..........................

Monday, 22 September 2014

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Robert Bradshaw 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 at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts, follow this link.


Belfast-born Robert Oliver Bradshaw was a carpenter by trade. He first appears in the Henderson Directory in 1911 as a turnkey at Headingley Gaol. In 1912 he was a guard, married wife Ellen, and they bought a house at 532 Simcoe Street.

Bradshaw had been a member of the militia for 12 years with the "Scots Guard", its unclear if that was here or in the U.K.. He enlisted with the 28th Battalion on April 3rd 1915. When he left for overseas his family, which now included an infant and a newborn, downsized to the Hollywood Apartments, (now 552 Sherbrook Street.)

He enlisted as a Private but was quickly promoted to Sergeant for his bravery on the battlefield after digging out a number of men buried in an explosion. According to his wife, he was recommended for a medal of bravery, but a clerical error saw it awarded to someone else, (see article below.)

August 25, 1916, Winnipeg Free Press

Bradshaw wrote to his wife just a few weeks before he was killed at St. Eloi, reassuring her: “Don’t worry. Fritz is not going to get me”, (Fritz was a nickname for German soldiers.)  He was killed in action on August 11, 1916 at the age of 36 and is buried in the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery in Belgium.

At the time of his death, his children were aged three and 16 months. Depending on how soon he shipped out after enlisting, there is a possibility that he never met his second child.

Sources:
Attestation Papers
Canadian Virtual War Memorial entry
Canadian Great War Project entry
Commonwealth War Graves entry
Circumstances of Death entry
Photo is from August 23, 1916, Winnipeg Tribune

August 25, 1916, Winnipeg Free Press

This soldier's history has been pieced together using a number of sources. If you have additional information or would like to point out a factual error, please do so in the comments below or by email at cassidy-at-mts.net.



© Christian Cassidy 2014

Friday, 19 September 2014

In search of Winnipeg's "Ghost Signs" !

Old Sign
Old Sign
If you look up high and in the back lanes of downtown Winnipeg you'll see hundreds of "ghost signs". Each year, their numbers grow fewer due to demolitions, new paint jobs or graffiti.

Matt Cohen is leading a walking on Saturday to capture photographs of as these many signs as possible. Once collected, the history of the company, building or product will be researched and they will be plotted on a map. 

Join in an see a part of Winnipeg's history that you may not have noticed before !

Related
Check out my Flickr album of ghost signs !
Here's a Global News story about the project

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Richard Siberry 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 at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts, follow this link.


Richard Siberry was born in Knockcroghery, Roscommon, Ireland in 1894 and came to Canada when he was around 20 years old. He first appears in the 1914 Henderson Directory residing at 615 Notre Dame Avenue and working as a clerk at Eaton's. The following year he moved to a house at 533 Toronto Street with a group of about five other young men, two of them were also Eaton's clerks.

Siberry at right (courtesy: S. McMaster)

In March 1914 Siberry joined the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders militia. When war was declared he accompanied them to Valcartier, Quebec where they joined three other regiments to become the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish). They were part of the first wave of Canadians to leave for Europe starting on September 30th, 1914. (Siberry was aboard the S. S. Andaina which sailed on October 3, 2014.)

One account notes that he was promoted to Lance Corporal in December 1914 and his entry in the Book of Remembrance reflects this. Other records indicate that he was still a Private at the time of his death.

Top: June 9, 1915, Winnipeg Free Press
Middle: July 2, 1915, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: August 4, 1915, Winnipeg Tribune

For friends here in Winnipeg and family back in Ireland, the last weeks of Siberry's life were agonizing to follow. He appeared frequently in the war office's daily "casualty list" in June and July 1915. It prompted the Winnipeg Tribune to note:

“No Winnipegger has figured more prominently in the casualty lists than private Richard Siberry…. Time and again, more than a dozen times in fact, he has been reported as missing, wounded, prisoner of war, killed in action, then dead of wounds.”

Through all of his appearances on the official list, Siberry had already been dead for weeks. He received a gunshot wound to the leg on May 5, 1915 and was taken prisoner. He died the following day and was buried by the Germans. His final resting place is Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery in Belgium.

Eaton's War Panels
Eaton's War memorial plates
Eaton's Roll of Honour, MTS Centre, Winnipeg

Siberry was one of 3,327 Eaton's employees that enlisted for military service, (1,101 from the Winnipeg store.) Of these, 238 were killed in action or died of wounds, 470 were wounded, and 41 were taken prisoners of war. He is commemorated on the Eaton's Roll of Honour tablets in Toronto and Winnipeg, the Soldiers' Relatives Memorial in Winnipeg and the Scottish National War Memorial.

Sources:
Canadian Virtual War Memorial entry
Attestation Papers
Circumstance of Death Record
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
Additional information and photo in uniform courtesy of Siberry's family in Scotland.

This soldier's history has been pieced together using a number of sources. If you have additional information or would like to point out a factual error, please do so in the comments below or by email at cassidy-at-mts.net.

© Christian Cassidy 2014

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Burnell Street's Thelmo Mansions turns 100 !

Thelmo Manisons, 519 Burnell
It's had some ups and downs in recent years but the 78-suite Thelmo Mansions at 519 Burnell Street has been completely renovated and open again. This month it turns 100.

For a look back at its colourful history, check out my latest Winnipeg Downtown Places post.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Thanks, Molson's for our city clock !

Winnipeg City Hall

Forty years ago today, Winnipeg's city clock was unveiled ! It was a centennial birthday gift from Molson's. For more about the history of this clock, and the one from the "gingerbread" city hall before it, check out my latest Winnipeg Downtown Places post !

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Radio Edition - September 14, 2014

Little Black Devils Monument


**Check here for the podcast on Monday morning !**

Join me, Christian Cassidy, and Katie Seymour tonight at 7 pm on 101.5 UMFM for West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition

SHOW LINKS

Our guest is Dr. Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society, creator of their Manitoba Historical Sites interactive map which now boasts thousands of entries.

The Franklin Expedition discovery and the troubled state of Parks Canada's historic assets. Winnipeg's historic building "shards" change hands. The 2014 Winnipeg Design Festival features numerous events, including a "ghost sign" walk ! (Check out my gallery of ghost signs !)


THE PLAY LIST

Giants of the Prairies - The Kubasonics
Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers
Baba Rolls Her Own - The Kubasonics

Transit Tom Through the Years !

Ca. 1960

A companion piece to my Winnipeg Free Press column today about Transit Tom, created in 1957 by the Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission. Someone pointed out that I spelled John Blumberg's last name incorrectly in the column. My apologies.)

Some of the GWTC's initial ads featuring Tom:


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

 October 21, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press


November 16, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

October 5, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

 October 14, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

October 19, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press


 October 28, 1957, Winnipeg Free Press

March 29, 1958, Winnipeg Free Press

 January 25, 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

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
Late 1960s remake of Tom (also see)

2010 retro !

Other images:
Streetcar 740
Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission Logo

Transit Routes and Coverage Greater Winnipeg Transit System Metropolitan Area Winnipeg, Manitoba (1957)
1957 Transit Routes (Laliberte at Flickr)

Data

In the 1920s, Winnipeg's public transportation system averaged about 50 million revenue passengers per year, which dropped to around 40 million during the Depression. In 1946, a record year for transit, the number surpassed the 100 million mark before starting a steady decline, (November 6, 1948, Winnipeg Tribune).

In 1954 it was down to 74 million and by 1958 that had retreated to 60 million, (source). Compare that to the nearly 40 million in 2006, (source).