The Hesperian

It happened this week in 1915

October 2 - 8: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

October 2 – 8: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Missing … Pte. E. E. Hore, 13th Battalion, 3d Brigade, 1st Canadian contingent, has been missing since April. His mother who resides at 52 Christopher Street, Walton Road, Liverpool, would be glad if any of his comrades could give information concerning him. He is well known in Walton and joined the Canadians at the beginning of the war having gone to Canada four years before.

E. E. Hore was a member of the 1st Cranbrook contingent and was well-known in this city having spent his entire four years in Canada in this district. He was familiarly known as “Tad” and was a brother of Mrs. David Baldwin of this city. He was reported among the missing about the first of April and no further word has ever been received of him.

Biddy lovers … All lovers of “biddy the hen” are asked to attend the next regular meeting of the Cranbrook Poultry association on Friday evening, October 15th, in the council chamber.

Mr. C. R. Sheppard will talk on disqualifications in show birds. This is a subject we should all be better informed on. Mr. Sheppard is well up on standard requirements and his talk should be a big help to all of us.

The buying of winter feed will be disposed of. Members are asked to bring along the necessary money to pay for the required amount of grain.

Money now not only talks, but actually shouts and will secure a great year.

Recuiting posters … There are a number of recruiting posters up around the city urging recruiting, yet about fifteen or twenty men have been turned down recently because the 54th battalion is now over strength and the local officers have no instructions to forward further recruits. This is disappointing to the men who want to enlist, some of whom have come across the line and stop here because Cranbrook is the first recruiting station.

It would seem that the Canadian military authorities need a better organization. While Great Britain is discussing conscription we have in this part of the empire men who are willing to volunteer but who are denied the opportunity until some more convenient time for the authorities. Every man who offers himself should be taken and sent somewhere so long as men are needed.

Hesperian passenger … Miss Bessie Williamson, sister of Mrs. R. W. Edmondson of this city, arrived in Cranbrook Friday last, and will make her home here with her sister.

Miss Williamson was a passenger on the ill-fated Allan Liner Hesperian, bound for Cranbrook when that steamer was torpedoed by a German submarine. Miss Williamson lost all her belongings, including some valuable treasures which she was bringing to Cranbrook for her sister.

An interesting account of her experiences consequent upon the torpedoing of the Allan Liner was given to a press representative by Miss Williamson.

She said: “We were quite a happy and contented lot of passengers on the Hesperian,” she said, “and no one appeared to be at all anxious as to the success of the voyage. No doubt a great deal of this was due to the assurances that had been given in America on behalf of the German government that no liner would be attacked without notice.

“The possibility of being torpedoed was certainly discussed by us, but the subject was treated jovially, and I think most of the passengers did not worry about the matter.

“During the afternoon a number of passengers were amusing themselves by trying to distinguish objects out at sea through their opera glasses. They were much interested in two or three dark objects that occasionally bobbed above the surface the water. Some people thought they were porpoises, others said they must be whales.

“Everything went all right up till about half past eight in the evening After dinner I was speaking on the second deck to a Canadian gentleman, when we heard a great crash against the side of the ship. This was followed by a horrible grinding noise, as though something was boring its way into the vessel. Immediately afterwards a lot of smoke came up over the side — it looked just like steam.

“A dreadful scene followed. I’m Afraid most people were panic-stricken and made a big rush for the boats. Fortunately for me I was near a boat when the crash took place, and assisted by my friend I got into it at once. I think I was about the first to get into the boat.

“This luck stuck to me throughout, for I was in the first boat to get picked up by the steamer Empress, which came out from Queenstown to rescue us. Thirty or forty people crowded into the boat after me and somebody started to lower it. As it passed the first deck people who had rushed out of their cabins — some of them very scantily dressed — jumped into it, so that by the time the boat struck the water it contained nearly 70 people.

“You must understand that by this time it was dusk, although not quite dark. At first the rush of people threw me into the bottom of the boat, amongst a lot of old sails and other material, and when I landed my clothing was quite saturated with oil. People lay upon each other in the most higgledy-piggledy fashion, and unluckily for me I was underneath. However in time things got a little better. Although up to the arrival or the Empress I remained over ankle deep in water.

“In our boat we had about 30 babies, and I nursed one. The motion of the boat, made me sick in the meantime.

“It was a cheerful occasion! We were in the boat for about three hours, and during that time we picked up an old man of 70. He had been swimming about for three-quarters of an hour, and was on the point of exhaustion. It was wonderful how he kept going so long at his age.

“At eleven o’clock on Saturday night the Empress picked us up and we were landed at Queenstown on Sunday morning at about eight o’clock. When we were torpedoed the ship was 130 miles off the Fastnet.”

Asked to express an opinion about the way in which the majority of people behaved after the catastrophe. Miss Williamson said “There was a great deal of panic. Having read of the rapid sinking of other boats which had been attacked by German submarines, the passengers did not imagine that the Hesperian would keep afloat for several hours, as actually was the case. That explained why people lost their heads at the outset.”

Very few of them thought of going for their belongings, although Miss Williamson knew of one case in which a gentleman, having seen his wife into a boat, returned to get some valuables, and did not leave the Hesperian until some hours later.

“I cannot speak in too high praise,” said Miss Williamson “of the behavior, of the Canadian soldiers we had on board. Their conduct was splendid, and they were calm throughout. Of course in the confusion some wounded men got into boats which badly needed able men. There was one boat which had 30 women in it and only two men. The anxiety was added to because there was such a large number of children on board the Hesperian. I should think there were nearly 100 very young children— quite babies.”

Miss Williamson said the passengers were well treated by the Allan line officials, who saw to their comfort at Queenstown, Dublin, and Liverpool. Some of their passengers, nothing daunted by the disaster, promptly booked their passages by another vessel.

Sanitary woolens

Funeral of late Lady Elizabeth Bruce … The flags of Invermere are at half-mast and the dead stillness which accompanies deep sympathy with the bereaved pervades this small hamlet in the far off valley of the province of British Columbia, deep set amongst the huge towering ranges of the Rocky Mountains.

The residents are deep in their mourning for they have lost by death from their midst, the Lady Elizabeth Bruce, wife of Robert Randolph Bruce, who passed away at the home of her husband on the morning of Monday, the twenty-seventh of September.

It is but little over eighteen months since Lady Elizabeth Northcote, second daughter of the Earl and Countess of Iddesleigh became the bride of Robert Randolph Bruce. C. E., F. R. G. S., of this part, the marriage ceremony being performed at St. Mary’s. Upton Pyne, Devon, on the estate of her father.

Since that time with the exception of an extended visit to the Old Country the villages of Wilmer and Invermere have been the home of the late lady. In that period Lady Elizabeth has won the affection and the high esteem of all who have had the pleasure of meeting her, by reason of her sweet disposition and the thoughtfulness which she expressed in everything that would tend to the comfort and happiness of those to whom she was surrounded or came in contact.

During her residence in the valley she has been deeply interested not only in private charities but in all public philanthropy and the more or less public local enterprises which characterized the neighborhood.

Almost immediately before her final illness she had graciously entertained at her own home the members of the local branch of the Red Cross Society of Canada and had made all her plans for the monthly meetings of the society to take place there.

She had become a patroness of the Invermere Golf and Country Club and she was, while still confined to her residence, there was taking place the tournament of the club in competition for a magnificent silver cup which she had so generously donated to be held for competition.

With keen anticipation of the future she had, with the aid of her husband made all the preparations for the improving of their house grounds here and the erection of a comfortable and commodious bungalow, the first sod for the construction of which had but little more than been turned.

The first intention was to have made arrangements for the burial of the body at Upton Pyne, but cable arrangements have since made it agreeable that the internment should take place on the home grounds here and at this place she will sleep her long sleep on a point looking out over the beauties of Windermere lake, commanding a view that for many months was to her a great pleasure and delight.

The burial took place from her late home on the morning of Saturday, the second instant, the attendance of mourners being very large.

The mayor’s farm … Mayor A. C. Bowness reports that he has over 100 acres broken on his St. Mary’s Prairie farm and will sow it with oats in the spring. He intends using the balance of his big ranch for stockraising and will erect the necessary barns and stables next spring when the stock arrives for the farm. The temporary housing accommodation will be removed.

Andrew Woodland passes … By the degree of a Divine Providence Andrew Woodland, a resident of Cranbrook for the past four and a half years, has been summoned by His Maker. The end came peacefully at the family residence, French avenue, Saturday evening at 10.45.

The deceased who had been in failing health for some time, was in the 57th year of his age.

Mr. Woodland was born at Puckington, Somerset, England. He has five sisters, and three brothers at present residing in the Old Country. The deceased came to Cranbrook about four and a half years ago direct from the old land and established one of the prettiest homes in Cranbrook.

The late Mr. Woodland was a good type of citizen. A man who was ever regardful of the interests of others, beneficent, unselfish, extending at all times a brotherly kindness to those less fortunate than himself; honored and loved by all who knew him; whose altruistic virtues and love of principles were proverbial. In the death of this esteemed gentleman the city has indeed lost one of its sterling members. Besides a sorrowing widow there are left to mourn the loss of a kind and affectionate husband and father, two sons and two daughters.

The sons are Frederick and Bertram, both in the employ of the C. P. R. system. The daughters are Miss Amy Woodland, principal of the South Ward public school, and a teacher in that institution; Miss Margaret Woodland, who resides at home.

The sympathy of the community is extended to the bereaved family in their hour of sadness. He who doeth all things well will bestow upon them that solace and consolation that will sustain and comfort them in the dark hours.

The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon at 1.30 from the family residence to the English church, where the pastor, Rev. W. H. Bridge, performed the last rites of the church.

After the solemn service at the little church, where the deceased had worshipped on many a Sabbath day, the funeral cortege wended its way to the Church of England cemetery, where internment took place. The following named Cranbrook men acted as pallbearers: N. A. Wallinger, J. F. Campbell, C. A. Cock, H. White, A. H. Webb, W. M. Harris. F. M. MacPherson had charge of funeral arrangements.

Fort Steele visitor … D. M. Morrison, manager of the Royal bank, spent Sunday at Fort Steele. At this season of the year, when the autumn tint is the best, and nature at its grandest, the scenery between Cranbrook and Fort Steele is grand. Here and there on the road little brooks babble sweet tunes. Little wonder that Mr. Morrison pays a weekly visit to Fort Steele.

Kootenay pioneer passes … Victoria, B. C., Oct. 5.—Peter Fernie, aged 84, brother of William Fernie, formerly a well-known resident of the Boundary country and the founder of the city bearing his name, died here yesterday. He had fought at Alma, Inkerman, Sebastopol, Balaclava and during the Indian mutiny and was the oldest campaigner living in Victoria.

Scouts have social evening … The club house of the Boy Scouts was a scene of happiness this evening when the boys had a social evening as a farewell to Patrol Leader Edwin Malcolm, who is leaving with his parents on Saturday for England.

There were about thirty-five boys in attendance, besides several members of the executive committee. Scout Master Crebbin presented the departing patrol leader with a tie pin bearing a Boy Scout emblem as a slight remembrance of his useful work here. Edwin is the senior patrol leader and an invaluable aid to the senior officer.

Assistant Scout Master Morton entertained the boys with choice selections on the phonograph, after which refreshments were served by Mesdames Smith and Crebbin.

The Boy Scouts have been asked to make a house to house canvass for old razors for men at the front by J. D. McBride, the local hardware man, who has already collected a large number. The boys will be armed with a letter from the scoutmaster and will visit every house in the city during the coming week.

According to the rules of the Boy Scout association the annual meeting must be held this month and the executive are conferring with the mayor and city council in regard to time and place. The public will be urged to attend and help along this highly worthy movement for the benefit of boys.