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An Introduction to Historic Reston Bricks and Boards

Welcome! I am glad you found your way here, to my new blog.   With  2020 marking Manitoba’s 150th, a blog to focus on the stories of the...

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Reston's Supreme Sacrifices - World War One

 Following up on my previous post on the Second World War soldiers, today’s blog post highlights the men from the First World War that are named on the cenotaph in Reston Memorial Park.  It was a more difficult job to identify them with the passage of time and the fact that many of these men had only a brief history with Reston and area and all their family were still overseas.  Soldiers entries below with * are fairly sure but with a ? are completed with varying degrees of guesswork. I would appreciate any further information or guesses my readers may have.  These men deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice to Canada and our freedom. 

20th Border Horse  - Sewell Camp - Reston Boys - Man.
The postcard above from the Martin Berman collection here is dated 1910 - 1915 and was created by Reston photographers Boynton & Eaton. I (for one) would love to know these young men's identities.

* Private Thomas James Bond born 1885 in England
Farmer when he enlisted in December 1915 at Virden #1000111 
16th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed September 2, 1918 age 33
Buried at Dominion Cemetery in France
Next Of Kin  - mother Elizabeth Bond in England

* Private Adam Wilson Duff born 1890 in Scotland
Plumber and farmer when he enlisted in Winnipeg in May, 1916 #922515
107th  Battalion Canadian Pioneers Infantry
Killed October 25,1917 age 26
Buried at Potijze Chateau Lawn Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium
NOK - parents Adam and Hughina Duff in Portobella, Scotland

? A Elliott

* Private Percy Evans born 1893 in Rhuddlan, Wales
Moulder (made moulds for bricks, ironworks, etc) when enlisted in Winnipeg in December 1915 #829361 
52nd battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed August 21, 1918 age 26
Parents Edward and Elizabeth Ann Evans in Wales

Law student when enlisted in Saskatoon in April 1915 #A11101 
Princess Patricias Light Infantry
Killed September 15, 1916 Age 22
No known grave - name listed on Vimy Memorial
Parents Henry and Marion Evans in Reston
Reston Recorder article announced his death and said he had been on active service for a year.  It calls him a young man of exemplary character and high ability - one of the brightest students that ever attended our public school.  He had a bright future in law and had been working at that career in Saskatoon prior to enlistment. A letter home to his mother in August of 1915 thanks her for the box of candy and says he is enjoying eating it just then on the grass. He tells her they are billeted in some French houses when not in the trenches. He lets her know not to worry if letters do not come regularly; if he is not in the trench, he is catching up on sleep so not much time to write letters. 

* Sapper Alexander Gordon born 1890 in Insch, Scotland
Farmer when enlisted in Winnipeg in June 1916 #922575
3rd Battalion of Canadian Engineers
Killed August 8, 1918 age 28
Buried at Crouy British Cemetery , France
Parents - William and Catherine Gordon in Scotland

* Private Thomas Wilson Guthrie born 1894 in Reston
Farmer when enlisted in Brandon in May 1918 #2130486
At Engineering Training Depot In Quebec on July 29, 1918
Contracted influenza and broncho-pneumonia and hospitalized for 6 days with backache, headache, sore throat, head cold - This came to be known as Spanish Flu
Died October 24, 1918 age 24
Returned to Reston Cemetery, Manitoba for burial
The Inscription on his stone reads 
In loving memory of
Private Thomas Wilson Guthrie
No 2130486-81st overseas draft
1st Depot Batt Manitoba
Dearly Beloved Son of
John &Janie E Guthrie
Born June 14 1892
Died Oct 4 1918
at the military hospital
St Johns Que.
‘Thy will be done ‘ “
Parents John and Jane (Wilson) Guthrie are buried beside him in Reston Cemetery

? Private Reginald Hunt born 1890 in Dublin, Ireland
Salesman/Clerk when enlisted in Virden February 1915 #424944
45th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed August 10, 1916 Age 26
No known grave - name listed on Vimy Memorial 
NOK - parents Henry and Elizabeth Hunt in Sutton, Ireland
From the Reston Recorder - Word was received by John McMurchy that Reg Hunt had fallen at the front while fighting for King and country.  He was a former resident of Reston and well known in the district. 

? T Johnston (or perhaps Johnson as that name is listed on an Honour Roll in the newspaper)

* Private Albert George Kelly born 1879 in Calcutta, India
Farmer when enlisted at Camp Sewell 1915 #424983
27th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed September 15, 1916 age 42
Buried in Courcelette British Cemetery, France
Son of William Henry and Mary Elizabeth Kelly
NOK brother Frederick Charles Kelly - farmer at Reston, MB
Reston Recorder announced his death in an October 1916 issue and said he had only been at the front a short time before he was killed.  He was well known and highly respected in this district.  

* Private Rupert Ellswood McCready born 1897 in Landsdowne, Ontario
Farmer when enlisted in Regina in December 1917 #256301
1st Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Killed October 1, 1918 age 21
NOK - father Anthony Steven MacCready at Kitchener, Ontario

* Private Albert Edward Matthews born 1883 at Lambton, Ontario
Carpenter when enlisted in Victoria, BC in November 1914 #77012 
16th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed May 18, 1915 - age 35
No known grave - name on Vimy Memorial
NOK mother Mary (Bright) Matthews from Enderby, BC formerly lived in Hillview district 
Reston Recorder published a letter home to his brother John in May of 1915.  He ends his letter with "I can't give you any definite news or descriptions of places so have very little in the way of news so I will ring off for this time and write again soon."  It was his final letter home. 

? D McCormick

* Sergeant John Albert Napier born 1891 in Reston, MB
Farmer when enlisted in Yorkton, SK in January 1915 #106450
First Canadian Mounted Rifles
Killed September 15, 1916 age 24
Buried at Pozieres British Cemetery, France
In late April of 1917, it was announced in the Reston Recorder that Corporal Napier had been officially listed as dead.  He had disappeared during a raid the year before and hopes were that he was being held as a prisoner of war.  

? A Newbury

* Private John Hamilton Ready born 1889 in Reston
Farmer at Broomhill when enlisted in Melita in March 1916 #291371 
44th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed October 21, 1918 age 29
Buried at Denain Communal Cemetery, France
Mourned by wife Grace (nee Shippam) of Reston
Parents John and Bella (Boyce) Ready of Reston

* Private James Alfred Reid born 1884 in Watson’s Corners, Lanark, Ontario
Farmer when he enlisted in Brandon in January of 1918 #2128966
43rd Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed August 16, 1918 Age 33
No known grave - name on the Vimy Memorial
NOK - brother Daniel Currie Reid in Reston

? G Smith

* Lieutenant Charles Milton Stewart born 1888 in Lanark, Ontario
Farmer when he enlisted in Saskatoon December 1914 #106570 
First Canadian Mounted Rifles
Killed April 9, 1917 age 29
Buried in Thelus Military Cemetery, France
Parents Charles J and Catherine (Bulloch) Stewart of Vancouver
His death was announced in the Reston Recorder naming him one of the first to offer his services for his country.  He was described as a gallant soldier and had served the militia for many years as an officer in the 20th Border Horse.  
His photo was published in the Reston Recorder in April 1919 as he was a nephew of Robert Bulloch of Reston. (The only one in the war years papers that I found.  Pictures in the war years papers were few and far between which likely indicates the expense and difficulty for this to be done.)

? J Strath

* Lance Corporal George Stephen Whittaker born 1883 in St John, NB
Law student, stenographer and telegraph operator when he enlisted in Reston in May 1916 #234925
52nd Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed October 24,1918 age 34
Buried in Raismes Communal Cemetery, France
NOK-  Mary E Whittaker Vegreville, AB
Reston Recorder article May 1916 to announce the social evening that was held to present George with a handsome wrist watch on behalf of the children and officials of Sunday School for his work as their Secretary-Treasurer. He was described as a splendid, public spirited citizen. George was leaving the community to serve his country shortly. 

* Private Andrew Whytock born 1876 in Moorfatt, Scotland
Labourer when enlisted in Cranbrook, BC January 1916 #703909 
102nd Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed October 20,1916 age 40
No known grave - name on Vimy Memorial
NOK - orphan sons Alexander (Sandy) and Robert D (Bert) Whytock who were living in Reston with Jim and Helen Forman as guardians. Andrew was a widower.

*Private Frederick Leo Wonnacott (written on cenotaph as "Wynacott")
Farmer when enlisted in Calgary in February. 1915 #434995 
10th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed February 5, 1916 age 23
No known grave - name on Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium 
Parents Silas and Adelaide Wonnacott in Hunter River, PEI
Death announced in Reston Recorder March 1916 -  Fred was better known in this district as "Spuds"

Friday, 9 October 2020

Reston's Supreme Sacrifices - World War Two

The cenotaph stands proudly in Reston Memorial Park today as it has since 1922.  It was installed to honour the World War One deaths and ironically, some who viewed it back then would have their own names added a couple of decades later. The north side bears the names of the men from Reston who died in WWII.  I admit to quickly reading through them more than once and have heard them read out at Remembrance Day services  year after year.  It is easy to forget these were real Restonites with families whose lives were never the same after they didn't come home. 

I happened upon some excellent research done by the late Les Allison from Roland, MB that may have been done for his book several decades ago and it was the main resource for this blog post.  My summer project to index and photograph the gravestones in Reston Cemetery for Find a Grave helped me recognize some of the names although there is no one left in the area with that surname. 

 Each name has a link to his memorial online (hover your mouse and click) and also his parents for the ones I could find. The pictures of soldiers on the memorial are a poignant reminder of how young these men were.  Each one's final resting or commemoration place overseas is also linked with location and pictures of the spot. So many lost young lives. 
H103477 Fort Garry Tank Regiment
Killed August 8, 1944 and buried in Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France
age 29

(Observer Navigator) R91867 #418 Boston Squadron
Crashed south of the airdrome of St. Stamford, England on April 1, 1942. Another Canadian and Brit were also killed and buried at Walden Cemetery, Saffron, Essex.
Age 21

(Wireless Air Gunner) R86420
Killed on August 28, 1942 at #14 operation training unit at Cottesmore flying in a Hampden aircraft.
All 4 Canadian crew were lost and buried at Cottesmore Cemetery, Ruland, England.
Age 21

*Flight Sergeant Earl Kitchener Bulloch
(Bomb aimer) R162155 #467 Aussie Lancaster Squadron
Killed on September 12, 1944 near their target of Stuttgart, Germany. He was the only Canadian with six Aussies. All buried at Durnbach War Cemetery.
age 28

*Flight Sergeant Andrew Glenn Caldwell
(Air Gunner) R281867 #429 Lancaster Squadron
He was lost on March 6, 1945 when returning from a raid on Chemnitz, Germany. They crashed at Halling, Kent England. They had flak damage over the target and all seven Canadian crew were killed. All were buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, England.
Age 20

*Flight Sergeant Arthur Kingsley Farnie
(Observer Navigator) R86310.
All four Canadian crew were lost flying in a Hampden aircraft of #415Squadron over Germany on July 2, 1942
Burial was in Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Germany
Age 20
lived with his aunt and uncle Mr and Mrs George Harper in Reston

*Sergeant John Foreman
(Wireless Air Gunner) R80334
He was lost on October 6, 1942 flying with #75 New Zealand Wellington squadron with five New Zealanders over Holland. 
Age 21

*Squadron Leader Archibald John Guthrie
(Pilot) 34155, Royal Air Force
He led his squadron of Wellington bombers of #9 squadron to the island of Heligoland off Germany in daylight on December 18, 1939. The cloud cleared and nearly half of the three squadrons involved were shot down by enemy fighters. Several other Canadians were also lost. 
His name is listed on the Runnymede Memorial with no known grave.
Age 28.

H60745 Royal Canadian Artillery
Killed on September 9, 1944 
Buried at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Belgium. 
Age 22

20512 Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders
Killed at Dieppe taken prisoner - August 19, 1942
Buried at Saint Sever Cemetery, Rouen France
Age 23
Parents William and Eva Victoria (Greenlay) Horner

*Sergeant William Mennie
K112, British Columbia Dragoons
Killed on June 1, 1945
Buried at Holton Canadian War Cemetery, Holland
age 29
parents William and Jane Mennie

*Lieutenant Alexander McKay
Saskatoon Light Infantry
Killed on September 20, 1944 in Italy 
Buried at Coriano Ridge War Cemetery in Italy
Age 35

*Flight Sergeant Kenneth Cameron McMurchy
(Air Gunner) R253156 #424 Lancaster Squadron
Was lost on February 15, 1945 with a Canadian crew on mine laying operation to the Pomeranian area of Germany.
His name is inscribed on Runnymede Memorial with no known grave.
Age 21
parents John (Jack) and Eleanor Mary (Elliott) McMurchy.

H 22815 Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Killed on April 21, 1945 
age 19

*Flight officer Robert Franklin Ready
(Bomb Aimer) J22628, #20 O.T.U.
Was in a Wellington bomber which crashed in the Bristol Channel 1 mile west of Flat Holme Island on June 29, 1943 on an air sea flying exercise at low-level when one wing hit the water. 
Burial was at Weston Super Mare Cemetery, Somerset, England.
Age 22

*Flight Sergeant William Alan Robertson
(Wireless Air Gunner) R59266
Was flying in a Wellington bomber in #405 squadron on June 5, 1942 when it force landed and crashed near Strensall Military Camp in Yorkshire. Three other Canadians were also killed.
All are buried in St. Catherine Churchyard, Barmley on the Moor, Yorkshire, England
Age 28

*Flight officer Edwin Earl Smith
(Pilot) J12568, #159 Liberator Squadron
Was lost on August 12, 1943 with one other Canadian and the R.A.F. crew
All are buried at the war cemetery in Ranchi, India
Age 28

We Will Remember Them

My next project will be doing the same research for the WW1 Reston soldiers.  Any information about either group would be very welcome at ssimms@escape.ca

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Reston Schools

The community of Reston has a long history of educating its young people to help them find their place in the world. Uncountable pupils have gone through the doors of the five school buildings along with overflow spots when needed.   

1893 A school was established on the east side of 3rd street where the Reston District Library sits today.  The railway track had been completed to Reston the year before and people were flooding in from the east to take up homesteads and work in the town and on the railway. There had been one room schools at surrounding districts including the settlement due north called Reston.  This name was given to the new location and school with teacher Viva Giles beginning in the spring of 1893.  The building was later used as church, wagonmaking and repairs, hairdressing, library and ceramics shop until it was demolished in 1992.   

1905 A 4 room brick veneer building was built where Hometown Villas is located today.  They were a very forward thinking school board as only 2 rooms needed to be used in 1905.  The following year, three rooms were needed and all 4 were in use by 1910.  This picture postcard was likely taken about this time. The tower and bell were a landmark to anyone coming into town.  The camera would have been pointed north to the open prairie.  

The top left of the town scene from the Prairie Towns website shows the school on the far northwest corner of Reston.  

1918 The school became extremely crowded and some students were moved to the former Methodist Church.  This arrangement continued for the next 8 years as it was cheaper to rent rather than build due to a postwar building boom.The church/school/gym was later remodeled to become a residence and was home to Fred and Alice Paul for many years.  Thanks to a "For Sale" listing on Facebook by granddaughter Whitney, this home is pictured right. 

1926 Arthur Bushby was given a contract to build a new 2 room building of red brick to the northwest of the first one.  His bid for $1145 was accepted and it became known as the High School. The picture below is from a collection taken by the school inspectors in the 30's or 40's that can be found at Manitoba Archives.    

1941 This school closed due to a slump in school aged children. Both schools are pictured below from about this same time.  

1959 - Both schools were used and overflow was accommodated in the Legion Hall.  Huts were brought in as well.

1961 - RCI was built on Reg Berry’s pasture across from his home along #2 highway.  Additions and renovations happened in 1965 and 1985.  The drawings below were copied from school yearbooks.  The first one was from 1964-65 and is notable for the absence of the higher roofline for the gym. The second drawing was in the Centennial 1970 Grade 1 - 8 edition of the yearbook.   

Photo from inside front cover of 1971-1972 RCI yearbook

1964 - The roof of the old two room high school caught fire which resulted in only slight damage due to quick work by the fire brigade.  It was guessed the fire started in the eaves by a bird carrying a string from burning garbage.  Two days holidays was the result for the students. 

1964 - Consolidation brought about the closure of many rural schools and those students were bussed to Reston.  Smaller schools continued to close and the students joined Reston for the rest of that decade right up to Pipestone closing in 1978. Fort La Bosse took over from the local Reston School Board beginning in 1959, starting with high school classes.  

1967 - RES was built and in later in 1986 an addition to the west included a Science lab and stage. Debentures were raised to a total of $201,000 and a nine academic classroom and gym space were constructed after a favourable community vote in February of 1966.  

1968 - Demolition of the two old schools occurred.  Tyndall stone from the front where Reston S. D. No 141 was carved was saved along with the bell from the 4 room elementary school and placed in front of RES. The 4 room school had the top story removed before it was moved to Mair, Saskatchewan.  

2006 - Discussions began about amalgamation of the two Reston schools. This began after a proposed renovation of the RES building was going to be far over budget and enrollment was steadily decreasing.  It was proposed that constructing a 6 classroom wing on RCI would cost less. After a community vote in favour of amalgamating, the addition wing was added to the RCI building with 7447 square feet consisting of 4 classrooms and a multipurpose room with groundbreaking in June of 2010.  Renovations to the RCI office area, resource and staff spaces were also part of the project. Kindergarten to Grade 12 came together under one roof in September of 2011.

Friday, 8 May 2020

320 - 1st Street - F. H. Brady House

320 - 1st Street - F. H. Brady House
Google Street View Image from July 2014
The previous blog about the W.A. Brady home at First Street mentioned the neighbouring house and here is the rest of the story, as I know it. Please contact me with any errors or further details.  
Manitoba Morning Free Press - Thursday, August 15, 1918
Bert and Ida Brady had one son, Frank Hacking who was born in 1898.  He and his four sisters grew up in what is now the Milliken house and along with so many other Reston boys, he enlisted in WW1.  This clipping was found online as Frank came home for a 3 week leave before being sent overseas.  The Air Corps in WW1 was not something I had run across in my researching before and flight was in its very beginnings at this time.  Canada did not have its own air force until the last month of the war, but 22,000 Canadians served in the British flying services, as did Frank for 217 days.  After Frank's return from overseas. he married Ida McCulloch from Hartney in 1922 and this house was built for them.  Frank Brady died in 1952 and Ida and her son Frank ran the Brady Hardware until they sold it in 1955.  Their son Albert David "Bert" (1927-2015) went on to be a high school Science teacher at Gordon Bell in Winnipeg from 1960 - 1981.  

Thanks to Ken and Eileen Millken and Veda Robinson for this picture of the
Homes of WA Brady & son   Reston, Man
Almost Same View of the Brady homes - Google Street View from July 2014
The next owners that I am aware of are Bert and Alice Pierce and their son Garth (1948-1979).  They married in 1938 and Bert operated the Solo Store with John Pearson for many years.  Bert died in 2003 and his wife Alice followed him in 2014 after many years living at the Willowview Personal Care home in Reston.  

John and Verna Olenick were the next residents and they kept the house and grounds well maintained from their purchase in 1988 until 2016 when Christy Caldwell and Doug Fridd and their family took on the house and made it their home.  It seems to have some design elements of the Craftsman Bungalow style that are shown off with contrasting white and red paint. It is jewel of a house on the corner to the new Reston Lake and Splashpark .  I imagine the Brady family would approve of the progress their town has made in the past 100 years.  
Google Street View Image from July 2014
** Update September 2020 Verna shared more details about this historic home.  It was a prefab Aladdin Home that was shipped by rail from Canoe , B.C. in a boxcar ready to be assembled. It resembles The Merrill from an online catlogue but since the Brady men were lumber dealers, they would no doubt change the plan to suit them. Thank you Verna!