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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

"Red" Indian soldiers in WW I (Canadian)


Guest Steve Turner

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Steve, the Native Veterans Association of Northwestern Ontario have an excellent website, link.

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Guest Steve Turner

Jacky:

Gitchi Meegwetch n'wemtigoshig! (means "Great Thanks my Frenchman" in Algonquin).

I know you're Belgian, but we only have words for Englishman, Frenchman, American-man and generic "whiteman". I got it as close as I could get, and I don't mean to be insulting.

Dude....I owe you a beer. Those digitals are great! I already packed 'em off to a few friends, and I think I'll send some over to the Chief's office on Six Nations to see if they could use them in the Band's archives!

If you ever want to come over for some moose hunting, I'll gladly act as your trusty Indian guide....just make sure you come here in September/October and bring a snowmobile suit or other warm clothing!

This site is a godsend.

Steve

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Guest Steve Turner

This is a photo of some Indian recruits during the Great War. I think the photo might have been taken at a training camp in Canada (judging by the trees in the background, and the style of uniforms).

The fourth man from the left in the back row, and the man on the right (in the sweater) in the back row are from my Dad's reserve. In fact, both of these men appear in the photo called "The Kaiser's nightmare" at the time of their recruitment. The man fourth from the left is Charlie Moore, who is also the man in the back on the left in the "Kaiser" photo. The man in the sweater is John Katt, who is seated on the right in the "Kaiser" photo.

Steve

post-1-1108738736.jpg

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Guest Steve Turner

In relation to the above photo, I have no clue why some of these boys would put their hats up in the "Aussie" fashion. Somebody suggested that the photo may have been taken at a base camp in France, and that the men copied the "side-up" style of wearing their wide-brim hats after seeing the Aussies do it.

Too bad these guys are now long gone, because this is all guesswork.

Steve

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I have no clue why some of these boys would put their hats up in the "Aussie" fashion.

Steve, the hats are the pre-war militia issue summer "keep the sun off the old noggin" types. There are numerous photos of men in Canada in training, wearing the hats, both with side up and down, pre-1914 and post 1914. Less common to see the hats in England.

I don't wish to start a chicken/egg conflict, but I doubt the men in Canada were imitating the Aussies.

I would bet your photo was taken in Canada.

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Guest Steve Turner

Broz:

I agree with you that the guys are likely in Canada. In fact, likely in the southern part of the country judging from the mixed hard- and soft-woods you can see in the background....but I doubt this is at Valcartier.

Are you knowledgeable about training facilities in southern Ontario or Quebec? Could this be Camp Borden? I'm not sure when Borden opened (WW I or II).

Steve

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Are you knowledgeable about training facilities in southern Ontario or Quebec? Could this be Camp Borden? I'm not sure when Borden opened (WW I or II).

I'm sure some of the Pals here or over on CEFSG would know better. I know that Niagara and Rockliffe (Ottawa) were also camps in Ontario. And Sewell/Hughes was in Manitoba. Perhaps Bill Alexander, who specializes in North Bay units, could tell us more.

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I'm not sure when Borden opened (WW I or II).

Borden opened on July 11, 1916.

marc

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Hello Steve et al,

The number for your grandfather's enlistment is in the 228th serial, as has already been established. There were additional units in northeastern Ontario. The 159th, 162nd, 227th in particular recruited in the Manituolin, (Rainbow country), Temagami, Algonquin areas and further north, up to the shore of Hudson, James Bay.

If your grandfather was in the 228th, they spent time in the North Bay area, then Toronto and overseas. The 162nd had a camp at Sundridge and then I believe they went to Camp Borden? Similarly, the 159th had companies camped around the battalion area (Haileybury, Sudbury, etc) and then went to Camp Borden. I am not 100% sure of all the movements in Canada before sailing.

Steve, did all the fellows in the picture join at the same time? Your grandfather is listed on the sailing list for the 228th. Particulars are:

1006627 Corporal Turner John Nil (previous military experience), Turner Mrs. Joseph A. (NoK), Bear Island Ont. Elk Lake (enlisted) June 5, 1916.

In reference to the photo of your grandfather, it appears that he is wearing the 228th cap badge and collars. In reference to the straw hats, these were issue summer dress items for the Canadian militia before 1914 and during the war. I have several photos soldiers of different battalions in training wearing this type of headdress. It was not associated with the slouch hat the Australians wore, rather it was an economical and cooler headdress for the hot summers in Canada. (Clive Law has some information about these in either KHAKI.) They were less expensive than the tropical helmets.

I did a very quick review of the 228th sailing list, and the following likely First Nations were found:

Butterfly George 1006927 Moose Factory

Carr Tom 1006922 Commanda

Cheechoo Alfred 1006906 Moose Factory

Chena Samuel 1006928 Moose Factory

Frenchman William 1006925 Moose Factory

Gustin Joe 1006950 Moose Factory

Ice Samuel 1006932 Moose Factory

Jacobs Wesley 1007067 Shawanaga On

Job Walter 1006924 Moose Factory

Katt John 1006628 Bear Island

Koosees James 1006992 Moose Factory

Mark John 1006963 Moose Factory

Mark Oliver 1006960 Moose Factory

Mark Synclair 1007130 Moose Factory

McLeod Frederick 1007128 Moose Factory

Moore Charle 1006629 Bear Island

Moore George Thomas 1006961 Moose Factory

Moore Harry L. 1006999 Moose Factory

Nichoshie Thomas 1006930 Moose Factory

Pusquach Andrew 1006835 Moose Factory

Roundeyes Frank 1006730 Elk Lake

Sutherland Elijah 1006993 Elk Lake

Sutherland James 1006994 Elk Lake

Sutherland Thomas 1006995 Elk Lake

Tapes Obieah 1006949 Moose Factory

I have undoubtedly included some who are not First Nations and missed some who are. None the less a significant component of the 228th was First Nations.

Broz as a side note the following Russians were found:

Burlanco Gabriel 1006695,

Manzuk Luka 1006883

Marchin Manna 1006646

Sychuk Nick 1006709

Vangar Toney 1006691

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Bill, thanks for checking in and sharing your expertise.

(Thanks for those Russians!! :P )

Peter in Vancouver

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Guest Steve Turner

Bill: Thanks for the great information..it is truly appreciated. This site has proven to be a fountain of information, and I guess I was looking towards the erong group of Canadians when I first started looking into this topic.

Are you a North Bay lad, Bill?

Steve

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Steve,

A while ago a friend got me this photograph of the grave of Joseph Standing Buffalo, who was Sitting Bull's grand son.

I have his attestation papers somewhere and I'll try t post them aswel.

Niels

post-6445-1113332150.jpg

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A lot of good information has been deceminated on this Forum but occasionally a real gem of a thread turns up ... one started by Racing Teapots on the fairly obscure and otherwise unappealing subject of death plaques springs to mind. I just wanted to say I have really enjoyed reading through this subject. Absolutely fascinating and totally educational. Thanks to all who have contributed.

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  • 5 years later...

Aboriginal Veterans Tribute Website

This website honours Canada's Aboriginal veterans and is dedicated to their descendants. The website features a wide range of tables listing Aboriginal soldiers by unit and actions, officer lists and NCO lists, and short biographies on many soldiers. The compilation includes over 5300 names and brings forward a topic area in need of greater research. [Recommended by 1st Motors][CEF Study Group - Sept 2010]

http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~jeffrey1/tribute.htm

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  • 5 weeks later...

Via BB's link above, one arrives at a list of officers compiled by Jeff Schlingloff:-

See http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~jeffrey1/officers.htm

Mr Schlingloff's list includes

Major Frederick Ogilvie Loft

Attested: 1914

Served: Lt Canadian Railway Construction Troops (Fr) and Canadian Forestry Corps (UK)

Maj Loft had also served as a recruiter with the Six Nations Ont.

An earlier photograph of Loft may be seen on the site pointed out by Mike (Skipman) yesterday -

http://www.1914-1918.fr/zen/1ere-guerre-mondiale-annee-1917-miroir/guerre-1914-1918-annee-1917-1211-c.jpg.php

NativeCanadiansoldiersfromLeMiroir.jpg

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Hi Steve,

A while ago a friend got me this photograph of the grave of Joseph Standing Buffalo, who was Sitting Bull's grand son.

I have his attestation papers somewhere and I'll try t post them aswel.

Niels

Very interesting,to think that Sitting Bull fought the white soldiers and his grandson was fighting for the white man and died for them.

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Indeed. A short while ago I came across the attestations papers for a Metis who had fought in the 1885 Rebellion.

Several years ago while going through contemporary newspapers I came across an article about Tom Longboot. If I recall correctly, he ran from Brantford to Toronto to enlist in the 180th (Sportsmen) Battalion, but was told that there was an "Indian battalion" that was recruiting (114th Battalion). He did end up signing up the 180th, though.

I also came across articles in the digitized Alberta newspapers about recruiting for a battalion on one or two reserves. Can't remember what battalion, would have been in the high 100s I believe.

There was a "Indian Forestry Draft" that recruited 18 men, and no doubt others joined similar drafts.

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