It happened this week in 1916

May 21 - 27: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

May 21 – 27: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Two fatal accidents … Two fatal accidents occurred at the Staples Camp at Wycliffe during the past week.

Mike Korbut, an Austrian, was killed on the 18th by a tree falling on him while cutting it down. He was buried at Cranbrook on Monday, Father Anthony of Nelson conducting services.

Joe Nadine, another employee was killed on Tuesday while engaged in switching operations at the camp. He was riding on an empty car which was hit by three loaded cars, Nadine being knocked off and dragged 25 feet under the cars. He was hurried to the hospital but died on the way.

The funeral took place Thursday to Cranbrook cemetery, Father McGuire conducting services.

Wounded in France … Wm. Hewson, who was recently wounded in France, in a letter to his brother here, speaks in very warm terms of the splendid work of the nurses in the English military hospitals and of the hard work they are doing. He says they are also treated most kindly by the many ladies who visit the hospitals daily bringing gifts of flowers, fruit, and smokes, while the convalescent soldiers are taken for long motor drives and welcomed into the homes of the best people there.

The ladies there believe that nothing is too good for the boys who go out to fight the battles of the Empire, and show their appreciation by every means in their power.

Private Hewson left Canada with the 48th but transferred to the 29th Battalion, and was wounded in the left hand. He has lost the use of the hand at present and does not know whether he will recover it or not.

He had an exciting time getting to the dressing station, and was in the field hospital when it was shelled by the Germans, the patients having to be conveyed to dug-outs for safety.

Numbers climbing … B. Company of the 225th Battalion is now well on the second hundred, a total of 116 men now being on the roll.

Lieut. Richardson arrived from the Windermere district on Tuesday night with nine recruits and will take charge of the B Company, Lieut. Brechin, the present officer in charge here, expecting to be appointed to recruiting duties.

At a recruiting meeting held at Wasa on Saturday by Lieut. Brechin and Sergt. Bryant two recruits were secured.

The present list is the largest secured in any one week previous, and a gratifying feature is the large number of native born Canadians represented.

In the baseball match on Victoria Day the soldiers defeated the Royal Hotel team by a score of 9 to 7. The batteries were: Soldiers—Crowe and Baker, Royal Hotel—Sullivan and Cameron.


Letter from the front … Clair Patmore, who left here with the 54th, has been in France since the 23rd of February. He qualified at Shorncliffe as signaller and made a particularly good showing, being chosen out of a large bunch for the position he now holds as signaller with an engineering corps.

In a letter to his father, Charles Patmore, he says: Dear Dad — We’re on the front line again. Last night I had a working party in a trench which was formerly the German front line. At one point the lines are only fifteen yards apart and everyone speaks in whispers. The line is pretty ragged, in some places the parapet is almost levelled out.

Things were quiet; a bullet kicked the dirt into my face.

In the light of the star shells we could see the German line and hear them patting down their sand bags with their shovels.

At midnight I dismissed the party and picked up another sapper. At his suggestion we started home through the trench in which he was working. We followed it out, down a piece of road, along a stretch of war railroad track and then we found ourselves in the open fields and completely lost.

You will wonder how it was that we found ourselves and were lost. Well, perhaps we didn’t find ourselves but we were lost anyway. We floundered along through the mud getting caught in barbed wire and falling into shell holes. I fell into one in which the water came up to my shoulders and got my hip boots full.

Finally we came to a row of dugouts and learned that we had wandered out of our divisional area and were miles from home. But we got in before daylight.

I’m perched up on the roof of our emergency sap enjoying the bright sunshine. Everything looks nice and green and dry. Tonight it will seem to be a swamp all pock marked with shell holes full of slime. But we should worry.

Did I tell you that Roy Argue and Frank Passmore and Clifford were billeted close to us? I was talking to Passmore last night. His bunch is in the front line with us. They form our working parties. Pass, is O.K.

So long, CLAIR

Second letter … A letter received this week has the following:

Front Line, May 1, 1916. All this week I’ve had a working party out each night in a very famous trench which has changed hands several times. The Germans held, it last and I’ve been opening it up and draining it. Corpses are strewn around everywhere and the men have to dig through piles of them in the bottom of the trench.

Most of the trench is absolutely levelled by the artillery of both sides and some places I could find nothing of the trench anywhere, not even a sand bag.

Our patrols keep roving back and forth with orders to shoot on sight. The first night they hadn’t been warned that we would be out there and by the light of a star shell I suddenly saw a row of them with rifles leveled and about to shoot. Even after I shouted they were very uncertain because the Germans are so tricky.

Duffy Argue was one of them. He had me covered and when he found out who I was I believe he was scared worse than I was. And he said they had been sneaking up on another party who proved to be in charge of Corporal Frank Passmore.

We are on a perpetual “Gas alert” and wear our helmets rolled up under our steel helmets ready to pull down at a moment’s notice. The Germans are attacking almost every night but we are holding them back all right, although the wounded and dead are being carried out all the time.

They (Germans) came over with red crosses on their arms the other day, carrying bombs on stretchers. They didn’t get back.

Percy — (the laundry man’s son) is here and well. They say he’s a reckless, plucky little fellow.

Roy Cotmere, another Cranbrook boy, is with the 1st Pioneers. He’s been working in the sap which sheltered us from the bombardment to-day.

Well we go back for a rest tomorrow and in a way it’s a relief but somehow the work at night in that ghostly ditch gives one a not unpleasant thrill.

So long, CLAIR.


Quiet marriage … The marriage was quietly solemnized at Knox Church, Calgary, on May 12 of Mr. Charles Joseph McGrieder and Miss Mamie McFarlane, both of Cranbrook, B. C. The Rev. Dr. Bulton, of Knox church, performed the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. McGrieder will reside in Calgary.

Rex Theatre … The management of the Rex Theatre have secured “The Eternal City” a photo-play production of Hall Caine’s immortal novel and play of that name, for two nights only, Wednesday May 31st and Thursday June 1st.

This is one of the Famous Players’ features, with Pauline Frederick in a leading role.

It was produced amid the grandeur and beauty of modern Rome, in the exact locale in winch the stirring action of Hall Caine’s thrilling romance occurs.

For scenic magnitude, dramatic power, gorgeous pageantry, over-powering appeal and glittering splendor it has no superiors in moving picture achievement.

Victoria Day … Victoria Day was duly celebrated in Cranbrook, the Overseas Club entertaining the children at the Rex theatre to a picture show interspersed with patriotic speeches, and holding a big dance in the evening at the Auditorium which was well attended. The officers and men of the 225th were the guests of honor in the evening. The Kootenay Orchestra provided good dance music.

In the afternoon, the children of the Central and South Ward schools marched in procession from the Central school to the Rex theatre, where they were entertained as the guests of the Cranbrook branch of the Overseas Club, it being customary for the Club to take this means annually of honoring Empire Day, and of bringing home to the children the meaning and ideals of the same.

From the school, headed by the officers and men of B Company, 225th Battalion, assisted by Mr. J. Fingal Smith with his bagpipes, the procession proceeded up Cranbrook street, across Hyde St., in Garden Avenue, thence down Baker St. as far as the Y.M.C.A., there turning back, and round by the post office up Norbury, arrived at the Rex, the soldiers halted and opened out, forming two ranks through which the children marched.

The streets were crowded, as practically the whole town had a direct interest in the procession. Here and there one could see posters advertising a film dealing with the life of Edith Cavell, the martyr nurse, and one could not help thinking of the contrast between our rosy, smiling children and the poor little underfed and ill-treated Belgian children.

Thank God we live in Canada.


Patriotic fund … The Treasurer of the Cranbrook Branch of the Canadian Patriotic Fund reports collections for the month of April of $1200.71. This amount shows a slight falling off over the previous months and it is hoped that all the subscribers will make their payments promptly.

Since the 225th has been recruiting in the district there are an additional nine families on the list of those who receive allowances, and the amount disbursed each month locally is growing very quickly. The total number of dependants requiring assistance last month was about 45.

The Committee have much pleasure in acknowledging receipt of $200, being a grant made by the Cranbrook Automobile Association for the purpose of the Fund and wish to express their thanks to the members of the Association.

Lost on tramp … Although only a few turned out for the tramp organized by Rev Mr. Bridge, those who did go thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The party started out about eleven with the idea of going past the Alkali lakes. As the guide who was to have taken them failed to appear they had to find the way as best they could and after taking wrong side paths and losing the trail a few times arrived at the first of these lakes about 12 o’clock where lunch was served.

Proceeding to the larger lake a further halt was made and the day duly observed by singing patriotic songs. The party arrived home at six o’clock, tired but well satisfied with the day’s outing. Wood ticks were plentiful and several of the party unwillingly brought specimens back with them as reminders of the trip.

Marysville news … At the Police Court on Monday before W. W. Burdett, J. P. an employee at the Sullivan mine was charged with shooting a bear without a license. The defendant, who pleaded guilty, was fined $10 and costs. Provincial Constable Shipman prosecuted the case.

Moyie news … On Monday evening a number of the citizens of Moyie met in the Methodist Church to present C. A. Clark, who has had charge of the services held in the church for the past year, with a wrist watch. A social evening was spent consisting of speeches, songs, etc. Refreshments were served and all joined in wishing Mr. Clark a safe return. He left Tuesday for Vancouver to join his battalion, the B. C. Pioneers.

Invermere news … The usual bi-weekly Saturday afternoon function of the Invermere Golf and Country Club was this week largely elaborated and extended to give a farewell to Mr. Irving Wedd, retiring manager of the Imperial Bank of Canada here, and his charming wife, also to welcome in Mr. C. H. Harcourt who has been appointed to fill Mr. Wedd’s position.

The entertainment was held in the Club house. It was a feature worthy of much notice and comment to see the great improvements which had been made in the building since the last tea. Instead of the fete taking on modest proportions it was turned into a regular supper under the arrangements of the ladies’ committee of the club.

First there was golf and after the appetites had been sharpened an adjournment was made to the club house where a most sumptuous supper was partaken of by the fifty odd guests who were present.

After the supper golf playing was again in order for a while when the guests once more assembled and under the direction of the vice president of the club a program of music and speeches was concluded. The evening was brought to a close by an impromptu dance.

Mr. Wedd leaves this week to assume the position of manager of the Natal, B. C., branch of the bank. During the period which Mr. Wedd has lived in Invermere he has been one of the most active members of the Invermere Golf and Country Club. He was one of the founders and up to date of leaving holds the position of Club captain. Prior to coming here his banking career has taken him to thirteen of the other branches of the bank.

He is in addition to being a good sportsman very keen in the part which he takes in all matters and organizations tending to the upbuilding of the community in which he lives.

Elko news … In so far as the social world of the old historic burg was concerned last week was a gay one for both old and young, for there were functions without number. On his return from the Tobacco Plains Country Jim Thistlebeak gave a recherché dinner party at the Elk Hotel at which many toothsome viands were served.

A strong feature of the occasion was a song by Alex. Birnie who had just been pulled out from under an auto smash up, entitled “I was never nearer Heaven in my life.” If your religion makes you miserable change it and come to Elko and enjoy a week’s fishing where the trout jump high, and make the timid angler climb a tree.

Come where you can make your heart merry and fish from the streams running with delightful humor that will irrigate your digestive system and make you feel like a self-made millionaire about to eat consommé.


Lady Ursula … Miss Cherrington would like to express the thanks of the “Lady Ursula” Company, to all those who so kindly gave their help in producing the play. Special thanks are due to the Rev, W. H. Bridge for repainting the scenery at Christ Church hall, and to Mr. Raworth for lending most of the furniture and accessories; also to Sergeant Fenton and Private Stirling for assisting with the decorations and for acting as scene shifters during the several performances, also to Mr. McDermot for the use of the drop curtain. The play was produced on Monday last at Fort Steele before a most appreciative audience. Mrs. Fenwick, Miss Eassie and Mr. Attree kindly arranged the stage, and the ladies of the Red Cross Society were so good as to entertain the company after the performance, at the house of Mrs. Cann. On Tuesday the play was performed at Wycliffe where considerable profit was made, owing to the generosity of Mr. Chester Staples, who gave free use of the Hall as well as providing the furniture and decorations for the stage. The company also express their hearty thanks to the following ladies and gentlemen who lent cars: Mrs. Macdonald, the Misses Robertson, Dr. Green, Mr. McBride, Mr. E. Hill, Mr. Moth, Mr. E. Paterson, Mr. Hanson. All the items of expense not being to hand, the exact amount of profit cannot be announced, but the balance will be divided between Christ Church hall fund, St. John Ambulance Society and the Tennis Club.