Monday, 13 November 2017

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Allan Charles Wingood of Winnipeg

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts that will look at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other soldiers, follow this link. 

Allan Charles Wingood was born in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1887 and attended Warwick Academy, the oldest school in Bermuda. He came to Winnipeg in March 1907, the attraction likely being that he had an aunt, a Mrs. R. C. McDonald, who lived here.

Wingood, an accountant by trade, first settled at a boarding house on Hargrave Street and got a job with G F and J Galt as a clerk, then as a travelling salesman.

The Galts set up a food wholesaling company in Winnipeg in the 1890s and a few years later expanded their offerings into food production, creating the Blue Ribbon line of basic household grocery items like coffee, tea and extracts.

1908 ad, Winnipeg Tribune

By 1911, Wingood partnered with Charles D. Lindsay to open Lindsay and Wingood phonograph store at 284 Portage Avenue. It was a small section of the musical instrument store of Norman J. Lindsay, Charles' older brother.

The store was located at 284 Portage Avenue, the same building that housed the Lyceum Theatre, demolished in 1968 for the North Star Inn, now the Radisson Hotel.

Top: Dominion Bank, Main & McDermot (Canafornian on ipernity)
Bottom: 1911 Winnipeg Free Press ad

By 1914, things were looking good for the young accountant.

The record store closed but he now had a job as a clerk with the Winnipeg office of McDougall and Cowan. Based in Montreal, it Canada's largest brokerage house with offices across the country. 

Their local offices were located at 438 Main Street, an address that no longer exists but it was likely the office section of the now demolished Dominion Bank Building at Main Street and McDermot Avenue.

8th Battalion Canadian Infantry badge

Wingood served in the military reserves in Bermuda, with the Bermuda Volunteer Rifles Corps (BVRC) until March 1907, then as a lieutenant with the 100th Regiment - Winnipeg Grenadiers militia from 1910 - 1913.

In September 1914, he enlisted and later went overseas with the 6th Battalion of the  Fort Garry Horse under Lt.-Col. James Dennistoun. While in England, he was transferred to the 8th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) and in May 1915 attained the rank of captain after showing "gallant and distinguished conduct".

After Courcelette (City of Vancouver Archives)

In May 2016, Wingood was reported as wounded but recovered and returned to the front.

On September 26, 1916, Wingood was killed in action at Courcelette, France during the Battle of the Somme. (Also see.) He was 29 years old.

Details of his death are not clear, though it appears his remains were never identified.

He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in Calais, France, the Next of Kin / Soldiers' Relatives monument in Winnipeg, the Bermuda War Memorial and the Warwick Academy war memorial.

Attestation Papers
Canadian Virtual War Memorial entry
Bermuda's War Veterans

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Howard S. Wilton of Glenboro

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will look at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other soldiers, follow this link.

Howard Sylvester Wilton was born and raised in Gleboro, Manitoba. When he enlisted in February 1916 with the 226th Overseas Battalion he was single and listed his occupation as farmer.

The 226th was based in Dauphin. It was raised over the winter of 1915 - 16 in rural Manitoba and was nicknamed the “Men of the North".

Early 1900s Glenboro (Source: Peel's)

In July 1916, Wilton had a chance to spend a few days back in his home town before his battalion left for England in December. Soon after arriving, he became part of 43rd Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) and was a machine gunner with the “B” Division.

The Cameron Highlanders fought at both Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge in 1917.

It was in the early days of their time on the front lines at Vimy that Wilton was initially reported as "missing after action" before turning up in wounded in a hospital in France.

He died on October 26, 1917 at the age of 26. His exact circumstances of death are unknown.

Glenboro Gazette, December 20, 1917

Mrs J. Wilton, Howard's mother, shared the letter she received from one of her son's superior officers with the local newspaper.

Upon news of his death the Glenboro Gazette wrote: “He fought like a hero and died at his post… His name will live in the history of Glenboro as one of her noblest sons.”

Private Wilton is is commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium and the Glenboro War Memorial


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: John Robert Ivers of Winnipeg

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will look back at some of the Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts, follow this link.

John Robert Ivers was born and raised in the Ottawa area. He and wife Lucie Christina Ivers likely married in 1907 and came to Winnipeg in 1912 or 1913, settling initially at the Investor Apartments on Sherbrook Street near Notre Dame Avenue.

Smart Bag Warehouse, now demolished

Ivers worked as a shipper for Smart-Woods Co., a canvas bag manufacturer on Alexander Avenue. He was  also a member of the 90th Royal Winnipeg Rifles militia before enlisting with them on October 2, 1915. 

By that time he and Lucie lived at the Tremont Apartments on Sherbrook Street. After he was sent overseas in May 1916 aboard the R.M.S. Olympic she moved to the Tetlow Apartments on Wellington Street, then to the Ottawa area in 1917.

Ivers himself moved around while overseas. He was taken on strength by the 23rd Reserve Battalion a month after arriving in England. In April 1917, he transferred to the 24th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) - even taking a demotion in rank and pay in the hopes of seeing action at the front.

Ivers did see the action he was seeking.

He was wounded in a gas attack in July 1917 and spent a week in hospital before being sent back to Canada to recover. This is presumably why Lucie spent time in Ottawa in in 1917.

Ivers recovered and by January 1918 was back in action. Soon after he returned he was felled by trench fever and spent more time in hospital.

On April 10, 1918 Ivers was killed in action. His Circumstances of Death record notes: "On the 10th of April, 1918, the enemy opened up heavy shell fire on the back areas where his Company was billeted, and he sustained serious wounds in the head and left leg, right thigh, stomach and side.  He received immediate attention and was taken to No. 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens, but succumbed to his injuries the same day."

Ivers was 33 years old and is buried at Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No.1.

As for Lucie, she stayed in Winnipeg for a time. She lived at the Tetlow Apartments until 1920 and in 1921 is listed as the homeowner of 592 Bannerman Avenue. The following year she disappears from the Winnipeg street directory listings.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Sears' lasting impact on Winnipeg


My column in Sunday's Winnipeg Free Press takes a look at Sears' history in Winnipeg, starting with the Simpson's mail order store on Portage in 1948 until today.

Though the store’s history is not as deeply entwined with Winnipeg’s as Eaton’s or The Bay, the once upstart retailer has certainly had an impact on the city’s development.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Researching the History of Your Home

Thanks to all who came out to my talk tonight. Here is a list of links and tips !


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Happy 60th birthday, Transit Tom !

The courteous and affable caricature Transit Tom was making his debut 60 years ago!

Tom was created in-house by the Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission ad department to try to convince more Winnipeggers to take the bus and to keep riders up to date on route and fleet information. He made his newspaper ad debut on September 7, 1957.

Of course, not everyone was impressed with the man and his message, such as "Contented Car Driver" who wrote a Letter to the Editor published in the Free Press on October 3, 1957.

“We have been bombarded with advertisements glaring at us from the back of buses and with singing commercials on the radio.” He or she scoffed at the 30 cent fare and how much more time it would take them to use the bus instead of driving their own car, concluding: “On the whole, Transit Tom will have to offer me something better than present conditions before I give up my car to join the mass evacuation scheme he offers.”

GWTC bus bench, 1957 (City of Winnipeg Archives)

Transit Tom's usage faded around the time of Unicity in 1972, but every decade or two his face seems to make a brief comeback. Even today, you will often see those handwritten transit information signs posted at stops to announce service changes signed "T. T." I wrote a column about Tom and his origins back in September 2014 for the Winnipeg Free Press. There was only so much artwork that I could include with it, so here are more glimpses of Transit Tom from over the years.

For more transit heritage related images, check out my Flickr album and the Manitoba Transit Heritage Association website.

The initial GWTC ad campaign featuring Tom:

Tom's first ad on September 7, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

 October 5, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

 October 14, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

October 19, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

 October 21, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

November 16, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

 December 28, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

January 25, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

March 29, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

Later Transit Tom ads:
May 6, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

 June 14, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

July 10, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

November 22, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

February 1, 1960, Winnipeg Free Press

October 28, 1961, Winnipeg Free Press

December 24, 1962, Winnipeg Free Press

September 6, 1969, Winnipeg Free Press

Other Tom appearances:

Winnipeg's last trolley bus
MTHA Bus Museum Day
The late 1960s remake of Tom (also see)

2010 retro Tom !