3rd Contingent Departure: 0052.0076

CRANBROOK’S SENDOFF TO GALLANT SONS – Upwards of Three Thousand Citizens Gather to Bid Farewell to Cranbrook and District Men.

            Amid scenes of great enthusiasm and patriotism, the forty-seven members of the Cranbrook and district men who comprise Cranbrook’s contribution to the third Canadian contingent left Sunday at noon for Victoria, at which place they will go into training.  The Cranbrook men are going forth by scores and every time there is a call there will be more and more to respond from this little city.  This was demonstrated when an order was received late Saturday night to recruit more men.  It took thirty-five minutes to do the trick.  Going some, eh! for a little burg!

            Cranbrook is not letting her sons go without a good sendoff.  She could not do that.  Accordingly a round of entertainment has been prepared in their honor during the past week.

            The men met at the city hall Sunday morning at 11:30, when Mayor Bowness and other city officials delivered farewell addresses.  In the council chamber were a number of leading citizens of the city, including the aldermen, members of the board of trade and a number of influential business men.


Officers and Members of the 107th East Kootenay Light Infantry:

            To meet this morning and to address for a few moments your fine body of men is a happy event.  Cranbrook is proud of the members of this regiment.  For a short time our citizens have watched with much satisfaction and pride your training and somewhat hurried preparation for the strenuous duties that lie before you.  And we are now convinced that you will on the first opportunity give a good account of yourselves.  You are leaving homes, friends and country and all that you hold most dear to do battle in our defence and to fight for the grand old flag that for many hundred years braved the battle and the breeze.  Stand by the flag, boys.

            The battalion to which you may be attached will be watched with keen interest by the citizens of this city.  A number of you have been in this city for years and I can assure you all that your every movement will be watched with the keenest interest.  From every home in Cranbrook will go forth daily prayers for your safe return and success.

            Patriotism and love of country are the highest ideals of citizenship and I feel sure and confident that you will make a name for yourself.

            Allow me, on behalf of the City of Cranbrook, to represent you with this little token of esteem to wish you God-speed on your travels and to express the hope that it will not be long before the war is terminated and that you will be home again helping to develop and build up the resources of our city.

            Remember the city you came from, remember you are British, and when you meet the enemy remember to pay 100 cents on the dollar.

            The mayor then presented each man with an envelope containing a nice new crisp $5.00 bill, as a slight mark of appreciation.  Judging by the applause which greeted the mayor’s remarks, both his encouraging words and his “token” were highly appreciated.

            President E.Y. Brake and W.J. Flowers, of the Overseas Club, were on hand with a further supply of tobacco.  After presenting the five men sworn in too late Saturday night to receive their present from that body, Mr. Brake stated that the concert had been such a success financially that the club decided to present each man with a further supply of the weed.

            Lieut. Smith replied on behalf of the men, thanking the city and the Overseas Club for their most acceptable presents.

            Mr. A.B. Macdonald, city solicitor, then addressed the men.  Mr. Macdonald delivered an able address, in the course of which he referred to the noble response of the best men Cranbrook had.  His remarks were punctuated with applause.

            Capt. Halsall concluded the speechmaking, saying a word of encouragement to the men and wishing them success on their mission.

            The men were then informed that the photographer was laying in wait and wished to take a parting shot at them.  This R.J. Binning successfully did, every man receiving his baptism of fire without a tremor.

            The companies then formed and were inspected by the officers of the 107th regiment, after which the procession formed and marched to the C.P.R. station, the route being Norbury avenue, Baker street and thence to the station.

            Led by a specially arranged band, and to the strains of marital music, the procession struck off at a lively clip, amid great enthusiasm.

            The Boy Scouts, under Capt. Dunham, acted as a guard of honor, lending quite a military air to the affair.  Many were the remarks on the neat appearance of the lads.

            Along the route of the procession thousands of citizens from all points in the district had assembled to see the boys off.

            The men leaving were in charge of Quarter Master Sergeant L. Marchant, who accompanied them to Victoria.  Lieut. Smith of the 100th Winnipeg Grenadiers, was attached to the contingent, as he had been asked to report to his regiment for active service.

            The additional men added to the thirty-six reported last week were recruited at the last moment.  The additional men were C. Brosseau, A.J. Converse, P. Neil, C. Norton, D. Ralston, W. Tennant, J. Vigers, W. Vigers, Leslie Walsh, Morris Poulson.

            Many a mother and father gazed on their boy with pride – their boy was going out in Canada’s defence  A few moist eyes were noticed in the vast multitude of onlookers.  It was to be expected, when one considers that the parents of many of the boys are furnishing an only son for this great cause.


            On Saturday evening a grand concert and dance was held at the Auditorium under the auspices of the Cranbrook Branch of the Overseas Club, upwards of four hundred people being in attendance.  The men who were to fare forth occupied the front seats, while the remainder of the building was soon comfortably filled with an appreciative audience.

            On the stage were mayor Bowness, E.Y. Brake, J. Fingal Smith, J. Lower, C.A. Cock, Lieut. Surgeon Green, Lieut. Smith, Capt. Halsall and Quartermaster Sergeant Marchant.

            The stage was suitably decorated with the flags of the belligerents, the Union Jack occupying a prominent place.

            A varied program was carried out, consisting of songs, recitations and orchestral selections.

            President E.Y. Brake, of the Overseas Club, acted as chairman, filling that duty in an able and thoroughly satisfactory manner.

            Those taking part in the program were: Miss Drummond, recitation and song; Mayor Bowness, speech; A. Raworth, song; Rev. W.K. Thomson, speech; Mrs. A.B. Macdonald, song; Mr. Geo. F. Stevenson, song; Mrs. J.F. Smith, speech; Mrs. Geo. Stevenson, song; Mr. C.A. Cock, speech.

            At the conclusion of the program the Overseas Club presented each man with a package containing a pipe, tobacco and cigarettes, Mrs. M.J. Flowers and Mrs. Leaman distributing the presents to the men as their names were called off.

            During the evening Capt. Halsall made the announcement that five more men were needed, a message having been received from Col. McKay to that effect.  Only a few minutes elapsed when the announcement was made that the number had been secured.

            Proceedings closed with the singing of the old stand-by “Tipperary,” The Maple Leaf and God Save the King, the audience singing heartily.

            The hall was cleared at 10 o’clock when the dance commenced, some two hundred taking part.  The dance continued until 12 o’clock when everybody repaired to their several homes, wishing the soldier lads the very best in life in the trenches.  The music for the dance was furnished by the Kootenay orchestra, which musical organization showed their public-spiritedness by giving their services free of charge.  The excellent program discourses was of a high-class order and thoroughly appreciated by every dancer.

            Financially the concert and dance was a decided success, and to the credit of that body the thanks of the community are due.  The Overseas Club announced the receipts for the evening as $138.25, with an expenditure of $1115.35, which included the purchase of pipes, tobacco, etc.  A balance of $22.90 now stands to the credit of the Overseas Club, but we are informed that this amount will be donated to the mounted men when they leave.


            There was an interesting sort of supper at the Y.M.C.A. on Saturday evening last, when the members of the St. John’s Ambulance Corps entertained the members of the third contingent at a bean supper.  After the wants of the inner man had been attended to – and it might be said here that the men thoroughly enjoyed the spread – the men were each presented with a pair of home made socks from this most charitable and philanthropic organization.  Give a soldier a good pair of socks and a pipe and tobacco and he is happy.  The St. John’s Ambulance Corps have performed their share of the work.  Yes, the war has set the fashion.  Knitting parties have long since displaced bridge.  For we cannot in these times, when over the Atlantic cable are flashing messages many times daily of the price the empire is paying in fine manhood for the annihilation of a devilish principle, fail to take our social pleasures seriously.  While members of the St. John Ambulance Corps and their co-workers are sitting in their drawing rooms, knitting socks and rolling bandages, or the like, many a house in the dear island ever uppermost in loyal thought is dark with the shadow of inexpressible grief.  Nay, this little city has felt the heavy hand of death, in that one of the members of the first contingent has passed to the great beyond.

            One member of the St. John’s Ambulance Corps informed us that these patriotic functions invite “initiative,” and they are at least fifty times as interesting as the usual time-honored afternoon function at which convention you may only talk the most infinitesimal of all small talk and drink tea.

            To the musical program Mrs. Wallinger contributed several patriotic numbers, including the irresistible “Tipperary,” the soldiers joining in the spontaneous chorus.

0052.0076: 3rd Contingent Departure

3,000 Cranbrook citizens gather to bid farewell to the 47 members of the Cranbrook and district men who comprise Cranbrook's contribution to the 3rd Canadian Contingent as they leave for Victoria for training.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  March 4, 1915
Pages:  1
Publisher:  Cranbrook Herald
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0052)


patriotism training recruit city hall mayor council aldermen board of trade light infantry regiment flag battalion war tobacco solicitor photographer boy scouts concert dance auditorium trenches orchestra ambulance bandages


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