On Monday November 11, 2019 we marked 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, 20 would serve overseas, with 18 seeing action on the front lines in France. Twelve of these men were wounded and two would not make it home.
To see the list of these men, visit the blog
at the Cortes Island Museum and Archives Society website, written by Mike Manson. During the course of the winter select short stories will be added about some of the men.
-- by Mike Manson