Tag Archives: military

Remembering Harry Purdy

Remembering Harry Purdy


February 6, 2021  · Harry Purdy( retired CD MWO RCEME). Served in CFB Lahr ( third tour NATO). The 70/ 80 era: where became known for his contributing volunteer work for the Canadian Forces Network ( CFN). On retirement of The Military; he became a full time radio broadcaster; with CFN. Having the opportunity to represent the Canadian Forces abroad. He did the radio shows such as Country Sunup; the Western Express.

He interviewed so many Artists such as: Dolly Parton; Johnny Cash; Dick Dameron( too many to mention). After Lahr closed in 1994: he came back to Canada( Carleton Place : Ont). He passed at Almonte Gen Hospital; Ont: on the 1 Feb 2020.But never forgotten.he did the circle of life. He passed it on; so I could carry on. As: a Third Generation Soldier: I pass it on to the next generation. Rip. Dad.Respect and gratitude! ❤️( too many to mention).

I was just about to add this to our Carleton Place Military page ” Photos of Those we Remember” on Facebook but decided it needed to be documented and then I will post it..-Linda S

Friday Nights with Brian Murphy

Get me to the My Future Wife On Time — Larry Clark

Get me to the My Future Wife On Time — Larry Clark

By Larry Clark

The year was 1958 and it proved to be quite a year. I had received my wings in Winnipeg, Oct57 and was awaiting assignment to the CF100 OTU (operational training unit) but they were backed up and there was no opening until 11 Jan 58. I was given rather boring duties, which allowed me to go on leave over Christmas/New Years in CP. (Think Ashton, where Beth lived). 

The previous Christmas I had given Beth a ring that we decided to consider as an engagement ring. It had been an inexpensive ring centred with an emerald, set between 2 zircons but I had the jeweller replace the zircons with diamonds (raised his eyebrows-perhaps the diamonds were no more expensive than the zircons?). There was no getting down on one knee-that came a year later-in front of the Godfather, aka Eagle beak, aka Mr. Perfect in every way, aka “The Greatest” (we loved him!)-which brings us to 1957/58 and the new Year’s Ball at Uplands Mess. I then drove back to Cold Lake AB in time for my course which I successfully completed on the 22 May 58.

That day, I placed a call to Beth, via the base switchboard, to the long-distance operator, to (I believe a Smiths Falls exchange) to the party line that served the Ormrod’s residence (next door to the Slades). I had never done this before but I felt the circumstances were such that the Ormrod’s wouldn’t mind (Slades had availed themselves of this on occasion). The other option would have been the Ashton General Store but that would have been too complicated involving a call-back. Everything seemed to go like clockwork, although there was the necessary wait for Beth to get the message and come to the phone (giving ample time for other party-liners to gain access.

“Hello Beth”; no reply?, the long distance operator came on the line; “she can hear you and she said Hello back,-can you not hear her”-“no”, I said.

Thus, the conversation proceeded-we decided to continue the call with LD operator relaying the conversation-can’t remember the exact words and could well be that neither of us could hear the other-but this is my recollection.

Operator: “go ahead sir”.

Me: “Beth, we have to get married right away, as soon as we can!”

Operator (making strange noises) relayed the message.

Me: “I have passed the course and am being posted to France at the end of June, so we need to get married before then.”

The conversation continued for some time in a rather light-hearted fashion (which included the operator-having made her day!)

I was given leave, including extra embarkation leave but time was still a critical consideration and we (Remi Saulnier in his MG, my pilot** and I in my Ford) set out almost immediately for Carleton Place. There was a slight delay while Ray picked up his car from the garage where he had had them perform a tune up. 

Before we reached Vermillion (100 miles of gravel in those days), it became obvious that Ray’s car was under-performing but he did manage to make it to Lloydminster and a mechanic. He was rather perturbed that the previous mechanic had to the wrong settings and the valves had been burned. Aware of our schedule, he re-set the valves and said that it was only a temporary fix and the valves would need to be re-ground soonest. We made it as far as Regina and stayed overnight in a motel.

Left Regina at 12 noon, stopping only for food and fuel, making it onto the ferry at the Sault, with Ray’s car becoming more and more cantankerous and at that point, refused to start in order to get off. I managed to push it off and we got it going with the intention of finding a garage that could repair the vehicle- 10/11 o’clock on a Sunday night. 

We located a suitable  garage, parked the MG with a note explaining the situation and that to expect a call on the Monday morning. We both got into my car and continued the journey, arriving in Carleton Place at 6 in the morning; just a little tired after 42 hours without sleep-the last 4 hoursI resorted to smoking in order to keep myself awake-to keep each other awake.

Arriving, found that wedding plans were finalized for the coming Saturday; the garage in the Sault was called and arrangements were made for his car to be repaired; arrange, arrange, arrange, all week- Beth-a hurry-up passport; Beth-innoculations; Beth/Larry packing, etc. My mother, (bless her heart) helped with the packing but I didn’t know the extent until after the honeymoon. 

Of course, when we got home from our honeymoon, everyone was excited to hear about the trip (Nova Scotia and Connecticut). After skirting the subject a couple of times, my mother finally asked if we had any problem with our clothing; to which I replied, perplexedly . “no, why do you ask?” She said, “Well, we sewed up all the openings in your pyjamas!” 

I’ll leave this story at that-the voyage to Europe may come later.

**There had been a mock “marriage ceremony” in Cold Lake where we had crewed up together and we would continue to fly together for the most part while we were on squadron**

My 1956 Ford with Ormrod’s house in the background!

I Was Axed — Memories of Larry Clark — Bell Street

1954 CPHS Graduation Pictures — Larry Clark

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark

The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

Women of the Red Cross — Mary Slade –Larry Clark

Old Notebooks Larry Clark and I Once Had a Math Teacher like This!

Memories of Mulvey’s Candy Store and Joie Bond — Larry Clark

My Family – Larry Clark — Hilda Strike — Olympic Medallist

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire
Photo Larry Clark 1917-Linda I added to the Lindbergh file but this photo should go with it–Read– Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Thanks to one of my regular submitter Larry Clark for sending this photo that sent me seeking more information to document. I love the thrill of the kill as they say in history or murder mysteries. Any photo you have, study it as there is a story behind it that needs to be told.

Canadian Forestry Corps

Larry Clark has been sending me a lot of interesting pictures and this one he has of the Canadian Forestry Corps in the Rockcliffe Camp is an original. I am assuming that as I can’t see to find anything close on the Rockcliffe Camp photo site. So what was life like for these men photographed in 1917? The Canadian Forestry Corps was a 25,000 unit served as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war in 1914-1919, yet very little mention is made of their war effort in history, and their service records has been omitted in many history books. They were often called upon to do menial jobs such as cleaning up former logging sites even though 1000s of soldiers serving in the CFC had physical disabilities. Did you know there is only one memorial in memory of CFC located in the National War Memorial? Next time you are in there look for a statue of a lumberjack that represents the thousands of men, immigrants, minorities or wounded/disabled that are forgotten in our history.

These Forestry Corps soldiers worked for over 2 1/2 years in Britain and France to make sure those serving at the front were supplied with timber for shelter and moved supplies and ammunition across the front lines at great risk. Not to mention the construction projects and the aerodrome construction in 1916-1919 they were involved in only to be forgotten about. Hopefully clicking on this link will add respect to those that served in the CFC.

In October of 1917

Four soldiers in October of 1917 were accused of peddling whiskey amongst the soldiers at Lansdowne Park and also at Rockcliffe Camp, according to information supplied by Inspector McLaugalin. Mr. Giroux, who drove a taxicab took large quantities of whiskey in flasks from the Rockcliffe Camp down to Lansdowne Park. There they were cached in the stables and retailed to the soldiers who wanted a drink, at$1.50 per flask, although the flasks were only worth 50 cents each. Some of the soldiers were found with flasks in their possession and admitted they had obtained them from the soldiers at Rockcliffe Camp, and this led to the arrest of the accused.

The Quagmire that was called Rockcliffe Camp October 1917

In any write up I have read about Rockcliffe Camp in the news archives it was called nothing but a quagmire, and the soldiers lived in dire straits when it was wet and cold. In October of 1917 an Ottawa Journal reporter took a tour through the camp and said: had the Glebe Curling Club and the Winter Fair Assc. accompanied him on the journey to Rockcliffe Camp perhaps all the opposition to having soldiers at Lansdowne Park would evaporate.

For two hours the journalist plowed through mud that sometimes reached over his boot tops and it was a wonder why more soldiers were not in the hospital with pneumonia. Conditions were even worse after two days rain and it was the same no matter where you went in the camp: from the signal training depot, railway construction and the Forestry Depot. As you can see by the photo above, there were lots of ups and downs in the topography of the camp. They said the conditions exceeded the front lines of the trenches in France. Things were so bad for the Forestry Corps soldiers that they requested major F.O.W. Tidy to permit them to hold a march upon the soggy grounds to get their blood circulation going and avoid further chills.

The reporter had an interview with Lieutenant Powers and he wrote that the next 12 minutes before it were spend dodging small lakes and the excruciating mud clung to everything. When he finally arrived at Lieutenant Powers tent he noticed the lieutenant was sitting next to the only operating stove in the camp wearing a heavy overcoat. Viewing the officers quarters next his feet were now as he said ready to bring on pneumonia or pleurisy. The wooden floors were drenched and the wind that blew through them was raw. The winds however that blew through the privy commode section were so bad that shaving was done in quick order.

The kitchens were in small shantys but that did not protect the men peeling the vegetables as they only had a canvas roof quarter and that provided no protection from the elements. The regular quarters were worse than the officer quarters with thick mud on the floor and the tents were cold and damp. At night they spread their blankets over their cold feet and tried to sleep surrounded by pools of water.

The hospital tent was apparently the end all. Sick soldiers said they were going to come out of the infirmary worse than they came in and they had not been able to get their feet warm since they arrived there. On top of one man burning with fever from pneumonia was two blankets and a great wool coat and there was not a working stove to be seen anywhere.

Later that day things got worse and the sick were sent to the local hospitals and the men were instructed to march around the grounds to keep warm. Others were digging a trench near their tents to carry away water that threatened to come above the floor level where they slept.

One asked the reporter, ‘Think you would like to live here? Why bother going to France and live in the trenches when you can have the same conditions in Canada?’

While some men were taking it in good form, but the reporter saw that they had just about enough. How much longer could they live in this state? Where they were to be quartered in the future remained with the militia. Hard to believe that this transpired in Ottawa, Ontario and not in some foreign country.


MaryAnne SharpeIf you Google “CEF Forestry Corps War Diaries”, Library and Archives Canada has a 167-page PDF guide to these war diaries that are in its holdings. Other references come up as a result of this search, as well.

more photos from Larry Clark

Close up of Will Slade in the CFC photo. He was the one that had the Lindbergh photo in his possession. He was my wife Beth’s grandfather. I had already picked him out and then when I cropped the photo, realized that there was a pencilled ring around around him. Also the possessor of the Forestry photo that I sent you above. Larry Clark.

Lost Ottawa

April 23, 2014  · Rockcliffe Camp, to the East of Ottawa in August, in 1899.

There was no real “base” at the time, and certainly no airbase. But there was a rifle range, and the lads in these tents were likely training for service in the Second Boer War, 1899-1902

Found the hockey photo-His name was William Thomas Slade and is right, in the back row. He was my wife Beth’s grandfather.
Larry Cark

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

more photos from Larry Clark

Where was Almonte’s Military Headquarters?




Almonte’s military quarters were combined with the North Lanark Agricultural Society’s main exhibition building then being erected.–Google Image



1840 – A district agricultural society, the parent of the present North Lanark Agricultural Society, was founded at a January, 1840, meeting at Carleton Place, with James Wylie of Ramsayville as president, Francis Jessop of Carleton Place as secretary and Robert Bell as treasurer.  Its activities for the improvement of farming methods and products have included from the beginning an annual exhibition, held until the late Eighteen Fifties at Carleton Place and thereafter at Almonte.  Carleton Place exhibitions were continued for some further years by a Beckwith Township agricultural society.

1945–On October 22, 1945 a group of interested farmers formed the North Lanark District Co-Operative in Almonte. At the time it was incorporated there were 185 members and the first board that was elected consisted of: E.J. Rose-Kenneth Robertson- Alva Rintoul-Bert Young-George Robertson-Robert Cochran-Vic Kellough-Frank Ryan-Jas Commery. The Co-Operative opened with machinery going in July 1946. The turn over for the fiscal year was $75,000.

In 1949 membership had risen to 316 and the turn-over was $137,000.–Lanark County Federation of Agriculture booklet–1949-1950


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

From Carleton Place to Fish Creek –North West Rebellion


Yesterday I wrote about the Fenian and Ballygiblin raids and I was upset how badly the soldiers were treated, not that anyone had a choice. Call me stupid- or I missed something in school, but I had no idea about the North West Rebellion in Saskatchewan until today when I read an article in the The London Advertiser  Newspaper Archives. Time to study up as I feel my brain must have been full of cat food and sadness to miss something like that.



Troops on the march, North West Rebellion, Qu’Appelle Valley, 1885

In April of 1885, Fred McCarthy of the No. 3 Company Seventh Fusiliers wrote in a letter to his Mother that he had endured more hardship than he ever did before in his life on the trip to Red Rock, Ontario. It was a miracle he said, that most of them did not perish from exposure while they travelled from Carleton Place to Red Rock on their way to battle in Saskatchewan. McCarthy wrote they received good meals until they reached the first gap at Dog Lake and then they had to live on *hardtack and tea that resembled dry leaves.


The Northwest Rebellion marked the first time Canada’s new army was used, and the first time Canada’s new trans-continental railway was used to transport some soldiers to the prairies. At a few of the CPR camps they were fed tainted pork beans and black bread.

The marching on the north shore of Lake Superior was in some of the wildest storms they could imagine. In some cases the wind was so fierce it picked up knapsacks out of the sleighs and whisked them clean out of sight over the lake.


Illustration of troops marching over the ice at Nepigon Bay, Lake Superior

The night Fred McCarthy’s regiment reached Superior Lake they marched out for almost a mile around midnight and were put inside the wrecked hold of a schooner. The ice on the floor of the hold was over a foot thick. There they laid themselves down in wringing wet clothing for a few hours sleep, but were constantly awakened  by the freezing air that seemed to cut through them like pins and needles.


When they awoke in the morning some of their clothing was frozen to the ice on the floor of the ship. Their particular regiment did not have the luxury of boarding a CPR passenger train, but instead filled flat cars the next morning. Those cars were roughly boarded around the sides and contained about a foot of snow on the floor of the car.There they endured the cold until they reached Saskatchewan which took 9 days. I can’t even begin to imagine.


Karen (whose own ancestor John Snow fought too) from the Lanark County Genealogical Society added:

Kippen, a surveyor from Perth was killed in one of those battles. Might have been the Louis Riel Rebellion though…don’t have my notes open at this moment. He has a huge – probably 20 foot tall monument in the Elmwood Cemetery in Perth, Ontario. I have started to write about him for the LCGS upcoming book Prominent People (title not confirmed)

  1. 2003-W. Kippen Monument —The monument to A. W. Kippen was finally put up in its place last week and is the most conspicuous object in Elmwood Cemetery. It consists of a plain massive pillar with sloping sides on a base which in turn is placed on a terraced platform. Both pillars and base are of Canadian grey granite.  Standing upon the monument proper is a sculptured figure of a Canadian volunteer in a white marble, a little under life size, keenly gazing toward a possible enemy.  The rifle is upright at his side and a field glass is grasped in his left hand.  On the granite podium appears the following inscription under the engraved coat of arms of Canada:

Lieut. Alexander W. Kippen                                      Intelligence Corp                                                            Born at Perth Aug. 1, 1857                                            Killed in action at Botoche, N.W.T. May 12, 1885

Erected in his memory by his fellow citizens, Masonic brethren and comrades in arms.


Battle of Fish Creek, North West Rebellion


The North-West Rebellion (or the North-West Resistance, Saskatchewan Rebellion, Northwest Uprising, or Second Riel Rebellion) of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people under Louis Riel, and an associated uprising by First Nations Cree and Assiniboine, of the District of Saskatchewan against the government of Canada. The Métis believed that Canada had failed to protect their rights, their land and their survival as a distinct people. Riel had been invited to lead the movement but he turned it into a military action with a heavily religious tone, thereby alienating the Catholic clergy, the whites, nearly all of the Indians and most of the Métis. He had a force of a couple hundred Métis and a smaller number of Indians at Batoche in May 1885, confronting 900 government troops.

Despite some notable early victories at Duck Lake, Fish Creek and Cut Knife, the rebellion ended when the Métis were defeated at the siege of Batoche. The remaining Indian allies scattered. Riel was captured and put on trial. He was convicted of treason and despite many pleas across Canada for amnesty, he was hanged. Riel became the heroic martyr to Francophone Canada and ethnic tensions escalated into a major national division that was never resolved.

Thanks to the key role that the Canadian Pacific Railway played in transporting troops, Conservative political support for it increased and Parliament authorized funds to complete the country’s first transcontinental railway. Although only a few hundred people were directly affected in Saskatchewan, the long-term result was that the Prairie Provinces would be controlled by the Anglophones, not the Francophones. A much more important long-term impact was the bitter alienation Francophones across Canada showed, and anger against the repression of their countrymen.–Wikipedia

Battle of Fish Creek

On April 24, 1885, at Fish Creek, Saskatchewan, 200 Métis achieved a remarkable victory over a superior government force numbering 900 soldiers who were sent to quell the rebellion. The reversal, though not decisive enough to alter the outcome of the war, temporarily halted Major General Frederick Middleton’s column’s advance on Batoche. That was where the Métis would later make their final stand. Fish Creek today lies abandoned.







Hardtack (or hard tack) is a simple type of cracker or biscuit, made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. Inexpensive and long-lasting, it was and is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages and military campaigns. They were also called Molar Breakers.




This photograph was taken in Carleton Place during the 7th Fusiliers’ trip from London to Clark’s Crossing, N.W.T. in 1885.
Left of photograph – 1 Capt. Frank Peters 2 Major Wm. M. Gartshore 3 Capn Geo. M. Reid 4 Capt Frank Butler 5 Lieut. J.K.H. Pope 6 Lieut. Alfred Jones 7 Lieut. A.G. Chisholm

Left bottom – This Photo was taken April 8th, 1885 at Carleton Place while waiting for the train to take us to First Gap. Wm D. Mills Secty. 7th Fusiliers K.W.F.F. 1885.

Who Will Remember Us? – A Tribute to the Veterans of Valour on This Day of 11-11-13 – Zoomer



Who Will Remember Us? – A Tribute to the Veterans of Valour on This Day of 11-11-13 – Zoomer.