Cranbrook Boys with 54th Battalion in Camp at Vernon 1915

Cranbrook Boys with 54th Battalion in Camp at Vernon 1915

It happened this week in 1915

June 5 - 11: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

June 5 – 11: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Sudden death of Mrs. Clarke … Death came sudden and unexpectedly at the home of Mr. Robert Clarke, on Dennis street on Tuesday evening when Mrs. Clarke suddenly expired.

Deceased had been in good health and had only written home to her people in England the previous day telling how well she was. Heart failure was the immediate cause of death. She was in her 35th year.

The deceased came to Cranbrook eleven years ago with her husband and has been a resident of Cranbrook ever since.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at 2.30 from the house to the Anglican Church, where Rev. Walton will perform the last sad rites of the church. The service at the church over, the Cortege will wend its way to the little Church of England cemetery where the remains will be laid to rest.

Besides the sorrowing husband there are left to mourn a mother’s loss three little children. They are Edith, aged 10; Mildred aged 8 and Mabel aged 6. The late Mrs. Clarke was a native of Wiltshire, England.

Auto accident … Charles Galvin, aged 23, formerly of Cranbrook, B. C., pitcher for the Clark and Bevan baseball team, suffered severe internal injuries and was cut about the head Sunday night, when the automobile in which the team was returning from Hartline turned over on Sunset boulevard, near the Hazelwood farm. Carl Rogers, aged 20, utility player, was also seriously hurt and most of the rest of the team were bruised and scratched.


School board meeting … The question of inspecting the Central school garden plot was brought up by Trustee Henderson, it being the wish of the department of education that same be inspected. The chairman named Trustees Wilson, Henderson and Manning. This committee is given full power to arrange plans and oversee the several plots at the Cranbrook street school. The matter of the home plots being left with the Farmers’ Institute, it being intimated that that body would inspect the said plots.

The tug-of-war between the janitor and the lawn mower has ceased, the board authorizing the sharpening of the machine and the purchasing of a new catcher.

The parents of a couple of boys in the neighborhood of the South Ward School will be advised to keep a closer watch on their children. Obscene language and other indications of a diseased brain being noticed in and about the school building and premises by the “handwriting on the wall.” A special meeting of the board will be held on Tuesday, the 15th, at 8 o’clock, to consider the salary question and deal with any resignations that may be tendered.

Thursday next is Sock Day in city … The Cranbrook center of the St. John Ambulance Association has decided to hold a Sock Day on June 17th (Thursday). Miss McLeod’s millinery parlors will be the receiving depot for that occasion and members of the association will be there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to take charge of any contributions. It is hoped a generous response will be made to this appeal, as socks are very much needed at the front. Grey or khaki colored socks are preferred.

Kootenay soldiers leave for Vernon … Headed by several hundred school children carrying a myriad number of small flags, by the band and by about sixty members of the 107th Regiment, the Cranbrook contingent of the 54th Kootenay Battalion numbering one hundred and thirty-five men and officers were escorted from the government buildings to the C. P. R. station at noon on Friday, June 11th, where they were loaded into three extra coaches for their journey en route to Vernon, where they will go into training and be instructed in the art of gun handling.

The streets were a vivid display of patriotic colors and all the towns-people were on hand to say good-bye and God-speed.

When the train came in, the Fernie contingent were in two extra coaches and as the train pulled out there were many anxious hearts.

Long before the appointed hour for the departure of Cranbrook’s quota to the 54th Kootenay battalion to entrain probably four thousand people assembled along the route of march to bid the gallant men God-speed and a safe return home after the conflict.

All things contributed to favor an out-pouring of the people. Nature herself honored the memory of our heroes with her bright sunshine. The day was, indeed, one that will not soon be forgotten.

Long before 12 o’clock Baker Street echoed with the tread of feet the people thronged it. Soon was heard the music of the band which a short time ago numbered twenty odd members, now has been greatly reduced, only a corporal’s guard remaining. The war has virtually torn the city band to ribbons. However, be that as it may, those remaining made the best of it and played patriotic airs to enliven the crowd.

The arrival of the soldiers was heralded by the multitude of people who thronged every vantage point to take a farewell glance at the departing heroes.

Just before train time the station platform presented a very striking scene. Look whichever way you might, you were met by a solid “phalanx” of faces — the faces of people whose doors and to whose hearts every day the struggle yonder, across the Atlantic, is being brought home with grim reality. In the crowd were mothers of only sons who had journeyed to the station to see her brave boy go forth to do battle for his country, and endeavor to wrest from the barbarous Hun honor and justice. The lesson the Cranbrook and district soldiers are driving home is that there are things worth dying for.

The soldier of the good cause is not to blame for war. He hates war but he hates some things worse than war. Slavery and dishonor are among them. Liberty has ever been won at the edge of the sword, and at the edge of the sword the venerable liberties of the British empire are being defended today.

Each man leaving Cranbrook has pledged himself to an honorable finish and will “Fight the Good Fight” in the name of all that is good.

At Langemarck the Canadians, fought back to back for their lives, let us not for an instant forget that fact, and as we fight for the life of the world, or at least for all that the world holds dear, that makes life worth living—freedom and honor, home and love. We fight to rid the world of a cruel and grinding despotism.

Cranbrook men have German helmets … D. A. Macdonald, of the Wentworth hotel, has just received the following letter from Harold Flewelling, who left Cranbrook with the first contingent. The letter is dated “Somewhere in France” and bears the army postage mark. Mr. Flewelling is with the 11th platoon, C. Co., 4th battalion, 1st Brigade. His letter is most interesting and just at this particular time will be read with keen interest by his many friends in the district.

The letter: Just a few lines to let you know we are now having a good time out at the front (dodging shrapnel), etc. We certainly have great excitement at times. Lots of the boys have German helmets and all kinds of souvenirs too numerous to mention. We have great fun watching aeroplane duels, also seeing them shot at by both sides, with aircraft guns. You can see the shells burst all around them and expect every minute to see the plane brought down.

We have with us now Sergt. Drummer, Braik, Taylor and Harry Smith who come from Cranbrook. Frank Clifford and Passmore are in the 14th battalion. All the boys are in the best of health and enjoying themselves.

We are now having a short rest. In the meantime we are amusing ourselves by playing football, baseball and bathing in the river; also laying around having a nice sun bath, for it has been nice and warm for the past month or so, which makes it much more enjoyable than the wet weather we had in England.

I suppose business is still the same in Cranbrook? I wrote you about a month after I arrived in England but I guess you did not receive it. Well I must conclude in sending my best regards to you all. Hoping to hear from you soon. I remain yours sincerely, Harold Flewelling.

Half population signed up … Loco, the little town west of here, has credit in the 54th for seventeen men, or about one-half of its population. Frank Setter, of Loco, who is now with the 54th battalion, is the sixth brother to step forward and offer his services in the cause of the empire.

Died in France … D. McKay, of this city, has received the news of the death of his brother. Pte. Chas. McKay, who was killed by shrapnel in the trenches in France on the 26th April. This young man, who was only nineteen years of age, was in Cranbrook two years ago, spending about four months here. At the outbreak of the war he joined the 90th Winnipeg Rifles, going with the first contingent. Early this year he was wounded and he has only been out of the hospital for about three weeks when he was killed. Another brother is now in the hospital suffering from the effect of gases in the same battle, as that which claimed his brother’s life.

Party for soldiers … The Misses Gertrude and Edythe Macdonald, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Macdonald, gave a farewell party on Tuesday night to four of the Cranbrook young men who are now numbered with the 54th battalion, Messrs. Speery Philipps, Fred Webb, Frank Wilson and Vopy Rickards. Upwards of twenty young people attended a most enjoyable evening being spent in games, dancing and other innocent diversions. A tasty luncheon was served before the several guests departed for their homes. The young men in whose honor the affair was given have asked the Herald to express their thanks to the young ladies who so kindly thought of them before their departure from the city.

Tough week … This has been a strenuous week for the Herald. We have been up nights for the past week attending socials and garden parties in an effort to give Herald readers the full details of the week’s doings, particularly in a military way. Things came too swift towards the end of the week and we were utterly unable to cope with the situation. It would require a regiment of newspaper reporters to handle the situation this week. With our limited staff we were practically surrounded and were forced to surrender. Should any event that has taken place during the past week in the way of farewells to the soldiers fail to appear in print it will be because of the fact already mentioned, that we were out-numbered.


Home guards … On Tuesday evening last the Home Guards were increased in number by a number of prominent business men joining the ranks. Capt. George Tisdale is putting the men through the preliminary work. This squad will practice every Tuesday night, when it is hoped they will increase in numbers until every man in the city is turning up weekly for the regular drill. George Tisdale will cheerfully furnish any information desired.

Young ladies entertain soldiers … Cranbrook Tommies are being treated right royally the last couple of weeks by the Cranbrook public. There have been card parties, dances, socials and other functions of a high-class character. But it is of the dance held last Friday night in St. Mary’s hall we wish to particularly dwell upon.

A Herald scribe visited the hall long before the crowd began to assemble to view the decorations, which were arranged in a neat and attractive manner, and which reflected great credit upon the young ladies who so artistically planned the whole affair. The walls of the dance hall were covered with pennants bearing such mottos as “Be Cheerful,” “We Should Worry,” Etc. Sergt. Major Pearce assisted in the decorations, which, to say the least, won the approval of every one of the dancers.

At 12 o’clock the “Cook House” call brought the soldiers together in the main hall, where they were addressed by Dr. J . H. King, on behalf of the St. John’s Ambulance Corps, addressed a few words to the men wishing them success on the battlefield and a safe return to East Kootenay. The ladies of St. John’s Ambulance then passed among the men presenting each with a package of “Old Chum” tobacco, a choice cigar, a box of cigarettes and a box of matches. A card was enclosed with the package “With the Compliments of the St. John’s Ambulance Society.”

The men showed their appreciation by three hearty cheers and a tiger followed by the old reliable “Tip.” The soldiers were then asked to adjourn to the lower floor, where the “big feed” was prepared for them, and to which, the men did justice—real Canadian justice. The whole affair was admirably conducted and everyone had a genuine good time.

City council meeting … City council met in regular session for June at 2.30 p.m. at the city hall on Wednesday afternoon with Mayor Bowness in the chair and Aldermen Banfield, Balment, Leask, Erickson, Clapp and Banfield present. Minutes of previous meeting were read and approved. Mr. George Hoggarth appeared on behalf of the hotel men of the city and asked that a refund of $75 on each license be given for the next six months. Mr. Hoggarth supported his petition with the argument that every hotel of the city was running at the time Cranbrook was incorporated and that all were losing money at the present time. Every hotel man has every dollar he possesses in the world tied up in his business and if the city can assist him in tiding over the stringency and business revives it would save smashes in the business and save the city the additional black eye of failures. The council decided to discuss the question at a special meeting to be called later.

Leaving Cranbrook … Sunday was a sorrowful day for the congregation of the Methodist church, for it was the day which brought to a close the ministry of Rev. W. E. Dunham—a ministry so fully marked by mutual devotion, by both spiritual and material blessing, and by harmony that the parting of the ways could not be without sorrow on both sides.

Mr. Dunham entered upon the pastorate about four years ago and has been a consistent worker for the church ever since. Under his ministry, zealous, wise, tactful, earnest, the congregation has grown in numbers, and what might be called a vital quality has been infused into every branch of the work. An outstanding feature of that ministry has been the ideally happy relations between him and his people, everyone. Not the very slightest discordant note has marred it.

But Mr. Dunham’s influence has been felt in the community as a whole. His removal to Chilliwack is generally recognized as a very real loss to Cranbrook. To his new field of work—an important one requiring the exercise of precisely his characteristic gifts, he carries the earnest good wishes of hundreds outside the flock whose love he enjoys in so rich a measure, and their cordial hope that the health of the family will be greatly improved.

Editor Cranbrook Herald: … Sir: I wish on behalf of the Kootenay Orchards Sunday School and Bible class to thank, through your paper, those kind friends who gave us such a delightful outing on June 3rd, namely, Mrs. J. F. Smith, Mr. J. D. McBride, Mr. E. A. Hill, Mr. W. H, Wilson, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Lester Clapp and Mr. Robert Eakin, who drove us out to Perry Creek in their motor cars. We also thank Mr. Fink for his kind intentions, but owing to some mistake in the arrangements he did not arrive until the cars had started with their passengers. We also thank Mrs. Burge, of the Perry Creek Hotel, for her kindness. The happy crowd of children, including babies and grown-ups, started from Kootenay Orchards School house shortly after 10 o’clock and after a lovely drive through beautiful scenery, arrived at the picnic grounds. The tables were quickly spread for lunch and the way the coffee, chicken, cakes and other things disappeared we know it was enjoyed by all. After lunch some went fishing, some exploring, others walking or chatting, and at 5 o’clock all assembled at the table again, which was spread as bountifully as before. After singing God Save the King and Tipperary, with cheers for those who gave them such a happy day, the cars were again loaded and turned toward Cranbrook, where we arrived without any accident and all agree in praise of the good time and those who were so kind to them. Yours sincerely, W. Scott Hill.

Daughters of Empire … A meeting was held at the home of Mrs. J. H. King, Armstrong Avenue, on Monday last by a few ladies to consider the advisability of organizing a branch of the Imperial Daughters of the Empire in Cranbrook. It was felt that under such an organization much more could be accomplished in the way of Red Cross work among the ladies of the town. By way of starting the work a chapter of fifteen members was formed. Mrs. King had consulted with the organizer of the order who has found the highest success among chapters of small numbers. Owing to the great urgency during the present war for hospital supplies, etc., it is hoped that every woman who can will affiliate with the work and for this purpose a meeting will be held in the council chambers of the city hall on Thursday, June 17th, at 3.30 p.m.