"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kitchener - 100 Years of Cityhood

Berlin Market, Town Hall, Post Office

Historically in Kitchener the market and the city administration were located near each other, if not in the same building. When the town hall was built in 1869, space was allocated for market vendors. A separate building was erected in 1872 to house the market, to the rear of the town hall, that was in use until 1907. This market building is on the left side of this photo, in the foreground. Behind it is the town hall, facing King St. Across the street, on the corner of King and Benton, is the post office. In the left bottom corner is a Cedar Springs Ice delivery wagon.

View the Collection

This collection contains 100 images from archives held in the University of Waterloo Library's Special Collections Department, chosen to honour Kitchener's 100th anniversary of cityhood in 2012. The images include many buildings, from the grandest to the most humble, some long gone and some that have miraculously survived. Also included are general street views and aerial views that demonstrate changes to the landscape over the years.

Created by Doris Lewis Rare Book Room

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another of Acton's Brave Sons Killed in Action in France May 24, 1917

Obituary appeared in Acton Free Press (Acton, Ontario), 24 May 1917, p. 2, column 2

Pte. J. L. Moore Makes the Supreme Sacrifice
Another of Acton's Brave Sons Killed in Action in France

Last Thursday a message came from the Record Office, Ottawa, to Mr. and Mrs. N. F. Moore, saying:

Ottawa, Ont., May 16th, 1917
Nelson F. Moore,
Acton, Ont.
Sincerely regret to inform you 602299 Pte. John L. Moore, Infantry, officially reported wounded May fifth, nineteen seventeen. Will send further particulars when received.
Office in charge Records.

This news naturally brought grave anxiety to the home, but with a brave and patient courage Mr. and Mrs. Moore awaited further particulars of the casualty earnestly hoping that it would not be unduly serious.

Early Monday morning a second message came from Ottawa being this heart-rending intelligence:

Ottawa, Ont. May 20th, 1917
Nelson F. Moore,
Acton, Ont.
Cable received to-day states 602299 Pte. John Lewis Moore, Infantry, previously reported wounded, now officially reported killed in action May fifth, nineteen seventeen
Office in charge Records.

Private Moore was the only son of the home and this sudden bereavement came as a stunning blow to the hearts of these brave parents who had given their boy when the country's call came.

Pte. Moore enlisted in the 34th Battalion at Guelph in January, 1915. He was a member of the Bugle Band of the regiment. After nine months of military drill and instruction at Guelph and London he went overseas with his battalion, landing in England the last of October, 1915. After some months in camps in England the 34th was divided into special drafts and sent from time to time to the front to reinforce regiments that had been decimated.

Bugler Moore was then transferred to the military band of the Montreal French Battalion, the 23rd, which was a reserve force. This band was under the leadership of a French bandmaster from Paris. Remaining in England when his comrades were being sent to the front became irksome to this intrepid young soldier, and he applied for a place as a private. Once or twice the Medical Board refused him. He persisted, however, and eventually secured a place in the ranks last fall.

He went to France with his battalion in March, and was evidently with the Canadian divisions which won distinction in the battles of Vimy Ridge and beyond. He fell in action on Saturday, 5th May.

John Lewis Moore was born in Acton on May 13th, 1894, and would have been twenty-three the week after he fell. He was the only son of Nelson F. Moore, who is the only son of the late Thomas C. Moore, who spent his life in Acton.

Deceased was a young man of noble character, one of whom any father and mother might justly feel proud. After passing the High School entrance examination he came to the FREE PRESS and spent four years in this office. For a time he was foreman of the Gazette at Burlington, in which town his Christian activities were much appreciated.

Early in life he became a Christian and accepted the faith of his fathers. He was an active worker; was energetic in the Epworth League, and was President of the King's Orderlies, Bible Class, and an efficient teacher in the Sunday School.

When he enlisted he was made Hon. President of the K.O.B.C. and held that honorable position until his death. Several years ago he decided to offer himself as a missionary to China and to that end gave up the printing business and returned to High School. Here he was when the call came for volunteers for Canada's overseas forces. He had considerable talent as a public speaker, and he was successively granted license as an exhorter and a local preacher of the Methodist Church. Only last Wednesday evening the Official Board renewed his local preacher's license for the year. He was an exemplary young man, an effective worker, one who was always uncompromising in standing for the right and putting "first things first."

As his father said to the writer the day the sad news came that he had fallen in action: "He was true to his friends, to his country and to his God."

As an index of the happy relations with his home here we present the following poems which he sent to his parents last Christmas:


May the Lord watch forever between me and thee, When we are absent one from the other; Are the words that I send with a heart full of love, To the best of dear pals, my mother.

For King, Queen and Country we're fighting, "Honor and Right" is our watchword true; The "might" at first seemed to hold sway, Naught shall conquer the Red, White and Blue.

"Twas some time since that I left my loved home, To answer old England's cry; The parting was hard, and though she tried to be brave, There was a tear in my dear mother's eye.

"God bless you," said she, "God bless her," said I, For of mothers no man had a better; And while I'm in England, or when I go to the front She knows I will never forget her.

So, cheer up, Dear Mother, my truest of pals, Though at parting your heart may feel sore, We will all look forward with hearts full of hope To true happiness when peace comes once more.


Dear old Dad, when Kitchener called, On me to come up with the Boys, I thought of you and my dear old home, And the scenes of my childhood joys.

It's up to me to go out and help The other brave chaps at the front, Never let it be said I was one that jibbed While others bore the brunt.

When "ours" go where our duty calls, And I hope that won't be long; We'll get the Huns well on the run, To the tune of our marching song.

Memories of home and my dear ones, Are ever with me night and day: Those happy times I shall never forget, While in England, or over the way.

General sympathy is felt by the communoity for Mr. and Mrs. Moore in their great sorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Keeping Warm in the 19th Century

ABOYNE Ontario – November 7, 2012 Wellington County Museum and Archives News Release - During the severe Ontario winters of the 19th century, warmth was sometimes just a word, not a reality. Imagine waking up with a crust of frost covering the blankets, icy floors and frozen water. The upcoming exhibition Keeping Warm in the 19th Century opens November 10 at Wellington County Museum and Archives.

“Our material history, preserved in the Museum collection, reflects the challenges of keeping warm. Cloth scraps were saved to create patchwork quilts stuffed with wool or cotton. Undervests and heavy petticoats provided an extra layer of insulation from the wind and cold. Fur coats, hats and mittens protected from frostbite and ‘blind pigs’ (ceramic hot water containers) offered extra comfort for numb feet,” said Curator Susan Dunlop.

“These utilitarian pieces were created not only for warmth. The artifacts will delight visitors with their attention to fine details and give you a sense of appreciation for the hardiness of Wellington County pioneers.”

The exhibition runs until April 2, 2013.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora. The galleries are open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information, please contact:
Amy Dunlop, Curatorial Assistant
Tel: 519.846.0916 x 5232
Email: amyd@wellington.ca

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Famous trio of Victoria Cross medals unveiled at the Canadian War Museum

Eric Clarke and Doug Cargo admire the new display of three Victoria Cross Medals awarded during the First World War to residents of Winnipeg's Valour Road. Mr. Clarke and LCol (Rtd) Cargo are the great-nephews of Corporal Lionel B. Clarke and Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall. (CNW Group/Canadian War Museum)

OTTAWA, November 5, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - An extraordinary collection of all three Victoria Cross Medals awarded during the First World War to residents of Winnipeg's Pine Street, later renamed Valour Road, was unveiled today at the Canadian War Museum.

This collection was completed with the recent acquisition of the medal awarded in 1915 to Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall. The War Museum acquired the Valour Road Victoria Crosses of Lieutenant Robert Shankland and Corporal Lionel B. Clarke in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Only 96 Victoria Crosses were awarded to Canadians in the medal's 156-year history, making this coincidence truly exceptional. With the acquisition of the Hall Victoria Cross, the Canadian War Museum now has 33 Victoria Crosses in its collection, including one from the nineteenth century, 28 from the First World War and four from the Second World War.

"Valour Road is remarkable for its association with three recipients of this renowned award for bravery. The three men were honoured for their heroic acts in different battles and in different years, but all were from a single block of the same residential street," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, which operates the Canadian War Museum. "These medals belong together and so they shall remain in perpetuity, held in the name of all Canadians."

The trio of medals will remain on permanent display in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall of Honour. In 2014, this famous trio of Victoria Cross Medals will be loaned to the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg for a special exhibition commemorating the role of the Winnipeg Rifles and Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders regiments during the First World War.

"Our Government is very proud to see this extraordinary story displayed in the War Museum's collection and shared with other museums and institutions across the country," said Minister Moore. "On the road to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us continue to celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, prosperous, and free country we are today."

The Victoria Cross was introduced during the reign of Queen Victoria and remains the highest award for military valour in Britain and much of the Commonwealth including Canada, which created its own version of the Victoria Cross in 1993.

The Victoria Cross is awarded

"for the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy."

Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall received the medal for his actions during the 2nd Battle of Ypres, infamous as the site of the first German gas attack on the western front. Hall was shot in the forehead and killed during a prolonged and valiant attempt to rescue a wounded comrade. The posthumous award was presented to his mother. Corporal Clarke received his medal for valour in the face of the enemy at the Somme Front on September 9, 1916, while Lieutenant Shankland received his Victoria Cross for actions during the Battle of Passchendaele in October 1917.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.

More Information:

The Victoria Cross and the Heroes of Valour Road

The Victoria Cross was instituted on February 5, 1856 with the first awards given to heroes of the Crimean War (1854-1856). It is the British Commonwealth's highest award for military bravery.

Since its inception, the Victoria Cross has been awarded to 96 Canadians (Canadian born or serving in the Canadian Army). Ten of the awards were for actions during the late nineteenth century and the South African War (1899-1902), 70 for actions during the First World War (1914-1918) and 16 for actions during the Second World War (1939-1945). No Victoria Crosses have been awarded to Canadians in the post-war era.

The issue of the Victoria Cross to Canadians was discontinued when Canada instituted its own awards for bravery and gallantry during the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, a uniquely Canadian version of the Victoria Cross was introduced in 1993, again becoming Canada's highest award for bravery in the face of the enemy. It is identical to the earlier British award except the words For Valour are replaced by the Latin Pro Valore. The Canadian Victoria Cross has yet to be awarded.

The Heroes of Valour Road

Of the 70 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians during the First World War, three went to residents of a single block of one residential street: the 700 block of Pine Street in Winnipeg. In recognition of their gallantry, the city changed the name of the street to Valour Road in 1925.

The men were different ages, served in different military units, and were recognized for heroism in different battles. The nature of their pre-war connections—if any—are unknown. But the coincidence of having so many Victoria Crosses associated with a single street is unique in the world.

Frederick William Hall

Hall was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1885. A veteran of the British Army, he immigrated to Canada with other members of his family a few years before the outbreak of the First World War. He worked as a shipping clerk in Winnipeg and then enlisted in the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion in September 1914.

Seven months later, the Battalion was at the western front helping to defend the Ypres Salient, a bulge pushing into the German lines around the city of Ypres, Belgium. The Salient guarded an important communication crossroads and access to the channel ports of Calais and Dunkirk.

On April 22, 1915, the Battalion was among the Allied defenders enveloped by the first use of poison gas on the western front. The Germans attacked again the next night with artillery and another release of chlorine gas. Hall's company was ordered to leave its trench and move to another, exposing the men to enemy fire as they crossed a raised bank. After arriving at the new location, Company Sergeant Major Hall determined that two of the men under his command were missing. He left the trench, found both wounded men in the darkness, and brought them back to safety.

The next morning, on April 24, he heard the groans and cries of another wounded man and organized a rescue party with two volunteers from his company. Both volunteers were wounded in the attempt, and Hall pulled them back to safety. He then decided to try again on his own. With bullets hitting the ground around him, he made his way to the wounded soldier. As he was attempting to lift the man, Hall was hit in the forehead by an enemy bullet and killed. The soldier he was attempting to save was also shot to death.

For his heroic deeds, Hall was recommended for the Victoria Cross. The medal was presented to his mother, Mrs. Mary Ann Hall, who was then living in Winnipeg with Fredrick's two sisters.

Lionel B. ("Leo") Clarke

Clarke was born in Waterdown, Ontario, in 1892, but his family eventually settled in Winnipeg. He was a railroad surveyor in Saskatchewan when the First World War began, and he returned to Winnipeg to enlist in the 27th Battalion. He later transferred to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Canadian Division to be with his brother Charles.

Leo Clarke volunteered for a bombing platoon, whose members were trained in the use and tactics of hand-grenades. Working with bayonet men, their task was to clear enemy trenches in close quarter combat. On September 9, 1916, Corporal Clarke and his platoon were at the Somme Front. Their objective was to clear a section of enemy trench, then build an earth and sandbag barrier to prevent a counterattack. Clarke led a small group of men down a section of the trenchline while the other Canadians began building the barrier. The fighting was so fierce for Clarke's group that all of his comrades were soon dead or injured. About 20 German soldiers, led by two officers, began a counterattack. Clarke built and defended his own hasty barrier. When the fighting stopped, Clarke had been bayoneted in the leg, but had killed or captured all of his attackers.

For that valour in the face of the enemy, Clarke earned the Victoria Cross. Sadly, he did not live to receive the decoration. Almost two months after his remarkable display of heroism, he was killed by enemy shellfire. The medal was presented posthumously to his father during a ceremony in Winnipeg.

Robert Shankland

Born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1887, Robert Shankland moved to Canada in 1910 and found work as a cashier at a Winnipeg creamery. He enlisted in the 43rd Canadian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) in December 1914.

Shankland received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle of Passchendaele in October 1917. At the time, he was a Lieutenant in the 43rd Battalion. On the morning of October 26, the opening day of the battle, Shankland led his platoon of men from D Company to the crest of a hill overlooking the enemy trenches at Bellevue Spur. To his right were elements of the 58th Battalion and to his left were troops from the 8th Brigade.

When the Canadians moved forward, B Company of the 43rd Battalion captured Bellevue Spur, but heavy enemy fire caused the 58th to retire, leaving Shankland and his platoon from D Company exposed on the right flank. Eventually, the left flank retired, further exposing Shankland's troops. They were subjected to enemy fire and a counter-attack, suffering heavy casualties for four hours. Recognizing the desperate need for reinforcements, Shankland made the perilous journey back to Battalion headquarters where he provided a detailed report of the situation and a plan to counter-attack. He then returned to his men, who were soon successfully reinforced by soldiers from the 52nd and 58th battalions. For his actions that day Robert Shankland was awarded the Victoria Cross for his leadership and courage.

Shankland was the only one of the three Valour Road Victoria Cross recipients to survive the war.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

History of Everton - Eramosa Township Wellington County

...from the Wellington County Historical Society Essay and Journal Collection

photo credit: Wellington County Museum and Archives

Speech given by Master Ross Dampier at Eramosa school fair September 23, 1932 - This speech placed Ross as first prize winner

I wish this afternoon to tell you something of the history of the most important village in the township of Eramosa – a village noted for the cleverness of the citizens, past present and future, the great variety of its industries and the magnificence of its scenery.

I do not need to tell this intelligent audience that I refer to my home town Everton.

Everton was just called Hungry Hollow but we would prefer to call it Prosperity Corners.

When we study the history of our village we find that Rufus Evert, uncle of Mr. William Evert who still lives in our village, and Peter Stewart, Great uncle of Councillor John Stewart, were the first owners of the land where our village now stands.

Some time before 1858 they laid out a town of many streets. They must have had a great imagination for they saw avenues where Colonel Head now harvests heavy fields of oats, and busy factories where Arnold Wauless drives his cattle home in the cool of the evening.

The town plan provided for a market square of an acre of two taken off Mr. Stewart’s property just above the church. This is still commons.

The upper part of the village was called Stewarttown, while the lower was Everton. No doubt they hoped that some day there would be twin cities (like Minneapolis and St. Paul) to grace the centre of old Ontario.

For some time the place seemed to prosper and many industries sprung up and it came to have three churches, two hotels, three blacksmiths shops, grocery store a tailor shop, an implement agency, a cabinet markers shop, a carding mill, a washing machine factory, a cooper shop, and stove factory and a potash plant.

There was also a flour and feed and saw mill. These with a church a store and one blacksmith shop are all that remains.

It looked at one time as if those dreams were coming true, but alas! the railroad passed us by and unwisely placed its depot in Rockwood. The provincial highway also kept to the south (number 7).

Our clever young people drifted to the city and our industries have followed them. Our population though less than in the olden days, still shows so many types we are just waiting for an L.M. Montgomery or a Joseph C. Lincoln to rise up among us and we will be famous.

Although the hydro builder has spoiled some of our trees we still have a village that could be just as pretty as any in Muskoka. Who knows that we may not yet cheat the village cows of free pasture and establish an air dome on the market square that will bring us loads of American summer visitors.

Our school in the past has sent out teachers, nurses, bank clerks, druggists, dentists, doctors, ministers, lawyers, a judge, a university professor and a senator. Who will say that we may not now be training future college presidents or even prime ministers in S.S. No. 7 Eramosa?

April 16th, 1940 at time of copying this.

The old stone store has been burned. The blacksmith shop owner, Mr. George Robertson, died. It has been dismantled and sold for lumber or firewood.

The old Methodist church used for a Literary Society since 1902 until about 1930 was it was used for a blacksmith shop by [ Charles ] Fountaine and since destroyed by fire.

Colonel Head keeps groceries in his house.

Electricity installed in Everton February 1931. Lights turned on in the church February 6th, 1931.