August 15 – 21: Compiled by Dave Humphreyfrom the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives
Cranbrook’s first contingent … Walter Chambers: Three years 42nd Canadian Regiment; one year Royal Canadian Regiment; corporal Third Mounted Rifles, South Africa. James Milne: One year corporal Royal Canadian Regiment; three years militia corp. A. T. Underhill: Four years Canadian militia; Sergeant 98th Infantry, Kenora. A. Proudfoot: Four years Imperial Yeomanry. E. Kettringham: Four years Mounted Infantry. John Braik: Seven years Garrison Artillery; six months South Africa. J. Wilde: Four years Army Service Corp. I.V. Templeman: Somerset Light Infantry. J. Hickinbottom: Three years Canadian Militia. Fred Brown: Thirteen years First Royal Sussex. E. Gyde: 12 years’ service. J. Cameron: 19 months Loval’s Scouts. E. Parry: Four years Cavalry. Gordon Knight: 104th Westminster. Frank Rosselli: Three years Second West Kent. Dr. J.M. Bell: Two years 42nd Highlanders. A. Bagotte: D. Mclennan: F. C. Edge: F. E. Rartnell.
The above list includes Cranbrook’s first contingent to the front, the boys leaving as soon as orders are received for their departure. The men were selected by Geo. P. Tisdale, recruiting offices for Cranbrook, through whose efforts over fifty men have been enlisted and will go to the front should they be needed.
The men selected to answer the first call were selected with a view to their previous service and experience as far as possible, age, physical examination and ability to shoot being taken into consideration. The first call was confined to single men.
Most of all those composing the first contingent are well-known Cranbrook boys and the prayers and well wishes of the whole city will follow them as they tread their various paths of duty and every citizen has full confidence that they will acquit themselves in every way as good Canadian citizens always have been found to do and add laurels to the brave men who have answered the rail before in defense of the Empire, should they be called into battle against the enemy.
Take notice … that my wife, Mary Hornby, having left my bed and board, I will not be responsible for any debts she may contract after the above date. (Signed) James Hornby. Jaffray, August 15th. 1914.
Narrow escape … Mrs. W. T. Matthews had a very narrow escape last Friday evening, from being killed by a stray bullet. She was visiting at the home of Mrs. Chambers near the government building when a bullet passed through the room and she was struck on the head by shattered glass and seriously wounded. The bullet passed within about three inches of her head. Joe Taylor, proprietor of the Peerless Dairy, was shooting at a hawk with a 30-30 rifle at his ranch in the suburbs of the city and one shot traveled about six hundred yards before it struck the Chambers’ residence where it passed through several walls and partitions and proceeded on its way. Mrs. Matthews has at present nearly recovered from her injury and the shock.
Thrilling story of Bull River fire … J. S. Wilson, of the C.P.R. department of natural resources, was in Bull River during the fire which ravaged the mountains recently and tells some thrilling tales of narrow escapes of the men there.
At the first outbreak 200 men fought for 48 hours subduing the flames and returned to their camps satisfied that all was safe, but a few hours afterwards the alarm was given that the fire had broken out and the fighting was recommenced. The fire was gotten practically under control after some twenty hours, but a high wind then sprung up which made efforts at control futile. With tremendous rapidity the flames spread and the mountain side was soon a raging furnace. Flames sprang hundreds of feet into the air and the roar of the burning timbers could be heard for miles. The high wind drove the fire rapidly before it, and the men who had previously been fighting the flames were forced to flee for their lives.
The men from two camps made a quick get-away over the mountains into Fernie, after undergoing many narrow escapes, while four hundred more were trapped in camp No. 6 and were only rescued after men from Fernie pluckily cut roads through to them. Mr. Wilson and his fellow camp men also had some narrow escapes and were forced to take refuge in the river, where they were held prisoners for eight hours.
A large number of horses met horrible deaths from the flames, but a number were saved by taking them into the river. While in the water the animals showed peculiar sagacity in following the actions of the men. When the men took to the water most of the horses followed quietly, and when there at once lay down when the men did, but if a man rose the horses would at once rise and lay down again when the man did.
Practically everything in the camps was destroyed, the survivors only saving the clothes they stood up in. Many timber limits were utterly destroyed, a number of camps were burned out, and 10,000,000 feet of cut timber is known to have been destroyed.
The rebuilding of the camps will be started at once.
Inquest … The postponed coroner’s inquest in the case of the shooting of Sasa Moto, the Japanese, was held at the government building on Tuesday morning at ten o’clock and was conducted by Coroner Dr. J. H. M. Bell. Sheriff Morris and Chief of Police Adams were the principal witnesses examined. The jury returned a verdict that Sasa Moto came to his death on Saturday evening, August 8th, at about 10.15 from a gunshot at the hands of person or persons unknown.
Arrested … Knatsu Murata, a Japanese, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of Sasa moto, the Japanese gardener, on August 8th. It is expected that his preliminary hearing will be held the first of next week.
Smoker … The volunteers were tendered a smoker at the Auditorium on Tuesday evening which was largely attended. The money derived from the sale of tickets for the smoker was divided among the boys who compose Cranbrook’s first contingent to the front.
Moyie teacher honored … Miss Florence R Johnson, the primary teacher for the Moyie School last year, who was taken ill with inflammatory rheumatism in December, and spent the winter in the St. Eugene hospital, has made a wonderful recovery. She is at present in Nanaimo where she spent the summer for the benefit of her health. Her many friends will be pleased to learn that her genial manner and naturally sweet disposition have gained for her the friendship and respect of a large number of friends in Nanaimo during her short stay there. The Moyie school board hopes to induce her to return to her old position.
Wycliffe news … Mr. L. Reilly was a visitor in town this week, and made a trip up to camp No. 8. It will be remembered that Mr. Reilly had the misfortune to have his legs frozen last winter on the road between Wasa and Cranbrook, and the limbs were amputated at the St. Eugene hospital, where he also suffered with an attack of typhoid fever. A fund was started in Cranbrook to raise money to purchase artificial limbs for Mr. Reilly, and he is now able to get around on them quite comfortably. He is in hopes now to solicit sufficient funds to enable him to engage in the shoe repairing business.
Camp no. 8 … Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Heath, the Misses Olive and Ella Barter and Mrs. Hugh Buhanan, were visitors at camp No. 8 this week. It is the intention to close the camp within a few days and not log any this winter. Several of the woodsmen have already left, most of the Italians leaving for the old country to take up arms for their country if necessary.
Staples’ volunteers … Several patriotic Englishmen, employed at the Staples mill here, are ready to offer their services to the mother country at any time the call comes.
School district news …The Cranbrook schools open next Monday, August 24th. A new school will be opened at Kootenay Orchards. Now teachers have been appointed to fill vacancies at the Central School and the South Ward School will retain the old staff. The manual training school will not be opened until the return of Principal Webb, who is delayed in England on account of the war.
Baynes Lake … (Special correspondence) The past two weeks there has been a dearth of news in this locality. In fact, nothing to speak of except timber fires. Jim Fusee, fire warden, has been a busy man. He has a large force of fire fighters, but the welcome rain on Monday relieved the situation and now all is safe. Captain J. Deld, Marine Light Infantry, is leaving for the east in charge of Kootenay first contingent. Mr. W. Wilkinson also goes east. Trafford Joule also volunteered, passed the doctor and took the oath, but not having served before he will have to wait for the next contingent.
Invermere news … No little excitement has been occasioned here by the news which has been received here that it is the intention to form a regiment for active service from the eastern part of British Columbia. Up to the present those who desired to volunteer have been obliged to go to other parts in order to reach a recruiting station, Calgary being the nearest has received quite a number of volunteers from this neighborhood. The District Board of Trade is in receipt of daily war bulletins.