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Sunday, September 9, 2018

CANADIAN INDIANS IN WORLD WAR I



As Arthur Heming writes in his 1921 book, The Drama of the Forests, about the hunting and tracking skills of the Indians of Canada, he includes this chapter, which moved me enough to share with you. I've also found some photos to add.

INDIANS IN THE WORLD WAR

The forest Indians had been practising camouflage for centuries and, no doubt, that was one reason why many of the Indians in the Canadian Expeditionary Force did such remarkable work as snipers.

Sampson Comego
For instance: Sampson Comego destroyed twenty-eight of the enemy. Philip Macdonald killed forty, Johnny Ballantyne fifty-eight. "One of their number, Lance-Corporal Johnson Paudash," as the Department of Indian Affairs states, "received the Military Medal for his distinguished gallantry in saving life under heavy fire and for giving a warning that the enemy were preparing a counter-attack at Hill Seventy; the counter-attack took place twenty-five minutes after Paudash gave the information. It is said that a serious reverse was averted as a result of his action. Like other Indian soldiers, he won a splendid record as a sniper, and is officially credited with having destroyed no less than eighty-eight of the enemy.

Johnson Paudash
Another Indian who won fame at the front was Lance-Corporal Norwest; he was one of the foremost snipers in the army and was officially credited with one hundred and fifteen observed hits. He won the Military Medal and bar.

Still another, Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, won the Military Medal and two bars. He distinguished himself signally as a sniper and bears the extraordinary record of having killed three hundred and seventy-eight of the enemy. His Military Medal and two bars were awarded, however, for his distinguished conduct at Mount Sorrell, Amiens, and Passchendaele. At Passchendaele, Corporal Pegamagabow led his company through an engagement with a single casualty, and subsequently captured three hundred Germans at Mount Sorrell.

Henry Norwest
"The fine record of the Indians in the great war appears in a peculiarly favourable light when it is remembered that their services were absolutely voluntary, as they were specially exempted from the operation of the Military Service Act, and that they were prepared to give their lives for their country without compulsion or even the fear of compulsion."

Many military medals were won by the Canadian Indians; Captain A.G.E. Smith of the Grand River Band of the Iroquois having been decorated seven times by the Governments of England, France, and Poland, and many distinguished themselves by great acts upon the battlefield.

David Kisek
"Another Indian to be decorated was Dave Kisek. During the heavy fighting around Cambrai he unstrapped a machine gun from his shoulder and advanced about one hundred yards to the German position, where he ran along the top of their trench, doing deadly execution with his machine gun. He, single-handed, took thirty prisoners upon this occasion. This Indian came from the remote regions of the Patricia district.

"Sergeant Clear Sky was awarded the Military Medal for one of the most gallant and unselfish deeds that is recorded in the annals of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. During a heavy gas attack he noticed a wounded man lying in 'No Man's Land' whose gas mask had been rendered useless. Clear Sky crawled to him through the poisonous fumes, removed his own mask, and placed it on the wounded man, whose life was in consequence saved. Sergeant Clear Sky was himself severely gassed as a result of his heroic action.

George McLean
"Joe Thunder was awarded the Military Medal for a feat of arms of an exceptionally dramatic character. He was separated from his platoon and surrounded by six Germans, each of whom he bayoneted.

"George McLean received the Distinguished Conduct Medal in recognition of the performance of a feat which was an extraordinary one even for the great war. Private McLean, single-handed, destroyed nineteen of the enemy with bombs and captured fourteen."

Francis Pegahmagabow
And yet not a single Canadian Indian has claimed that he won the World War -- not even Pegahmagabow, who shot three hundred and seventy-eight Germans.













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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

UNCLE CHARLIE



My paternal grandfather, Julius Lund, died at 73 in 1933, sixteen years before I was born and I greatly regret never knowing him, but my paternal grandmother lived on, long enough even to attend my high school graduation in 1967. Grandma was a wonderful lady, full of love, and she even taught me how to say "I love you" in Norwegian.

I was so excited going with my parents to visit Grandma in Everett, Washington. But upstairs in her house we occasionally heard someone walking, and I was told it was Uncle Charlie. At times I overheard mention that he was probably drunk. My older siblings had actually seen him, but I don't remember ever having the experience.

Last week my cousin Pat shared a photo of our family members on Facebook that included all of my siblings a couple years before I was born. Being of the maternal side of my relatives, she wasn't sure who the man on the right was, but I recognized him by old photos as being Uncle Charlie. I then messaged my youngest sister, Linda, and said, "Cousin Pat doesn't know who Uncle Charlie is. How do I explain him?"

Linda replied: "I want to say he was Julius' son from a previous marriage, and he was close to Grandma's age.  But I don't think so, because that would make him Dad's half brother, and that would've been easier to remember.  It's funny, because while I was looking at that picture, I asked myself the same question."  Then she added: "Tell her we'll try to find out for sure.  I know he lived upstairs in Grandma's house for awhile.  But he also lived up over some stores/shops on Hewitt St. in Everett, too.  Somehow she always seemed to try to make sure he was okay.  I think he was an alcoholic."

So I emailed my oldest sister, Eunice, and she confirmed it:  "Uncle Charlie was Dad's half brother.  He was from Julius Lund's first marriage (don't know name of first wife).  Charlie was one year younger than his stepmother, Gina [our grandma].  Charlie never married.  We (Paul and I or I with a friend) liked to 'visit' him at his poor little apartment because he always gave us a box of chocolates he had won on a punch board at taverns I think.  At one time, he brought a lady he was planning to marry to meet the family, when we were living on Rucker before going to Japan, but she had an epileptic seizure and the marriage was off.  Uncle Charlie gave us Curly, the little black cocker spaniel."

I loved Curly. He was the first pet I ever had. The oil man ran over him in the alley, and, at about four years of age, I ran down the alley and balled out the oil man for killing my dog.

For the first time, in reading Eunice's response, it hit me that my Dad, Clarence Lund, had a half brother!  His full brother, Henry, died when Henry was only three, but suddenly I was ashamed of myself for never knowing Uncle Charlie, even though I was fourteen when he died! To me he had been only mysterious noises upstairs in Grandma's house accompanied by murmurings that he was probably drunk. My Dad was a Methodist minister, against drinking, and so perhaps wasn't all that proud of his half brother and didn't want me to be influenced by him.

I have a familiar old photo of the house Dad was born in at Silvana, Washington. In front of it are his parents, Julius and Gena, and Grandma Gena is holding my Dad as a baby, and off to the right is Uncle Charlie with their horse. I knew I must have more pictures of Uncle Charlie, and so today pulled out the old family albums and found many!  I also searched out a bit of genealogy today online, and found that Charlie's full name was John Charles Lund. He was born in Norway on September 5, 1884 and died in Everett, Washington, on October 20, 1963, at age 79.

May you rest in peace, Uncle Charlie. I miss you.

Most of these photos were taken around 1930. If anyone can tell me anything more about Uncle Charlie, and/or about his mother, please either comment below or email me.

My Dad (standing) and Charlie (sitting, left) with their dad, Julius Lund

Charlie, with father Julius and stepmother Gina
 
Gina and Julius and Charlie
 

 

 

 

 

Grandpa Julius, my Dad Clarence, and Uncle Charlie

Uncle Charlie with girlfriend

 

Recently shared picture that sparked our curiosity. Uncle Charlie is on the far right. I would be born a couple years later.





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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ON ABORTION ~ 1916

This fascinating book is now in the public domain. All I can say is that I wish the public would place itself in its domain.  ~ Dale Lund

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