Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Great War" Veteran J. Clarence Irvine, November 12, 1899 (d. 1972)

My maternal grandfather, John Clarence Irvine, whom I knew as "Granddaddy," volunteered for service in the Canadian Army during World War I. Granddaddy enlisted in March of 1917 at the age of 17, and was a part of the 73rd Battery (the Royal Highlanders) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (see his attestation papers below--click to enlarge). He served through the end of the war and, during World War II, he was a major in the reserves. He later worked for the Canadian National Railway, from which he retired. 

Distant memories/
But one remains crystal clear/
Blue truck cowboy hat.
I have other material (photos, news articles, and other ephemera) about Granddaddy; most recently, I found out that he was listed on a 1926 registry of mink ranchers--interesting. I don't think that vocation lasted very long, because I have never heard about it in conversations with relatives.

Granddaddy was a devoted outdoorsman and an expert rifleman--according to an article I found, he won the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment's "Best Shot Trophy" many times. 

I have his hunting and fishing buttons and badges, and several of his pocket knives. I remember, as a small child, playing with my siblings in his blue truck (I am at right), and also investigating his "shed," where he kept his hunting rifles, fishing poles, and dozens of souvenirs from World War I--including hand grenades, helmets, gas masks, and bullets. 

Granddaddy also served as Chairman of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Zone 4, as well as president of the local fish and game club in his hometown of Arnprior, Canada (outside of Ottawa).

What was left to me, in addition to the items listed above, was his kilt from the Scottish Lanark and Renfrew Regiment and a wooden name plate, which reads "Major J.C. Irvine."

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