The photo shows some of the local men mentioned in this story. Top left, Private Jack Scott, top middle; Sapper, Lieutenant Campbell C. Scott, top right; Sergeant Roy R. Wilson, middle left; Gunner Norman G.G. Scott, middle right; Private Craig Greer, bottom left; Walter Roffey, Sapper, Lieutenant Bruce Scott, bottom middle; Private Jimmie Traill , bottom right; Private Alvin Wilson. Photo by Perth Remembered
Thanks to Rose Parsons for the idea of this story
Perth Courier, October 19, 1917
Imagine getting the news as a parent that your son Craig while a prisoner of war in Germany had died and was never coming home. Craig was a military policeman in Perth while the battalion was recruiting and he went to England with the 130th Battalion and to France with a draft of the 76th. After the Vimy Ridge engagement on the 9th April, he was reported missing and later a prisoner of war.
His parents were notified of his removal from Limberg to Dummen at which place he stated they were allowed to write two letters a month and a card every Sunday. His parents received a letter early in June stating that he was in a run down condition in health and was in need of money. About the same time a letter to Mrs. (Rev) Coles of Maberly (then deceased) was written saying he was not getting enough to eat.
In his last letter home dated 13th July, he made no mention of his physical condition but wished to be remembered to all and further stated that he knew but one sergeant in the place. Possessed of a humorous and genial disposition Craig was a favorite with all in his community. His brother George died in France of pneumonia on the 6th October and another brother James was in training at Witley Camp in Surrey, England.
Canadians, in repelling a strong counter attack, lost heavily in men a number being taken prisoner. Among this number were Jack Scott, Walter Roffey of Lanark along with Craig Greer of Maberly. They all fell into severe treatment according to his letter, the German soldiers saying that they were making things even for treatment accorded when their men were taken prisoners by the Allies.
In 1961 Craig Greer was one of the councillors of Maberley but national defence had reported him dead in the first world war. Many of Maberley’s citizens turned up that day for his memorial service but a short time later they were rejoicing. Greer was alive and well after spending over 20 months there.
Rose Parsons messaged me and told me this story and acknowledged he was reported missing only to show up at his home unexpectedly in Maberly and there was quite the story behind this man.
They a memorial display on the wall in the Maberly Town Hall and in and around the Village He became known as The Man of the Walking Dead as some folks called him in the area. We all though it sure was a miracle and the story goes that his wife absolutely passed out cold when he just walked into the kitchen that day! I grew up with his son Harold and his wife was known to us as Auntie Florence, just a beautiful person!
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 and now in The Townships Sun
Perth Courier, September 2, 1940
Craig Greer Joins Ottawa Home Guard
Craig Greer of Maberly, one of the local men who was privileged to read his own obituary at the end of the 1914-18 war, was back in uniform again, having joined the Ottawa Home Guard detachment. Mr. Greer was reported officially to have died while a prisoner of war in Germany in 1918(?) and the Courier believes a memorial service was held following receipt of that news. However, as in the case of Mark Twain, there was exaggeration and Craig survived the ordeal of the prison camp and returned to Canada. Last week, an advertisement appeared in the Courier whereby men were sought for home guard duty at Ottawa and among those from that town and district who were accepted were: Arthur St. Pierre, Mississippi Station; Fred J. Armstrong, Elmsley; Craig Greer, John Campbell, and Sid Howe, Maberly; Thomas Moore, William Lee, Walter Chalmers, and Jack Richardson, Perth.