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Story from a Photograph – (Un)known Soldier 3

Feeling confident about the identity of soldier 1 and 2, we tried to find out who soldier # 3 was.

Unknown Soldier 3

No information on the following photograph, other than that it was part of the estate of Harold Stewart and purchased at the same time as the photograph of Gordon Dewar.

Cardboard 9″x 6″ (rounded corners) and the photograph itself measures
5.5″ x 4″ with embossed frame border and leaves around the picture.


Embossed studio name at the bottom of the cardboard.
“Ed. Sharp – 221 Westminster Bridge Road S. E.” with a crest.

A crest with a lion on one side and a unicorn on the other side standing on a ribbon with the words “Dieu et mon droit” , which has been translated in several ways, including “God and my right”, “God and my right hand”

There was no other information regarding Ed. Sharp, only one other photograph with the same studio mark on the following site:
The children of William and Eliza Hall

This address is in London, England, almost on the corner of Westminster Bridge Street and Kensington Street. It is no longer  a photography studio, but a restaurant and inn called “Horse & Ranch”.
This information will not help us to identify the person in this photograph.

This soldier is wearing a
WW1 British Army Soldiers Tunic/Service Dress – British Uniform,  Pattern 2. 
2 chest pockets box pleated, with straight cut flaps secured by a button.
2 lower skirt (hip) pockets with flap and a button.
5 General Service buttons 
Plain Cuffs
He is wearing a leather belt.
(Service Dress)

Stand and fall collar. This was often tailored by Canadians, however, by the addition of hooks and eyes that closed the front of the collar, giving the appearance of a Canadian stand up collar.
This jacket had “rifle patches” on the shoulders above the chest pockets , which consisted of an extra layer of wool which resisted the wearing out of the shoulders due to field chafing from the field equipment.

Cap badge – is a badge worn on uniform headgear that distinguishes the wearer’s regiment, corps or branch.
Also collar badges on each side.
In this case these differ from the cap badge. It is difficult to identify these badges, except for some of the outline.

Checking with “The “British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum” – page 3 – there were not too many possibilities.
These were the closest matches:
The left is a General Service Cap Badge worn by the Canadian Field Artillery, the right is a Canada CEF General Service collar badge.

Shoulder straps were originally designed to keep backpacks, ammunition pouches or bayonets from slipping off the shoulder. They often displayed badges of rank, shoulder marks and regimental insignia.
This one is fastened by one button. There is a badge on the strap – very possible – C.F.A. (Canadian Field Artillery)

Pre WW1, lanyards were used by the Gunners to hold a fuze key for setting time fuses and also for all mounted troops to keep the clasp knife handy (hooves, horses, stones for the removing of).
On WW1 mobilisation all soldiers, infantry included, were issued with a lanyard for the clasp knife.
Lanyards were worn by officers so that they may suspend a whistle, compass, or other similar item in a practical way, attached to the shoulder via the lanyard and closed within a pocket; this would ensure that the item would not be lost if dropped. Lanyards were often of a regimental pattern, ensuring that the colouring remained continuous throughout the unit. On active service such lanyards were often a standard khaki

The Good Conduct Chevrons were worn on the left sleeve of the Service Dress uniform, with each 1-bar chevron representing two years of service.
Good Conduct Chevrons
It granted a pay bonus as a sort of “carrot” to get non-promotable enlisted men to behave. As the “stick”, a stripe would be removed for an infraction (a write-up in the Regimental Conduct Book) and a Court Martial would forfeit all of them. The soldier would then have to start from the last stripe earned and work his way up again

Carrying a swagger stick, and wearing a ring, almost looks like a signet ring, on his right hand.
A swagger stick was a short stick or riding crop usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. Swagger sticks were carried by all other ranks when off duty, as part of their walking out uniform

Boots and puttees, which were strips of cloth that were worn wrapped around the lower leg in a spiral pattern, from the ankle up to below the knee. They provided ankle support and prevented debris and water from entering the boots or pants. 
 The oval of leather covering his laces indicates that he is wearing spurs.

Now that we had “dissected” the photograph and the uniform, we came to the following conclusions.
– Since we purchased this photograph On Prince Edward Island with 2 other photographs of Island soldiers, we can somewhat assume that this soldier was also from PEI.
– Because his picture was part of the estate of Dr. Harold Stewart we can assume that this soldier is somehow related to Dr. Harold Stewart or his wife Margaret Stewart (McLure).
– This soldier was at one point in England to get his picture taken, which is nothing out of the ordinary, since all Canadian troops were all shipped to England first. And if they had an extended leave, they’d most likely go back to England too.
– The fact that he is wearing a “Good Conduct Chevron” (1 bar) on his left sleeve would suggest that he has been serving in the army for at least 2 years.
– There is a high possibility he was a member of the C.F.A. (Canadian Field Artillery)
– Because we did not have enough information to find this soldier’s identity, we started to research from the other side. We decided to find out how many member of  Harold Stewart’s and Margaret McLure’s family were enlisted during WW1, and which of these, if any, would meet our search criteria.
We started this search at
There  were many young men that set out to England and to the front to fight for freedom – many never came back, the ones that came back were never the same.
Many of Margaret’s McClure’s and Harold Stewart’s family went, many second and third cousins.
We only named the closest relatives here.

… and so the search continues:2

Margaret McLure's family

Father: Chester Gavin McLure – b. Feb. 15, 1899 – Aug. 31, 1979
Mother: Agnes Loretta Llewellin – b. Oct. 23, 1901 – May 9, 1993

(John) Charles McLure (brother of William David McLure (soldier 2) brother of Chester McLure, uncle of Margaret McLure, born Dec. 11, 1895 in Murray Harbor, PEI.
Enlisted: May 27, 1918 in Charlottetown
Almost 23, 5’5″, 133 lbs., carpenter by trade
Rank: Private; No. 3204459
1st Dpo Bn. N.S. Regiment (102nd Draft)
Arr. in England Aug. 15, 1918
C.A.M.C. – Canadian Army Medical Corps
Theater of War – England, Canada
Discharged: Aug. 28, 1919 (Demobilization)
He died in 1966

The 1st Depot Battalion, Nova Scotia Regiment with headquarters at Halifax was authorized as a training and administration  depot under General Order
57 April 15th 1918.

1st Nova Scotia Depot Batallion

Harold Clarence Stewart's family:

Father: Carl Sinclair Stewart (4 Oct 1902 – 23 feb 1973)
Mother: Florence Evelyn Dewar (12 dec 1903-26 apr 1987)

First we have William Weston Dewar (Dr. Harold Stewart’s uncle)  Not only was he the brother of Florence Dewar Stewart, he was also the father of Gordon Albert Dewar, our first soldier who was killed in action in 1944.
He was born in Brudenell, PEI – Sept. 17, 1892, the son of Albert James Dewar and Levinia Catherine MacDonald.
William W. enlisted in Fredericton NB – on Dec. 21, 1914 into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force (CEF) – service number: 85939
(with him was his friend and neighbour Beacher Dewar (according to the 1901 Canada Census he lived 2 doors down, even though they had the same last name, so far we could not establish family connection . Beacher, who’s service number was 85940 – was not the only one of his family at the front in France. 3 brothers and one brother-in-law were also there, fighting for freedom. )
William W. (21) a farmer by trade, was 5’6″,  140lbs and declared fit for service. 
He was transferred to the 24th Battery, 6th Brigade, CFA (Canadian  Field Artillery) with an assigned pay of $20 a month. His rank was “Gunner” and often his rank is marked as “Driver”. According to the papers he transferred to the
9th Battery, 3rd Brigade overseas and served  in France and Belgium for 3 years.
He was slightly wounded, was hospitalized a few times, mainly with rheumatism and some other contractible disease, which was quite common in those days of war. He received a “War Service Badge” Class ‘A’ – No. 146843
Officially discharged (demobilization) on April 11, 1919.
(information from Fold3) is a great tool for me to plant my family tree online, but the best part is that you get to see other people’s family tree (depending on settings) As I was browsing and researching these soldier’s lives I stumbled upon William Weston’s picture (photos that were originally shared by Kerry White).
I did contact Kerry White via, and she was quick to respond:
“I can’t really confirm that this is Wm Dewar but the facial structure etc looks very like pictures I have when he was older.
I have, however, forwarded all your info & pictures to Preston MacDonald who was married to Wm’s son, Ken’s wife, Thelma. He would have known Wm and I hope he can confirm the identity of the soldier in your photo.
I will let you know when I hear back from him”.

The top picture is a General Service
Cap Badge worn by the Canadian Field Artillery, the bottom a General Service Collar Badge.

War Service Badge Class "A"
William Weston & Florence "Flossie" Dewar

Next we have William Weston Dewar’s brother Elvin Albert Dewar (Dr. Harold Stewart’s uncle) born Feb. 9th, 1892 in Brudenell, PEI.
Elvin (25), by trade a locomotive engineer, enlisted Feb. 14, 1917 in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was 5’9″, 194lbs. service number: 2188406; Rank: Sapper
He joined the Sask. Railway Construction Co. CEF, overseas.
He served with the C.R.T. (Canadian Railway Troops) in France and Belgium.
He left Canada Feb. 16, 1917, arrived in Liverpool Feb. 26, and on March 18, was transferred to Purfleet, the C.R.T Depot. On May 28th arrived in France, where he was part of the 6th and 7th CRT (no 85th – Canadian Engine Crew Co.))
He received a “War Service Badge” Class ‘A’ – No. 218398
Officially discharged (demobilization) on May 19th, 1919
The Badge Registry: The Canadian Expeditionary Force. Page 3
This page (half-way down) shows the badges the Canadian Railway Troops wore.
(information from Fold3)
Elvin belonged to the Railway troops, and badges do not match, not even close.

Charlottetown Guardian - March 23, 1953 - Page 11

Interesting information regarding the CRT in WW1 – Canadian Railway Troops

We are not certain, and we have not heard back from Kerry regarding identification of possibly William Weston Dewar.
But we are about 75% sure, by the uniform and the photograph from Kerry, that this was indeed William W. Dewar.

Update – Dec. 6, 2019 – message from Kerry:
“Preston agreed that he thinks you are correct. He sent the photo on to a closer relative to confirm but I haven’t heard back yet.”

Story from a Photograph – (Un)Known Soldier 2 and His Uniform

No information on the following photograph, other than it was part of the estate of Harold Stewart and purchased at the same time as the photograph of Gordon Dewar.

(Un)Known Soldier 2

The second sepia photograph measures 3" x 5" and depicts a soldier in his uniform.

I love to do research with my daughter Mary, even though it is at very long distance. Together we researched all the components, features and details of the Canadian Uniforms in order to identify who this soldier was.
We quickly realized that this image was WW1 and that this person was an officer in the Canadian Army.


1. Sam Browne Belt & Shoulder Cross Strap
The Sam Browne belt is a wide belt, usually leather, supported by a narrower strap passing diagonally over the right shoulder to indicate officer status.


2.  The Canadian Militia began the war wearing the Service Dress cap, which was characterized by a stiff crown and peak, with a leather chinstrap retained by metal buttons. 
Regimental badge located above the strap (not clear enough to be identified)


3. WW1 British Officers tunic with open collar.
An open collar design, allowing the wear of a shirt and tie underneath
Identical regimental badge, as on cap, located on the collar.


4. Shoulder straps were originally designed to keep backpacks, ammunition pouches or bayonets from slipping off the shoulder. They often display badges of rank, shoulder marks, regimental insignia. This one is fastened by one button. There is a badge on the strap, however we were unable to identify it from this angle.


5. A 1914-18 War  – Officer’s Uniform with front closure and 4 button front.
Pockets:  Two breast pockets,
box pleated, with scalloped cut flaps secured by buttons.   
2 lower bellows pockets with straight flaps and closed with one button.


6. Cuff insignia – Staff officers wore rank badges on shoulder strap. Field officer wore them on the cuff.
He has two pips on each cuff
indicating his rank as Lieutenant.
Unfortunately, this distinctive scalloped cuff style worn in the first years of the war, made officers an easy target for the enemy and the pips were soon moved to the shoulder strap.


7. Military Medal – The medal was awarded to an individual for associated acts of bravery.
The silver medal (not normally worn) is round with a diameter of 1.4 inches. The obverse depicts the head of the reigning monarch; on the reverse, the text: “For Bravery in the Field” is engraved within a wreath of laurels. The ribbon is dark blue, 1.25 inches wide, with a narrow vertical stripe of white, flanked by two red stripes which are in turn flanked by two white stripes; all stripes being 0.125 inches wide. (Blue and Red colors don’t show on sepia pictures)


8. Officers breeches, leather gaiters, military boots and spurs, gloves and carrying a swagger stick – which was a short stick or riding crop usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. Swagger sticks were carried by all other ranks when off duty, as part of their walking out uniform


9. He is wearing a ring on his right pinkie finger, as well a signet ring on his left ring finger.

Now that we have “dissected” the uniform, we came to the following conclusions.
– Since we purchased this photograph On Prince Edward Island with 2 other photographs of Island soldiers, we can somewhat assume that this soldier was also from PEI.
– Because his picture was part of the estate of Dr. Harold Stewart we can assume that this soldier is somehow related to Dr. Harold Stewart or his wife Margaret Stewart (McLure).
– By identifying the uniform we concluded that this young man was a Lieutenant and had been awarded the Military Medal. 
– We tried to identify the badge he was wearing on his cap and collar. By itself it was impossible, even with magnification. Mary found the following site
The British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum
– We compared all the badges with the badge of our soldier, and came to the conclusion, that the “Lord Strathcona’s Horse” badge (Cavalry) on page 3 was the closest to the outline of our badge.
– We moved our research to Island

With search terms of “Lord Strathcona’s horse, and Military Medal”, the first person I came upon was Sgt. William David McLure.
I remembered that name, because  I had researched it when trying to find the identity of Gordon Dewar.
McLure was the maiden name of Dr. Harold Stewart wife, at whose estate auction we acquired the photos in the first place. What did not match our research was the fact that he was a Sergeant, not a Lieutenant.

We found William’s service record on Fold3 William David McLure

We decided to give our unknown soldier a name, since we were 75% sure :
William David McLure, born May 24, 1890 in Murray Harbor, PEI.
His parents were Cartney David McClure and Margaret Dixon. William had a brother named Chester, who was the father of Margaret Stewart.
I tried to find out what happened to him and was saddened to learn that he died fairly young, probably through the effects of his experience in the war.

William McLure
Summerside Journal
17 April 1933, page 4, col.3
Two boys going along the shore at Murray Harbor North, about 5 miles from Murray River, about 6 o’clock Friday evening discovered the body of William McLure, aged about 43, lying on the flats. The deceased, who was a son of the late Cartney McLure, had been employed by the Island Fertilizer Company in Charlottetown for the past two years and spent the winter at his home in Murray Harbor North. He had not been feeling well for the past week and a few days ago complained of a pain in his head. Friday afternoon he had supper about 4 o’clock and immediately after, in apparently good spirits, left for the shore to dig clams. It is thought he was seized with a weak turn while on the flats.

His final resting place is in the Murray Harbour North Presbyterian Cemetery

Story from a Photograph – Soldier 1 – Gordon Dewar

I find it always so sad, when photographs are auctioned off; no one to claim that family member as one of their ancestors. Probably treasured by those that lived and knew their stories, but unimportant to those that are left, because they do not know who they are and have no connection.
So, I bought these photographs at the estate auction of the late Kensington dentist Dr. Harold Clarance Stewart, with the intent of finding out who these young men were.
This purchase consisted of 3 black and white photographs, depicting 3 different soldiers. Only the largest frame (8″x 10″) had information on the back: “Gordon Dewar – killed in England”
The other 2 images have no identification marks, no names or dates, even after I disassembled the frame at home).

Task 1:
I want to know why this picture was in the possession of Dr. Stewart and his estate. 
I found the obituary of Dr. Stewart and the obituary of his wife Margaret Stewart (McLure) online

Margaret McClure Stewart
Dr Harold Clarence Stewart

From his obituary I learned, that his father’s name was Carl Stewart and his mother was Florence Stewart and her maiden name was “Dewar”

Task 2: 
Find out about a soldier named Gordon Dewar, by researching Island Newspapers.

The Charlottetown Guardian, January 18, 1945 - page 3

Gordon Dewar’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Dewar of Brudenell.
Gordon’s rank: Gunner

Charlottetown Guardian, August 8, 1944 - page 7

There are some similarities between my photograph and the image from the newspaper. To say it is him,
I can not be sure.
The information I do glean from this obituary:
he was killed in action Aug. 8th, 1944 in France
four brothers: Kenneth, Athol, Stewart, James
one sister: Margaret

Task 3
What is the connection between Florence Stewart (Dewar) – Harold Stewart’s mother – and Gordon Albert Dewar?
The Obituary of Gordon’s father, William Weston Dewar, makes a clear connection.

Charlottetown Guardian, July 14, 1958 - page 11

William Weston Dewar, a veteran of WW1, was married to Florence Mathilde Dewar (Gordon).
one daughter: Margaret MacKinnon
Kenneth, Athol, Stewart, James. There was another brother named Elvin who predeceased him in 1952.
He also leaves 3 sisters: Lillian, Jessie, and Florence Dewar (Mrs. Carl Stewart)
This, to me is proof why this picture was found in the estate of Harold Stewart. 
Gordon Albert Dewar and Harold Stewart were first cousins.

CANADIAN VIRTUAL WAR MEMORIAL Gordon Albert Dewar In memory of: Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar
Commemorated on Page 290 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar

August 8, 1944
Service Number: F/78103
Age:  21
Force: Army
Unit:  Royal Canadian Artillery
Division: 3 Lt. A.A. Regt.
Calvados, France

This cemetery lies on the west side of the main road from Caen to Falaise (route N158) and just north of the village of Cintheaux. Bretteville-sur-Laize is a village and commune in the department of the Calvados, some 16 kilometres south of Caen. The village of Bretteville lies 3 kilometres south-west of the Cemetery. Buried here are those who died during the later stages of the battle of Normandy, the capture of Caen and the thrust southwards (led initially by the 4th Canadian and 1st Polish Armoured Divisions), to close the Falaise Gap, and thus seal off the German divisions fighting desperately to escape being trapped west of the Seine. Almost every unit of Canadian 2nd Corps is represented in the Cemetery. There are about 3,000 allied forces casualties of the Second World War commemorated in this site

There is a bit more to the story:
The History of the Third Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (3LAA)

a page on the internet – a diary of what happened to that regiment that Gordon was a part of. It states, August 8, 1944 – on the day he died:

On 8th August, 1944, American Fortresses, due to an error in navigation, unloaded their bombs a short distance south of Vaucelles causing a large number of casualties. Eight members of the Regiment were killed and a number injured. No anti-aircraft guns fired at them.
Casualties on 8 August 1944 were:

K18091 Gunner John Earl Boyd – Killed Age 30, son of Hugh Archibald and Edith Jane Boyd of Kamloops, British Columbia; buried IX. A. 11 Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War CemeteryCalvadosFrance

F78103 Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar – Killed Age 21; date of birth September 1, 1922 Roseneath, Prince Edward Island, son of William Weston Dewar and Florence M. Dewar of Brudenell, King’s Co., Prince Edward Island; buried VI. F. 13 Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

L10546 L/BDR David George Farrow – Killed Age 24; son of Ernest T. Farrow and Ann Farrow of Regina, Saskatchewan. Buried VI. F. 12, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

B111901 Gunner William Leo Fortier – Killed Age 21; son of Albert and Mary Fortier of Toronto, Canada; buried VI. F. 10, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

D124613 Gunner Joseph Bernard Horn – Killed Age 22; son of William Horn and Regina Horn of Montreal, Quebec; buried V. F. 7. ,, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

K76810 Gunner Albert L. Kinney – Died of Wounds Age 26; son of Milo J. and Florence A. Kinney of South Fort George, British Columbia; buried VI. F. 11, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

K15182 BDR Gordon G. Sheldon – Killed Age 39; son of John Herbert and Lena Sheldon; husband of Exie Estelle Sheldon of Stockton, California, U.S.A.; buried VI. F. 15, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery

Update: December 12, 2019:
Message received from Gordon Hume Dewar:
“He was indeed my uncle, he was killed in France. I was named after him. His father was William Weston Dewar from Roseneath, Brudenell area. His wife was Florence Gordon. My father, Kenneth was Gordon’s brother.
Gordon was engaged to an English lady at the time of his death.
Case closed

Not all mysteries can be solved

Now that I figured out Gordon’s connection, and identification, I am curious as to who the other 2 soldiers in the other 2 pictures?
Continue reading:
(Un)known Soldier 2
Unknown Soldier 3

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