December 3rd, 2020

Pipe organ a memorial to soldiers


By Submitted Article on November 10, 2020.

Austin Fennell

Remembrance Day will bring special attention at Southminster United Church to the 12 men from the Lethbridge area whose lives were lost in the First World War. Their names were memorialized by the building of the church’s pipe organ, which is 100 years old this year.

Most of the help in assembling the information about these brave men comes from Brett Clifton of Wilson Middle School. Their names are on the plaque at the back of the church.

– Lieut. Roy Buchanan was born March 25, 1890, in Norwood Ont. He worked for the Lethbridge Herald and was active in baseball. He served on the front lines of France and Belgium, especially at Passschendale, Arras and Amiens. Leading his patrol, he was killed by machine gun fire.

– Priv. Francis Taylor was born in Medicine Hat Feb, 14, 1884. He worked in B.C. as a locomotive engineer. He went to France in September 1915 with the 19th Battalion and served two months in Belgium. He was killed near Ypres.

– Sgt. William Raley, was born April 25, 1893 in Ottawa. William graduated from the University of Toronto and was employed as a civil engineer at the time of his enlistment. He was sent to France on April 2, 1916 where he served with the 7th Field Company Canadian Engineers. On Oct. 9 he was wounded in his right leg and later died.

– Private Alfred Lippingwell was born on Jan. 19, 1879 in Kent England. In Lethbridge he was employed by the CPR on the High Level Bridge. After enlisting, he was sent to France, where he saw action at the Somme and Rouen. In November 1916 Alfred received gunshot wounds in the hand, arm and thigh. Three days later, Nov. 15, he died.

– Battery Sgt. Major Stanley Perry was born April 2, 1880 in Kent England. He was one of the first in Lethbridge to enlist. He went to France and for three months served with the men of the 5th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. On April 20, 1916 he was killed in action in Belgium.

– Cpl. Leo Clapstone was born in Edmonton, N.W.T. on April 7, 1890. Living in Lethbridge, he served as a fireman with the CPR. On April 12, 1916, Leo enlisted with the 61st Battery 15th Brigade CFA. He died in 1918 after receiving gunshot wounds.

– Gunner Alexander Martin was born on June 18, 1895 in Glasgow, Scotland. He was employed in Lethbridge as a teamster. All seven Martin brothers served in the First World War. On Nov. 28, 1914, Alex enlisted with the 20th Battery, 5th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. He was killed in Belgium.

– Sgt. John Harold Hamilton was born April 21, 1894 in Collingwood, Ont. In 1901 the family moved to Lethbridge. Harold enlisted with the 39th Battery 10th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. On Nov. 19, 1917, while serving in Belgium, Harold was hit by shrapnel that fractured his skull and died.

– Cpl. George Haimes was born Jan. 14, 1881 in England. The family emigrated to Canada around the turn of the century. George was employed as a sanitary inspector. He served on the front lines for more than two years with the Canadian Field Artillery, seeing action at the Somme, Arras, Vimy, Hill 70, Passchendale and Amiens. On Aug. 29, 1918, Haimes took a direct hit and was killed in action.

– Bombardier Albert Shipman was born in Birmingham, England on Nov. 11, 1883. He worked in Lethbridge as a streetcar repairman. Albert enlisted with the 19th Battery Canadian Field Artillery and went to France on July 13, 1916. He served on the front lines with the 10th Brigade 39th Canadian Field Artillery for two years. He was killed in action near Cambri.

– Private Warren Porter was born on Jan. 9, 1896 in Listowel, Ont. Porter served with the 25th Battery and was later appointed quarter-master of the 113th Battalion CEF Lethbridge Highlanders. He went to France Oct. 24, 1917 and served in the Canadian Army Service Corps. During the winter he contracted pneumonia and died on Feb. 1, 1919.

– Private William Bartlett was born on Feb. 23, 1894 in Kent, England. In Lethbridge. William worked as a labourer. Eight members of his family signed up for service. William was sent to France on Dec. 1, 1916 to be on the front lines in France for five months. On April 9, 1917, he fell during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

All these men were laid to rest in various cemeteries in Europe.

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