The Royal Westminster Regiment is producing a pictorial history book to commemorate its 150th anniversary in 2013.
The book is being complied by a volunteer team and will contain a comprehensive collection of photographs, facts, memorabilia and records, many of which are being published for the first time.
“With a fighting Westie spirit and incredible record of duty, tradition and service commencing before Confederation, the book will be of interest to readers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Honorary Colonel Karen Baker-MacGrotty. “As the Royal Westminster Regiment celebrates 150 years of valiant military service of building and protecting our community, our country and on overseas missions, this book is produced as a tribute to all our brave men and women who have served our country with such distinction.”
The Royal Westminster Regiment is the oldest active military unit in British Columbia and serves the County of Westminster, a territory extending from Burnaby to Boston Bar. Its predecessor, the New Westminster Volunteer Rifles, were granted authority by Governor Douglas on November 20, 1863.
The regiment has a long history of community involvement. When the Great Fire swept through New Westminster in 1898 and again when record flooding afflicted the Fraser Valley in 1948, it supported the community through times of crisis. More recently, the regiment helped fight the Okanagan wild fires of 2003 and provided support to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
As a fighting force, the Westies have been involved in every major conflict of the post-Victorian era. The primary reserve light infantry battalion has served in the Boer War as well as the First and Second World Wars. It has also taken part in numerous oversees deployments on UN and NATO missions in Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Members are currently serving overseas in Afghanistan and the Sudan.
The regiment is currently looking for support for its book project. Sponsors who contribute over $500 will receive two limited edition numbered volumes with a custom slipcase, while those who donate $150 get one. Baker-MacGrotty and the volunteer book team will present them to sponsors and supporters at a VIP launch in November.
Standard editions can also be pre-ordered for $80 until Sept. 7 at www.vivalogue.ca and will be available before Christmas. Official sales start on January 1.
Local enlisted men in the First World War
Enlisted on: Name: Occupation Age Home Notes
Sept. 1, 1915 John Colin McDonald Labourer 39 Ruby Creek • Survived the war
March 6, 1916 Carl Carlson Farmer 34 Hope • Survived the war
March 11, 1916 Arthur Alfred Castle Labourer 18 Yale • Survived the war
March 24, 1916 Samuel John Ryder Guide 36 Hope • Survived the war
April 28, 1916 John Henry Bears Road foreman 41 Hope • Died Oct.20,1918
April 28, 1916 Arthur Coppen Wardle Clerk 19 Hope • Died May 15, 1917
April 28, 1916 Samuel Lemuel AW Cox Carpenter 41 Hope • Died Nov 1, 1917
April 28, 1916 Stephen Angus Patten Labourer 17 Hope • Survived the war
May 13, 1916 Rance Sandstrom Fireman 33 Hope • Survived the war
May 15, 1916 William Perry Patten Labourer 20 Hope • Survived the war