Remembrance Day

Lest we forget

Remembrance Day – November 11

This Monday, November 11, 2019, will mark the 101st anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War.

Last year, as part of the 100th anniversary, the Canadian government digitized the records of the personnel who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and have made these records available to the public through the Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The records are very detailed, averaging 60–70 pages per soldier, and include information such as Regimental Number, unit, rank, particulars of the soldier’s height, weight, eye and hair colour, dental records, next of kin, pay rate, wills, hospital treatments, injuries, and discharge papers.

In conjunction with interviews of Cortes Island old-timers, researching the LAC records, and reading through Jeanette Taylor’s book Tidal Passages and June Cameron’s book Destination Cortez, a number of men with roots to Cortes were identified.  Some of the names are familiar, such as Bartholomew, Huck, Jeffery, and Manson. In total, 28 men served, some were raised on Cortes from an early age while others moved here after the war to start a new life.

Of the 28 men who enlisted and called Cortes Island home either before or after World War One (WW1), 20 would serve overseas, with 18 seeing action on the front lines in France, 12 of these men were wounded, and two would not make it home. The following is a list of 27 of those men. Two names have been omitted from the list at the request of those men’s families.

ALLEN, James, Phillips, *driver, Whaletown

ALLEN, Charles Isaac, Whaletown (no records available)

ALLEN, Bernard, Robinson, teacher, Whaletown

BARRETT, William, James, chauffeur, Squirrel Cove

BARTHOLOMEW, Albert, logger/rancher, Cortez Island

BEESLEY, Edmund, Mansons Landing

BYERS, Charlie, Seaford

CAMPBELL, Fraser, Alick, machinist, Cortez Bay

CONLIN, Patrick, farmer, Cortez Island

DANIELS, Harry, rancher, Cortez Island

FINNIE, Henry, clerk, Cortez Island

FROUD, Robert, Whitefield, clerk, Mansons Landing

GRUNLAND, Harvey, fisherman, Squirrel Cove

HAWKINS, Wiliam Frank, Cortes Isle (as per spelling on military record), Killed in Action

HUCK, William, Edward, farmer, Whaletown

JEFFERY, Frederick George, Smelt Bay, Cortez Island, WW2

JEFFERY, Henry, Charles, chef, Cortez Island

MANSON, John Bruce, logger, Cortez Island

MANSON, Michael, Wilfred, customs clerk, Hernando Island

MORRISETTE, Elmore, Murray, hotel clerk, Cortez Island

MORRISON, Herbert, logger, Cortez Island

MUNN, Montague, woodsman, Whaletown

MUNRO, George Edward, engineer assistant, Whaletown

POLICE, Peter, labourer, Whaletown

POOL, John, clerk, Whaletown

SMITH, Richard Arthur, fisherman, Squirrel Cove

TAIT, John Franklin, clerk, Whaletown

TESSIER, Henry Allen, logger, Squirrel Cove

VALLEY, Joseph, blacksmith, Whaletown

WELLS, Harold John, blacksmith, Cortez Island

*The occupations listed above are those shown on the enlistment papers.


A typical form for recruitment.

This poster would have lured some young men to head off to a big adventure.


And this poster no doubt struck fear into the hearts of many families.



Mike Manson
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