Monday, November 17, 2014

John Bruce

Port Coquitlam Cenotaph
Port Coquitlam cenotaph, plinth, west side
John Bruce, "Jock Bruce"   Private  790597  
Born at Renton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland on the 11th of July 1889, his attestion paper states that he was a ships riveter.
He played for the local Black & Gold football team. John enlisted on the 11th of February 1916 with the 131st battalion, and was Killed In Action, KIA on the 22nd of August 1917,in France at the age of 28.
Virtual memorial for John Bruce
 His father was David Bruce, of Renton, Dunbartonshire. John also left a sister behind Jean Bruce, who possibly became Mrs. Jean McIntyre.
At his death he was in the Canadian infantry ( Western Ontario Regiment ), 47th Battalion.  John is memorialized at the Vimy Ridge memorial

 Article from a display at the Port Coquitlam Museum, probably from the Coquitlam Star, newspaper. The article is transcribed in full, below.
 Jock Bruce killed

       It came as a shock to the many friends of Jock Bruce in the city to learn that he had made the supreme sacifice "Somewhere in France." Jock was one of the most noted footballers on the coast, and for two seasons previous to his enlistment was a member of Coquitlam's famous black & gold team. He played on the Mainland team against the Vancouver Island team several times and was recoginized as one of the best centre half-backs in the game in the Province. The same thing that made hime a great footballer no doubt made him a great soldier. Jock never worried over those things, and was always willing to take a chance.
An incident that happened at Vernon in 1916, when the 131st Battalion was in training there, shows his canny Scotch way of overcoming difficulties. He was acting as stretcher-bearer in a sham battle and one of the men, weighing about 200 pounds, had to be carried back of the lines supposed to be wounded. When Jock saw him and noticed his size, he said, "Na, he's na wounded; he's deid," and left him on the field to walk back.

NOTE: the area where John was born is long noted for its capable football players

Rather poor quality scan of the 131st Battalion, No. 15 Platoon
Top Row  -— W.J. Reeves, H.A. Jennings, T. Dickinson, A.R. Solloway, C. Strand, G. Royle, A.W. Buckett, E. Lake,L. Robbie, F.J. Robertson, J.E. Blais.

Second Row — W.J. Ayling, D. Rodman, J.J. O'Donnell, W. Ross, L. Paul, C.C. Clarke, S. Cleave, A.B. Mouldey, C.H. Smith, M.F. Weeks, R.E. Mundon, John Bruce.

Third Row — R.R. Abbott, L.H. Wadlund, E. Hide, H.A. Aves, J.H. McCormick, J. Reid, G.H. Nicholls, J.C. McInnes, F. Johncock, B.L. Davis, R. Thoreson, C. Nicholls.

Fourth Row — N.A. Craig, G. Johnson, D. McLeod, J. Clarke, J.A. Melton, J. Brown, H.T. Routley, J. Edwards, A. Angelo, A. McIntyre.

Front Row — Lee.-Corpl. T. Mars, Corpl. A.F.H. Moore, Co.S.M. R. Henderson, Lieut. R. O'Hanley. Co.Q.M.S. L.G. Rayner, Sergt. W.T. House, Corpl. L.W. Hookham, Drummer S.C. Ballard.

NOTE: Sadly very little is known about him, he is not memorialized at his birthplace.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Henry Banham

Port Coquitlam Honour Roll
Essondale Honour Roll
Sergeant-major Henry Banham , Canadian Military Police Corps., No.11 Detachment.  Essondale employee   b. 14th of August 1866, Staines, Middlesex, England.   Signed his attestation papers  ( Front  ---  Back ) on the 1st of October 1917 2583301  Service File:  PDF    at the time he was living at Old Drill Hall, Victoria.  WIFE:  Hannah Elizabeth”Lizzie” Miller (Muir) living in Regina.   military policeman.  23 years with NWMP, was a sergeant ( No.: 1206 ); 8 months with the Corps of Guides
He served his country until February 28,1919, then he went back to Essondale to work.
After the war the 1919 to 1931 directories lists Henry as an attendant  at Essondale
Henry Banham died on the 27th of July 1945, at Vancouver, B.C.; age 78. At the time of his death he was living at 2296 Tolmie St., Vancouver,B.C..
Obituary: July 30th, 1945 Vancouver Daily Province: Riel Rebellion veteran passes.

       Henry Banham, dies age 78 lived in Vancouver for nineteen years. wife in Regina, SON: Harry C., Los Gatos, Santa Clara, California; two brothers in Queensborough, Ontario, and a grandson, Capt. Harold Banham, R.C.O.C., overseas.
Buried in the Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver in the returned soldiers plot.
Engaged NWMP 27th of April 1888; ended on 26th April 1900, re-engaged 6th of April 1901, retired to pension 6 December 1909 a pension of $239.25 per year for life
served 23 years and 245 days, first at Montreal and then at Moose jaw and Depot, Regina for 8 years. Following his re-engagement in 1901 he served in the Regina area, except for a period in 1903 when he was recruiting in Winnipeg, and Brandon, Manitoba.
in 1903 he won best shot gold medal at Calgary rifle match. when he retired he still had not received it, and was given $25 instead. In 1931 he was awarded $300 in lieu of script for service during the 1885 Riel Rebellion, he was working at Essondale at this time. On April 8, 1935 Henry was awarded the RCMP long service medal.
FATHER: William Banham.
SON: Henry Cecil Banham, born 29th July 1892  also served his country. Signed his attestation papers on the 1st of October 1915 at Winnipeg, Manitoba  153896  occupation was a driver. WIFE: Kathryn / Katherine
Henry Cecil Banham became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1937, and later was drafted into WWII.