was interested in finding out “who were the parents of this soldier, just to know the 2 nationalities just to show to the youngest that this was the concern of all the nations to put a end to this dramatic war.” On the 1901 census his father, John Daniels (English) was born in Manitoba August 1855 and his mother Maria Daniels (Cree) was born 1871, in the North West Territories. They had seven children, Charles was the fourth child born in South Battleford, North West Territories. Charles enlisted twice, on February 5, 1916 he provided William Daniels of Frog Lake, Alberta, his brother, as the next of kin the next time he enlisted ~October 26, 1916 ~ he gave his sister Emma Martel of South Battleford as his next of kin. When Charles first enlisted he stated that he was a labourer at Onion Lake, and had previously served with the 22 Light Horse, Saskatchewan. He served six months over seas with the 107th over seas Battalion, C.E.F. in 1916 following his first WWI attestation. On his second enlistment papers, he was living in Saskatoon, and gave his occupation as farmer. He gave the supreme sacrifice October 11, 1918, while serving with the 28th Battalion.Charles had three younger siblings, Marianne Edward, and Dorothy. William was the eldest in the family then Emma and Natelline (Vatteline) nickname Lena.

It is very gratifying that Lespagnol is willing and enthusiastic to share his passionate study of history in respect to the Battle of Iwuy, this obscure World War I battle whose details are fascinating and slipping away from the lives of present day society. Lespagnol is able to take the individual soldier memorialized on the tombstones of the Niagara cemetery, and place them into their larger context, enabling the students to understand the era, the memories and sacrifices undertaken by the soldiers. The Battle of Iwuy which took place in October 1918, may seem remote, perhaps not as inaccessible as the Battle of Waterloo which also affected the villagers of Iwuy, however, Lespagnol brings the past into the present, helping the youngsters perceive history with a new perspective. Lespagnol’s experience and knowledge enable the groups of students come to grips with a wonderment of “how did things come to be this way?”

Iwuy Niagara cemetery commons

Cimetière Niagara. Niagara Cemetery Author Camster CC 3.0


In remembering those who gave their lives during the Great War students and educators are honouring the past during the World War One centennary. Lespagnol says that it is of note that “all the nations [came together] to put a end to this dramatic war” On the 16th and 19th of November, 2015, Michel Lespagnol will lead 2 groups of students to the Niagara cemetery to explain to them about the Battle of Iwuy” at the very place where it took place. Here they will receive a more comprehensive understanding of the impact World War I had globally. By exploring the histories of those memorialized at Niagara Cemetery, the outing will show the international impact of the war, and how it involved the greater majority of countries at that time. Lespagnol hopes the next generation will remember the great sacrifices made in the “war to end all wars”. The soldier’s stories will thusly be recalled to mind, and the lessons from the Battle of Iwuy are learned through the soldier’s voices. Lespagnol, hopes to make a link, a connection with the new generation, “a duty of memory not to forget the sacrifices of the allied who freed us from the invaders.” Students will experience history of those brave men, the terrible losses experienced by families and counties, and the global impact of World War One. Lespagnol’s “aim aim is to pay tribute to all the people who participated to free our village at the anniversary date of “The Battle of Iwuy.”

Author Julia Adamson.
If you have further information about the Battle of Iwuy, know of a source of information, the global involvement of soldiers or biography of those who served from Saskatchewan at the Battle of Iwuy, please e-mail Julia Adamson, Saskatchewan and Michel Lespagnol, Iwuy, France. Thank you.


Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away;
poured out the red Sweet wine of youth;

gave up the years to be Of work and joy,
and that unhoped serene,

That men call age;

and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow!
They brought us,
for our dearth, Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.

Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.Rupert Brooke


Niagara cemetery

Niagara cimetière Niagara cemetery

holdName of each person in family or household on 31st March, 1901.Sex.Relationship
to head of
family or
widowed or
divorced.Month and date of birth.Year of birth.Age at last birthday.Country or place of birth
(If in Canada specify Province or Territory, and add “r” or “u” for rural or urgan as the case may be)Racial or Tribal originReligionTradeMother Tongue (if Spoken)comments

1901 CENSUS for Charles Daniels Family

25 42 Daniels John M Head M Aug 1855 45 Man English Church of England Employed 12 months in other occupation than trade in factory or home. 400 Extra earnings (From other than chief occupation or trade) Mother tongue English is crossed out and Cree written in

26 42 Daniels Marie F Wife M 1871 30 NWT Cree Mother tongue if spoken is Cree

27 42 Daniels William M Son S Feb 18 1887 14 English Mother tongue if spoken is Cree Can read, write and speak English

28 42 Daniels Emma F Daughter S Sep 1889 11

29 42 Daniels Natelline F Daughter S Nov 20 1891 9

30 42 Daniels Charles M Son S Mar 19 1895 6 0* “

31 42 Daniels Marianne F Daughter S Mar 17 1898 3

    1901 Census of Canada Page Information




#No. of
family in
order of
visitationName of each person in family.Relation to head of family.Sex.Married,
widowed or
divorced.Age.Country or Place of Birth

1906 CENSUS for Charles Daniels Family

15 3 Daniels John Head M M 60 Man

16 Daniels Mary Wife F M 36 Sask

17 Daniels William Son M S 19 Sask

18 Daniels Eunice ? Daughter F S 18 Sask

19 Daniels Lena Daughter F S 16 Sask

20 Daniels Charles Son M S 11 Sask

21 Daniels Mary Ann Daughter F S 9 Sask

22 Daniels Edward Son M S 3 Sask

23 Bull ? Solomon Boarder M S 19 Sask

1906 Census Page Data
District: SK Saskatchewan District (#16)
Subdistrict: 33 (Town of Battleford) Page 22

Images are from the National Archives Web Site
Details: Schedule 1 Microfilm T-18360
Source : Automated Genealogy



holdName of each person in family or household on 31st March, 1901.Sex.Relationship
to head of
family or
widowed or
divorced.Month and date of birth.Year of birth.Age at last birthday.Country or place of birth
(If in Canada specify Province or Territory)

1911 CENSUS for Charles Daniels Family

36 19 Daniels John M Head M Apr 1850 60 Sask

37 19 Daniels Mary F Wife M Mar 1865 56 N.W.T

38 19 Daniels William M Son S Jan 1886 25 N.W.T

39 19 Daniels Charlie M Son S Mar 1894 17 N.W.T

40 19 Daniels Edward M Son S Apr 1902 9 N.W.T

41 19 Daniels Dorothy F Daughter S Mar 1911 03-Dec N.W.T

Note: Saskatchewan became a province in 1905, before this, the births were recorded in the area known as the North-West Territories (NWT). Territorial evolution of Canada Atlas of Saskatchewan Boundary Evolution

Source Automated Genealogy
/ 1911 / Saskatchewan / Battleford / 47 Battleford / page 3

National Archives



Lieut. Rich. Hocken is killed in action. Son of Former Mayor of Toronto - Lieut. G.E. Mills Reported in Wounded List. Toronto Star, Oct. 16, 1918


Lieut. Rich. Hocken is killed in action.
Son of Former Mayor of Toronto
– Lieut. G.E. Mills Reported in Wounded List.
Toronto Star, Oct. 16, 1918



Richard Hocken


20th Battalion Central Ontario, CEF. Wikipedia

Canadian Expeditionary Force: Central Ontario Regiment FirstWorldWar.com A multimedia hsitory of world war one. 20th Battalion.

21st Battalion (Eastern Ontario), CEF Wikipedia.

21st Battalion, Nominal Rolls 1915 and 1918 Canadian Expeditionary Force. Minister of Militia and Defence.
Year 1915.

21st Battalion History PWOR. The Princess of Wales Own Regiment.

The 21st Battalion CEF

21st Battalion CEF Discussion Group Yahoo Groups.

21st Battalion (Eastern Ontario) CEF Canadian Expeditionary Force Biographies written by Al Lloyd

Elie Barry **
Alfred Stanley Brown ***
Russell Brown
Roy A Burns
William E. Campbell
James Thomas Carroll
Gidreau (aka Gideon) Chartrand *
Richard A Clarke
George Granville Cobbledick
Thomas Sylvester Connaghan
Matthew Craig
Russell Crarey
Alexander DeMarsh
Roy Dickinson
Hugh Whitmore Dodson
William Harold Edmiston
William Forbes Ferrier
Pte James Foley
Sebra Hall
Pte William Hartell
Frederick William Heath *
Pte Findlay Henderson
Pte William Henderson
Pte James S Heyworth
Pte Mortie Hodge
Pte Harry Hopkinson
Pte Michael Kaley
Pte Montague EM Kemp
Pte Thomas Kenny
L/Sgt Alexander T King
Pte Irwin P Lehman
Ferdinand Leon
Pte Joseph Levert
John Robert Crawford MacPherson
James Mansfield
John Roy McBride
Charles Howard McInnis
David A McKenzie
Ian Ross McKenzie
Pte William J Newnham
James Leo O’Connor
Henry John Parkins
Pte Patrick Philban
Francis William Porter
Pte George A Ryan
Lt Alexander M Scott
Pte Francis Silver
Pte Herbert L Simpson
Pte John A Storey
Pte Joseph W Switzer
Pte Frederick H Tryon
Sgt John Turriff
Thomas Russell Watson
Pte Wellesley Wesley-Long
Pte Edwin Whitefoot
Pte J Wilson
Pte Norman Wilson
Pte Hilliard Wood
* Two buried at Ramillies British Cemetery
** Buried at Bucquoy Road Cemetery
Ficheux France
*** Buried at Marcoing Line, British Cemetery at Sailly, France.
Cemetery was later named the Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery

~ Those without stars, died October 11, 1918 and are buried at
Niagara Cemetery, Nord, France.

Within the biographies are excerpts from the 21st Battalion war diary regarding the Battle of Iwuy.

October 9, 1918.

“The 21 st Canadian Battalion will cross the Canal de L’Escaut over bridge …[location] at
0800 hours this date, and occupy billets in ESCAUDOEUVRES.”Full text of “21st Infantry Battalion War Diary (1915-1919)” at Archive.org

The 21 st Battalion War Diary mentions that on October 11th the Unit commanders met at 0100 hours to arrange the operation and details. The 20th Canadian Battalion was readied in the rear of the 21st Canadian Battalion, and they were ready to proceed at 0900 hours. The German troops shelled the area with H.E. and Gas from 05:30 hours onward. At 0900 hours, the 146th Bridage commenced to the the right of the 21st Canadian Battalion. Especially during the first hour of this advance on the high ground of Avesnes-Le-Sec many casualties were sustained as the Germans opened fire with machine guns. “Fifty percent of our Officers, N.C.O.s and Lewis Gunners became casualties during the first half hour of the action.” 21st Battalion

“The 4 th Canadian Infantry Brigade will continue the attack tomorrow, 11 th October, at
0900 hours, with the object of capturing AVESNES-le-SEC and move on to NOVELLES, and
attempt to make good crossing over River ERCLIN.
Full text of “21st Infantry Battalion War Diary (1915-1919)”

The action proceeded promptly at 0900 hours with the 146th Brigade on the right of the 21st Canadian Battalion. As the advance continued on the high ground south-west of Avesnes-Le-Sec and suffered many casualties from German machine gun fire. The enemy then brought out tanks as a counter measure. The Canadians withdrew to re-organize. 21 st Battalion war diary source

Now the 20th Canadian Battalion, was immediately after the 21st Canadian Battalion, and the 20th was the left attacking flank. After the withdrawal, the advance continued onwards at 1530 hours on October 11th. Now the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade was fighting on the left. 21 st Battalion war diary source

As can be seen in the Military Cross Citation for Captain Baxter, “He [Baxter] pushed forward with his company, and having use of all his Lewis guns and three captured machine guns, was able to force the tanks to retire, thereby enabling the position to be held, and the advance to continue later.” source- Battling Tanks at Iwuy: The last German use of tanks in World War 1

“Thirteen Officers of those who went forward with the Battalion became casualties on October 10th – 11th.” Highest honours were bestowed. source 21 st Battalion war diary source

[October 11th/12th.] “Our casualties during the advance of the day were: Officers killed, 3; died of wounds, 1; wounded, 6; wounded at duty, 2; Gassed 1; Other Rankes, killed 39; wounded 272; Missing 2.” 21 st Battalion war diary source

The 51st (Highland) Division The 51st Division War Sketches by Fred. A. Farrell.

ANDERSON, Carl Werner{Saskatoon, SK) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. SVWM.

Anderson, Carl Werner January 1, 1890 – October 11, 1918. Enlistment Nov. 6, 1916, Saskatoon, SK Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

Barnes, Deward and Bruce Cane. Chapter 11. The Armistice, October 9, 1918 to February 10, 1919 It made you think of home: The Haunting Journal of Deward Barnes, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1916-1919
Edition illustrated, annotated
Publisher Dundurn, 2004
ISBN 1550025120, 9781550025125

Digitized online by Google Books. Pages 256-265.

Barry, Bill. Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial World War I, Use advanced search for Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy France.

Saskatchewan Personnel
Cimetiè re Iwuy carré militaire
Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy, Nord, France

Given Names Surname Country of Background Citations
Carl Werner Anderson Born Boslau, Sweden, Enlistment Saskatoon, SK, Died Naves, France. British War Medal, Victory Medal
William James Beetham Birth Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, Residence Paddockwood, SK, Employed and enlistment at Winnipeg, MB, Died Thun-Saint-Martin.
John Henry Belt Born Darlington, Durham, England, Residence “Little Red River Reserve”, Ailingly, SK, Enlistment, Prince Albert, SK, Died Thun-Saint-Martin. Military Medal
William Jasper Benson * Born Bellingham, Lac qui Parle Co, Minnesota, Farmer at Cabri, SK, Parents reside Watrous, SK, Died Thun-Saint-Martin
James Cameron Born Mont Nebo, NWT, Enlistment Prince Albert, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Charles Daniels Born Battleford, NWT, Enlisted Winnipeg, MB, Residence Meadow Lake, SK, and Onion Lake, SK. Re-enlisted Saskatoon, SK Died Thun-Saint-Martin
Turnbull Davidson Born Belsay, Northumberland, England. Residence Rabbit Lake, SK then Square Hill, SK. Enlistment Battleford, SK. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
George Humphrey Dayman Born Whitewood, NWT, Residence Windthorst, SK, Enlistment Regina, SK,
Joseph Degrasse Born Bathurst, Gloucester Co., New Brunswick, Residence Big River, SK, Enlistment Regina, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
George Derby Born province of Ontario, Parents from Quebec, Residence Ernfold, SK, Enlistment Regina, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Peter L Drake Born Dunnville, Haldminad Co, Ontario, Residence Buchanan, SK and Birch Hills, SK, Enlistment Prince Albert, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Herman Dycke Born Winkler, Mb, Residence Warman, SK, Enlistment Saskatoon, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Edwin Goff Born Clarenceville, MRC de Haut-Richelieu, Quebec, Residence Rouleau, SK, Enlistment Regina, SK, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Edwin Hartsook Born Sioux Falls, Minnehaha Co. South Dakota, ResidenceT Sceptre, SK, Enlistment Regina, Sk, Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Alfred Hermanson Born Sweden. Residence Sturgis, Sk. Enlistment Melville, SK. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Isaiah Hopson Born Lower Gornal, West Midlands, England. Residence Estevan, SK. Enlistment Estevan, Sk. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Levi Hyde Born Somerset, England, Labourer at Springside, SK (resident), enlistment at Yorkton, SK, Died Thun-Saint-Martin.
Montague Ewart Miller Kemp Born Rotherfield, East Sussex, England. Residence Prince Albert, SK. Enlistment Prince Albert, SK. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
John Wasdale Lowes Born Bosworth, Wellington Co., Ontario. Residence Saskatoon, SK. Enlistment Prince Albert, SK. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
Isaac Morris Born Montgomery, Powys, Wales. Residence Wideview, SK. Enlistment Regina, SK. Death Thun-Saint-Martin.
James Leo O’Connor Born Lonsdale, Hastings Co. Ontario. Residence Gull Lake, SK. Enlistment Kingston, Frontenac Co., Ontario.
Francis Silver Born Barnstable, Barnstable Co, Massachusetts. Residence Tregarva, SK. Enlistment Regina, SK. Death northeast of Cambrai.
John Kearse Wakeling Born Greater London, England. Parents Maple Creek, SK. Residence Fox Valley, Sk. Enlistment Maple Creek, SK. Death Iwuy.
Wellesley Tylney Wesley-Long Born Munising, Alger Co., Michigan. Residence Saskatoon, SK. Parents of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Enlistment Saskatoon, SK. Death northeast of Cambrai.
Prince George Wheater Parents Flockton Manor House, Wakefield, England. Served with Saskatchewan Regiment, Canadian Infantry.
Raynor Wright Born Peterborough, England, Residence Marieton, SK. Enlistment Regina, SK. Died Iwuy. Military Medal
* William Jasper Benson buried at Iwuy communal cemetery
Note: Those soldiers born in the NWT were born in the North-West Territories of Canada. It was not until 1905 that the province of Saskatchewan was formed, and Mont Nebo, Battleford, and Whitewood were all placenames of Saskatchewan after this date.

Battle of Cambrai (1917) wikipedia

Battling Tanks at Iwuy the Last German use of Tanks in World War i Word Press. Link recommended by Al Lloyd historian for the 21 st Canadian Battalion

BENSON, William Jasper; {Cabri, SK) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. SVWM.

BEETHAM, William James; {Paddockwood, SK) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. SVWM.

BENSON, William Jasper, September 1, 1895-October 11, 1918, Watrous, Saskatchewan. Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

Between Long Lake and Last Mountain : Bulyea, Duval, Strasbourg.
Publisher, Date:
Strasbourg, Sask. : Strasbourg, Bulyea, Duval History Book Committee, 1982.
0889252327 (This book mentions Raynor Wright in the Roll of Honour listing.)

Borch, Peter. 28th Northwest Canadian Infantry Battalion. Saskatchewan Encyclopedia. Canadian Plains Research Center. University of Regina. 2006.

Cameron, James image Pages of the Past : History of Shell Lake-Mont Nebo districts

Published by Shell Lake: Shell Lake History (1986) (1986)

ISBN: 0 889 25487 7 , 9780 889 25487 9

Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group. “The Matrix Project” 21st Battalion.

Canadian Great War Project

Canadian Virtual War Memorial Charles Daniels Veterans Affaires Remembrance Memorials Veterans Affairs Canada

Date modified:

Cavalry in Training. National Film Board. “The Canadian Light Horse (CLH), distinct from the CCB, was formed in early 1917 from the 19th Alberta Dragoons, the 1st Hussars and the 16th Light Horse. The unit reported to Canadian Corps Headquarters and first saw action at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The CLH played a key role at Iwuy on October 10, 1918, where the last ever swords-drawn Canadian cavalry charge took place. In the final month of the war, the CLH were in front as a scouting force that ensured protection against attacks by German layback controls. ”

[1] Chief Military Personnel CMP Home > Canadian Military Journal CMJ Home > More Fighting for Canada: Five Battles 1760-1944. Book Reviewed by Major James D. McKillip. Government of Canada. Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Book recommended by Michel Lespagnol, Iwuy, France Historian

Conclusion of the Battle of Iwuy. Forgotten Books.ca. Canadas Hundred Days with the CAnadian Corps from Amiens to Mons. p. 310

DANIELS, Charles, (Battleford, Onion Lake, Saskatoon, Meadow Lake, Sk)Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial (SVWM)

DANIELS, Charles Canadian War Graves Commission CWGC

From Warriors to Soldiers. List of Native Veterans. Iwuy.

Frost, Cecil Gray (1897-1947) 6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company. Cecil Gray Frots (1897-1947). WWI Correspondence 1917-1919. Letter 18 16 October 1918 – France – an extremely slight wound … saw the fall of Cambrai

[5] Greenhouse, Brereton, James McWilliams, R. James Steel, Kevin R. Shackleton, George H. Cassar, and Bruce Cane. The Torch We Throw: The Dundurn WWI Historical Library: Amiens/Second to None/The Making of Billy Bishop/Hell in Flanders Fields/It Made you Think of Home The Torch We Throw: The Dundurn WWI Historical Library Illustrated Edition. Dundurn, 2014. ISBN 1459730305, 9781459730304 link recommended by Michel Lespagnol, Iwuy, France Historian

Horses in World War I Wikipedia.

HYDE, Levi {Springside, SK) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. SVWM.

Infantry Regiments. The South Saskatchewan Regiment. Volume 3, Part 2. National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Government of Canada. 2010-11-25

Kemp, Montague Ewart Miller. May 25, 1898- October11, 1918. Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

In Memory by Pierre Vanderfelden The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

KEMP, Montague Ewart Miller. (Prince Albert, Sk) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial (SVWM)

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Military Heritage. Canada and the First World War.
Date Created: 2000-11-11
Date Modified: 2008-11-07

Lindsay, Robert 28th North-West Battalion Headquarters. 2006

McPherson, Arlean.

The Battlefords : a history.

Publisher, Date:
Saskatoon : Modern Press, [c1967]
Commissioned by the Town Council of Battleford and the City Council of North Battleford to commemorate the anniversary of 100 years of Confederation. (This book mentions that J. Daniels served with No. J. Company, North West Rebellion of 1885 according to a quote from the April 23, 1885 edition of the Saskatchewan Herald newspaper)

Minutes the Western Front Association.

Niagra Cemetery Iwuy, Nord, France. Private 886397 Peter L. Drake

28th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment)


Son of Peter Montrose and Elizabeth Ann Cowell Drake of Dunn Township, Haldimand County, Ontario, Canada.

Row. E. 8.

Enlisted 18/02/1916

[2]Nicholson, G.W.L. (1964). Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 (pdf) (2nd ed.). Ottawa: Duhamel, Queen’s Printer and Controller of Stationery. p. 458. Retrieved 26 April 2011.

[3] Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Queens Printer and Controller of Stationary, Ottawa, Canada. Chapter XV Canadian Expeditionary Force (doc) The Final Advance. 12 October – 11 November. The Enemy Faces Defeat. Nicholson Matrix


Old Strathcona Remembers (OSR). (Edmonton, Alberta). Light Horse Park Application

  • Approval of Ligh Horse Park Naming, Strathcona Light Horse History, Map of Park Location in Strathcona Neighbourhood, Edmonton, Alberta. (pdf)
  • Naming Committee (pdf)
  • At the present, the Old Strathcona Remembers (OSR) committee has been successful in having an unnamed park at Strathcona, 84-85 Ave and Gateway Blvd – 104 St named the Light House Park. The history of the park area is closely related to World War I overseas theatre of battle as “In 1914, Edmonton’s cavalry soldiers and horses departed for service from the Strathcona train station in what is now Old Strathcona” – quote from the committee pdf. “A Squadron, Canadian Light Horse, made the last cavalry charge in Canadian history at the battle of Iwuy on 10 October 1918. This means that among the predecessor units of the The South Alberta Light Horse, or SALH… mounted the last cavalry charge in Canadian history.”[Wikipedia]

    Upon contacting the Old Strathcona Remmbers (OSR) Committee, Stephen “Sticks” Gallard, Chair OSR replied that “4 years ago we (OSR) started having Nov 11th parades in the unnamed park just west of the Connaught Armouries built in 1914 for the 19th Alberta Dragoons now folded into the SALH. OSR was started to address moving an original Legion Memorial located in the south end of the park to the north end ..to create a better space for the growing number of participants both military and civilian to attend. This idea took off and we then decided to build a better monument with an interactive park around it to showcase the relationship of the park, Connaught Armouries and the old rail-head across Gateway Blvd where the troops in WW1 would have embarked heading east to be shipped over to the battle fields of Europe during WW1.”

    Remebrance Day 2014 – Holy Trinity Church (near Light Horse Park

    “There is currently a small monument put in by the Legion in 1967 which will be
    relocated and enhanced using it as the middle piece of the new monument. Once done we
    hope to have the Feds certify it as an official Cdn war memorial.”

    “During all of this I realized the park had never been named and submitted for consideration and
    the subsequent approval Sept 2014 of the name of Light Horse Park. The logic behind this name
    was to reflect on the SALH a cavalry Regiment, the other units folded into it such as 19th AB Dragoons
    and also as homage to the horsemanship skills Albertan’s have always shown which lead to many of them
    being assigned to the Remounts Depot in Southhampton UK in WW1.”

    “Thus we now are working on raising funds to complete this project and hope to have it done by the
    spring of 2018 to coincide with the centenary of the end of WW1.” Proposed Perspective for Park (pdf) Proposal for park in 2018 (jpg picture)

    “We are seeking corporate and private sponsors and will also be doing a sponsor a brick to have
    a loved one lost in conflict inscribed on it to forever be a part of the parks rich history.” : Old Strathcona Remembers: Op Legacy Enhance (Word document) Stakeholders and Supporters

    “Our organization is requesting funds to help us in our goal to relocate and enhance by way of developing an interpretive park around it a monument that we can seek Federal recognition of as a certified Canadian war monument. This would be the only such monument in Old Strathcona and with reading boards around the monument would link the histories of the Connaught Armouries, the Railhead of the early 1900s across from it and the park now known as Light Horse Park and Holy Trinity Anglican the units Regimental Church. This project would also recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, the units that were involved as are now represented by The South Alberta Light Horse the provinces oldest regiment and the rich history of Old Strathcona. The park where it will be located 8513 104St is where troops and their horses were marshaled and processed through the armories to embark for the battlefields of Europe from the railhead across the street now known as Gateway Blvd. Completion date is designed to coincide with the centenary of the end of WW1 at which time we envision it being full readied for public use. We meet the Edmonton salutes mandate as this entire project is related to those who served and their legacies. Further it will allow people for generations to understand and recognize what the area of Old Strathcona went through sending its loved ones off to war.”… This quotation is an introduction from the Old Strathcona Remembers: Op Legacy Enhance (Word document)

    Linda Duncan NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona (Alberta) tweeted: “Here’s hoping we have Light Horse Park cenotaph in place to celebrate Canada’s 150th” (which happens to be 2017).

    There have been newsprint interviews, a podcast on CTV news, and a piece on CBC radio one.

    “We received a donation of 300 bricks from the U of A when they tore down 100 yr old homes for the
    new Loughheed Centre for LEadership, another 300 or so from a gent who had bricks from a torn
    down 1893 home and we will be getting more from the Leamington Mansion which was also a 100 years
    old which burnt down just over a 1 week ago.” Above notes are from an email from Stephen “Sticks” Gallard, Chair OSR supported by some current events news articles.

  • Kent, Gordon, Group using old bricks for new memorial honouring Edmonton’s First World War history. Edmonton Journal. October 25, 2015
  • Leamington Mansion bricks to live on as part of war memorial Metro News Edmonton.

[4] Patterson, Tim. New Brunswick Land Company and the Settlement of Stanley and Harvey. Harvey Cenotaph Index Page

In memory of
Lance Corporal

Potter, Stephanie E. “Smile and Carry On” Canadian Cavalry on the Western Front, 1914-1918. (2013) The University of Western Ontario. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. Paper 1226. [speaks to the use of tanks and the Cavalry in WWI. The cavalry actions of October 9 and 10 are discussed on Page 324-330 of the paper (the Adobe Acrobat Reader pdf pages are 335-341.]

Private Levi Hyde. “Born 17 Mar 1888 Walton, Somerset, England. Emigrated to Canada 17 Apr 1912. Married Elsie Parratt 1913 in Springside, Saskatchewan. Father of Arthur and Doris. Enlisted 28th Battalion 15 Oct 1915. Killed on last day of the Battle of Iwuy, aged 30.” Burial:
Niagara Cemetery
Departement du Nord
Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Plot: E. 26.

Royal Regina Rifles Wikipedia

South Alberta Light Horse

Springside and district memoirs.
Publisher, Date:
[Springside, Sask. : Springside Historical Society, 1983] (This book mentions Private Levi Hyde in the roll of Honour listing)

Tempest, Capt. E.V. Title History of the Sixth Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment: Volume I.—1/6th Battalion, Volume 1

Edition reprint
Publisher Andrews UK Limited, 2012
ISBN 1781515271, 9781781515273 Digitized online by Google Books

Wakeling, John Kearse- age 32 – October 11, 1918 Maple Creek, Saskatchewan Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

War Diary of the 18th Battalion CEF Battling Tanks at Iwuy The last German use of tanks in World War One.

Wartime letters of Leslie and Cecil Frost 1915-1919 R. B. Fleming. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 007

Wells, Jennifer. Last Commonwealth Soldier killed in WWI. George Price from Moose Jaw, Sask, was shot in the back, possibly while trying to steal a kiss from a Belgian Woman Toronto Star. Nov 09 2014

Wheater, Prince George. May 26, 1894- October11, 1918. Canadian Infantry Saskatchewan Regiment. Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

Wright, Raynor. June 4, 1886-October 11, 1918. Marieton, Saskatchewan. Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Government of Canada. Veterans Affairs.

WRIGHT, Raynor, (Bulyea, Sk) Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial (SVWM)

Canadian Mounted Rifles_poster

Rifles poster Canadian Mounted.
Canadian Mounted Rifles poster

To: saskgenweb@yahoo.com
From: Michel Lespagnol
Subject: Soldier

If you have further information about the Battle of Iwuy, know of a source of information, the global involvement of soldiers or biography of those who served from Saskatchewan at the Battle of Iwuy, please e-mail Julia Adamson, Saskatchewan and Michel Lespagnol, Iwuy, France Thank you.

From potential to realty ~ The Regina Normal School

9 May

From potential to realty

The Regina Normal School

With additional notes regarding the Regina College

University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina campus

University of Regina

History tells us where we come from and where we are going. Paradoxically, it is about the future as
much as it is about the past. Historical commemoration has always been about identity building, taking pride in past accomplishments and projecting forward a sense of purpose and mission. As individuals, we give our lives meaning by telling stories about ourselves and then living out the narratives. The same is true of institutions. “
~James Pitsula Realize. It starts with you

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Perrett in reminiscing of the “early days” of the Normal School related tales of the very “early efforts to obtain an education act and this was given in 1883 but assented to in 1886. In 1890 in the training school then existing, six third-class teachers were trained. From that small beginning the figures rose to 1,162 teachers trained this year (1922)”Morning Leader 1922

During these early days Mr. Frederick William Gordon Haultain was the President of the Executive Council, or Premier of the North-West Territories, as well as Commissioner of Public Instruction and Commissioner of Education, with Mr. David James Goggin appointed first as Director of Normal Schools then as Chief Superintendent of Education. Both Goggin and Haultain did not support the denominalisation of the North West territories school system aiming instead towards a unified nondenominational school system.

“Education among the people is the best security of a good government and constitutional liberty; it yields a steady, unbending support to the former, and effectually protects the latter. An educated people are always a loyal people to good government; and the first object of a wise government should be the education of the people. An educated people are always enterprising in all kinds of general and local improvements.“  Egerton Ryerson Putman 1912

Sir Frederick Haultain, “father of Saskatchewan’s Educational System” said that in 1888, there were 96 teachers for 90 schools and 2,409 pupils across the entire North West Territory.The Morning Leader Feb 26, 1920 The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan places early classes for teacher instruction beginning in 1890. Short training courses offered as set out by a School Ordinance of 1888 provided for Normal Departments with the objective of teacher training. Norman Fergus Black writes that Mr. A.H. Smith, B.A. principal of the Moosomin Union School offered the first classes informally between 1889 and 1890.

“The first authorized Normal sessions were given by the Board at Regina and Moosomin schools beginning in the fall of 1890” Irene A Poelzer Whenever there were ten pupils wishing Normal training, sessions to obtain a third class certificate were established at any Union School ie Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Moosomin, Moose Jaw, Weyburn and Estevan. H. W. Foght named the two teacher schools a farm community union school, whereas a three or more teacher school was termed a farm community consolidated school.

….. School Inspector John Hewgill taught at Moosomin in 1890 with six in attendance, and William Rothwell, B.A. offered teacher training classes through 1892 and 1893 in Regina. These inaugural classes were “invitational”. James Grassick, pupil of Regina’s first school presented the first teacher’s certificate issued, January 20, 1891 at the Regina school district No. 4 50th re-union in 1935. Ken Horsman relates that Dr. David J. Goggin, former principal of the Winnipeg Normal School in 1884 was the inaugural principal of the North-West Territories Normal School in the spring of 1893 operating out of Regina’s Union School.

…..Before the Normal School is formally established under Goggin, fifty five teachers were provided with teachers training by school inspectors in the North West Territories. “The Regina Normal School was initially housed in the Regina Union School at Hamilton Street and 11th Avenue, (also known as “The White School”). Later the teaching college relocated to South Railway Avenue in the “Second Glasgow House”.

By 1896, there were 258 students enrolled in the Normal School programme, necessitating a move to Alexandra School according to a report prepared by Allan Duddridge. Goggin, born in Ontario, studied under Egerton Ryerson, an advocate of public education for all.

” On the importance of education generally we may remark it is as necessary as the light – it should be as common as water and as free as air. “  Egerton Ryerson Putman 1912

…..Teaching certificates and teacher training was compulsory for teachers in the North West Territories as of 1893 school legislation. Teachers hired came from Eastern Canada with teaching certificates if they were not trained at the superintendent classes.

Goggin was followed by D.P. McColl in 1903, the second principal of the Regina Normal School. According to the City of Regina archives, classes were held in the attic of the Union School on Hamilton Street and 11th Avenue as early as 1903. Erected in 1890, it was more commonly known as “The White School.” The Union School closed in 1905. It was torn down and replaced with Simpsons Department Store. Presently the Canada Trust Building is located on the old Union School site. Allan Duddridge states in his report, The Old Normal School: Heritage Assessment of Building and Site in Regina in comparison with Saskatoon and Moose Jaw that Normal School classes were held at Alexandra School on Hamilton Street in 1896 with an enrolment of 258 students, and the Union School was used before this time.


Alexandra School 1909 Postcard 13097: Rice Lewis, Alexandra School, Regina, Sask. (c1911)
Credit: Postcard 13097: Rice Lewis, Alexandra School, Regina, Sask. (c1911) PeelD.P. McColl was soon appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Education under J.A. Calder Minister of Education who then called upon McColl to assume the role as registrar of the newly forming University of Saskatchewan. Lieutenant Thomas E. Perrett became the principal in 1905 having joined the teaching staff in 1904.

…..The year that Saskatchewan became a province, ” 1905 there were 1,011 teachers employed in Saskatchewan; when Mr. Scott retired 5,677 were engaged in the teaching profession and today (1923) the number is over 7,000. In teacher training work, the province has also shown remarkable growth. In the year in which the province was formed 187 teachers were trained in the normal schools; 911 received training 11 years later, and 1,574 last year. [1922]” reminisced Premier Dunning, “the number of pupils grew during Mr. Scott’s Premiership from 25,191 to 125,590, or multiplied five times during the period. The number of pupils enrolled today (1923) is 183,329.”The Morning Leader 1923

It was in 1906 that the controversy began regarding the location for the University of Saskatchewan. Moose Jaw, Indian Head, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Regina each brought forward their case before the University committee to have the provincial University located in their locale. The University Act of 1907 passed by the legislature enabled this body the right to confer degrees in Saskatchewan. The vote on April 7, 1909 was cast in favour of Saskatoon.


The Regina Normal school was housed in Alexandra school / the Red School in 1909 when Perrett left to serve with the armed forces. Alexandra School, erected in 1896 was named the Red School, a moniker taken on from its red brick construction. The name changed to Alexandra School in 1906 according to the Regina Public Library. In 1914 it moved again as neighbours to the Regina College site at Broad Street and College Avenue, occupying the space now held by the Fine Arts Building of the University of Regina. Regina Heritage Walking Tours mention that the Regina Police Department was housed in the old Alexandra School in 1921.

Regina Normal School 1910 Post Card 2662 Normal School Valentine & Son's Publishing Co. Ltd. Normal School, Regina, Sask. (1910)
Credit Post Card 2662 Normal School Valentine & Son’s Publishing Co. Ltd. Normal School, Regina, Sask. (1910) Peel…..

The construction of the Regina College was completed before a permanent building was established for the Regina Normal School. Separate locations, scope and purposes were established for both of these institutions ~ the Regina College and the Regina Normal School ~ which grew and evolved next door to each other on College Avenue. Students at the Regina College who had received their high school matriculation there may choose to pursue teacher training courses at the Regina Normal School.

…..The Methodist Church applied for a provincial charter to establish the Regina College in 1911 with Reverend Dr. Wilbur Williams Andrews set up as the first president of the college. The Methodist Saskatchewan Conference did not have its own Theological College, being served by the Wesley College in Winnipeg.

“Public spiritedness and unselfish aims are demanded by the very conditions of our social and national life.” Reverend Wilbur W. Andrews. Heritage and Hope

Until money could be raised for the Regina College, the city of Regina offered the use of the old Victoria Hospital built in 1901 on Hamilton Street as the new and larger Regina General Hospital was ready to open in 1911. The Regina College opened at 2240 Hamilton Street for classes September 5th 1911. The college buildings were located between Hamilton and Scarth streets and fourteenth and fifteenth avenues.

The Regina College built as a residential school for 200 students offered a ladies college, commercial study courses, music academy, collegiate courses encompassing second year university classes, and adult general education classes. According to the “Committee on Education of the Saskatchewan Conference, Methodist Church”, the institute was intended as a residential school offering preparatory classes for Grade XII or first year university, music, business and classes to upgrade public school instruction for high school work.Mombourquette 1986.

Francis Nicholson Darke financier, alderman, MP, and Regina Mayor contributed $85,000 towards the Regina College, and was a leading force in raising the remainder of the money to buy land north of Wascana Lake and west of Broad Street for the college building. The Regina College administration building cost $275, 000.

…..The Methodist Church received a gift of $100,000 from the Massey estate of Toronto towards the Regina College in 1910. Construction began for the Regina College building on 16th Avenue in May of 1911, and the cornerstone was laid by Lieutenant Governor Brown in the fall of 1911. This building complete with piano practicing rooms, conservatory, dining room, kitchen and classrooms was designed by Brown and Vallance. The exterior was to feature two towers at each end of the building and was designed in the Queen Anne style of architecture.

Regina CollegeLaying of the cornerstone for Regina College, October 25, 1911. (Photo # 80-2-1). credit University Regina Digital Collections
…..The Fairbanks – Morse Building (1911), Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Office (1913), University of Saskatchewan, College Building (1912 ), Canada Life Building in Regina in 1914 were all designed by prominent Montreal firm Brown and Vallance, followed by the
The Regina College featured a musical conservatory and provided preparatory and industrial work while serving as a residential college. The Regina College opened for classes September 5, 1911 with about 200 enrolled.

On October 13, 1912, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada, was present at the official grand opening of the Regina College. The college chose “Ut qui ministrat” Gospel of Luke Chapter 22 verse 27 as its motto, translated to “As One Who Serves”. Rev. Robert Milliken, B. D. succeeded Andrews as president of the Regina College in 1913.

A posse ad esse” translated from Latin as “from potential to realty” became the motto of the Regina Normal School. A more literal translation would be from “being able to being” interpreted as “from possibility to actuality” or “from being possible to being actual”. For teachers and students at the Regina Normal School, they adopted this belief that any possibility could become a realty.

Official opening of Regina College buildingOfficial opening of Regina College building credit U of R Digital Collections

We believe an intelligent citizenship with high moral and social ideals is the only true wealth and strength of any nation, the only assurance of prosperity and permanency. For the purpose of assisting to raise up such a citizenship we open the halls of Regina College without religious test to the young people of the Province of Saskatchewan.” D.J. Thom secretary of the BoardMorning Leader Oct 14, 1912

Official opening of Regina College building
Official opening of Regina College building credit University Regina Digital Collections…..The provincial Normal School had an attendance of over 350 during the 1911 school year. The initial costs for the new Normal School for Regina were pegged at approximately $300,000.

…..The Regina Provincial Normal School was under construction in 1913 on College Avenue and Broad Street upon the old jail grounds. (As noted by the City of Regina archives 16th avenue was renamed College Avenue.) A small section of the school was completed in 1912 comprising administration offices, dining room, chapel, student residences, and library. Thusly, a permanent location for the Regina Normal School was established in 1914 serving the province as the sole teacher training institution until 1922.

…..The teacher training institution received its name as a “Normal School” from the French education system Ecole normale superieure.” Designed in 1913 by the architects Storey and Van Egmond using a Collegiate Gothic style, the cornerstone was officially laid by Chief Justice F.W.G Haultain on March 30, 1913. This ceremony was chaired by Premier Scott. A notice dated November 28, 1913 was placed in the Morning Leader regarding the Alexandra school; “the Alexandra School, now occupied by the Normal School, will be to rent from January 1, 1914”. Classes opened for the winter session in the new Normal School building on January 5 of 1914 with 165 students enrolled. At this time a few classes were “still held” outside the building: Manual Training took place at Strathcona School and Domestic Science at Victoria School.

 Regina Normal School City of Regina Archival Records Collection : CORA-A-2132
Credit: Regina Normal School under construction ca 1913 City of Regina Archival Records Collection : CORA-A-2132…..The first Regina Public library built in 1912 in Regina (demolished in 1961), Eddy Apartments (1914), Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator Building (1914), the Traveller’s Building (1929), Balfour Apartments (1929) were also designed by the prominent architects Storey and Van Egmond.

Regina Normal School 1914 Postcard 12856 Lovell & Co. New Normal School Regina (cca. 1911)
Regina Normal School 1914 Postcard credit Postcard 12856 Lovell & Co. New Normal School Regina (cca. 1911) Peel…..
Upon reviewing Wascana Centre Authority plans for the current Regina College building, the Conservatory Building and West Tower were constructed together between the years 1914 to 1916 after the main building was erected. The design plans of Brown and Vallance called for a symmetrical design with both east and west towers, however the east tower was never constructed. The College Building has a variety of styles, shapes and roof forms divided into the west Tower, Conservatory North Block, Conservatory South Block, and Gallery Building. Darke Hall was erected as a separate building adjacent to the College Building. The Regina Normal School was another separate building located near the intersection of College Avenue and Broad Street.

Regina Normal School / Darke Hall / Regina College
Regina Normal School / Regina College / Darke Hall
adapted from Wascana Centre Authority University of Regina (with permission)…..Dr. R.A. Wilson held the post of principal of the Regina Normal School while T.E. Perrett was serving in World War 1, and Perrett resumed his post in 1915 after being wounded and permanently blinded during his service of duty.


Early advertisements announced that the residential school students at the Regina College were prepared for Grade VIII, Junior and Senior Matriculation, and offered classes in household science and dressmaking, business, art expression, music, and agriculture. [ Satisfactory completion of grade 12 was considered junior matriculation, and satisfactory completion of grade 13 was senior matriculation.] Whereas, the Regina Normal School provided teacher training courses.

After eleven or twelve years of schooling, a junior matriculation exit examination could be taken indicating completion of high school work. Following twelve or thirteen years of school, a senior matriculation exit examination was written for completion of an additional year of study generally considered a college work. Matriculation examinations admitted graduates directly into university, normal schools or faculty of education. The high school department examinations encompassed Standard V, VI, VII (later referred to as grades 9 through 12) whereas the public school department included Standard I, II, III, IV, IV (later termed grades 1 through 8). Class I designated 66 per cent or higher grade achievement, Class II certificates were awarded for grade scores of 55 to 66 per cent, and class III below 50 per cent.The Leader Post 1894

…..Due to the drastic shortage of teachers in Saskatchewan’s history provincial, and temporary teaching certificates were issued in order to prevent school closures. The salaries of teachers in English Canada, 1900-1940: a reappraisal states that a third class certificate was less than a complete high school education. Provisional certificates were those issued when requirements fell short of provincial regulations. In the early 1900s teachers could be hired with a first class, superior first class, second class, provisional, or third class (provincial) teaching certificate.

Regina College
Regina College, Women’s residence is under construction, ca. 1914. (Ph…..oto # 80-2-5) credit U of R Digital Collections…..By 1918, there were 150 enrolled at the Regina Normal School. During the 1920s a “short course” lasting four months was offered by the Normal Schools whereby, a student could upgrade their third class certificate to second class. By 1920 there were 6,500 teachers, for 4,300 schools instructing 151,000 students. The schools operated under 13,000 school trustees and 46 inspectors. The Morning Leader Feb 26, 1920 It was in 1924, that the Normal School system reached peak enrollment applications. 466 students in Regina, and 381 at Saskatoon were registered to attend. Applicants from out of the province had to be turned away.

…..F. M Quance served as principal of the Regina Normal School in 1926 followed by G.D. Ralston in 1927. In the province, at the end of 1926, there were 7,779 teachers hired. 1,724 had first class certificates, 3,907 with second class, 2,129 with third class and 19 with provisional certification.Leader Post 1957 Chas. E. Little, president of the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Association, spoke of the need to ensure that all teachers have a second class certificate as a minimum requirement for teaching, and to decrease third class and provisional teachers.Morning Leader 1926 By the start of the 1927 school season, there were three Normal Schools in the province, Regina and Saskatoon with a new one opening up in Moose Jaw.

…..With another sizeable donation in 1929 from F.N. Darke to the Regina College, the F.N. Darke Building was erected complete with pipe organ to provide music and art instruction. When the United Church of Canada was formed in 1925, amalgamating the Canadian Methodist Church, the Congregational Union of Canada, and Canadian Presbyterians, the Regina college therefore transferred to the United Church of Canada.

Reverend Dr. Ernest W. Stapleford who was the President of the Regina College between 1915 to 1937, had a desire to enable the Regina College to become an independent University. This wish did not come to fruition during his tenure due to the stock market collapse and the drought of the 1930s.
In 1934, the Regina College came under the jurisdiction of the University of Saskatchewan as a second campus of the U of S. severing connections with the United Church of Canada. A gift of $50,000 from the Carnegie Foundation for Higher Education was applied to the accumulated debt of $72,000 against the Regina College.

“Great as was the operating loss of 1934-5, it is more than offset by the advantages resulting from the attainment of the University’s great objective – to be the one recipient of state aid for University purposes and the sole degree conferring power in the province.” ~ Walter Murray, president of the University of Saskatchewan, 1908-1937

…..G.N. Griffin was appointed principal of the Regina Normal School in 1938. Between 1906 and 1940 22,492 teaching certificates had been issued.

The Regina Normal School along with the Regina College buildings served as a Royal Canadian Air Force training centre for the British Commonwealth Air Training Scheme during World War II. Initially Regina Normal School classes were re-located to the Regina Lakeview School, and then into the Regina Trading Company Building located five blocks away on Scarth Street and 12th Avenue between 1940-1944.

Steward Basterfield, Regina College dean 1940 to 1950, is quoted as saying, “we regret having to vacate our own delightful halls, but we are still a community of scholars, and can, in the ardent pursuit of knowledge, easily forget the small inconveniences imposed on us by the exigencies of war.”

The correspondence classes housed at Benson school were also asked to move. Due to declining enrollment, the Regina Normal School closed completely in 1944 and students were served from the Moose Jaw and Saskatoon Normal Schools.

 Sherwood Department Store, Regina Trading Company Building - Regina Normal School 1940-1944, now the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool
Originally the Sherwood Department Store,
then the Regina Trading Company Building ~ and ~ Regina Normal School 1940-1944,
now the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool: credit RPL Photograph Collection

“An education is not complete unless it has breadth. Our plains have breadth. Education reaches out in all directions; it is not to be directed inwards. Our aim, to give a broad education, is well presented by the feature, the Plains.” Lee Greenberg. Heritage and Hope

Following the second world war, students with a grade 10 or 11 matriculation were no longer accepted into the Normal School system for teacher training. Work done at the normal schools was recognized as first year course work towards a bachelor of education degree by the University of Saskatchewan in 1946. The salaries of teachers in English Canada, 1900-1940: a reappraisal states that generally the requirements for teaching certificates; “a second-class, grade XI or XII (equal to junior matriculation), and a first-class, grade XII or XIII (senior matriculation)”.

…..By the early 1950s a drastic shortage of qualified teachers discussions commenced regarding the re-opening of the Regina Normal School. The education system had come to rely on supervisors or “sitters” for classes in Saskatchewan. The name changed to “Teacher’s Colleges” from “Normal Schools” according to the University Act of 1953. In 1956 there were 7,624 teachers hired in the province of Saskatchewan, 1,028 were hired with professional certification, 1,474 with standard, 4,440 possessing interim standard, 298 holding second class certificates, 80 with special and 304 provisional certificates had been issued.Leader Post 1957.


When renovations were complete to the interior of the building and the necessary expansions made, the Regina Normal School building re-opened as the Regina’s Teacher’s College in January of 1960. In the fall of 1961, the Regina College opened as the “University of Saskatchewan – Regina Campus” on Wascana Parkway.

 “Let there be information retrieval…let there also be value retrieval…Open the doors and let in all mankind who seek answers…Above all, let in youth. Help those to interpret the call of the trumpet notes that sound faint in their ears.” John Archer. Heritage and Hope

The original Normal School building became part of the Regina College Avenue complex forming the beginnings of the University at Regina. James M. Pitsula, author of As One Who Serves: The Making of the University of Regina reports, the Normal School at College Avenue and Broad Street served for teacher training classes until the education building was opened on the University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina campus in 1969. The University of Regina achieved full status as an independent university on July 1, 1974.

“As we celebrate a century of education in 2011…it is crucial that as a community we celebrate our shared history of excellence in teaching, research and community service that began at Regina College. The University of Regina’s beginnings were humble. As more and more people walked the halls at Regina College, they saw the value of the education we provide and they contributed to the success of the University along the way. The brick buildings at College Avenue do not just represent our past. They are a strong reminder of the foundation that was laid a century ago – a foundation that we must continue to build on for the future of our students and our province.” University of Regina President and Vice Chancellor Vianne Timmons. History (Alumni)

 Regina College building U of R July 2010 Masalai Wikimedia Commons
Credit: U of R July 2010 Masalai Wikimedia Commons

Article written by Julia Adamson



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Saskatchewan in 1921 and the 1921 Census.

6 Feb

Celestial Blue

Saskatchewan in 1921 and the 1921 Census.

1921, an era of transition and change begins. Evolution of a community happens over the course of considerable years. It does not happen, no, that an entire province of people rush out on June 1, 1921 to all buy tractors all at once, and leave Daisy nibbling in the field. The transition from horse and plough to tractor began in a farm here and there, and slowly more and more farmers owned tractor, farm truck and automobile. The 1921 census tells a story of people, and their land, the successes and failures of immigration schemes and homesteading ventures and how life was changing.

History “conjures up feelings of what it was like in a day and age not our own,” speaks John C. Charyk. The first two decades of the 1900s brought with them a huge wave of people to the plains of Saskatchewan. By 1921, these pioneer settlers were proud to call Saskatchewan their home. The early pioneer had divested their time, energy and blood into the land because they had “faith in the possibilities of the country, stood by that faith, and made a success of their undertaking.[1]

“The unorganized territories of British North America had been ceded to the Dominion soon after Confederation, and the West had been tapped and traversed by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the eighties and nineties,” documented the Yearbook of Canada 1922/1923. The 1926 Financial Post reported that there were 6,268.72 miles of railway stretching across the province by 1922 serving “2,139 elevators, 896 loading platforms, 554 stockyards, in addition to depots, warehouses, etc.” The yearbook continues, “but though western population doubled with each of these decades, it was only with the launching of a large scale immigration movement after 1900 that western settlement and production became a first-rate economic factor.” In the two decades 1901-1911 and 1911-1921, the census returns showed over 1,800,000 immigrant arrivals to Canada in each of the decades, over 3,600,000 persons in twenty years.

As W.G. Cates, points out, “the 1921 census, as it shows a much lower rate of increase in population during the 1911-1921 period than that of 1901-1911, is naturally disappointing; but the returns must be considered in the light of the Great War…tens of thousands went overseas to their native land to fight; while other tens of thousands went to the United States in order to escape military service.” Some 60,000 militia gave the supreme sacrifice in the theatre of war, and 20,000 Canadians who served remained in the United Kingdom following their term of service. Of these 60,000 Canadians 6,428 were Saskatchewan boys according to the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial. The mass exodus of citizens, the loss of life, accompanied by the tens of thousands of Saskatchewan personnel serving in the armed forces overseas, might lead one to predict a drop in population, however the 1921 census still showed a population increase.

  • In the early days of the war we were much comforted by the fact that men and women were ready to make sacrifices for this, the greatest cause of all. In Canada, and I am sure elsewhere throughout the Empire, there has been manifest a spirit of co-operation, of mutual helpfulness, of a desire to assist, of self-sacrifice which is most comforting to those who have at heart the welfare of our Empire in years to come. So I am sure it will be in the future. The influence of a spirit of helpfulness and self-sacrifice, which we see everywhere throughout the world, and within our Empire, is one for which I give thanks and am most grateful.” ~ August 14, 1915. Right Honourable Sir Robert Laird Borden, G.C.M.G., M.P. eighth Prime Minister of Canada

The population of Canada was recorded at 7,206,643 in 1911, and according to the Canada Year book 1922-1923, it rose to 8,788,483 in 1921. (Saskatchewan was 757,510.)
If the trend of the first decade had continued, it was estimated that the population should have reached 10,100,000. There were at least a couple of factors at work towards the increase of population. “It should also be taken into account that the returns for the western provinces include about 25,000 returned men, who have been placed on farms through the Soldier Settlement Scheme” noted Cote in his census analysis. The 1921 census showed that not only is there immigration from Europe and the United States, but there is a definite migration from East to West.

70 per cent of the arable farm land was in farms by 1921, and the settlement pattern was established. Professor W.B. Baker chairman of the Royal Commission on Agriculture and Rural Life looks at it this way, “in 1901, 96 per cent of our farmers were owners and 61 per cent of the 13,445 farms were under 200 acres in size. The average size of farm was 285 acres. In 1921, 76.7 per cent of 119,451 farms were owner-operated and 32.5 per cent were under 200 acres while the average size of farm had increased to 369 acres.” In Saskatchewan, 71 per cent of the population was rural, and the remainder urban. The Morning Leader relates that, “more people means more schools and better schools; more roads and better roads; better medical services; more enjoyable community life with all the advantages which must follow.”

However, James Thomas Milton Anderson speaks of the immigration “problem” in the book “The education of the new-Canadian: A treatise on Canada’s greatest educational problem.”  He writes in 1918 following the war years “throughout the prairie provinces great stretches of land have been settled by immigrants from European countries. The language of the home is German, Ruthenian, Hungarian, Bohemian, or Polish, as the case may be. In the villages where they trade they have their own merchants, speaking their own language. In these settlements there is but one force at work to Canadianize their children—the public school.” Dr. Harold W. Foght Specialist in Rural School Practice, summed up the post war hysteria, “Are we to be a homogeneous people on these plains or are we to repeat the tragic sufferings of polyglot Austria” He goes on to discuss “the process of making one Canadian-speaking and thinking people” in A Survey of Education. In 1919, a new school act was passed permitting English as the only language of instruction.

The war had a devastating effect on the peace of mind of the community. Settlers looked at neighbours knowing now who had served for Canada during the Great War, who had deserted, those who chose not to serve, those who left to serve their ancestral lands and those who had lost sons and daughters overseas. Saskatchewan, the great melting pot of immigrants began to give rise to division looking at those who had served with the allies and which communities may have a different allegiance. Saskatchewan peoples along with the rest of Canada sought for a Canadian identity, what it meant to be truly Canadian.

  • In Western Canada there is to be seen to-day that most fascinating of all human phenomena, the making of a nation. Out of breeds diverse in traditions, in ideals, in speech, and in manner of life, Saxon and Slav, Teuton, Celt and Gaul, one people is being made. The blood strains of great races will mingle in the blood of a race greater than the greatest of them all.
    It would be our wisdom to grip these peoples to us with living hooks of justice and charity till all lines of national cleavage disappear, and in the Entity of our Canadian national life, and in the Unity of our world-wide Empire, we fuse into a people whose strength will endure the slow shock of time for the honour of our name, for the good of mankind, and for the glory of Almighty God.” ~ Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon

Anderson, beginning as inspector of schools around Yorkton between 1911-1918, was appointed director of Education 1918-1922. The Morning Leader reported that “the School Attendance Act was rigidly enforced…a larger percentage of pupils passed their examinations and a great percentage of children made better progress because of regular attendance.” It was to this end that school room classes were awarded $3 a day if an average of 15 pupils attended during the school year, and if the schools offered classes beyond grade 7. During the settlement era, 1901-1921, the Department of Education boasted that a new school district was organised every day of the year, however in 1921 only 100 school districts were formed. The department and community both recognised the benefits of consolidated school districts, however the cost of conveying rural children to a consolidated school placed such a transition on hold in 1921.

So what was life like in Saskatchewan in 1921? Saskatchewan men who had served with the military in the Great War (1914-1918) were beginning to return home. This marked great happiness for families with returned love ones, and a time of grief and sadness mourning those who would never come home. However, not only did the communities have the economic transition of the discharged soldiers entering the work place, but the Spanish influenza set in. About 5,000 lives were lost in Saskatchewan alone from this epidemic.

The war time population in 1916 of 647,835 had grown in five years to 757,510. The Model T automobile began to replace the horse and buggy across the prairies, by 1921 there were 34,085 cars. Dotting farms as well, tractors were commencing to replace horse and plough. In 1921, 19,243 tractors were counted in the census returns on 17,523 farms across the province.

With the increase in mechanized travel, the Department of Highways commenced a project in 1920 of laying better roads and bridges. These early roads followed the surveyed township roads, and travel could be done “on the square”, it was not until the 1950s and 1960s that highways were “straightened”.

Families would have no televisions, nor computers nor video games. “The school children are actively engaged in eliminating Mr. Gopher, and in some cases some ingenious methods of capturing and killing have been invented by the school boys of the province.”Source” Children would receive two cents bounty or thrift stamps on delivery of gopher tails to their school teacher. By May 1 of 1917, 514,000 gophers had been taken care of by the “Junior Agricultural Service League of Saskatchewan” that spring alone.

1921 was the year before the first Saskatchewan radio station was established, there was no widespread electricity available. Rather than having a television agricultural forum or radio call in “talk show” to catch up on the latest news, farm families could just pick up the telephone and listen in to the “party line” which was often connected to about eight other neighbourly homes. Central exchanges connected various party lines, and in the coldest of winters, without roads, and snow blowers neighbours could catch up on the latest gossip, sales, funerals and chat back and forth.

The high influx of settlers, meant pasture land was being taken up by homesteaders, and the era of the great ranches drew to a close around 1921. The last round up for the Matador ranch was 1921 when 3,400 head of cattle would be taken from the ranch near Saskatchewan Landing (Moose Jaw area) to Waldeck and on to Chicago for sale. No longer would the spring cattle trek see yearlings and two year olds arrive from Texas to the Matador ranch. The ranchers would work long hours, before sun up and after sun down even during the months of long summer days, the treks gave the ranch hands and the settlers an event, and the cowboys had their “semi annual trip to town.”Source Gone now were the days when “One arriving in town, the first thought was for a drink. In the old days the men would ride right into the building and up to the bar.”

  • Come alive you fellers,” hear the foreman shout .“Drop your books and banjos, fetch your saddles out…

    Shake that squeaky fiddle, Red, go and get your hoss,

    “Dutch, ain’t you got duties, as the chuck-wagon boss?

    “Range is gettin’ grassy, winter draws its claws,

    “Calved are fat an’ sassy, teasin’ of their maws,

    “Loafin’ days are over, dreamin’ time is gone,

    No more life in clover, for the round-up’s on.”

    ~ Folksong

1921 was a year of a severe economic depression, Saskatchewan farmers were still reeling from the drought of 1920. Prairie farmers were also hit by the international wheat market collapse of 1921. The growing season of 1921 looked promising showing 14 bushels to the acre as compared to 11 bushels of 1920. Farmers, and communities were very optimistic. The rains came during harvest season and No. 1 Northern Wheat was reduced to No. 4. Despite their threshing efforts, it cost more to take off the crop quickly, and the market price was low. The price for a bushel of wheat brought $1.50, compared to $0.76 in 1921, wheat fell a whopping 50 per cent. During the Great War, the Dominion government “controlled the sale and pricing of wheat” through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) in 1917, “wheat prices rose to $2.21 a bushel and then $2.62 by 1919.” This same year (1919) that the CWB was dismantled.

The Soldier’s Settlement Act provided for land and loans set at 5% as assistance to erect buildings, purchase livestock, implements and equipment. Though the prices were excellent in 1918 when the soldiers returned home, the growing season was affected by drought, hail and grasshopper infestations. The year of 1919 proved challenging, grasshoppers remained prevalent, wheat was affected by a fungal disease called rust and some areas were hard hit by drought. Returning servicemen on their new Soldier’s Grants were tasked with clearing the land on their newly allocated quarter sections. However, these quarters were not the “best of the best” sections of land, those had already been taken for homestead settlement. The only land which was left were areas which had been already abandoned by homesteader or Indian reserve, forest reserves, and unused school lands.

The drought of 1920 affected the livestock industry of 1921, as there was a shortage of feed, and the market had taken a downward trend. During the “depression in 1921…thousands of farmers and ranchers were ruined….the average dept-ridden farmer of today cannot possibly pay taxes, interest and carry on farm operation on the proceeds of the present prices on farm products,” reported the Calgary Herald. The Minister of Agriculture, Honourable C.M. Hamilton testified “that the average Saskatchewan farm of a half-section worth $12,000, had a mortgage on it of $5,000.” Without tax payments, the school districts had no ability to pay their teachers, Austin F. Cross recalls months of despair and agony which culminated in a turning point in his life when the bank relented to loaning the school trustees money.

  • Saskatchewan, the land of snow,
    Where winds are always on the blow,

    Where people sit with frozen toes–

    And why we stay here, no one knows.

    Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan,

    There’s no place like Saskatchewan.

    We sit and gaze across the plains,

    And wonder why it never rains,

    Till Gabriel doth his trumpet sound,

    And says the rain has gone around.

    ~ William W. Smith

The government under William Melville Martin, second premier of Saskatchewan The provincial government supported railway freight rate reductions, and rail branch line construction. Although the government coffers were drained from the wartime effort, Martin established $5 million available to farmers through a mortgage lending organization through the sale of government bonds.

As of June 1, 2013 92 years will have elapsed since 1921 when the census enumerators went out door to door on June 1, 1921. So, according to Library and Archives Canada, the census should be released from Statistics Canada and transferred over to Library and Archives Canada LAC for public usage. According to the LAC, “The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013. Our intention is to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date.Source“//

The Canadian Century Research Infrastructure CCRI is currently creating a 4% sampling of the 1921 Census of Canada in conjunction with Statistics Canada. Currently the instructions to enumerators is available as a pdf file. The CCRI will also look towards establishing databases for the 1911, 1921, 1931, 1941 and 1951 census as well.

  • The lure of love and the west.If you’ve heard the wild goose honking, if you’ve seen the sunlit plain,

    If you’ve breathed the smell of ripe grain, dewy, wet,

    You may go away and leave it, say you will not come again,

    But it’s in your blood, you never can forget.

    ~Nellie McClung

~ Article written by J. Adamson

Further Information:

Census Information

Saskatchewan History and Ethnic Roots

1919 Alberta, Saskatchewan Manitoba Waghorn’s Guide

1925 Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba Waghorn’s Guide

Gazetteer of U.S. and Canadian Railroads 1922

Saskatchewan Highway Map 1925

Rand McNally 1924 Indexed Pocket Map

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Maps 1924


Related posts:

Saskatchewan Census News Release

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

How do I locate my ancstor’s home town in Saskatchewan? Have you ever visited your ancestral home?


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Thank you for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated. All rights reserved. Images copyright © Aum Kleem; Article copyright © J Adamson. All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.


Distance Learning ~ Saskatchewan Correspondence School History

1 Oct

Autumn Returns

Distance Learning ~The History of the Saskatchewan Correspondence School

Correspondence lessons were initiated and petitioned for by Catherine Sheldon-Williams who was Saskatchewan’s pioneer in the field of distance learning. Her courses nurtured individual students residing in isolated areas, regions without one room schoolhouses, and areas without high school collegiate institutions, opening to them new opportunities to reach their potential. The courses expanded to include ill pupils, those who were physically disabled, and adults seeking education.

Both the Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina and a public school scholarship are named in honour of Miss Catherine Sheldon-Williams, commemorating her works, a true “Adventure in Education”. Or, perhaps Charles Dickens says it best, “It is well for a man to respect his own vocation, whatever it is, and to
think himself bound to uphold it, and to claim for it the respect it deserves.”

Early pioneers benefited from innovative courses set forward by the University of Saskatchewan. In 1907 the University of Saskatchewan offered the ‘Better Farming’ demonstration trains, “Homemaker” short courses and ‘Canadian Youth Vocational Training Workshops’ as an initiation into Saskatchewan’s distance learning experience. These experimental training grounds were the forerunner to the correspondence classes invaluable to the vast expanses of Saskatchewan’s rural population.

Education by mail first originated in British Columbia to serve the educational needs of a lighthouse keeper’s family. The British Columbia Minister of Education, J.D. MacLean was wary of the success of such a programme; “To carry on the education of children in remote country districts unprovided with a school through a system of correspondence cannot, I am afraid, prove successful. Some degree of success would attend the system in the case of say high school pupils but constant supervision by a teacher is necessary if progress is to be made by pupils who have never before attended school.” The experimental lessons were an immediate success, 86 pupils were enrolled by the end of the first year, over 200 in the second.

Year of Correspondence Schools Inception by province

British Columbia 1919
Nova Scotia 1921
Alberta 1923
Saskatchewan 1925
Ontario 1926
Manitoba 1927
New Brunswick 1939
Quebec 1946

The idea spread to Alberta, and soon Saskatchewan residents living near the fourth meridian asked if Saskatchewan had similar mail courses or if they could enrol with the Alberta Correspondence School, ACS. Here is where the “Adventures in Education” stylings of Catherine Shledon-Williams come to the forefront.

Catherine Sheldon-Williams (1869-1949) born in Hampshire, England arrived at the Cannington Manor, Assiniboia, Northwest Territories in 1889 and soon thereafter changed the education landscape in the province of Saskatchewan. Starting out by assisting her father, a gentleman farmer on the land, she soon turned to teaching and began her career at the Wolseley Normal School. She was placed in charge of the Boys Industrial School in Wolseley in 1915.

The former court house in Wolseley was converted to an Industrial School housing youth between the ages of ten and 17 who run afoul of the law. For those working with these youth, special qualifications, patience and a friendly interest in the child were needed to avoid any further court proceedings. Youth could be paroled from the Industrial School to a foster care home with progress shown in school lessons, proper conduct and industry in farm, and shop work such as shoe repairs, baking or laundry duties.

Between 1919 and 1920 the boys living at the Boys Detention House in Wolseley were moved into the vacant Regina Indian Industrial School building which continued to serve Saskatchewan’s delinquent and dependent youth until a fire destroyed the building in 1948. (The building is re-built as the Wascana Rehabilitation Center, then the school was moved to to the outskirts of Regina and became known as the Paul Dojack Center for youthful offenders.)

Sheldon-Williams had initiated a ‘school by mail’ on an unofficial basis as part of a follow-up service to youths released from this detention facility.

Joining the Saskatchewan Department of Education in 1920, Sheldon-Williams campaigned for a province wide correspondence school, “she used the needs of the settlers as expressed in letters and reports, as well as her own interest in and dedication to correspondence education, to convince the decision makers to provide education by mail to remote sections of the province.”page 87

From these humble beginnings the “Saskatchewan Correspondence School” arose in 1925 to bring education to remote rural areas. The original intent of the School was to enable pupils to continue on with their secondary schooling past the grades offered in the One Room Schoolhouse.

Housed in a small room in the West Wing of the Regina Legislative Building, Sheldon-Williams worked alone between 1925-1927 preparing lessons and handling all the typing and clerical work. She adapted the lesson sheets individually to the level of learning for her initial 44 distance pupils, empathizing with each student needs no matter the distance.

The imperative within correspondence schools is not only the preparation of course development, the lessons, examinations, texts and materials but being responsive to the needs of the student providing them with support. There is an Instruction Sheet for the Home Instructors, who may be one room schoolhouse teacher, or “the busy mother on a farm who comes in from planting crops to dictate Johnny’s Spelling lesson.” Personal letters, snapshots begin to convey to the Correspondence School teacher, the living conditions of the students and their family, and their school background. The Correspondence School was not just a repository of reports, and school marks, but also a contact between the child in a solitary outpost and the outside world via their distance tutor.

Eighty years later this continues said Sandra Lalonde, assistant principal of the Saskatchewan Government Correspondence School “But I know from when I taught that you get to know the voice of the students and you do establish a relationship which is very gratifying. Our students tend to be more independent learners in a lot of ways and we see our role as being their guides.”

By 1926 the the enrolment of the Saskatchewan “Outpost Correspondence School” and in 1928, 247 students. The service soon expanded to serve not only isolated students, but those suffering from illness or physical disability, those employed in an occuaption, and adults.

Manitoba’s provisional department of education followed suit, and established their school system of correspondence to enable students living in remote areas to receive instruction, as well as those pupils limited by physical handicap.

Communities could petition the Department of Education to establish a one room school house district if there were ten school aged children within a 36 square mile area. However, high schools were sparsely located in 1918  considering the size of the province. There were seven collegiate institutes, in Moose Jaw, Moosomin, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, and Yorkton and fifteen high schools located in Arcola, Battleford, Carlyle, Estevan, Humboldt, Indian Head, Maple Creek, Melfort, North Battleford, Oxbow, Qu’Appelle, Strassburg, Swift Current, Wilkie and Wynyard.

If an older student could not be transported to these locations for their secondary education, the correspondence lessons supported those pupils who wished to broaden their learning opportunities. Likewise, students who could not attend school in an area which could not support a one room schoolhouse, could be granted a formal education and receive lessons by mail. During times when a teacher could not be found for the one room schoolhouse, or under conditions of low enrolment when a school closed correspondence lessons served successfully in their stead.

In public school children were taught Standards I-V between 1889 and the 1920s. The first high school grade was referred to as Standard VI before commencing with grades 1 through 8 for the elementary schools. It was not unusual for a one room schoolhouse teacher to teach as many as seventy students in grades one to eight and provide supervision for the older students who took grades high school classes by correspondence. As teachers were in short supply it happened that a public school graduate may be hired to begin teaching school, and that they finish their high school grades via correspondence.

Correspondence schools indeed did fill a much needed resource for those living in sparsely populated regions. The “Grand Lady of Saskatchewan Education”, Sheldon-Williams, enabled students without access to a high school to continue on in their education. Sheldon-Williams, “The Lady on the Bicycle“, continued on with the correspondence school until 1929. Grand Lady of Saskatchewan Education garnered this moniker, as she always rode her bike, named “Eustache” wherever she went. It was in 1930 that the Saskatchewan Correspondence School was formed to continue the work of the Outpost Correspondence School.

About 20 per cent of correspondence students were of foreign extraction. James Hargreaves, officer-in-charge of British Columbia’s mining
correspondence courses noted that after several years these pupils did not show the same progress as English-speaking correspondence students due to the difficulty of receiving assistance from their parents. In many such cases, an interested friend often came forward to help these students.

The school continued with advancements adding radio broadcasts in 1931, computer based internet learning in the 1970s and television broadcasts.

The Saskatchewan Correspondence School became the forerunner to home-based education which became recognized formally in Saskatchewan legislation in 1982, and in 1987 polices, and procedures regarding the operation of a home base school were implemented with a parent Handbook released in 1994.

In the first 75  years of its operation the correspondence school in Saskatchewan served more than half a million students extending classes as far away as the United States, Europe and Asia. The Saskatchewan Correspondence School plays an integral part of the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre

“I would say we have students in most schools in the province and in fact some of our biggest classes are in our urban areas. It’s not like what people might think and that students are in some outposts.  Originally maybe it was more that way, but we have such a range now that you can’t say that,” said Lalonde, “We look upon technology as an opportunity to assist and guide our students and to provide them with additional resources. We would be in trouble if we didn’t evolve our programs and it’s just another way we can have better connections with our students.”

“Education is the knowledge of how to use the whole of oneself. Many men use but one or two faculties out of the score with which they are endowed. A man is educated who knows how to make a tool of every faculty–how to open it, how to keep it sharp, and how to apply it to all practical purposes.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher


Catherine Sheldon-Williams. McCaig, J.W., Gardiner J.W., Klein, Will. The Saskatchewanians.m Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee and Canada Centennial Corporation. 1967. p.87

Other sources are given inline within the text of the article.

Further Reading


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Schools Close: Lack of Teachers in Saskatchewan’s History

29 Sep

The Inveterate Fox

Schools Close: Lack of Teachers in Saskatchewan’s History


How are pupils supposed to learn? School trustees, inspectors and the Department of Education addressed the lack of teachers in Saskatchewan’s One Room School houses.


Parents, students and school districts across the province of Saskatchewan dealt with a serious shortage of teachers through the first half of the twentieth century.

in the early 1930s there were 4,371 rural schools operated under 4,371 school districts, and this number multiplied to 5,151 by the end of 1937. 1941 counted 8,628 teachers, of which 76% had been been paid less than $700 per annum.


The dearth of teachers arose from several factors. In the early settlement era there were no trained teachers out west. “Studies show that teacher expertise is the most important factor in student achievement” (1996, p. 6) according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.


After Normal schools were established, teachers may opt for more profitable career paths in the private sector. Service in the armed forces deprived the country school of teachers who enlisted. The drought and depression years saw a mass exodus from the farm and rural areas to the cities in hopes of employment.


“Who can blame the teachers for quitting and forsaking their profession? The low salaries, which had to be collected in main directly from the farmers who were themselves in serious financial straits, were certainly not conducive to enthusiasm among the teaching profession — even if they were paid, which quite often they were not,” stated Mr. Townley – Smith, President of the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, in the February 19, 1942 edition of The Leader Post


School districts through the early 1900s posted want ads proliferously seeking teachers for the one room schoolhouses. School trustees were advised that “School boards advertising for teachers will invariably obtain more satisfactory returns if the amount of salary is stated in the advertisement. In the case of school districts not located at a railway station, it is advisable to state distance of school from station and from boarding house.” The Morning Leader Feb 14, 1917


As of 1944, schools with an enrolment of less than 15 students closed, and accordingly, 2,750 schools closed between 1951-1971. “One has to only look at the ‘teachers wanted’ columns of the newspapers’, to see the serious teacher shortage said G.D. Eamer, general secretary of the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation in the August 30 edition of the 1963 Saskatoon Star Phoenix.


As a consequence of school closures, parents and students of closed school districts faced long distance and transportation expense to new schools. The shortage of teachers and school closures hit the remote areas the hardest.

Teaching attracted men and women to the profession as a transitional step page 151. Men may start out in teaching as a stepping stone in their career. Women viewed the teaching career as a journey of independence, community status and an opportunity for marriage or adventure.


“Nevertheless, most teachers found that the rewards of teaching outweighed the troubles.”…teachers remember page 156 “the beam on her students’ faces when they first learned to read, ‘ when it finally click[ed] and they [got] it.”


“In spite of these difficulties the majority of immigrants planned to provide their children with an education, hoping that their decision would give the youngsters a better chance in life than they had themselves. Eventually a school district would be formed and a building of some sort erected. It mattered little whether it was of log, stone, sod, mud or boards so long as it could be called a school. Yet with all its shortcomings and lack of qualified teachers it was able to educate.” introduced John C. Charyk page 1, in The Little White Schoolhouse.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
English novelist (1812 – 1870)

Further Reading


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The Era of Saskatchewan One Room School Houses

3 Feb

True Eyes

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room School Houses

A new school every day for 20 years was the early slogan across Saskatchewan, and indeed, Saskatchewan saw an exponential growth in one room school house districts expanding from about 500 in 1900, 1,000 in 1906 to 2,500 in 1916 and close to 4,000 by 1916, over 5,000 in 1947. By 1954 the number of school districts had fallen from a high of 5000 thousand to just over 1000. Eighty percent of country schoolhouses were closed. By 1960 eight out of every ten school houses have been closed.

These one room school houses may have started out as sod houses such as the INDIANOLA school at Aneroid and the sod school house at Handford, several early school districts constructed log school houses including for instance, TIMBERLOST log school, VIOLETDALE School District No. 4781, BEAVERDALE School District No 374, WHITESAND School District No 271, WINDSOR School District No 265, MONT NEBO School District No 442, CLEAR VALLEY School District No 4358, AND VAUGHN School District No 319 to name but a few. Occasionally these log school houses served the community until the school closed such as MONT NEBO School District No 442. FAIRLIGHT schooL 282 was one of the few which was constructed of prairie stone.

It was after 1912 that plans for school houses became formalized and school districts built wood frame schools following plans laid out by the provincial government. Pioneers could avail themselves of complete set of school building or home lumber, windows and plans shipped out from the T. Eaton’s Co. catalogue.

During the early survey system, a 6 mile by 6 mile square township had two one mile by one mile sections, 11 and 29, allocated as school land. When there was a minimum of ten children within a twenty square mile area, then a school district could assemble with three or more adults. This school district could hold a local survey for interest in a school and petition the provincial government for a new school in their area. within a 20 square mile area.

The subsequent meetings would determine the most centralized location to construct a schoolhouse as at times sections 11 and 29 may not be conducive to building upon or if not centrally located to the majority of children in the area. Students may travel up to five miles to attend school.

This distance would be hard to traverse in winter across deep snow, without adequate snow apparel, or without family horse and the school houses themselves may not be insulated. In 1913 the road system consisted of miles of nothing but prairie trails. During the early 1900s, there was a shortage of educated teachers, and again during World War I. The 1920s were a boom time in the prairies, followed by a devasting depression and recession during which time many school houses fell into disrepair due to a lack of labour and funding. There was a depletion in the work force during World War II, and again necessary improvements and repairs to school houses were left untended.

For this reason a typical one room schoolhouse in the early 1900s may only be open from spring to late summer allowing children to help with the harvest in the fall months. A typical “summer school” year may operate March 15 / April 1 through until Oct 31, and sometimes into December in this case of a mild winter.

The depression saw an exodus of families able to sustain themselves on the small family farm, and the population migrated to urban centers in search of employment. The farm sizes increased from a small quarter section to farms encompassing several sections of land. By the 1940s vehicles, combines, and improved travel conditions enable a farmer to maintain a larger farm size with success, and the majority of families own automobiles. Prairie trails are replaced by tar-bound macadam (tarmac). Urban centers erect large composite schools, and the few remaining children living in rural areas are bussed into towns and cities.

Upon closing the one room schoolhouse, the buildings and outbuildings were often sold to be re-used as graineries, barns, stores or renovated into homes. A few one room schoolhouses remained serving as a community center. Some were demolished and their wood re-used in construction projects. Some communities converted their one room schoolhouses into museums. There are also schoolhouses which have been restored in their original locations, and others which have been left to weather without repair.

Image:True Eyes

“Those true eyes Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise The sweet soul shining through them”

Owen Meredith
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For more information:
Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project


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