On Remembrance Day 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces contingent stationed in the United States at Fort Gordon, Georgia, held an act of remembrance at the grave of Private James Stewart.
Private Stewart was an African-American from Savannah, Georgia, who enlisted for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and served with No.2 Construction Company attached to the Canadian Forestry Corps in the Jura region in south-east France, and at Alençon in northern France. He died in Canada on 19 December 1919 and was buried in Laurel Grove South Cemetery, Savannah four days later.
The event was organised by Corporal Allan Gudlaugson and the photographs were taken by Marie-Carole Gallien.
This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in New York.
Robert Archer Bowlby is one of two American dancers to feature in this project—the other, much more famous, is Vernon Castle, who is buried in the same cemetery in New York. There are numerous newspaper reports, and records of talks given by Lieutenant Bowlby, that testify to his war service in France, his shell shock and subsequent role in support of the War Bond drives in the United States. His service was more prosaic, however—he made it to England before falling sick and being diagnosed with a heart condition, which resulted in his return to Canada and discharge. Continue reading →
Edwin Otterson Baker was born at Roanoke, Virginia on 12 October 1893, the son of Herbert Baker and his first wife. His mother had died by 1900 and his father subsequently remarried, Ethel Howard, on 24 June 1903. The following year the family emigrated to Canada, settling initially in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, where his younger half-sister, Barbara, was born in 1907. By 1911 the family were living in Ottawa. Edwin later moved to Montreal, where he worked for a grocer.
He enlisted on 8 April 1916 in Montreal for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. For one reason or another he decided to conceal both his real name and his place of birth. He gave his name as Edward Oliver Brownlee and his place of birth as Portage la Prairie. He joined the 148th Battalion and was allocated the regimental number 842021. The Battalion, comprising 32 officers and 951 other ranks, sailed from Halifax on RMS Laconia on 26 September 1916 arriving in England on 6 October and on that day he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Continue reading →