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The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 25 no 5, November 2013. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.

LEST WE FORGET... Remembrance Day November 11

World War I: Cantley's Young Men Answer the Call

by Mary Holmes

Part Two - (part one appeared in the October 2013 Echo)

Many of Cantley's families had two or three of their sons sign up during World War I, while other families had to surrender only one son to the cause. Lest we forget...

Charles Dacey and his brother, Tommy both signed up the same day, on January 26, 1917. They listed their birthplace as Marmora, Ontario and the residence of their mother, Maggie, as Cantley. It was noted on his attestation paper that Charles could not proceed overseas until January 1, 1920, because of his age, but Tommy was assigned to a forestry battalion.

Two younger brothers of Lemuel Hector Wilson, sons of James Albert Wilson and Catherine Cooper, mentioned in Part One, also signed up: Harvey Earl in 1917 and Gordon Lloyd in 1918. In 1928, Harvey married Gladys Aletha Pidgeon of Cornwall. They raised three children. He worked for the Swift Canadian Company in Ottawa. Harvey died in 1961 and is buried in the Cantley United Cemetery.

William John "Bill" Kyle, James Patrick "Jimmy" Kyle and Joseph Richard "Joe" Kyle were three of the ten children of John Kyle and Alice Holmes. They all signed up in 1918. Bill and Jimmy signed up in Ottawa but Joe was living in Marengo, Sask. and signed up in Regina. After the War, Bill married Annie Capeless, Jimmy married Melina Milks, and Joe married Irene Capeless. Their descendants spread out all over Canada. In 2002, many returned to Wilson's Corners for the Timlin Reunion held at the farm of Gerald Holmes and as they had such a good turnout, they organized their own minireunion at the same time.

John Oliver Easy (from the book entitled, Our Heroes in the Great World War) - harpentier born in Cantley, April 4, 1896.

Brothers John Oliver Easy and Henry Osler Easy signed up a year apart, Oliver in May 1917 and Osler in May 1918. They were the sons of Henry Easy and Dinah Ramberg. Henry was a well-known and much sought after carpenter in the area and Dinah had the distinction of being the only Norwegian listed on the local census. Osler married Louisa Colbert and lived at the corner of Highway 307 and Storey Road. They raised two daughters, one of which, Evelyn, was married to Joe Hupé, long time postmaster of Cantley who will be remembered by many of our readers.

Joseph Arthur Blanchfield and James Edmund Blanchfield both signed up in June 1918. They were the sons of John Blanchfield and Elizabeth Thibert. James Edmund was one of the two married men with a connection to Cantley who signed up. He was married to Gertrude McDermott in Quinnville in 1914.

Second cousins, Joseph Martin "Murt" Holmes and William Edward "Eddie" Mulcahey signed up a month apart in 1918. Murt was the eldest child of Daniel Holmes and Flora McMillan while Eddie was one of the seven children of James Mulcahey and Margaret Holmes. After the war, Eddie moved to the Sudbury area to work in the mines. In June 1926, he married Evelyn Boucher in Timmins, Ontario. Together they had a family of seven. Evelyn died in 1949 two months after the birth of her youngest child. Eddie,with the help of his eldest child, Harris, in the summer time, and his sister, Tessie, the rest of the year, carried on with the raising of his children. Harris would return home in the summer time from his studies at the seminary to look after the younger children and to work at one of the Inco mines to make money for his next year at school. Harris was ordained to the priesthood in 1955 and served in parishes throughout northern Ontario and in Guatemala. Eddie died in 1976 and is buried with his wife in the Sudbury-Lasalle R.C. Cemetery.

Charles Boucher Wilson was the middle child of the second family of Henry Wilson who gave his name to Wilson's Corners. Charles' mother, Caroline Boucher, was a first cousin of Henry's first wife, Frances Mulligan. After his father's death in 1894, he moved with his mother, Caroline, his older brother and his younger sister to Emo, Ontario. He married Carol Patricia Koch of Nelson, B.C. in 1921. Together they raised a family of three. Charles was a Tariff Inspector with the CPR in Vancouver when he died of tuborculosis. in 1930. He is buried in Chilliwack, B.C.

Joseph Wilfred "George" Cleary was the son of James Cleary and Elmire Despatie. He married Aldeneige Martin in 1921. They lived at Wilson's Corners where they raised two children, Jean (who married Leo Diotte) and André (who remained single and lived on the family farm until his sudden death). George was a machinist and worked for Canadian International Paper Company for 12 years and then for Aluminum Company of Canada for 17 years until his retirement. He was first elected mayor of St. Pierre de Wakefield in 1951 and then re-elected in July 1957. During his tenure as mayor, he oversaw the construction of the steel bridge crossing Lac St. Pierre. The new steel bridge was completed in 1955 to replace the red-painted covered bridge to the east of it which was constructed in 1927, the fourth longest covered bridge in Quebec. This project presented major challenges for the mayor and the contractors of the steel bridge when parts of the covered bridge collapsed in 1954 apparently due to damage to its piers from construction of the new steel bridge. The collapse in turn caused damage to the construction site of the new steel bridge resulting in delays in the completion of the new bridge. George passed away suddenly in August 1957 from a heart attack. Besides

This years as mayor, he was secretary-treasurer of the Municipality of East Wakefield for 10 years, a director of the Gatineau County Progressive Conservative Association, president of the Gatineau South Winter Roads Association, member of the board of directors of the Gatineau Memorial Hospital in Wakefield, fire ranger for Gatineau County, inspector of Old Age Pensions for the county, and member of the Hull Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Robert Andrew Bernard Brown listed his occupation as pay clerk when he signed up in 1917, one of the few who was not a farmer. He was the son of Thomas Brown and Margaret Pollock Blackburn, daughter of Andrew, who along with his brother, David, arrived in Hull in 1829 and settled opposite each other on the Gatineau River, on the west side (Andrew) and the east side (David), according to Rev. J.L. Gourley in his "History of the Ottawa Valley".

There were several other young men with a Cantley connection: Thirty-one year old painter Michael Tempeny living in Toronto, signing up in Hamilton, listed his mother, Bridget, as living in Wilson's Corners in 1918. Delmer Foley of Cantley in 1918 was the son of John Foley and Hanna Maloney. Patrick Fleming, born in Cantley, was the son of Mrs. James Fleming living on Bronson Avenue in Ottawa. He had military experience as a clerk when he signed up in 1917.

The mystery veteran of part 2 is Patrick Andrew Egan, who gave his place of residence as Cantley when he signed up in March 1916. He listed his mother as Elizabeth Egan, living in England. He also had previous military experience but listed his occupation as farming on his attestation paper.

"Cantley 1889" would appreciate receiving information about the war service for any of the young men that we have identified as having a connection to Cantley.

"Cantley 1889" is grateful for the continuing contributions of Mary Ann Carss, Reta Milks and Melissa Joyce in the production of our regular monthly articles.

There was a guy
I hardly knew.
Who saved my
many years ago.

He did not ask why
nor put up a fuss.
He just did what he
felt he must.

He put us ahead
of his family and wife.
So we would have
a better life

Then another guy
a few years later.
took a trip over to Asia

Men were fighting over there,
he must try to stop them.
Show them that he really cared.

So he went and left his family
for his country and flag
the Maple Leaf.

So I thank you Guy's
for all you've done
For I know it wasn't any fun.

You know that I'm not the only one.
For on November 11th,
thousands will come

So on this day,
I'll wear a Poppy,
and I'll pray out loud

For them that all continue
makes me feel so proud.

May they all come back
safe and free,
to their homes and families

So that others can, say thank you
just like you and me

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