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W.A. Robertson

Today's Building Hours

8am - 10pm

All service hours

Graduation Year

1916

College

OVC

Interview Date

Interviewer

C. Barker

Call Number

RE1 OVC A0228

Audio

W.A. Robertson interview

Transcript

C. Barker (00:00:05):
This recording is being made on the 17th of October, 1981, at the home of Dr. W. A. Robertson, who lives on-

W.A. Robertson (00:00:19):
Nine-

C. Barker (00:00:20):
928 Pacific Drive, Tsawwassen Delta, British Columbia. I'm, uh, interviewing Dr. Robertson with regard to the old college on Temperance Street and the college on University Avenue, and other things that will be, uh, related to this. So, uh, Dr. Robertson, was your, um, home originally in Saskatchewan?

W.A. Robertson (00:00:50):
Eh, no, I was born in Scotland.

C. Barker (00:00:52):
I thought there was a slight accent. And did you come as a young person to Canada? Or-

W.A. Robertson (00:00:58):
I was 19 when I came to Canada.

C. Barker (00:01:00):
To Ontario? Or to the West?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:06):
Uh, to- to Manitoba.

C. Barker (00:01:06):
To Manitoba first?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:07):
Stayed one- one summer in Manitoba.

C. Barker (00:01:11):
And then what coaxed you to go to the college in Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:15):
Well, I went up the next spring and homesteaded on some Doukhobors land but they were taking away from the Doukhobors.

C. Barker (00:01:26):
In Manitoba?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:27):
In Saskatchewan.

C. Barker (00:01:28):
Saskatchewan?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:28):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:01:29):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:01:30):
Near Canora, Saskatchewan.

C. Barker (00:01:32):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:01:32):
C-A-N-O-R-A.

C. Barker (00:01:34):
Yes?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:36):
And on the homestead next to me there was an old veterinarian, Dr. D. D. Reed.

C. Barker (00:01:45):
D. D. Reed?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:46):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:01:48):
Be an old-timer graduate, was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:01:49):
Oh, way back-

C. Barker (00:01:52):
Well.

W.A. Robertson (00:01:53):
When it was a one year course or a two year course or something. I don't know, very old, old, old graduate.

C. Barker (00:01:56):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:01:59):
He had practiced in, uh, Manitoba-

C. Barker (00:02:05):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:02:06):
First and then moved up to Saskatchewan. He was practicing there and he homesteaded-

C. Barker (00:02:12):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:02:13):
On one of these Doukhobors homesteads, you see?

C. Barker (00:02:17):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:02:18):
The land that they were taking away the Doukhobors-

C. Barker (00:02:18):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:02:20):
And I was in the next quarter. And the old doc, we became very good friends, of course.

C. Barker (00:02:25):
Sure. Were you all by yourself?

W.A. Robertson (00:02:27):
Oh yes.

C. Barker (00:02:28):
Were you?

W.A. Robertson (00:02:28):
Yes, absolutely.

C. Barker (00:02:29):
Gee, you're a real adventurer.

W.A. Robertson (00:02:31):
Well, uh, most of... of the homesteaders then was young, single, and so that's what got me interested, pretty well.

C. Barker (00:02:40):
Well.

W.A. Robertson (00:02:44):
Going out with him while we were homesteading just across the-

C. Barker (00:02:48):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:02:49):
The [inaudible] Peninsula.

C. Barker (00:02:49):
So from there, you went to Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:02:50):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:02:50):
That'd be 1913, would it be?

W.A. Robertson (00:02:53):
Yeah. Yeah, the fall of '13.

C. Barker (00:02:54):
Where- where would you stay in Toronto when you got there? Did you have any friends in Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:02:59):
No, I didn't have any friends, but there was two... When I got down there, I, uh... there was two fellow... one fellow that I knew quite well there. Of course, he says, "Come on. We'll go in together."

C. Barker (00:03:17):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:03:17):
Angus-

C. Barker (00:03:17):
Who- who would that be?

W.A. Robertson (00:03:18):
Angus Black.

C. Barker (00:03:19):
Oh, yes, mm-hmm (affirmative). He stayed in Toronto afterwards, I think, didn't he?

W.A. Robertson (00:03:27):
Yes. He- he, uh... He went to- to... He was- was with the Imperials in the Army.

C. Barker (00:03:32):
For... Imperial- Imperial Army, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:33):
Yes.

C. Barker (00:03:33):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:33):
As a veterinarian.

C. Barker (00:03:35):
So in the summers, you'd come back to Saskatchewan?

W.A. Robertson (00:03:37):
Yes, I came back.

C. Barker (00:03:38):
Work on the homestead?

W.A. Robertson (00:03:40):
No, I had the homestead rented.

C. Barker (00:03:41):
Ah, I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:43):
Rented the homestead and that's what gave me enough money to get through college.

C. Barker (00:03:47):
To go... to go through college.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:48):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:03:49):
That was a good idea.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:50):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:03:50):
Very good.

W.A. Robertson (00:03:51):
And, I would work with old Doc Reed.

C. Barker (00:03:58):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:03:58):
Most of the time, except I turned in a certificate that I worked the whole time, and as a matter of fact I didn't. I always went harvesting and [inaudible] you could make good, big money, you see?

C. Barker (00:04:09):
Good money.

W.A. Robertson (00:04:09):
Those days I was a young, husky fellow.

C. Barker (00:04:11):
Right, right.

W.A. Robertson (00:04:13):
And, uh, that way that's what put me through college.

C. Barker (00:04:16):
That's a good way to, uh... to do things, you know?

W.A. Robertson (00:04:17):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:04:18):
Pretty ingenious. So when you graduated, then, this would be 1916?

W.A. Robertson (00:04:24):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:04:25):
Uh, had you been interested in the Army before graduation or what happened there?

W.A. Robertson (00:04:34):
We were in... I was in the Army and got as far... got over to England.

C. Barker (00:04:38):
Before you'd graduated?

W.A. Robertson (00:04:40):
Before I'd graduated.

C. Barker (00:04:41):
Well, that was allowed at that time. I know they were hard up for veterinary officers.

W.A. Robertson (00:04:45):
They were hard up for veterinary officers, but I wasn't a veterinary officer. I- I was in the Veterinary Corps but I was a... As a matter of fact, I was a sergeant.

C. Barker (00:04:49):
A veterinary sergeant- sergeant?

W.A. Robertson (00:04:55):
Sergeant.

C. Barker (00:04:56):
I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:04:56):
In the Veterinary Corps.

C. Barker (00:04:57):
Where would you... where would you join up? Was- was that-

W.A. Robertson (00:05:00):
In Toronto.

C. Barker (00:05:01):
In Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:05:02):
Yeah. And I was stationed for a... for a time along the [inaudible] in Toronto.

C. Barker (00:05:10):
Where was that located? In [inaudible]?

W.A. Robertson (00:05:14):
First- first it was located in an old market. I don't remember the street, the cattle market.

C. Barker (00:05:14):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:05:15):
There was cattle market and stuff and there was a chap in charge of it called MacDonald, Major MacDonald.

C. Barker (00:05:28):
A Major McDonald?

W.A. Robertson (00:05:29):
Yes. He was a practicing veterinarian in, uh.. What do you call the suburb of Toronto?

C. Barker (00:05:37):
Uh, Scarborough.

W.A. Robertson (00:05:39):
Scarborough.

C. Barker (00:05:39):
Scarborough.

W.A. Robertson (00:05:39):
Scarborough. He lived in Scarborough. He had a big house there.

C. Barker (00:05:43):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:05:44):
And uh, but the funny thing was he was away half the time and eventually got away all the time, uh, buying remounts.

C. Barker (00:05:59):
Buying remounts?

W.A. Robertson (00:06:00):
Buying remounts.

C. Barker (00:06:01):
Out of Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:06:02):
passing the remounts for soldiers.

C. Barker (00:06:05):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:06:05):
He worked with, uh, George Graham of Claremont, Ontario-

C. Barker (00:06:10):
Oh.

W.A. Robertson (00:06:11):
Who was a noted... very noted Clydesdale breeder at that... back way back in those days. In fact, he was the- the premier Clydesdale breeder in Canada about that time.

C. Barker (00:06:21):
Very interesting.

W.A. Robertson (00:06:22):
And-

C. Barker (00:06:25):
Well, would they... They were assembling the horses in Toronto and then shipping them to-

W.A. Robertson (00:06:28):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:06:29):
Montreal? Or-

W.A. Robertson (00:06:30):
Shipping them down to the... We would load them from- from the depot- depot there, train- train load at a time, you see, to go... a ship load.

C. Barker (00:06:38):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:06:39):
And, uh, they backed them all into what they called palace cars, hush cars with the stalls in them.

C. Barker (00:06:45):
Yes, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:06:46):
And we'd have to load a whole train of them, probably a- around- around 1,000 horses per ship, some places 900 to a thousand.

C. Barker (00:06:58):
Well, were you living, uh, in a... in a barracks of some kind at that time? Or were you just-

W.A. Robertson (00:07:02):
There was a barracks, the old... we... while we were there.

C. Barker (00:07:06):
Exhibition grounds? Or where?

W.A. Robertson (00:07:08):
No, uh, we-

C. Barker (00:07:09):
Stanley barracks?

W.A. Robertson (00:07:11):
We got to the exhibition grounds afterwards.

C. Barker (00:07:13):
Oh, yes?

W.A. Robertson (00:07:14):
But first of all, we were this old cattle market.

C. Barker (00:07:16):
Oh?

W.A. Robertson (00:07:17):
I don't remember the name of it.

C. Barker (00:07:18):
Saint Lawrence market is one market that was really there for a long time, but that wasn't cattle.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:23):
No, no.

C. Barker (00:07:23):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:23):
It wasn't.

C. Barker (00:07:23):
It was a stockyards of some kind.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:25):
The stockyards.

C. Barker (00:07:26):
Stockyards.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:27):
And it had a stock exchange, you see?

C. Barker (00:07:30):
Oh yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:30):
Building-

C. Barker (00:07:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), beside it.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:30):
Beside it.

C. Barker (00:07:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:07:34):
And we occupied that as the barracks.

C. Barker (00:07:37):
Who- who would be with you at that time, as a veterinary sergeant, or, uh, veterinary officer? Can you recall any of the people?

W.A. Robertson (00:07:45):
Well, the only one that was a veterinary officer was- was that Major MacDonald.

C. Barker (00:07:49):
MacDonald.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:49):
He went away.

C. Barker (00:07:50):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:07:51):
And afterwards, after we got over to the exhibition ground, uh, J.A. Campbell-

C. Barker (00:07:59):
Tiny Campbell? J.A. Campbell?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:01):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:08:01):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:08:01):
The small animal-

C. Barker (00:08:02):
Small animal fellow in Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:05):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:08:05):
Yes, yes. He was in charge then, was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:07):
Yeah- yeah, but you never saw him. And as a matter of fact, I was put, though I was not- not a graduate or anything-

C. Barker (00:08:10):
No, no.

W.A. Robertson (00:08:10):
I was put in charge of the whole damn thing, the horse mounts. And-

C. Barker (00:08:21):
That would be in the spring of 1916, then? Or '15?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:26):
'15.

C. Barker (00:08:27):
'15.

W.A. Robertson (00:08:28):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:08:29):
Because you graduated in '16?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:30):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:08:30):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:08:30):
'15.

C. Barker (00:08:31):
'15?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:33):
Yeah. Uh-

C. Barker (00:08:33):
Well, that was the same spring when a number of the fellows who hadn't completed their course were taken into the British Army and obtained, uh, a commission.

W.A. Robertson (00:08:44):
I knew just one of them. I can't remember his name. Was it Edwards?

C. Barker (00:08:49):
I'm not sure. I know the names of several who- who did. There was Neely. Did you remember a Neely? And Houston? Or Key? Any of those people?

W.A. Robertson (00:08:58):
I remember the names, Houston. It was Houston in the class ahead of me, you see?

C. Barker (00:09:03):
Yes, yes. He was year 1915.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:06):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:09:07):
There was about a half a dozen or so who joined up in March of 1915.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:10):
This fellow... this fellow that I'm referring to got a commission in the Canadian Army and hadn't graduated.

C. Barker (00:09:15):
Oh?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:15):
He was a senior.

C. Barker (00:09:16):
Oh? I don't know which one that would be. I don't know.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:20):
Got a kid com- commission in the Canadian Army.

C. Barker (00:09:25):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:09:25):
Another one that I remember, but he didn't... never got a commission, it was Craig.

C. Barker (00:09:26):
Craig?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:27):
Yeah. He, uh-

C. Barker (00:09:32):
Was he in your year?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:34):
No, he was a year ahead of me.

C. Barker (00:09:35):
A year ahead of you?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:36):
Yeah. But he'd gone... He joined up-

C. Barker (00:09:41):
He joined up.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:42):
Before he graduated.

C. Barker (00:09:43):
Before he graduated?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:44):
Not... just in an... in an infantry battalion.

C. Barker (00:09:46):
In Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:09:47):
Yeah. Or, uh... No, out west.

C. Barker (00:09:49):
Oh, out west.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:50):
Someplace, not in Toronto. I forget where he came from.

C. Barker (00:09:51):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:54):
Though I met him afterwards.

C. Barker (00:09:55):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:09:55):
Oh, I can't remember just what became of him.

C. Barker (00:09:59):
Well, that... the- the summer of 1915, after you joined, you went to, uh, the, uh, militia or army camp at Niagara on the lake?

W.A. Robertson (00:10:11):
No, I never got to that. I went overseas.

C. Barker (00:10:16):
You went overseas?

W.A. Robertson (00:10:16):
Yeah. I went overseas with a shipload of horses with a fellow W.W. Forsyth.

C. Barker (00:10:25):
Oh, Bill Forsyth?

W.A. Robertson (00:10:27):
Do you know him?

C. Barker (00:10:28):
Well, I know of him. I've got some of his veterinary equipment in our museum. I've got a medicine case of his-

W.A. Robertson (00:10:33):
He was a milk inspector in Toronto.

C. Barker (00:10:34):
That's right, Toronto milk inspector.

W.A. Robertson (00:10:37):
As a... as a veterinarian in the Army, he was a total loss. Absolutely total loss. He got-

C. Barker (00:10:45):
Released, was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:10:46):
Sent down to the base.

C. Barker (00:10:48):
Oh, yes, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:10:48):
He was in the same division as I was.

C. Barker (00:10:48):
Well.

W.A. Robertson (00:10:56):
And, uh, this was after we were over.

C. Barker (00:10:57):
Oh sure, yeah, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:10:59):
And how Forsyth came to get down to the base, the first time that- that Edgett, who was-

C. Barker (00:11:06):
Uh, that's Colonel Edgett?

W.A. Robertson (00:11:06):
Yeah, he-

C. Barker (00:11:09):
He was a director or acting director?

W.A. Robertson (00:11:12):
He was the director of veterinary services, finally.

C. Barker (00:11:12):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:11:12):
But he was... he was the deputy director of the... of the division-

C. Barker (00:11:20):
Right.

W.A. Robertson (00:11:20):
That I was with, you see?

C. Barker (00:11:21):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:11:22):
He was my boss.

C. Barker (00:11:23):
Which- which division were you with at that time?

W.A. Robertson (00:11:25):
Fourth.

C. Barker (00:11:25):
The Fourth Division?

W.A. Robertson (00:11:27):
12th Infantry Brigade.

C. Barker (00:11:27):
All right, mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:11:29):
And, uh, this Forsyth was in charge of the... of the, um, division train, Army Service Corps.

C. Barker (00:11:31):
Yes.

C. Barker (00:11:43):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:11:55):
And, uh, his outfit got so it couldn't function at all. He went on leave one time and Edgett called me, and he wanted to go and see if I could get this train straightened out. They had been borrowing horses from a corps outfit that could give you horses temporarily, shot-

C. Barker (00:12:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:12:02):
Wounded horses.

C. Barker (00:12:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:12:02):
I killed 15 horses that couldn't get up.

C. Barker (00:12:22):
Well.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:22):
And we shot them. They were down in the stalls. We couldn't... emaciated.

C. Barker (00:12:26):
Couldn't make it.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:29):
Couldn't get up on their feet.

C. Barker (00:12:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:12:31):
And up on the front line. You had to keep... you were expected... What you were there for-

C. Barker (00:12:34):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:35):
Was to keep your outfit-

C. Barker (00:12:36):
Right.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:37):
In working shape.

C. Barker (00:12:37):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:40):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). And he never came back. They- they sent him to the base.

C. Barker (00:12:45):
So, when you got overseas, uh, as a... just an ordinary sergeant, as it were-

W.A. Robertson (00:12:54):
I was a sergeant, when I went overseas.

C. Barker (00:12:54):
There must have been a call put through for anyone who was partially graduated to come back.

W.A. Robertson (00:12:58):
Yeah. There- there was an order went through.

C. Barker (00:13:02):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

W.A. Robertson (00:13:02):
Now the order came through that all senior medical and veterinary students were to be returned to-

C. Barker (00:13:12):
To finish the-

W.A. Robertson (00:13:13):
And complete their course. And the order said, "Without paying allowances."

C. Barker (00:13:18):
Oh?

W.A. Robertson (00:13:19):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:13:20):
But they gave you free ride home?

W.A. Robertson (00:13:22):
They gave us a free ride home, yeah.

C. Barker (00:13:23):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:13:25):
The only two that came back on that thing, outside of a bunch that were in Canada-

C. Barker (00:13:30):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:13:31):
There was a whole bunch from Canada, down in Niagara, Canada.

C. Barker (00:13:32):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:13:32):
I could name some of the ones I know that were there.

C. Barker (00:13:42):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:13:43):
Was Dick Lee and myself. And Dick Lee and- and I had been rooming together, anyway.

C. Barker (00:13:47):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:13:47):
We was chums.

C. Barker (00:13:47):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:13:49):
We went... joined up together, and- and went overseas together.

C. Barker (00:13:53):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:13:53):
Uh, we were in the Veterinary Corps, so we got down with a whole bunch of the men. We were at, uh, Bramshall. No, not Bramshall. Bramshall was afterwards-

C. Barker (00:14:09):
Bournemouth?

W.A. Robertson (00:14:11):
No, no.

C. Barker (00:14:11):
Shorncliffe?

W.A. Robertson (00:14:11):
Shorncliffe.

C. Barker (00:14:11):
Shorncliffe?

W.A. Robertson (00:14:11):
The old barracks in Shorncliffe.

C. Barker (00:14:11):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:14:11):
The Army barracks in Shorncliffe.

C. Barker (00:14:11):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:14:11):
And, uh, there was a remount depot there, too.

C. Barker (00:14:11):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:14:20):
And, uh, there was bunch of horse and, uh, artillery, and a camp quite close there.

C. Barker (00:14:28):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:14:28):
And, uh, they knew all about this order, and their, uh, commanding officer told me about it. And he says, "We're going to- to France in a few days." He says, uh, "Trained you for this and all and now can't... going to... left. If you insist on going, why go back." But he says You're letting everybody else down", and that kind of a speech. So they went.

C. Barker (00:14:53):
Yeah, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:14:53):
And, it was, uh... Amongst them it was, uh, Watkin.

C. Barker (00:15:04):
Watkin?

W.A. Robertson (00:15:04):
Ronald Watkin.

C. Barker (00:15:06):
Ron Watkin. Oh, I knew him very well.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:07):
You did?

C. Barker (00:15:07):
Oh yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:08):
Redheaded fellow. He's a-

C. Barker (00:15:09):
Very well, knew him. Yes-

W.A. Robertson (00:15:09):
A nice man.

C. Barker (00:15:09):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:09):
A very smart fellow.

C. Barker (00:15:12):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:12):
Yeah. But they- they-

C. Barker (00:15:15):
They stayed-

W.A. Robertson (00:15:16):
Went on to France.

C. Barker (00:15:16):
They went on to France.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:17):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:15:17):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:17):
Yeah, Dick Lee and I was the only ones who came home.

C. Barker (00:15:19):
Came back.

W.A. Robertson (00:15:19):
And we-

C. Barker (00:15:21):
So then, you- you finished your course then, in- in the Spring of '16?

W.A. Robertson (00:15:25):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:15:26):
And then what did they do? Did you... You were re-commissioned? You were commissioned then, as a-

W.A. Robertson (00:15:30):
Yeah, the day after we've... after we graduated we both got- got a notification to report to Stanley barracks in Toronto.

C. Barker (00:15:36):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:15:36):
And-

C. Barker (00:15:41):
You were ready to be shipped overseas again?

W.A. Robertson (00:15:43):
We were ready to be shipped overseas. I went right... we went... both went right overseas. And then we were in England then 10 days or two weeks of the time we graduated.

C. Barker (00:15:59):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:15:59):
We were both... Went back to the old place at Shorncliffe.

C. Barker (00:16:05):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:16:05):
And then we were both posted. And then, a few days at Shorncliffe. We were both posted to the Fourth Division at Bramshott.

C. Barker (00:16:14):
I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:16:14):
And I was posted with Fourth Infantry Brigade. Dick was posted with an artillery outfit-

C. Barker (00:16:14):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:16:20):
In the same division. The Fourth Division was just... And within- within a month or so, we were in France.

C. Barker (00:16:35):
Where did you get stationed in France?

W.A. Robertson (00:16:37):
Oh, all over the place.

C. Barker (00:16:37):
All over?

W.A. Robertson (00:16:39):
All over the place. I was with an infantry division all the time.

C. Barker (00:16:43):
Oh yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:16:43):
It was the infantry. There was no- no cars or trucks or anything at that time.

C. Barker (00:16:48):
No, all horse drawn.

W.A. Robertson (00:16:49):
Oh, everything was horse drawn.

C. Barker (00:16:49):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:16:49):
They, uh... each- each infantry battalion had 56 horses, if I remember right.

C. Barker (00:16:56):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:16:56):
Some of the senior officers had saddled horses-

C. Barker (00:16:56):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:16:57):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:16:57):
Limbers, too.

C. Barker (00:17:06):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:10):
And, uh, there was four... As veterinary officer of the... of the brigade, you see-

C. Barker (00:17:16):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:18):
I would have those four infantry battalions-

C. Barker (00:17:21):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:25):
Uh, accompany the divisional train, which fetched stuff up-

C. Barker (00:17:28):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:28):
From the rear.

C. Barker (00:17:29):
The Army Service Corps?

W.A. Robertson (00:17:30):
The Army Service Corps-

C. Barker (00:17:30):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:32):
train, Army Service Corps.

C. Barker (00:17:33):
Was there any Forestry Corps attached to your tour?

W.A. Robertson (00:17:35):
No.

C. Barker (00:17:35):
No?

W.A. Robertson (00:17:36):
Sometimes, when we would go back and rest.

C. Barker (00:17:38):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:39):
And you'd take over any Canadian units that was in the rest area, you see?

C. Barker (00:17:45):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:46):
They were tacked on for you to look after, too.

C. Barker (00:17:48):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:17:49):
But normally, no.

C. Barker (00:17:52):
No?

W.A. Robertson (00:17:53):
When we were up in the... in the... the division was up in the front line-

C. Barker (00:17:54):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:17:58):
Or in the reserve line-

C. Barker (00:17:59):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:17:59):
Then I'd only have the... Oh, sometimes I had the heavy artillery or something like that.

C. Barker (00:18:03):
Yeah-

W.A. Robertson (00:18:03):
As well, but-

C. Barker (00:18:03):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:18:04):
Little small units like that.

C. Barker (00:18:08):
Where did you spend most of your time in France? No particular place? Just-

W.A. Robertson (00:18:13):
No particular place.

C. Barker (00:18:14):
Moving around?

W.A. Robertson (00:18:14):
All over.

C. Barker (00:18:15):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:18:19):
We spent the... We weren't very long before... in France before we went down to the Somme, which was a pretty tough-

C. Barker (00:18:26):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:18:26):
Assignment.

C. Barker (00:18:28):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I was talking, about three weeks ago, with one of the, uh, sergeants who was with the, uh, 11th Field Battery.

W.A. Robertson (00:18:37):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:18:38):
Uh, they're having their reunion in two weeks time in Toronto, a number of them. And I've been trying to find out from him who the veterinary officer would have been with the... with the brigade down there, over there.

W.A. Robertson (00:18:50):
He was in the... That would be in the Third Division.

C. Barker (00:18:52):
What is it?

W.A. Robertson (00:18:53):
Yeah, uh-

C. Barker (00:18:54):
And he couldn't recall the name of the officer, uh, who was there, but I can find out through, uh... through the, uh, resources in Ottawa.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:02):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:19:03):
Yeah. Now, were you... were you familiar with the base hospital at- at Le Havre?

W.A. Robertson (00:19:09):
No, I never was there.

C. Barker (00:19:10):
You never got into there?

W.A. Robertson (00:19:11):
No, no never was there.

C. Barker (00:19:12):
Uh, the... you would... you would have known Major Saunders at some time?

W.A. Robertson (00:19:17):
Oh, yes.

C. Barker (00:19:18):
Colonel Saunders?

W.A. Robertson (00:19:19):
Oh, Saunders. Saunders was Lexington.

C. Barker (00:19:20):
Yes, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:21):
First year.

C. Barker (00:19:22):
And he joined up, and-

W.A. Robertson (00:19:23):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:19:24):
And he was officer in charge of the... of the base, wasn't he, for a while? At Le Havre there? I'm not certain all the details about his activities at all. I don't know.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:34):
Wasn't he, uh, the ADVS?

C. Barker (00:19:36):
Yes he was for a while.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:40):
Of the Second Division?

C. Barker (00:19:42):
I'm not sure which one it was. I don't know.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:44):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:19:44):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:19:45):
And he went down... he went down to the bases.

C. Barker (00:19:47):
Yes. Well then, uh, did you ever know, uh, a chap named D.J. McClellan? Did you ever meet McClellan?

W.A. Robertson (00:19:59):
Name is familiar, but I-

C. Barker (00:20:00):
He was with the federal meat inspection for many years in maritimes and then in Toronto. And I've interviewed him, uh, over in Lindsay, uh, early July, and about two weeks later, he up and died. He was... he was over there from 19... He was a 1917 graduate. And, uh, he was telling me about all the 700 horses that he had to look after, artillery. He was a-

W.A. Robertson (00:20:27):
He was in artillery.

C. Barker (00:20:27):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:20:28):
Yes, we'd have... I would have about a thousand horses to look after.

C. Barker (00:20:32):
Yeah. Well, then, would you ever recall meeting a fellow named Buckey Stubbs? Stubbs? He went over in 1916, and he had about a thousand horses.

W.A. Robertson (00:20:42):
Well-

C. Barker (00:20:43):
He was a 1913 graduate.

W.A. Robertson (00:20:45):
But he wasn't with the Canadians?

C. Barker (00:20:45):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:20:45):
He was with the Canadians?

C. Barker (00:20:47):
Yes, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:20:48):
No.

C. Barker (00:20:48):
Yeah. I've got a number of names of people here, um, that I was gonna ask you about. Uh, now, you- you, uh... you came back from France in- in- in 1918, was it? Or 1919?

W.A. Robertson (00:21:11):
Oh, I came back from France in 1919.

C. Barker (00:21:16):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:17):
But aft- after- after the war was over, and after we... the Canadian Corps sold all their horses to the Belgian government.

C. Barker (00:21:27):
Were you on the sales of the horses in Belgium when they were selling them out in there?

W.A. Robertson (00:21:31):
Well, I just handed over the horses.

C. Barker (00:21:34):
I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:34):
Everything that could walk-

C. Barker (00:21:35):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:35):
They took over.

C. Barker (00:21:36):
Did- did you go up into Germany with any of the-

W.A. Robertson (00:21:37):
No.

C. Barker (00:21:37):
Of the troops?

W.A. Robertson (00:21:37):
No.

C. Barker (00:21:39):
You never went up into-

W.A. Robertson (00:21:39):
No.

C. Barker (00:21:39):
The German area?

W.A. Robertson (00:21:41):
I-

C. Barker (00:21:41):
McClellan, McClellan did.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:42):
Yeah, well-

C. Barker (00:21:43):
He had to march 300 miles, I think he told me-

W.A. Robertson (00:21:44):
The First and Second Divisions went up.

C. Barker (00:21:44):
Went up there?

W.A. Robertson (00:21:44):
The Third and Fourth didn't.

C. Barker (00:21:48):
I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:48):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:21:49):
Yeah, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:21:49):
But, uh, we were... we were stationed close to Waterloo, and having a heck of a good time going up to Brussels. Whenever there's a train up there and.

C. Barker (00:22:04):
Yeah, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:05):
We were all having a swell time. And, uh, I went home on leave. My home was in the North of Scotland.

C. Barker (00:22:13):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:15):
Because I went, Edgett by this time had- had been transferred to London and-

C. Barker (00:22:18):
Yes, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:18):
The whole thing.

C. Barker (00:22:22):
Well, did he... did... He was associated with- with- with General Neil, wasn't he? Brigadier Neil, who was-

W.A. Robertson (00:22:27):
No.

C. Barker (00:22:28):
No? He never was, eh?

W.A. Robertson (00:22:28):
No.

C. Barker (00:22:28):
I thought he had been associated with him.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:33):
No. He practiced... I think Edgett... I don't know where he graduated from.

C. Barker (00:22:38):
Uh, I can't recall. I think he was Toronto, but I'm not just... I haven't got the exact information.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:42):
I was thinking probably that he, was... he was [inaudible] man because he was a fluent... very fluent bilingual.

C. Barker (00:22:48):
Was he? Maybe- maybe he was a McGill, I don't know. Might've been a McGill graduate.

W.A. Robertson (00:22:53):
Anyway, uh, he got transferred, put in charge of London. And, uh, I went on leave one time from Brussels there-

C. Barker (00:23:05):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:23:05):
And went up to see him. We were very good friends.

C. Barker (00:23:08):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:23:16):
And, uh, he says, "You're just the man I want." He says, "We've got to round up all these horses and these different Canadian units and send them up to Harris, I think it was, in London for sale.

C. Barker (00:23:22):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:23:24):
And, uh, so, he finally comes back. He said, "Well you can go on up home and report here when you come back."

C. Barker (00:23:28):
Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

W.A. Robertson (00:23:32):
Back to the outfit outside of Brussels.

C. Barker (00:23:32):
Right.

W.A. Robertson (00:23:48):
And, uh, I wasn't back two or three weeks and there came an order for me to report to London... The staff captain [inaudible] at that time, and the brigade was a small piece what-

C. Barker (00:24:05):
No

W.A. Robertson (00:24:06):
Not... He was an administrator type.

C. Barker (00:24:06):
No, no. He was an administrator.

W.A. Robertson (00:24:08):
He was the administrator.

C. Barker (00:24:08):
Yeah, yeah,

W.A. Robertson (00:24:10):
Staff Captain. He- he- he- ran, uh... he had a- a civil life. He had a manufacturer agency business in Toronto, very nice fellow. So he called me Robby in the brigade. He'd read this out to me. He says, "Do you wanna go Robby?" I says, "No", and he tore it up. And after a week or two, another one came. And he tore that up too. Third one came after a while to have Captain Robertson report immediately. If he refuses, have him placed under arrest and sent over, so I just had to go.

C. Barker (00:24:59):
Well that... was that when you... when the... was that when you... you were... for a while were acting deputy assistant director in- in 1918. I got a note here. You were detached from the 12th Infantry Brigade headquarters in 1917, and you're acting deputy assistant director of veterinary services for a while.

W.A. Robertson (00:25:21):
Ah, yeah, I was two or three times, that.

C. Barker (00:25:24):
Were you?

W.A. Robertson (00:25:24):
While Edgett was on leave.

C. Barker (00:25:25):
Oh, I see. All right.

W.A. Robertson (00:25:28):
Uh, Forsyth was the senior long... by a long bunch of-

C. Barker (00:25:33):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:25:33):
And- and he had been telling us all what he was going to do. As soon as Edgett went he was going to reorganize the things. And, uh, when Edgett went on leave, he passed Forsyth over, and made me-

C. Barker (00:25:54):
Oh yes, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:25:54):
Deputy. Oh-

C. Barker (00:25:54):
No-

W.A. Robertson (00:25:55):
Forsyth- Forsyth was a nice fella but he was a total loss as a horseman.

C. Barker (00:25:57):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:25:58):
He didn't know anything. He'd been a milk inspector in Toronto, and good fellow. He was just out of his depth.

C. Barker (00:26:06):
Yeah. Did you ever meet up with Alf Savage when he was over there?

W.A. Robertson (00:26:08):
Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

C. Barker (00:26:10):
He was where? He was down at the base hospital was he? Or what was he doing? He-

W.A. Robertson (00:26:17):
He wanted... I don't know. He was in the Army Service Corps.

C. Barker (00:26:23):
No, I don't know. Uh, as far as-

W.A. Robertson (00:26:25):
No, he was in the Veterinary Corps.

C. Barker (00:26:26):
Army Veterinary Corps, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:27):
Yes, and he wanted to be... he wanted a post to be created for him where he was an advisor on feeds and feeding.

C. Barker (00:26:35):
Oh, I never knew of anything like this.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:37):
Yeah, yeah. He wanted a push to be created where he would-

C. Barker (00:26:41):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:44):
Direct all the procurement of feeds-

C. Barker (00:26:45):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:45):
And see that they were all right. But, they never got around to it.

C. Barker (00:26:48):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:49):
So, he, uh, ended up by going down to the base and staying there.

C. Barker (00:26:53):
Stayed there, yeah?

W.A. Robertson (00:26:54):
Yeah, as far as I remember.

C. Barker (00:26:57):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:26:59):
He- he was... A matter of fact, he was lecturing on- on feeds and feeding in the college.

C. Barker (00:27:03):
Oh, I don't know.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:04):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:27:05):
In Manitoba?

W.A. Robertson (00:27:06):
No, no.

C. Barker (00:27:09):
In Toronto?

W.A. Robertson (00:27:10):
In Toronto.

C. Barker (00:27:10):
No. I never heard that. He was a... he was a graduate of MacDonald College-

W.A. Robertson (00:27:17):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:27:17):
And then he went to Cornell University-

W.A. Robertson (00:27:19):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:27:19):
And took his veterinary degree-

W.A. Robertson (00:27:20):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:27:21):
And then, uh, he came back, uh, to MacDonald College, in Mont... near Montreal and was- was on their strength there eventually. But, uh, he- he never lectured at Toronto that I know of. I'm not aware of that.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:36):
Well, I'm probably wrong. I thought-

C. Barker (00:27:39):
No-

W.A. Robertson (00:27:39):
He lectured to us-

C. Barker (00:27:39):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:42):
On feeds and feeding. I- I- I knew him quite well because-

C. Barker (00:27:46):
He was... he was in Winnipeg for a long time.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:47):
Well, he was in the... in the... on the staff at the... at the College in Winnipeg.

C. Barker (00:27:53):
That's right, that's right, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:53):
He- he- he-

C. Barker (00:27:54):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:54):
Oh, yes, some of his students have talked to him.

C. Barker (00:27:54):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:27:58):
He was a great story teller.

C. Barker (00:28:01):
Yes, yes. Did you ever know, uh, a Captain? Uh, there were two French, uh, names. Duhault, D-U-H-A-U-L-T.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:10):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:28:11):
Did you know him?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:11):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:28:13):
And there was another one called Daigneault.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:14):
Daigneault.

C. Barker (00:28:16):
I never knew either one of them. Um-

W.A. Robertson (00:28:20):
Yes, I knew them both-

C. Barker (00:28:21):
Did you?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:21):
Not very well.

C. Barker (00:28:22):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:22):
Uh-

C. Barker (00:28:24):
I don't know if they were overseas or not.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:26):
Yes.

C. Barker (00:28:26):
Were they?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:26):
One of them was overseas and he ran the- the, uh-

C. Barker (00:28:28):
Remounts?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:33):
No. The, uh, mobile veterinary section-

C. Barker (00:28:35):
Oh, yes-

W.A. Robertson (00:28:35):
Of the Third Division. Yeah, the mobile veterinary section of the Third Division.

C. Barker (00:28:35):
All right.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:44):
A great big fellow. He was on the... on this... on the... on the. um, title service-

C. Barker (00:28:48):
Service after the war.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:49):
Before the war-

C. Barker (00:28:50):
Before the war?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:50):
And after the war.

C. Barker (00:28:50):
And after the war, in Montreal, I think.

W.A. Robertson (00:28:55):
Uh, yeah he was in field service in Quebec.

C. Barker (00:28:56):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:28:56):
I think so.

C. Barker (00:28:56):
Yeah. And then there was a Major Walsh. Did you ever hear of a Major Walsh?

W.A. Robertson (00:29:00):
Oh, uh-

C. Barker (00:29:01):
F.M. Walsh?

W.A. Robertson (00:29:02):
The name is familiar. Walsh-

C. Barker (00:29:02):
Well, he was associated with- with the General Neil, I think, for a while, Brigadier General Neil, who was director of veterinary services of the whole show.

W.A. Robertson (00:29:18):
I never saw him.

C. Barker (00:29:19):
You never met him?

W.A. Robertson (00:29:20):
Mm-mm.

C. Barker (00:29:20):
No? Um-

W.A. Robertson (00:29:22):
He wasn't overseas.

C. Barker (00:29:23):
Oh, General Neil, was, yeah. He was stationed in London, then was over in France. He came from near Lindsay, Ontario.

W.A. Robertson (00:29:31):
And how did Edgett get there?

C. Barker (00:29:34):
Oh, I don't know. He must have been, uh, acting in absence of Neil or something like that.

W.A. Robertson (00:29:40):
No, no. He was... he was-

C. Barker (00:29:42):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:29:42):
Yes, oh yes. He was taking over from the... from the 12th division and-

C. Barker (00:29:47):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:29:47):
Made vet... director of veterinary services for the Canadian Corps.

C. Barker (00:29:50):
Well, I don't know-

W.A. Robertson (00:29:56):
And was... and was there for more than a year as... while the war was still on.

C. Barker (00:29:59):
I see. I'm going to, um, to ask you now something that you might not want to- to, uh, say anything about. I- I got your war record here.

W.A. Robertson (00:30:11):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:30:12):
Uh, and- and you don't have to ask me how I got it because, uh, I have some connections in Ottawa.

W.A. Robertson (00:30:20):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:30:21):
And, uh, it's 50... it's 50 years since you were there, so they can release information. But I noticed you got an Order of the British Empire.

W.A. Robertson (00:30:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:30:31):
Did you lose that in Toronto with all your baggage? Or do you still have it?

W.A. Robertson (00:30:34):
No, I still have it.

C. Barker (00:30:35):
You do?

W.A. Robertson (00:30:36):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:30:37):
Good.

W.A. Robertson (00:30:38):
Got... Went up and got it from- from the King in Buckingham Palace.

C. Barker (00:30:42):
You, uh... you went to the... to the, uh, reception and all the, uh, ceremony that was associated with the awarding of it?

W.A. Robertson (00:30:50):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:30:50):
Good.

W.A. Robertson (00:30:51):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:30:52):
And you also-

W.A. Robertson (00:30:53):
My mother and sister came up and I have a photo of that, myself, and mother and sister coming out the gates of Buckingham Palace after.

C. Barker (00:31:00):
Have you?

W.A. Robertson (00:31:03):
Yeah.

Speaker 4 (00:31:04):
Bill, you were not-

C. Barker (00:31:05):
Oh, well, that's- that's great. Great, you didn't lose that, then, in the-

W.A. Robertson (00:31:06):
No, I have that.

C. Barker (00:31:08):
That in the shuffle? And- and also, there was a mention in dispatches.

W.A. Robertson (00:31:11):
Yeah, I got that.

C. Barker (00:31:13):
Do you mind telling me, uh, the incidence associated with these?

W.A. Robertson (00:31:16):
I don't know. I-

C. Barker (00:31:16):
Well-

W.A. Robertson (00:31:20):
I- I think that why it was, it was the custom in that brigade, and I don't know if it was in that infantry brigade, to... You see, the headquarter staff was drawn from the full battalion, full infantry battalion is comprised.

C. Barker (00:31:38):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:31:39):
And to get a brigade transport officer, they'd have somebody they'd have to get from some of the battalions, you see.

C. Barker (00:31:47):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:31:47):
An officer from some of the battalions. Uh, I think first one we had was a millionaire from Ottawa called Greer. He was with the 38th Battalion, I think it was, or was it the 31st?

C. Barker (00:32:06):
He didn't become General Greer or anything like this?

W.A. Robertson (00:32:12):
Oh, no.

C. Barker (00:32:14):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:32:14):
It wasn't him. No, he hated that fellow. This fellow had been... He owned the street railway at one time in Topeka, Kansas, and he had sold that out to this fellow who'd come back to Canada and was living in Ottawa. And he was, oh, an old gray-haired fellow and-

C. Barker (00:32:34):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:32:35):
No business being over there. No, it was the [inaudible]. He- he- he gave... While he was a- an- an officer and he had a platoon.

C. Barker (00:32:52):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:32:55):
An infantry platoon. He gave his pay to the platoon all the time. And when it came to the... He gave transport officers... he gave me some pay to transport section so he- he didn't need it.

C. Barker (00:33:10):
He didn't need it?

W.A. Robertson (00:33:10):
No. He gave it all. And the time that... the day we took Vimy Ridge was still transport officer. He stationed himself down at [inaudible] Corner and he gave every wounded Canadian soldier from our brigade that came back, a 10 franc bill. And it went into a- a good many thousand francs that-

C. Barker (00:33:48):
Well.

C. Barker (00:33:49):
Oh, I don't know. I'm not familiar.

W.A. Robertson (00:33:53):
James McBrian.

C. Barker (00:33:54):
McBrian.

W.A. Robertson (00:33:54):
McBrian.

C. Barker (00:33:56):
He came back to Canada and became known as police chief.

W.A. Robertson (00:33:57):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:33:59):
Of all of Canada.

W.A. Robertson (00:34:00):
Of all of Canada, yeah. Uh, it finally ended up by asking me if could do what I was doing what I was doing most of the time anyway. [inaudible] brigade transport officer did [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:34:18):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:34:20):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:34:21):
He thought I should have some recognition for it, and I think that's why he gave it [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:34:23):
You think that's why it was the OBE?

W.A. Robertson (00:34:24):
I think so.

C. Barker (00:34:28):
Yeah. Well, that's interesting, you know, because you never know. Uh, but when it comes through in orders, you may never know why it was being done, you know?

W.A. Robertson (00:34:38):
Well, I don't... He never told be why it was done-

C. Barker (00:34:40):
No.

W.A. Robertson (00:34:40):
But I think that's-

C. Barker (00:34:40):
That was it? Yeah?

W.A. Robertson (00:34:43):
He was stationed in London when I was in London too.

C. Barker (00:34:46):
Yes. I wondered if you recalled anything about a Captain Gurley? He wrote a book on poetry at one time.

W.A. Robertson (00:34:53):
No. I don't know him.

C. Barker (00:34:55):
All right. Did you ever meet Biggs, who was in your year? He was in the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, R.E. Biggs?

W.A. Robertson (00:35:07):
Yeah, I remember Biggs.

C. Barker (00:35:08):
He's retired, been retired from the [inaudible] quite a number of years. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:15):
I didn't know where was living.

C. Barker (00:35:17):
I've got him marked as a person who was in the Army Veterinary Corps.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:19):
The Canadian Army?

C. Barker (00:35:21):
I think so. I'm not sure about that.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:23):
There was an awful lot of [inaudible]-

C. Barker (00:35:23):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:25):
I don't think it was.

C. Barker (00:35:26):
That's right. That's right. Would you know, uh, Colonel Tamblin?

W.A. Robertson (00:35:31):
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

C. Barker (00:35:33):
Yeah?

W.A. Robertson (00:35:36):
He was there in the Third Division.

C. Barker (00:35:37):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:38):
He was in charge of health of animals for Regina.

C. Barker (00:35:41):
Oh, was he? I didn't know that.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:44):
And a fellow by the same name as you, Barker took over.

C. Barker (00:35:47):
Well, that was Mark Barker, no relation to me.

W.A. Robertson (00:35:49):
No relation?

C. Barker (00:35:50):
No, no.

C. Barker (00:35:51):
Well, I knew him pretty well, yeah. And I think his... I think his wife is still alive in- in Regina, or- or in, uh, Calgary.

W.A. Robertson (00:36:00):
Oh? I think he went to Ottawa to-

C. Barker (00:36:02):
Yes, and then he retired and went back out into Alberta. And-

C. Barker (00:36:09):
Well, I'm sure it was.

W.A. Robertson (00:36:10):
I was in my 30s and I think up where I was there was big crops. Wheat was down to below 20 cents a bushel. Barley was six or seven cents a bushel, something like about... There was big crops up there. We were north of the dried out area, but the more you grew, the worse off you were. You couldn't... you couldn't, uh-

C. Barker (00:36:34):
You couldn't get rid of it?

W.A. Robertson (00:36:39):
You couldn't [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:36:39):
Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:36:39):
And this, uh, 15 days a month, what, was- was a godsend.

C. Barker (00:36:45):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:36:46):
I organized a... I... The first time they went out, I went with Miller Taylor who graduated in the same year as I did, and he was with the health of animals branch. He had been practicing in Calgary before. He was stationed [inaudible] Saskatchewan then. And, uh, I was sent up with him, way up to a... to a... it was soldier settlement, the whole... They had a whole township. And that, yes, was our very first year [inaudible] pleaded with me. He say, "I don't have to stay there and do the whole thing. If you go [inaudible]." So I said, "Okay, I'll take a chance and stay." And I used to work it so that I'd do it two months in August and two months in September, a month at a time.

C. Barker (00:38:02):
Right.

W.A. Robertson (00:38:04):
Two weeks, I mean.

C. Barker (00:38:05):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:38:06):
And, uh, that's what I was doing there. We'd been up there for some 300 miles when a snowstorm came... 300 miles from home. Well, it's not laughing matter to get stuck. But anyway, we, uh, hurried up and did the... all the [inaudible] injecting and breeding and not doing, uh, any.... just [inaudible] down in that field book that you had, not doing anything else [inaudible]. It's just writing up the [inaudible], but that was not approved. We wouldn't approve it. I had worked my head off. I was working about twice as hard as... then, well, the first day when we went out to take a look, I had got into some [inaudible]. But I had done about double the first day, you see. I was doing it just as if it were practice [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:39:44):
Too many?

W.A. Robertson (00:39:45):
Too many.

C. Barker (00:39:49):
Yes, they had a sort of a set standard.

W.A. Robertson (00:39:51):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:39:52):
A number that you could do in the day.

W.A. Robertson (00:39:53):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:39:54):
And then if you did any more, you never got any recognition for it.

W.A. Robertson (00:39:56):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:39:57):
You just had to stick to the numbers.

W.A. Robertson (00:39:58):
Yeah, you stuck to the number.

C. Barker (00:39:59):
That's right. You- you, first of all, lived in Canora?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:03):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:40:04):
And then you went to where next after that?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:08):
To North Bay.

C. Barker (00:40:09):
To North Bay?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:09):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:40:10):
And that's where you lived most of the time?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:11):
That's where I lived, yeah-

C. Barker (00:40:11):
And-

W.A. Robertson (00:40:13):
And practiced, yeah.

C. Barker (00:40:14):
Well, you were president of the Saskatchewan Association, the Veterinary Association about 1945, was it? Or somewhere in there?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:23):
I was in two or three times, I think.

C. Barker (00:40:25):
Yes, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:27):
Along in the 40s, yes.

C. Barker (00:40:30):
Yes. Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:31):
Jack Miller and I wrote that veterinary act for Saskatchewan.

C. Barker (00:40:36):
Did you?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:37):
Oh. Yeah.

C. Barker (00:40:39):
Oh, that's very interesting to know who did it.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:41):
Jack Miller was... Jack Miller was provincial [inaudible]-

C. Barker (00:40:43):
That's right. That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:45):
At that time, and I was president of the association.

C. Barker (00:40:45):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:45):
And, uh, we... As a matter of fact, we just copied a Nova Scotia act that was in force, pretty well.

C. Barker (00:40:54):
The Nova Scotia Act?

W.A. Robertson (00:40:55):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:40:57):
Well.

W.A. Robertson (00:40:58):
We got a copy of that. It was in force.

C. Barker (00:41:00):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:41:00):
The Veterinary Citizen's Act or whatever you call it.

C. Barker (00:41:01):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:41:07):
And, uh, there was on thing that I was instrumental in changing in it, I remember. I was down to an association meeting and Jack... and Jack came up to the hotel room and he- he had this act there. There was a clause in it where the veterinarian that was hired by these municipalities, you see, under the act, was to get a month's holiday or some... maybe two weeks or a month. I don't remember. Uh, but he had to provide an assist... a- a- a-

C. Barker (00:41:47):
Substitute?

W.A. Robertson (00:41:47):
Substitute. There was no way that he could get some substitute for two weeks. He says, "How can you do it? There's no veterinarians here." And anyway, I was instrumental in having that clause struck out.

C. Barker (00:41:57):
Oh, no, mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:42:05):
The, uh... that act. The next... It was all approved. It was all okay. It was all Deputy Minister of Agriculture. [inaudible] University of Saskatoon. But, anyway, there was an election that fall. We had got it and approved it and everything. We were going to bring it out and Tommy Douglas was elected the next year. And he took a great deal of credit for having this veterinary act passed. And the whole thing was all-

C. Barker (00:42:51):
Just handed to him?

W.A. Robertson (00:42:52):
Handed to him. He passed it just as it was, stamped it.

C. Barker (00:42:55):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. Well, I've got... I've got another little bit of material here. If I can get you... see if you can recall some of these people here? You- you knew, uh, uh, A.E. Cameron fairly well when he was veterinary director general? And he was in the First World War too.

W.A. Robertson (00:43:18):
Well, yes. Oh, yes. I knew him. He was the-

W.A. Robertson (00:43:22):
I met him in France, and I had met him on-

C. Barker (00:43:23):
Did you meet him in France?

W.A. Robertson (00:43:24):
Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. Oh, I knew him quite well. As a matter of fact, uh, there was an outbreak of... Cameron, A.E. Cameron-

C. Barker (00:43:33):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:43:33):
Was stationed for the Federal Department in [inaudible] which took him the district where I was.

C. Barker (00:43:41):
Oh, yes.

C. Barker (00:43:42):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:43:42):
Well, I was in the homestead before I'd ever gone to veterinary college.

C. Barker (00:43:44):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:43:44):
And there was an outbreak of, uh, glanders.

C. Barker (00:43:48):
Oh?

W.A. Robertson (00:43:49):
And Cameron came up. And I was in an adjacent place.

C. Barker (00:43:54):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:43:55):
Or somewhere that I was... He- he, uh, tested my horses for glanders. That was the first time I met him. And then I met him quite frequently in France.

C. Barker (00:44:10):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I- I knew him pretty well. I knew his daughter pretty well. She was down at MacDonald College when I was lecturing down there. She was at the Institute of Parasitology.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:18):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). She's an [inaudible] Cameron.

C. Barker (00:44:20):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:20):
Oh, yeah.

C. Barker (00:44:21):
Oh, yeah. And his widow just died, uh, last June.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:26):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:44:27):
And she was living in Ottawa.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:28):
Oh, he was a nice fellow.

C. Barker (00:44:29):
Yeah, that's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:30):
Knew his business too.

C. Barker (00:44:31):
Oh, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:31):
Oh, yeah. He knew what he was doing.

C. Barker (00:44:32):
Oh, yes. He was very good, very good.

W.A. Robertson (00:44:34):
Yeah, I remember one time in France, came to a- a new location.

C. Barker (00:44:46):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:44:47):
Had landed there after dark, and, uh, I had to find a place to put the horses. And there was nice stables. The Captain whose name was on the post, no [inaudible] boys, it was nice stable.

C. Barker (00:45:12):
Yeah. Well, I knew... I knew him... I knew him fairly- fairly well. Uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:45:17):
Oh, oh, yes. I knew Cameron quite well.

C. Barker (00:45:21):
Who else was it? There was, uh... Did you ever know a Captain Pratt?

W.A. Robertson (00:45:30):
Uh, the name is familiar.

C. Barker (00:45:31):
I didn't know him at all. These were some names that I- I picked up along the way, here. Uh, did you ever know a Captain Richards? I think he was in charge down at the... at the... at the, um... at the base hospital at Havre.

W.A. Robertson (00:45:50):
No.

C. Barker (00:45:51):
You never-

W.A. Robertson (00:45:52):
I never was sent there.

C. Barker (00:45:53):
You never got to Havre?

W.A. Robertson (00:45:53):
No, I never was at Havre, uh-

C. Barker (00:45:54):
Did you know Sproston?

W.A. Robertson (00:45:56):
Yes.

C. Barker (00:45:57):
I didn't know him of course. His son graduated the year before I did. He lives out here in Vancouver, the son does.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:03):
Oh?

C. Barker (00:46:04):
He's practiced for many years in Vancouver.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:06):
Oh.

C. Barker (00:46:07):
But I never-

W.A. Robertson (00:46:07):
Well, I- I've heard the name [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:46:10):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:11):
Yes. Oh, yes. I knew Sproston.

C. Barker (00:46:13):
And, who else was here? There was, uh... Well, you would have met E.A. Watson, would you? Over there?

W.A. Robertson (00:46:19):
Oh, yeah, yes. Yeah. He and- and, uh, Evans.

C. Barker (00:46:26):
T.C. Evans?

W.A. Robertson (00:46:26):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:46:27):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:27):
Yeah, and Edgett. And- and-

C. Barker (00:46:27):
Edgett?

W.A. Robertson (00:46:32):
Charlie Edgett. They didn't... They hated Watson. They both... They'd been... both been in the civil service, you see?

C. Barker (00:46:39):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:40):
And Watson was station at- at, uh, Lethbridge.

C. Barker (00:46:47):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (00:46:49):
And, uh, he did... He- he was supposed to be doing- doing a lot of work in swamp fever back in those days.

C. Barker (00:46:54):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:46:56):
And I don't know. Both Evans and Edgett hated him anyway. And he was in the same division as I was. He was with artillery. And Edgett edged him down to- to Havre.

C. Barker (00:47:10):
Transferred him to-

W.A. Robertson (00:47:12):
Transferred him to-

C. Barker (00:47:12):
Havre?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:15):
As incompetent. And he- he- he really... he really wasn't a- a field man.

C. Barker (00:47:21):
He was a lab man?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:22):
He was a lab man.

C. Barker (00:47:22):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:47:23):
He was out of his depth and-

C. Barker (00:47:27):
Would you know, uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:47:27):
And he wasn't, uh, too good a mixer. He wasn't too good to get along with people.

C. Barker (00:47:32):
I see. Would you know a Captain Towill or Towill? T-O-W-I-L-L?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:38):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:47:39):
He's living in Abbotsford right now.

W.A. Robertson (00:47:41):
Is he?

C. Barker (00:47:41):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:47:42):
Oh, yes. I know him.

C. Barker (00:47:43):
He's a 1915 graduate. There was a Captain Hoggan, H-O-G-G-A-N. Did you ever recall Hoggan?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:51):
No, I can't say that I do.

C. Barker (00:47:53):
Did you ever hear of a Captain Chambers?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:55):
Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

C. Barker (00:47:56):
You know-

W.A. Robertson (00:47:56):
Which one?

C. Barker (00:47:57):
You know what happened to him?

W.A. Robertson (00:47:58):
I know two of them, two Captain Chambers.

C. Barker (00:48:01):
I've got a little note that's about a Captain Chambers who was cashiered.

W.A. Robertson (00:48:04):
Yeah, but there was another Chambers that was a [inaudible] fellow.

C. Barker (00:48:07):
Oh, I didn't know-

W.A. Robertson (00:48:08):
And he was always getting into trouble with- with the other Chambers. I knew them both quite well.

C. Barker (00:48:14):
Well, this... I don't which Chambers this was that was cashiered. Uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:48:17):
The one... The- the- one that was a good fellow and- and had a good war record and everything else practiced in Regina afterwards. And he did... he kind of went out of practice and became, uh, inspector for one of the loan companies.

C. Barker (00:48:37):
Oh, I know. I know roughly then who you're talking about.

W.A. Robertson (00:48:40):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:48:40):
I know.

W.A. Robertson (00:48:41):
And he also... And he bought... The loan companies had renters on their places that they repossessed, you see?

C. Barker (00:48:50):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:48:51):
And Chambers would buy horses and cattle and stuff for them. And he also had a few Percheron horses himself, and showed. And I used to raise Belgians and showed at Regina. And- and-

C. Barker (00:49:06):
You'd meet him.

W.A. Robertson (00:49:07):
Being there. Oh, yeah. He was a... Oh, he's a good fellow.

C. Barker (00:49:10):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:49:10):
But the other Chambers-

C. Barker (00:49:12):
Oh, I don't know who the other Chambers was. I just have a note here that-

W.A. Robertson (00:49:14):
He was an Ontario man.

C. Barker (00:49:16):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:49:16):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:49:17):
There was a chap named Hunter, a Captain Hunter?

W.A. Robertson (00:49:21):
Oh, yes, and he stayed in-

C. Barker (00:49:23):
In France?

W.A. Robertson (00:49:23):
France.

C. Barker (00:49:24):
That's, uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:49:25):
Married- married in France, went practicing in France.

C. Barker (00:49:27):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:49:28):
He was fluently bi- bilingual. He was, uh... he was in the base hospital at Le Havre.

C. Barker (00:49:35):
At Le Havre?

W.A. Robertson (00:49:37):
Uh, married a local Le Havre girl, stayed there.

C. Barker (00:49:40):
There was, um, a Colonel Newsome. Now I think he might have been a British Army Chap. Don't know him. Um, a Major Mackenzie? I don't know who that could be. There was a-

W.A. Robertson (00:49:53):
Not in the Veterinary Corps?

C. Barker (00:49:53):
No. There was a Captain Dougal. You told me about Captain Dougal.

W.A. Robertson (00:49:58):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:49:58):
You knew him. Uh, did you ever know a- a Captain Galbraith? Galbraith, 1917 graduate? He was overseas.

W.A. Robertson (00:50:08):
No.

C. Barker (00:50:09):
There was a Captain Ives, Captain Robb, a Captain Richmond, a fellow named Hopkins.

W.A. Robertson (00:50:20):
Yeah, they were all with the Imperials.

C. Barker (00:50:22):
I think [inaudible] some of them were, yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:50:23):
They were all with the Imperials, those fellas, yeah.

C. Barker (00:50:25):
Did you ever meet a Captain Clatt?

W.A. Robertson (00:50:27):
Oh, yeah. He graduated same year.

C. Barker (00:50:27):
Did he?

W.A. Robertson (00:50:28):
Oh, yeah.

C. Barker (00:50:32):
Well, his son has graduated, you know?

W.A. Robertson (00:50:34):
That's right.

C. Barker (00:50:36):
And the- the one came out here and died in British Colombia. He graduated in 1949. And the other son, uh, lives now in Picton and he's retired from practice. Uh, quite nice chaps. And I have some of his practice... He came back to Ontario to practice in Picton and I have some of his equipment at our museum.

W.A. Robertson (00:50:56):
Oh?

C. Barker (00:50:57):
The son gave it to us. Uh, who else have I got here? A Captain Steadman?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:03):
Oh, yes. That's the fellow that I was trying to tell you, Steadman, that-

C. Barker (00:51:08):
Went back to Alberta?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:09):
Went to... He was from Alberta.

C. Barker (00:51:10):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:13):
And went back to Alberta, was raising race horses after the war. And he became DADBS of Fourth Division.

C. Barker (00:51:19):
Wow.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:20):
Steadman.

C. Barker (00:51:20):
All right.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:21):
Uh, as a matter of fact, divisional headquarters recommended me for it though I was only just a recent graduate.

C. Barker (00:51:28):
Is that right?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:28):
Yes. And they- they fought like heck to- to have me... Yeah, but I had no seniority.

C. Barker (00:51:34):
No, no. There was a Captain-

W.A. Robertson (00:51:38):
Steadman, yes. Steadman was a-

C. Barker (00:51:38):
Captain Sharp.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:39):
Not a bad fellow at all, Steadman.

C. Barker (00:51:39):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:40):
Oh, yes.

C. Barker (00:51:41):
A Captain Sharp?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:44):
Uh, yes. He practiced you... at one time in- in Yorkton in Saskatchewan if it's the same Sharp.

C. Barker (00:51:49):
I don't know.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:50):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:51:50):
There was a Harry Colburn.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:53):
No.

C. Barker (00:51:53):
He was British Army.

W.A. Robertson (00:51:54):
Sharp- Sharp was British Army, too.

C. Barker (00:51:56):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:57):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:51:58):
Captain Craig?

W.A. Robertson (00:51:59):
Oh, yes, Craig.

C. Barker (00:52:00):
You knew Craig?

W.A. Robertson (00:52:01):
Yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:52:01):
Did you ever know a fellow named Gunning? Gunning? No?

W.A. Robertson (00:52:06):
No.

C. Barker (00:52:07):
A Lieutenant Macintosh?

W.A. Robertson (00:52:11):
Um-

C. Barker (00:52:11):
Or Talmage? T-A-L-M-A-G-E?

W.A. Robertson (00:52:15):
Talmage, yes. The name is familiar. Now, who is he? Tell me, Talmage? [inaudible] but the name is very familiar.

C. Barker (00:52:23):
All right, an A.R. Cameron. You ever met an A.R. Cameron? No? All right, there was a Lieutenant Colonel Brown from Montreal. He was medical, also. A Captain French? Did you ever meet a Captain French? Uh, did you ever meet Stubbs? Buckey Stubbs? Captain Stubbs?

W.A. Robertson (00:52:50):
I-

C. Barker (00:52:51):
He was with the Forestry Corp. Uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:52:52):
Yes, I met him.

C. Barker (00:52:52):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:52:58):
And I think it was only in London.

C. Barker (00:52:58):
Okay.

W.A. Robertson (00:53:01):
On leave.

C. Barker (00:53:01):
All right. Let's see here. A Lieutenant Geoffrey of Montreal?

W.A. Robertson (00:53:09):
No.

C. Barker (00:53:10):
No? Uh, their... I tell you, as far as I can discover, you and, uh, one other, uh, member of the Army Veterinary Corps, the Canadian, are the only survivors in Canada. As far as I know, there are only two of you.

W.A. Robertson (00:53:32):
Veterans of the Veterinary Corps?

C. Barker (00:53:32):
Uh, yeah, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:53:33):
There was a [inaudible] in the Veterinary Corps that I haven't heard you mentioned, Vickers.

C. Barker (00:53:35):
Vickers, yes. Uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:53:37):
I know Vickers, yeah.

C. Barker (00:53:39):
Vickers, uh, I was just reading. I got a letter in here somewhere about Vickers. Vickers lived in the United States down in- in- in Virginia somewhere after the war.

W.A. Robertson (00:53:48):
Right.

C. Barker (00:53:48):
Practiced down there, I think.

W.A. Robertson (00:53:50):
He wanted to stay. I remember I was stationed at London with Edgett after the armistice.

C. Barker (00:53:54):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:54:01):
Vickers came over to me one time. He wanted to stay in the Canadian Army as a... as a veterinarian.

C. Barker (00:54:09):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:12):
And but he wanted a decision pretty quick because he said he was going to get married and he couldn't afford to stick around. He had to go to work.

C. Barker (00:54:20):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:21):
And I often wondered whether he did get a commission in the Canadian civil post-war Army.

C. Barker (00:54:27):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:29):
Or he went back to Virginia.

C. Barker (00:54:30):
No, the... there's a letter that I-

W.A. Robertson (00:54:33):
He was a pretty big fellow.

C. Barker (00:54:34):
Because have here. I- I never met him and I don't know anything about what has happened to him.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:39):
An Englishman, right?

C. Barker (00:54:40):
Yes, he was.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:41):
Yeah.

C. Barker (00:54:41):
Yes. But the- the-

W.A. Robertson (00:54:41):
A nice fellow.

C. Barker (00:54:43):
The last bit of information I have here, uh, is that he was in... This was 19 years ago. It was that he was in Virginia.

W.A. Robertson (00:54:51):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, that's where he was practicing before the war.

C. Barker (00:54:55):
Before? Is that right?

W.A. Robertson (00:54:56):
Yes, he was practicing-

C. Barker (00:54:56):
And so he came up here and joined up, then?

W.A. Robertson (00:54:58):
He came up and joined up with the Canadian, yeah.

C. Barker (00:54:59):
Oh, that's interesting.

W.A. Robertson (00:55:04):
He was.... He was with Tamblin's division.

C. Barker (00:55:05):
Was he?

W.A. Robertson (00:55:05):
Tamblin was DADBS-

C. Barker (00:55:05):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (00:55:05):
With Third Division. Vickers was-

C. Barker (00:55:06):
Um-

W.A. Robertson (00:55:06):
Third Division.

C. Barker (00:55:12):
Here's another one. O'Gar- O'Garrity? Did you ever meet a Captain O'Garrity? Or a Captain Havilock-Heenan? Heenan? Heenan?

W.A. Robertson (00:55:23):
Heenan?

C. Barker (00:55:24):
Heenan?

W.A. Robertson (00:55:24):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), he-

C. Barker (00:55:25):
Heenan, this says- says here. This is a letter from- from, uh, [inaudible] in 1962 that I found. He was writing to the college then when they were getting some information together. It refers to Evans and French, Cecil French, and, uh, Heenan, and O'Garrity and some of the others there. But probably, uh, you never met him, I guess.

W.A. Robertson (00:55:51):
No.

C. Barker (00:55:52):
Uh, what else have I got under this file here? I've got quite a number of letters and so on here about mobile veterinary sections. You never had anything to do with the mobile sections.

W.A. Robertson (00:56:01):
Well, mobile veterinary section, we had to... I had to, uh, evacuate the... turn- turn over the wounded animals to.

C. Barker (00:56:09):
To them?

W.A. Robertson (00:56:10):
And they took them down to the base.

C. Barker (00:56:11):
I see.

W.A. Robertson (00:56:12):
And, uh, the function of the mobile veterinary section was that if- if they could, uh, fix up a- a horse-

C. Barker (00:56:22):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:56:24):
In a- a reasonable time, a week or so-

C. Barker (00:56:25):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:56:26):
Maybe a little longer if he was a good horse. And, you know, uh, you use a bit of judgment on that.

C. Barker (00:56:31):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:56:31):
And they would keep them there. Otherwise they would-

C. Barker (00:56:38):
Send them back to base.

W.A. Robertson (00:56:39):
Send them back to base. And front line officers like I was with the infantry or with the artillery, you see, they just put their casualties to the mobile section.

C. Barker (00:56:51):
The mobile section?

W.A. Robertson (00:56:52):
Yeah. And, uh, Dick Lee was the mobile veterinary section man, Fourth Division.

C. Barker (00:57:03):
Okay.

W.A. Robertson (00:57:03):
And I helped out my standing with the brigade, I guess, when Dick would get a [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:57:11):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:57:11):
And when there would be a- a nice horse come in, not too much wrong with him, I would pray with Dick and take the sick horse out [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:57:30):
Well, you had to help one another as best you could.

W.A. Robertson (00:57:33):
Oh, yeah, yeah.

C. Barker (00:57:36):
We were just... We were just talking about C.G. Saunders. Uh-

W.A. Robertson (00:57:41):
He was a good fellow.

C. Barker (00:57:42):
Cats and dogs Saunders and Doctor, uh, Robertson was just telling about some of these interesting things he knew about him.

W.A. Robertson (00:57:49):
Uh, he always like the small animals. And he was quite English, you know? A very marked English accent. And, uh, some of the Americans didn't like this English guy. There was more than half the class that was Americans in that.

C. Barker (00:58:06):
Yes, it would be a large number.

W.A. Robertson (00:58:07):
Yes. And one of the fellows named Robinson, as a matter of fact, threw a [inaudible].

C. Barker (00:58:19):
When he was lecturing?

W.A. Robertson (00:58:19):
Yeah. And, uh, the whole class was suspended. And I was class president at the time.

C. Barker (00:58:21):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:58:22):
And, uh, oh, we had a heck of a time.

C. Barker (00:58:30):
Did you get called up in front of Grange?

W.A. Robertson (00:58:35):
Oh, yes. It was in front of Grange, and of course the class would want... We would go to suspend. The... Saunders demand- demanded that the fellow that threw that stuff and hit him be expelled.

C. Barker (00:58:46):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (00:58:46):
The class didn't want to see him expelled, of course. It fell to me to try and arrange that we accept an apology or something.

C. Barker (00:58:58):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

W.A. Robertson (00:59:03):
[inaudible] told daddy Grange about it.

C. Barker (00:59:05):
He must have been quite an interesting old character.

W.A. Robertson (00:59:07):
Oh, yeah. Old daddy Grange was great.

C. Barker (00:59:11):
I hear various stories... various stories about him. Uh, it's hard to get accurate information, uh, about him. It- it's not been written, you know?

W.A. Robertson (00:59:24):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

C. Barker (00:59:25):
There are no memorials to E.A.A Grange anywhere. There are no plaques on the wall to memorialize him.

W.A. Robertson (00:59:31):
Well, he- he wasn't a... You didn't get much out of old Grange's lectures. He was a nice old fellow, but-

C. Barker (00:59:41):
He wasn't very useful that way?

W.A. Robertson (00:59:43):
No. You didn't get much out of his lectures, really. But he- he was a real gentleman, a very nice old gentleman. Uh, a fairly good administrator for the college, anyway.

C. Barker (00:59:54):
Was Schofield lecturing to you at that time?

W.A. Robertson (00:59:57):
Yes, Schofield was lecturing, and he was assistant to [inaudible name] the provincial laboratory.

C. Barker (01:00:02):
Yes, yeah.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:04):
No, Schofield wasn't lecturing. [inaudible name] did the bacteriology. Schofield was a demonstrator in the lab. And he was a crippled fellow.

C. Barker (01:00:15):
Yes, that's right. He'd had polio.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:17):
Polio.

C. Barker (01:00:18):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:20):
He went to- to, uh-

C. Barker (01:00:20):
He went to Korea for a while.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:21):
Korea.

C. Barker (01:00:22):
That's right.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:22):
A long time.

C. Barker (01:00:23):
Yeah.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:24):
Well, I liked Schofield. I told you about him making a vaccine.

C. Barker (01:00:27):
You mentioned that you'd injured your leg as a... playing soccer.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:31):
Playing soccer, yeah.

C. Barker (01:00:33):
And, uh, it proved to be a bone chip there, but it was [inaudible].

W.A. Robertson (01:00:35):
It was a bone chip. Just a-

C. Barker (01:00:37):
Yes.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:37):
You can still feel the-

C. Barker (01:00:40):
The depression there from it. Schofield made a vaccine for you.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:43):
Yeah, Schofield.

C. Barker (01:00:44):
And you took it home during the summer and treated yourself with it and-

W.A. Robertson (01:00:47):
I went up to the lab and had two or three shots. And, uh-

C. Barker (01:00:51):
Cleared it up?

W.A. Robertson (01:00:52):
Yeah, cleared it up.

C. Barker (01:00:52):
Yeah. Well, that's great.

W.A. Robertson (01:00:57):
It cleared up after the piece of... chip of bone-

C. Barker (01:00:58):
Chip of bone come out. Yeah, as soon as that sloughed out you were all right then. I have a collection of- of Evans', uh, medals. He donated them to one of the legions down... legion branches in Ontario. And they were-

W.A. Robertson (01:01:14):
Evans was in the South African war, was he?

C. Barker (01:01:16):
Yes, yes, yes.

W.A. Robertson (01:01:17):
Yeah, and Tamblin.

C. Barker (01:01:19):
Yes, that's right. And we have those medals now in our collection, in the museum collection at the college.

C. Barker (01:01:26):
Yeah, we're going to close off the tape now and go out for, uh, dinner. It's a-

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