Tag Archives: Great War

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

 

 

Français
English

 

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.

THE DEAD

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

H
o
u
s
eFamily
or
House-
holdName of each person in family or household on 31st March, 1901.Sex.Relationship
to head of
family or
household.Single,
married,
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

 


 

 

L
i
n
e
#No. of
family in
order of
visitationName of each person in family.Relation to head of family.Sex.Married,
single,
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


 

 

H
o
u
s
eFamily
or
House-
holdName of each person in family or household on 31st March, 1901.Sex.Relationship
to head of
family or
household.Single,
married,
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

 

PHOTO RICHARD HOCKEN

Richard Hocken

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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.
ISBN:
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:
2015-08-12

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)

10/10/1918

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
NORMAN JAMES ROBISON

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
Iwuy
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

Bibliography:
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.

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

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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.

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