“If it so happens that I am allowed to die for my country…”: The Unusual Will of Private R.H. Burgess D.C.M.

A will is a macabre document. It is a recognition by the object of the will, the living person (the testator) who is making the will out, that they will cease to exist. The will exists and enforces the conditions of the testator after they have died and invokes certain conditions at the distribution of…

The Entomologist

George Johnston Spencer was a well known entomologist based at the University of British Columbia and became Professor Emeritus after his retirement in 1953. His collection of insects, at 600,000 specimens, is the second largest in Western Canada and his work led, in part, the the creation of an entomological museum that now is part…

War Diary of the 18th Battalion for August 1916

CONFIDENTIAL WAR DIARY OF 18th Canadian Battalion – 2nd Canadian Division From 1st August to 31st August 1916 Volume 12 With appendices 1 [1] Corrected from CRYOTA to CHRYSTAL. Original transcription was incorrect. Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information ALBERTA CAMP 1 Battalion in reserve at ALBERTA CAMP. Pay and Bath parades. 20…

Sergeant James Quaey Nelson and a Possible Connection with My Grandfather

A recent blog comment allowed this blog to find out about a member of the 18th Battalion. Sergeant Jame Quaely Nelson shared a lot of similar background biographical information just like my Grandfather and Great Uncle. All were born in the “old country” of Scotland and recent immigrants. Sergeant Nelson was 3 years older than…