More of Our Boys to the Front
“In addition to the Carleton Place contingent with the 42nd Regt., many more of our boys have enlisted in the defence of the empire. Howard Maguire passed through last week from Saskatchewan and his brother Trevor went out from Ottawa. Alex. Shaw, son of Mr. W. A. Shaw, and Walter Rogers, son of Mr. James Rogers, also went through with the western boys, also Peter Anderson, nephew of Mr. Andrew Neilson.”
When the 42nd Left Perth
“One on the spot contributed the following particulars to the Lanark Era:
‘Der tag’ has long been a toast in the German army. Around the banquet table officers clink their glasses and enthusiastically drink as the toast passes. In plain English this toast means “The day.” Although its original significance is lost in the mists of antiquity, its present import points to the coming of the day when the Fatherland would stand the supreme test of its military might and efficiency. The day is here. Over the main hall of the Exhibition grounds floats the Union Jack, troops occupy the spaces round about, and on all sides one see preparations for war. It is the date scheduled for the departure of the first overseas contingent of the 42nd. The men are impatient to get away. Order succeeds order in rapid sequence, each one deferring the hour of leaving until Lieut. Col. Balderson rushes in a high power motor, and announces to his subordinate officers that the train has been definitely tabled. The hour of going is 9:30 p.m. Instantly there is a leaping to arms and the collecting of such articles of accoutrement as have been left unpacked until the last moment. It takes but a few minutes to get ready. Out of the unknown appears transport waggon, officers direct the loading, which, in less time than it takes to tell it, is piled high with kit bags and away to the station. Out of the number of volunteers offering their services a few have been rejected and already there are scenes of leave taking. Among the rejected is a young fellow, who, with his brother, had volunteered to serve. His brother was accepted, but he himself was left behind. As the full meaning of the separation burst upon him he rushed to his brother, clasped him by the hand, and said, “Well, good-bye Jack,” and kissed him. The contingent is largely Canadian. Of the 131 men bound for Valcartier 83 are Canadian, 36 English, 10 Scotch, 4 Irish, and 1 American. Each man is furnished with a small testament which he tucks away carefully in his kit bag for future use. One of the men, Serg. J. H. Brown, of Carleton Place, had two, one of which he gave the writer as a souvenir. It has been inscribed with words explaining the occasion and the gift, and will be long treasured in commemoration of Canada’s part in this Continental war.
As the transport waggon rolled away from sight a lusty cheer went up from the soldiers who were soon to follow. There are eleven married men in the force. So sudden has this all come about that many of them have not had time to say good-bye to wives and babes. The phone rings and we hear farewells, “Good-bye, loved ones until the war is over.” But this is not the time for weeping. Men must be up and doing. By seven o’clock, the troops are ready. Adjutant Captain T. R. Caldwell forms the lines and reports to his Colonel “All correct, sir.” The Colonel assumes command, and away they go headed by the brass band, greycoats bandoliered, in lines of four, Lieut. Col. Balderson at the head, behind him Adjutant Capt. Caldwell, Quarter Master Ed deHertel, Captains Wilson and Hall, Lieuts. Barnett, Morris Donisthrope, Morris Gardner and Malloch, and marching beside the troops, the two active service officers, Captain Hooper and Lieut. Scott. “The British Grenadiers” is the tune that sets the pace out of the gates. As the troops march through the town great crowds of people line the pavements. Cheer upon cheer sweeps along, the ladies clap hands and wave handkerchiefs, the men march in grim silence until they reach a point in town where the crowds are greatest; then as the band starts up the notes of “The Maple Leaf Forever,” the troops take up the strain and it carries along in measured cadences from housetop to housetop. Chaplain Capt. Rev. D. C. MacIntosh is with the boys. When they arrive at the station he and the Colonel face the men at the halt. Then follows a scene which shall long remain to memory. The Colonel addresses his men. He explains Britain’s position and Canada’s duty in the present crisis. He recalls the glorious traditions of the Black Watch, and commits to the keeping of the men before him the unsullied reputation which falls to their lot as soldiers of the king. He is followed by the Chaplain, who speaks straight to the hearts. “I know you will not fail,” he exclaims. “As I look into your faces I see determination, resolution, patriotism, courage and victory. Go forth, then, my men, in this war of righteousness and may God be with you.” The Chaplain’s address was most impressive. At its close there were a few moments of silent prayer, and then the whole crowd of over 2,000 souls repeated aloud “The Lord’s Prayer.” Col. Balderson called Capt. Hooper to his side. “Capt. Hooper,” said he, “I now give these men into your charge, take care of them.”
The men are now at Valcartier in training. In a few weeks they will be on the high seas steaming to the front. They may spend a few days in England, but much depends on the turn of the war. Our own representatives, Arthur Brown and Roy McIntyre, are in the front rank of the troop. It is likely they will be merged into a regiment composed of various units. We shall all follow their part in the campaign with interest in their welfare and prayers for their safety. Serg. Pearce, of Perth gave up his position in the Bank of Montreal and joined the ranks as a private. Among the soldiers is a private named Wilson, the sweet singer of the 42nd. He entertained his comrades before leaving with a number of ballads. They formed a ring around him and we shall never forget the sweetness of his voice as he sang “The Boys of the Old Brigade” and other war songs….
Mr. T. B. Caldwell, presented each soldier with a pair of socks – a useful and highly appreciated gift. The ladies of Perth gave each soldier of the Perth Company a “Housewife Kit,” consisting of needles, pins, thread, buttons, sticking plaster, chocolate and chewing gum. Col. Balderson and his officers have successfully staged the first act in the war drama played by this district. In the face of many difficulties they were able to raise and send to the front perhaps the largest contingent to go from any rural Canadian regiment. Capt. Hooper and Lieut. Scott are with the men, the former in charge. Hooper has seen service in South Africa and is a brave and competent officer.”